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Learning Differences

Find support and raise awareness

"I HAD NO IDEA."  It's an expression commonly encountered when addressing a learning disability. No idea what the signs are. No idea what the terminology is, what a 504 or IEP is, or what the process is to get a child help. No idea how complex that process can be, or what a family goes through. 

For families supporting students with learning differences, helpful resources can be hard to find.  Every day can seem more difficult, but with the right tools and support, people who learn and think differently will have a greater ability to thrive.


With that in mind, our PTA has gathered resources here, with the hope of raising awareness, supporting our students and families, and creating a more inclusive community.  Please reach out to our PTA if you have other resources you would like to share with our community.  We would love to hear your voice - you can send an email to

Common Learning Differences

Did you know that 1 in 5 students has learning and thinking differences, like dyslexia and ADHD?  For an overview of common learning differences visit


Did you know that 1 in 59 children in the United States has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder?   For more information visit the Autism Science Foundation.

What you need to know

The journey of advocating for a child with Inclusive Education needs can be frustrating without knowing where to start.  It is essential for care givers to understand the differences between a 504 plan vs an IEP.  The PTA Special Education Toolkit also provides a sequence of resources for getting started.  


Be aware of the Kent School District specific criteria and processes to establish Inclusive Education for a child's learning difference.  You can learn more about Section 504 through the Kent School District website.  Understanding the applicable context and terminology can be very helpful throughout this process.

 In 2016, the Washington State PTA  passed significant resolutions surrounding dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

Washington Office of Superintendint of Public Instruction (OSPI) also has some important resources to help get started:

1. What is special education?

2. Section 504 & students with disabilities

3. Education of Students with Specific Learning Disabilities

4. Eligibility for Special Education

Dyslexia Resources

So what does it mean to have Dyslexia?  

Watch this fascinating Ted Ed video for answers.

Dyslexia is a learning disability in reading. People with dyslexia have trouble

reading at a good pace and without mistakes. They may also have a hard

time with reading comprehension, spelling, and writing.

In 2018, Washington lawmakers approved legislation to screen kindergarten

through second grade students for the learning weaknesses associated with

dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities. Screening is to start by fall


The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) provides

information about Dyslexia and has made available the Washington State Dyslexia Resource Guide.

For more information visit the International Dyslexia Association 


ADHD Resources

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?  

Hear what the Director of a Yale Clinic has to say about ADHD in this video.

ADHD is a common condition that’s caused by differences in the brain. People with ADHD have trouble with focus. Some are also hyperactive and impulsive. People with ADHD have trouble with a group of skills known as executive function, where they struggle with getting organized, following directions and managing emotions. This is not a matter of willpower.

There are many resources available online.  Here are a few to get started:

1.  Attention Deficit Disorder Association

2.  Myths and Facts about ADHD


Support Groups

1. King County Support Groups: The Arc

2. Learning Disabilities Association: WA Parent Support Groups

3. Autism Support Groups: WA Department of Health

4. Dyslexia Support Facebook Group: Dyslexia WA State

5. Decoding Dyslexia Facebook Group: Decoding Dyslexia

6. Parent Training and Information Centers: PTIs and CPRCs

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