Your teenager may have been labeled "learning disabled" but he may not actually be a disabled learner. Many, if not most, of the two million students who are labeled "LD" learn perfectly well, if they’re given instructional approaches tailored to their own unique ways of learning.

If your son or daughter has been tested and labeled at school, then find out what kinds of teaching methods they’ve been given in their regular classroom. Many so-called "LD kids" fail with textbooks, worksheets and lectures, but can succeed in classrooms that include active learning methods such as plays, artwork, laboratories, field experiences and hands-on projects that involve learning through experience.

Many learning frustrated adolescents bloom when they have their own gifts and talents recognized and used to help them learn what is difficult for them. Encourage your teen’s regular classroom teacher to provide these kinds of motivating activities before considering special education classes.

In this way, you’ll help him stay within the mainstream, and avoid the stigma of the learning disability label.

Mr. B