Individualized support for all of life’s learners.
LDS empowers individuals with learning differences to recognize their unique strengths and develop the tools they need to achieve lifelong confidence and success.
Discover Josh’s story.
Jennifer and Donna share their son’s story, and how working with LDS helped him realize his potential and discover his superpowers.
Learn. Develop. Succeed.
We believe that every individual should be empowered to achieve greatness their way.
LDS delivers transformational learning programs that provide students the personalized academic support they need to succeed.
Our mission is to empower students to build confidence in the classroom and everyday life. Through comprehensive, customized learning support, we’re helping all of life’s learners pursue their passions and achieve greatness.
- Experienced, specialized instructors
- Our highly qualified, passionate instructors include BC-Certified Teachers, Special Education Assistants, Orton-Gillingham certified instructors, Speech Language Pathologists, Inclusive Education Instructors, and Certified Early Childhood Educators.
- Individualized, resource-intensive support
- A customized learning plan is designed for each student by our specialized team, comprised of a carefully matched instructor, an experienced case manager, and our Assistive Technology Manager, all coordinated by our Director of Education.
- We consistently integrate leading assistive technologies in innovative ways into our customized programs to improve and more deeply personalize the learning process for our students.
- Proven results
- Our multi-year studies conducted with UBC show that LDS RISE students are catching up to their general classroom peers on average by up to ½ grade level per year with significant increases in self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Accessible and inclusive
- We design our physical and virtual spaces and programs with inclusivity top-of-mind. Our sliding fee scale ensures that students of all ages and backgrounds can access our support.
Our Education Partners
My experience with LDS started after Grade 5. At that time, I was struggling with math really badly. Thankfully, I ended up with Jennifer, who helped me with all of my homework and math problems. The atmosphere at LDS was always inviting, and the staff welcomed the students. I don’t have that much of a hard time with math anymore, and I’m glad that I got help from Jennifer.
Eva, Former LDS Student
Our whole experience at LDS, from the one-to-one instructors to every interaction with the LDS Learning Centre staff, was exceptional. I heartily recommend it, and we will return for additional programs in the future!
Trudy, Mother of a student in one-to-one instruction and speech-language pathology (SLP) sessions
Jennifer is so patient with my daughter and has so many great ways to get her engaged in her work. My daughter can be resistant and distracted, so that’s no easy task! With the session online, it’s lovely to hear the laughter and also the progress. Jennifer is truly a skilled teacher, and we’re so grateful to have her work with us.
Naomi, Mother of a one-to-one student
My daughter loves working with Missy and is always excited for her lesson. With the previous private tutoring, my daughter always begged me before every session to skip the lesson, but she has never asked to skip a session with Missy. It is such a relief that we have found LDS and your amazing Instructors. Thank you.
Sarah, Parent of a one-to-one student
Eliah did an amazing job connecting with my son, who was very reticent and unsure about specialized instruction at first. He always came out of his sessions happy, and seemed much more confident overall, as well as feeling his math skills improved. Thank you so much, Eliah, for making a real difference in my son’s life this year!
Jessica, Mother of a one-to-one student
My son has really enjoyed working with Alison. Alison has been amazing at keeping him engaged and making the lessons fun. We have found that the one-to-one instruction has helped with his learning tremendously, and he has learned tricks that help him remember words and sounds. We look forward to continuing our lessons throughout the summer.
Tania, Mother of a one-to-one student
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Frequently Asked Questions
The term “learning disability” was first introduced in 1963 and refers to brain-based differences that significantly hinder an individual’s ability to acquire, organize, retain, understand or use verbal and non-verbal information.
Examples include dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (writing), dyscalculia (math), dyspraxia (movement), auditory processing or other processing disorders, ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder), mild to moderate ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and other executive function challenges.
For some, the term “learning disability” can have negative connotations or stigma, suggesting an individual weakness. Outside of medical or academic settings, the common preference now is to use the term “learning difference,” which has the same meaning but recognizes the individualized nature of learning and also allows more space to recognize differences as potential strengths.
At LDS, wherever possible, we use the term “learning difference” to highlight the rich and diverse ways that individuals learn.
Identifying a learning difference (LD) can be challenging, especially at an early age. Some of the common signs that an individual may have a learning difference include:
- Distractedness and/or memory lapses
- Challenges following multi-stage directions
- Challenges with telling time
- Difficulty staying organized
Formal assessments, such as psychoeducational evaluations (sometimes called “psych-eds”), can provide a formal diagnosis of a LD or other neurodiverse issues but may be subject to long wait times and material costs. At LDS, we are able to offer other helpful assessments in-house, often called “Level B” assessments, such as KTEA-3, and we can also refer LDS students with specific learning profiles for psychoeducational assessments or neuro-psych assessments through our partners at UBC PSCTC.
At LDS, we provide both informal and formal assessments. Our informal/Level A assessments provide grade level estimates for reading, writing, spelling, and math. Each LDS student receives an informal assessment from their instructor at the beginning and end of the school year. Our formal/Level B assessments, e.g., KTEA-3, are standardized assessments provided by LDS that indicate an individual’s grade-level performance in core subject areas, including reading comprehension, math computation, math applications and concepts, letter and word recognition, spelling, and written expression.
Through our partnership with UBC PSCTC, LDS can also refer individuals with specific learning profiles for a formal psychoeducational or a neuro-psych assessment.
Our comprehensive programs span the full development cycle from ages 3 to adult. They offer a holistic approach to academic and social-emotional development to ensure all individuals have the skills and confidence they need to realize their full potential.
Our RISE instruction programs target student-specific learning needs and provide one-to-one, specialized instruction that is progress monitored to ensure optimal adaptation to the needs of each individual learner. You can find details about each of our programs here.
LDS instruction programs follow our unique Research-informed Individualized Student Education (RISE) proven methodology designed specifically to meet the needs of each individual student. Developed from BC’s Core Competencies and research-based curricula, the LDS RISE method targets student-specific learning loss and educational needs and provides one-to-one, customized remedial instruction from highly skilled and specialized instructors under our learning support team’s guidance and case management.
We collaborate with leading universities to ensure that RISE incorporates the latest research and evidence-based approaches and provides the most effective learning support to students with learning differences. Our carefully designed RISE programs are multi-curricula-based, incorporating Orton-Gillingham as one of many curricular approaches. We have found that our RISE multi-curricula approach achieves the most effective, individualized support for each student.
Our multi-year studies conducted with UBC show that LDS RISE students are catching up to their general classroom peers on average by up to ½ grade level per year with significant increases in self-confidence and self-esteem.
We carefully match each student with one of our skilled and experienced instructors, considering each student’s learning, behavioural, and emotional needs and the diverse experience and training of our over 40 instructors. Our LDS instructors include BC certified teachers, special education assistants, Orton-Gillingham certified instructors, speech-language pathologists, and experienced inclusive education tutors. We recognize the importance of relationship building between our students and instructors and endeavor to ensure that our students continue to study with the same instructor wherever possible.
An LDS case manager is a critical part of each student’s carefully matched learning support team. Working with our Director of Education and other specialists on staff, our case managers develop an individualized learning program for each student that identifies learning goals, curricula, and resources, including assistive technologies, as appropriate, that our instructors use to address specific skill gaps and learning needs.
Throughout the year, the case manager assigned to each learner provides a consistent first point of contact for students and families and, together with our instructor, develops assessments, progress monitoring, and reporting to ensure each student achieves sustained progress in their learning and development.
Working with our 17 technology company partners, LDS carefully identifies and integrates specific assistive technologies (AT) into our individualized support programs to enhance student learning and best practice in our teaching and to further the accessibility and inclusiveness of our support.
Examples of AT integrated into our lessons include software and hardware that enable visual organization of information, visual and auditory feedback of text, writing assistance, and screen-based reading enhancement. We also now incorporate socially assistive robots in innovative ways into our lessons working with our partner, the University of Waterloo, with remarkable success in increasing student engagement and social-emotional learning.