St. Louis Learning Disabilities Assocation started in the early 90's.
By Heidi Glaus
Ballwin, Mo (KSDK) -- It's how plenty of great programs start not a lot of money, but a whole lot of passion to help.
"As of 2001 there was still just myself and a part-time secretary here," explains Pam Kortum, Executive Director of St. Louis Learning Disabilities Association.
"I have two children that have learning disabilities when they were diagnosed there really wasn't anything here and I spent a lot of time traveling around the country trying to find out from noted professionals what to do about my own kids here in St. Louis," Kortum goes on to say.
That was back in the early 90's when St. Louis Learning Disabilities Association was just getting started. These days, there are programs for parents, training for teachers and help for students of all ages.
"So your kid is floundering in the classroom and you don't know what to do about that we can send a consultant with you to help you get the appropriate programming for that child in the school they attend," Kortum points out.
"We also have what we call educational coaching for college students here, so they come to us and we help them plot out their syllabuses and we keep them on track," Kortum adds.
They also have an early childhood outreach program, tutoring services and offer speech and language evaluations, but most importantly LDA reminds all of us that a learning disability isn't something you have to be ashamed of.
"Most kids with learning disabilities are very, very bright, but they don't have the organizational systems that they need to put all the pieces together," explains Sheryl Silvey, Board Chair for LDA.
So this is a non-profit that helps put those pieces together. The staff helps kids figure out how they learn best and then gives them the tools to do just that.
"They were very concerned with the whole child and evaluating every aspect of his learning, his learning style, his learning environment, his experiences with school and who he is as a person," says Laura Niemann, a parent.
"These kids can be anything they want to be, literally they just need to find the right way to learn and that's what LDA is all about. It's offering the key to unlock that learning for them so they can learn," Silvey adds.
Educational consultants will be at Whole Foods Market in Town and Country this Saturday between noon and 4 p.m. to answer questions. You can also find more information and a phone number when you visit St. Louis Learning Disabilities Assocation's web site.