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A Mother's Love can make a Powerful Difference

by Kathie F. Nunley, EdD

I'd like to share with you a person I met this week in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. While speaking at the Canadian Dyslexia Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting the president of that organization, a truly inspirational woman. She touched a place in my heart.

Louise Ward is a mother. First and foremost. She is a mother who, like many of us, leads a life shaped by her children. Years ago, when Louise's son was struggling in a school which couldn't accommodate his particular learning style, she realized that not only was the school system not helping him, they were in fact, doing harm. As many of us are aware, the pain of a child's disabilities is frequently greater for the parent as they watch the hopes, confidence and esteem of their child destroyed by a system, which in its valiant attempt to lead the masses, often forgets the individuals it loses.

The bond between mother and child often leads to inspirational stories and the story of this mother is one such story. When Louise Ward realized that the school system could not meet her sons needs, she took matters into her own hands and started her own school, custom designed for the dyslexic needs of her son. What Louise hoped was that the design of this school would also meet the needs of other children with dyslexia. Her hopes were realized. From a first year enrollment of six to this year's enrollment of 40, L’ Academie' Heritage in Ottawa Ontario is a school where children of all ages are given a specialized reading program each day followed by high level academic subject taught using alternative strategies. Textbooks are used sparingly, primarily as references, students are encouraged to research and create individual projects using their particular intellectual gifts. The transitions are magical, the students are exciting, personable, and most importantly, confident in their educational endeavors.

Today students come from all over the world to find the peace and joy that comes from learning in an environment which meets their needs. Louise's son has graduated from the school and is currently pursing his degree at an Ottawa University. As for Louise, she keeps the school going and growing as she realizes true greatness comes from helping people - one at a time.


Kathie F. Nunley is an educational psychologist, author, researcher and speaker living in southern New Hampshire. Developer of the Layered Curriculum® method of instruction, Dr. Nunley has authored several books and articles on teaching in mixed-ability classrooms and other problems facing today's teachers. Full references and additional teaching and parental tips are available at: http://Help4Teachers.com Email her:
Kathie (at) brains.org

For more detailed information, read the text "Layered Curriculum" or the new supplement "Enhancing your Layered Curriculum Classroom".


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