For Parents

Think your child might have an LD or ADHD?

Check out some of our fact sheets on learning disabilities and other common/related disorders:

Looking into Centre for Diverse Learners programming?

See below for a variety of tips on funding routes available in the community.


First of all, seek advice from your accountant as each personal situation is different and will impact eligibility for these supports.


Insurance policies – some insurance policies may cover tutoring services for students with disabilities. This depends on each insurer. Please speak to your insurer to determine if there is any coverage for support for individuals with learning disabilities and whether it covers tutoring.


Medical deduction on personal tax. Lines 33099 and 33199 – Eligible medical expenses you can claim on your tax return – Canada.ca


Tutoring services- that are additional to the primary education of a person with a learning disability or an impairment in mental functions, and paid to a person in the business of providing these services to individuals who are not related to the person. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that these services are needed. (CRA website, August 2021)


Disability Tax Credit. This is more difficult to claim as it requires evidence that the individual with the disability is severely impacted in the functions of daily living 90% of the time. If the individual is eligible for this tax credit, however, a number of other supports are opened up. Disability-Related Information 2020 – Canada.ca


Centre for Diverse Learners subsidy fund.


The contributions of our grantors and donors allow us to offer a partial subsidy for some of our programs. A subsidy is designed to help families who are struggling financially, and therefore, financial information must be provided in order to be considered. Please fill out our subsidy application form linked below and send it to [email protected] once completed. All requests will be shared with our Subsidy Committee who will determine whether or not a subsidy can be provided. Our staff will reach out to you via email to let you know of their final decision.

Some information on mental health support for kids   

Black Youth Helpline1-833-294-8650
COAST (16+): Neuro-inclusive crisis support; 1-877-825-9011  
Distress Centre Halton: (All ages) Neuro-inclusive support; 905-849-4541 (Oakville), 905-681-1488 (Burlington), 905-877-1211 (Milton/Halton Hills)
Indigenous Hope for Wellness Helpline (12+): 1-855-242-3310
Kids Help Phone (Up to age 24) Neuro-inclusive support; 1-800-668-6868 text 686868
LGBT+ Youth Line1-800-268-9688 (call) or 647-694-4275 (text); Online Live Chat 4:00-9:30pm
Multilingual Distress Line1-877-298-5444; (TTY) 905-278-4890
Languages served include: English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.  
Naseeha Helpline (All ages): Muslim support line; 1-866-627-3342 (call) or 1-866-627-3342 (text)
ROCK24 hr crisis line; Neuro-inclusive support: 905-878-9785
Talk4Healing (All ages): Indigenous women’s support and resources; 1-855-554-4325
Trans Line: Trans peer support line; 1-877-565-8860

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please call 911.
For further resources, please see the Where to Find Help in Halton Guide.

Supporting Your Child

Modeling Resiliency & Compassion

The way you behave and respond to challenges has a big impact on your child. If you respond to their struggles with frustration, they will internalize those emotions and respond to their problems with frustration. A learning disability isn’t insurmountable. Remind yourself that everyone faces obstacles. It’s up to you as a parent to teach your child how to deal with those obstacles without becoming discouraged or overwhelmed.

Your child will follow your lead. If you approach learning challenges with optimism, hard work, and compassion, your child is more likely to see challenges as a speed bump, rather than a roadblock. Focus your energy on learning what works for your child and implementing it the best you can.

Learning disabilities can have a huge impact on a child’s self-esteem and mental health. Encouraging them and showing them how to practice compassion will have an immeasurably positive effect on their mental health in the long-term. It will also encourage them to come to you when they need help!

Helping Your Child at School

Know your child’s learning style

Talk to your child about their strengths and opportunities for growth, and work with them to identify which strategies are the most helpful.

Remember: focus on strengths to help your child build confidence and pride in their achievements!

Your child’s learning style will influence what supports will help them most effectively. There are too many styles of learning for use to name in this article, so we’ll stick to three – Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic/Tactile


  • NLearning by seeing images and visuals
  • NThe student learns best by seeing or reading the material
  • NBenefit from written directions and notes, and prefer visual tests rather than verbal


  • NLearning through language, hearing, and listening
  • NOften do best in a lecture-based learning environment, and through dictation
  • NBenefit from verbal discussions, spoken directions, and working in a group


  • NLearning through moving and doing, hands-on learning
  • NOften need movement breaks
  • NBenefit from physical manipulatives like blocks or sand
  • NLearn best through activities, labs, and opportunities to explore and create

Students with learning disabilities often benefit from a combination of teaching styles, often called the VAKT approach (Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile). For example, a student might learn to write a letter by saying it out loud (auditory), as they trace it on a textured board (visual and tactile).

Learning what strategies work best for your child and advocating for them in the classroom is one strategy you can use to help your child learn.

Stay involved in your child’s education

In addition to checking in with your child about their strengths and setbacks, it’s important to stay connected with your child’s teachers and school.

Set up an IEP

An IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is one of the best ways to help your child receive the accommodations that they need. They can include longer test times, assistive devices, and alternative teaching methods.

Here’s what you need to know to get started:

  • NAn IEP must be written within 30 school days of a student being placed in a special education program – generally at the beginning of the school year
  • NAn IEP can be written even if the child does not have a formal identification of an LD with the school board
  • NAn IEP is a written plan with goals for the child to achieve. It should include all relevant diagnosis and comments from the medical community and other professionals such as Speech and Language pathologists
  • NIt is a working document and can change at any time. Parents (that’s you!) are key members of the IEP writing team and your input must be sought out and documented
  • NIEPs are led by the school, but input is required and will be documented. If a parent is not satisfied, the working document will be rewritten to reflect changes
  • NFollow up with your child and their SERT to check in on the implementation and ensure all supports are in place for your child’s academic success
  • NContacting SERTs (Special Education Resource Teachers) – SERTs want to hear from parents and value your discussions, you can find their contact information via the school website or through the administration office


Talk to teachers

  • NTalking to your child’s teacher(s) at the start of the school year to go over the IEP is a great way to communicate your child’s needs with the teacher, so they are fully aware and understanding of your child’s learning disability and needs.
  • NHaving a strong teacher-parent connection at the start makes it easier to follow up and check in on your child with their teacher.

Need help navigating the system? Reach out to our resource facilitators for help.

woman and child with learning disabilities at home colouring at kitchen table

For Parents

For Educators

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For Adults

Lecutre workshop on learning diabilities and ADHD

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