What is your view of this situation? I realize there are differences between the U.S. and Canada, but I would still appreciate a response. We are attempting to justify the importance of having a valid classification for possible use in situations after he has left high school. The school board is being unbelievably rigid.
The positive benefits of this approach is that we don't have to agonize about what to call the condition, and that evaluations are focused on describing the child's profile of strengths and needs. We have few programs just for kids with LD. Such placements are typically only available for students with severe language-based learning disabilities who, despite average to above-average intelligence, would flounder in a non-modified environment. (Here, modified does not -- or should not -- mean "easy," but rather "accessible," in terms of non-print materials, computer-assisted writing programs, etc.)
We often see a real mixture of kids in our regular classes as a result of the "inclusion" movement. The term "learning disabilities" has become a "catch-all" term. Very few regular educators could give a formal definition of LD, and even many special educators (who have been trained in non-categorical teacher preparation programs) probably could not define it either. As a result, many teachers lack the specialized training in the methods that we know work with these kids. When you hear statements like, "All kids have learning disabilities" or you read that 30 percent of the kids in a particular school district share this informal label, you know something is wrong.
There are other problems with this "loose" approach. Parents who aren't told that their kids have LD don't find their way to support services, such as LDA or it's local affiliates. (There is a