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Learning Disabilities Resources

This unit helps students understand how we learn, and that learning disabilities are brain-based and result in one or more areas of significant challenge.  Students learn that someone who has a learning disability can use a variety of useful strategies, techniques and technology to assist in learning within their area of challenge and in daily life.

Key themes:

  • Having a learning disability is among the many traits that contribute to making a person the individual that he or she is.
  • All of us have strengths and challenges in learning. A strength for one person may be a challenge for another person. Each individual with a learning disability is unique, with a combination of strengths and challenges. 
  • People develop strategies to accommodate for their challenges by using areas of strength, and may use specific techniques or assistive technology to accomplish their learning goals.
  • People with learning disabilities might feel frustrated at times when learning, but it can feel especially rewarding when a learning goal is accomplished, too.
  • People with learning disabilities do lots of things like play sports and participate in other activities, sometimes with accommodations.
2 girls in science class

Suggested reading

We suggest reviewing our extensive guide to finding suggested reading titles online, for free or at very low cost. You can find our guide here. 

Fish in a Tree book cover

Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

For grades 4-8


In this book, sixth grader Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help but her newest teacher, Mr. Daniels, sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally’s confidence grows and she feels free to be herself. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

There’s much to discover on the author’s webpage for Fish in a Tree, including videos of the author reading her book and answer questions on video.

Questions to consider:

  • What are Ally’s strengths and challenges? What are yours?
  • What strategies does Ally use to help with her schoolwork?
  • How does Ally learn differently?
  • Do you agree that everyone is smart in different ways? Why?

For Frequently Asked Questions with author Lynda Mullaly Hunt go to:

Offline Activity:

Are you ready to do something without using a screen? Try this fun activity where you can celebrate differences by making your own unique fish in tree!

  1. Download a fish picture below (or two or three) and print it. 
  2. Make it your own unique fish by coloring it, adding other elements by glueing them on, and any other ideas you might have. Be creative!
  3. Make a tree by drawing it or cutting it out of paper
  4. Cut out your fish and put it in your tree.

Click on a fish to get the downloadable pdf:

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