CBC Calgary looks at issues facing students and parents as children head back to school

Tracy Johnson, CBC News

Disability news

As kids head back to school this week, CBC Calgary is looking into some of the problems students and their parents are facing in the public system.

One of those problems is in assessing learning disabilities.

Here are eight things you should know about learning disabilities in Alberta.

1. People with average or above average intelligence who have difficulty learning are defined as having a learning disability. According to research done in the UK, about 10 per cent of the overall student population has a learning disability. That includes dyslexia, dyscalculia and autism.

2. During the 2011-2012 school year, Alberta Education identified 19,283 students with learning disabilities. 80 per cent of those students have difficulties learning to read, including dyslexia

3. Many students with learning disabilities go on to post-secondary education. The University of Calgary has 324 students with learning disabilities.

4. Parents who are concerned that their child is having trouble learning can request a psycho-educational assessment. There is no cost to the parents, but there can be more than a two-year wait to get the assessment done.