Individual Differences
in Learning Association, Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions:


    Q.   What is the purpose of the Individual Differences in Learning Association?

    Our parent-led, non-profit organization provides information and support for the parents and teachers of highly able children with learning disabilities (including ADHD). We work closely with the Howard County Public School System to promote a positive view in the development of the unique talents of our twice-exceptional students. Our focus is two-fold: teacher education and student support.

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  • Q.   What is the history of the Individual Differences in Learning Association?A.   In 2001 a small group of parents shared their concerns about their bright children and others like them who were struggling to achieve success in school. These parents were already active in the community as members of other groups: The Special Education Community Advisory Committee (SECAC), Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education (MCGATE) and the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA). They were aware that other parents were encountering the same frustrations in getting appropriate services for their children as well as access to advanced level classes.Understanding these diverse and complex needs, this small group of parents was determined to be a voice for these children. A meeting between Trish Budd, a co-founder of the group, Carey Wright, Director of Special Education at the time and Tom Payne, Coordinator, Advanced Level Programs and Fine Arts, led to the collaboration between the two departments and the growing parent group, including co-founders Meg Mekelburg and Lauri Rush. In April 2002, the Advanced Level Programs and Fine Arts sponsored conference by Susan Baum, author of “To be Gifted and Learning Disabled.”
  • What is the definition of a Twice Exceptional or Gifted Learning Disabled Student?
  • A student who is 2e may be highly gifted in one area with a learning disability in another so that the LD is masked by the gifts, or the LD might mask the gifts as the disability may be the main focus. In some cases, the student appears ‘average’ because the gift and the challenge cancel one another out. Some have defined these students by their ‘lack’ of definability–‘abc’ students as so many letters can be ascribed. They are often seen as ‘quirky’ kids. The gifts and/or the challenges may often be undetected when they are non-academic in nature. Watch some of our videos to learn more.
    IDL Walking the Path Video Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXU9mNdktyD9pqkL4C57cfJsXh4Pnw3W2
  • Why does IDL focus on 2E students?
  • 2E kids are often overlooked as they do not neatly fit in a particular category and as the school system is only obliged to give students an “appropriate” education which, if the student is doing ‘ok’ gradewise, they can easily meet. It is the hidden difficulties in social and emotional learning and even academic understanding that isn’t reflected in a standard grade that leaves the 2e student vulnerable.
  • What if my child isn’t gifted? Should I join IDL? Given how difficult it is to ascertain and truly diagnose such students, you may find that this is the place for you! We are not exclusionary, nor do we ascribe to a particularly rigid or conservative set of definitions.
  • How can I join the Howard County GT/LD/ADHD YAHOO on-line Support Group?

please join us to get updates and more information  by sending email to our subscribe email below and going to our yahoo group page: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/HoCo-Gifted-LD-ADHD/info


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