Learning Differences or Learning Disabilities?
We use the term "learning differences" rather than "learning disabilities" based on our understanding and appreciation of the unique mind of each individual. Our educational approach and Quaker culture recognize and embrace difference as a positive distinction that contributes to our worth as individuals and adds to the diversity of our community.
Beginning in middle school, DVFS students start to understand how their brains function – and how their specific learning difference affects that function. That understanding opens the door not only to learning but also to self-confidence. Once they can visualize and verbalize their challenges, they can begin to understand and embrace ways to remediate and accommodate those issues – and discover abilities, strengths and passions perhaps as yet untapped.
However, as our students progress in their understanding of their own learning needs, in particular what types of time and technology accommodations they might need in order to be successful in college and beyond, we understand that they may need to use language related to their specific "learning disabilities" in order to self-advocate.