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Landmark College Conference Delivers New Ideas for Students Who Learn Differently

Landmark College draws educators from around the nation to participate in the annual Summer Institute, a five-day intensive program to advance educational innovations for students who learn differently.  About 1 out of 6 U.S. children and teens has an LD, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, or other developmental disability.  These conditions don’t go away, which means that many people we see every day—coworkers, family members, store clerks—have grown up with a condition that makes learning difficult.  Thanks to wider awareness and better education options, learners with diverse profiles have greater educational opportunities now than ever before. 

Dedicated to improving education for neurodiverse learners, the Landmark College Summer Institute has a proud 20-year history of fusing new ideas from the field of LD with the time-tested practices of adept educators in a series of interactive workshops and presentations.  The June, 2013 theme is executive function, a neurocognitive undergirding for the host of abilities that allow us to plan, motivate, and regulate ourselves.  Executive function skills underlie a fulfilled adult life because they allow us to pursue goals—from reading an article to completing an entire degree program—in short, to get things done.

“Executive function is such a defining topic because it mediates the entire learning process,” explained Dr. Manju Banerjee, who is the Director of the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT). “Now we have medically validated insight into what educators have known for a long time—that executive abilities underpin higher learning.”

Many individuals with LD, ADHD, and ASD have executive function challenges, and conference attendees will explore these challenges and their solutions. When asked why participants value the Institute, Dr. Sapna Prasad, a cognitive psychologist at LCIRT said, “Summer Institute participants love the fact that they can learn new and cutting-edge information, perceive things in another light, truly engage hands-on with the content that is provided, and tap into the minds of 'experts' all in a one week, informal setting.” This year, Akili Interactive Labs  will demonstrate unique video games for students with ADHD. These high quality video games merge leading discoveries in neuroscience with the engagement of computer gaming to positively influence executive function and concentration.

To launch the Summer Institute, keynote speaker Dr. Lorraine Wolf, a national expert in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine, will present a free session on “Multiple Facets of Executive Function Difficulty: Understanding and Misunderstanding” on Monday, June 24, 2013 at 7:30 PM at Landmark College.  Conference workshops and presentations include executive function profiles associated with ASD and ADHD, fundamentals of learning and the brain, mobile apps for organization, accommodations for student anxiety, and a host of practice-based sessions to bolster everyday work with students.

Located in beautiful Putney, Vermont, the Landmark College campus will house the Summer Institute from June 24-28, 2013.  "It’s a high-energy, intensive, and inspiring few days in a beautiful rural setting,” said Linda Hecker, conference organizer and LCIRT member, “There's a great mix of renowned experts in the field, along with faculty from Landmark College who bring years of expertise working directly with students who learn differently.” For more information or to register, visit Landmark College Summer Institute.

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today Landmark College, offering two and four-year degree options and well as short term summer programs, is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and ASD.  Students, faculty, and other professionals from all over the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model, one designed through research and practice to help all students who learn differently become confident, self-empowered, and independently successful learners.

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