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W.I.L.D. is a mentoring program that partners school aged students that have learning differences with college students and successful adults who have comparable challenges.

Sam and Justin

W.I.L.D. is a mentoring program that partners elementary/middle school students with learning differences with college students who have comparable challenges.  The mentor/mentee relationship stems from similar struggles and frustrations experienced in the learning environment and grows into a friendship where mentor and mentee share strategies for overcoming learning obstacles and increasing self-confidence.

The mentor/mentee relationship empowers both individuals; the mentor provides a model to the mentee that “you can succeed,” while the mentee validates the tremendous value of the mentor’s experiences and achievements.  From these positive interactions, the mentor and mentee gain an appreciation for the gifts attributed to learning differently.

 

W.I.L.D. uses project-based activities to provide an energetic forum for open and honest communication between the mentor and mentee.

 

W.I.L.D. offers hope to all who struggle with learning differences: hope for success, hope for unlimited achievement, and hope for a bright future.

 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines “specific learning disability” as follows: Specific learning disability- a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematics calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities of intellectual disability, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

 

Thus, Asperger’s syndrome, Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and DiGeorge Syndrome are not learning disabilities/differences.  There are many groups and agencies in existence that provide support for these students.  W.I.L.D. is specifically targeted to students with learning disabilities/differences.

 

Learning Disability/Difference is a general term that describes trouble with learning and using certain skills.  Reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning and doing math are the skills most often affected.  Learning differences include dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia, and auditory/visual processing disorders.