In This Issue:
  • A Word From the President
  • Social Competence (with LD/ADHD)
  • 2018 Award Winners
  • Pictures from the Conference, Nov. 2
  • LDA's Privacy Policy
  • Paid Advertisements
  • Meet the LDA Board Members
  • Attend the Board Meeting on February 9
Patty Useem, LDA of Indiana President
A Word from the President 

We are glad that many of you joined us November 2 at the Ritz Charles i
Carmel for our Annual LD & ADHD Conference. I would like to thank  those who helped in its planning and also the students from Indiana Wesleyan University for their assistance during the conference.

People these days wonder - Why bother going to a conference on le arning disabilities and ADHD when I can just go on the internet and get information and professional development? I often get asked- What are the benefits of putting in the time and energy to travel from my classroom, private practice, or home to attend keynotes and breakout sessions?
Perfect example is Rick Lavoie: he provided so much insight and information in his two presentations.  Although I have heard Rick speak many times over the years, I always take away new understandings; this year was no exception.  In addition, the breakout sessions expose you to different ideas that you may not have considered.
Take, for instance, the session presented by Kara Tucker, a music therapist. She opened eyes as to how music can be part of an educational program, promoting such aspects as cognitive skill building within a musical experience! Also, you are able to get first-hand vital information such as that about IEP's by InSource and the new Indiana State "Dyslexia Law" (SEA 217/PL95) by Joseph Risch, Indiana Department of Education. And, of course, there are opportunities to share personal struggles and triumphs with each other.   

I hope that, if you were unable to take advantage of the all that Conference 2018 had to offer, you will join us in November 2019. We are in the beginning stages of planning the event already. If you have suggestions for topics or presenters, please don't hesitate to contact us.

I would like to welcome all those who became members at our Annual Conference! And, of course, welcome to all our returning members! Our membership roster has always been a real mixture of parents, pre-service teachers (those in education programs), teachers, and other education professionals; this has been a strength for our organization.
As 2018 is coming to a close, I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season! See you in the New Year!
Social Competence
By Dr. Tammy Mahon
Dr. Tammy Mahon, LDA of Indiana Vice President

Many individuals who have learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders experience challenges with social skills.
The outco me for  this area of challenge can include difficulty with full participation in school and community activities with others as well as an inability to secure and maintain employment. Weak or a lack of social skills development can influence an individual's quality of life.
Individuals who are experiencing challenges with social skills may demonstrate behaviors such as:
  • Inability to interpret environmental and social cues
  • Poor judgment; little thought about logical consequences
  • Poor impulse control
  • Need for immediate gratification
  • Inability to set realistic priorities and goals
  • Inappropriate conclusions due to deficient reasoning ability
  • Illogical reasons for actions
  • Inability to develop meaningful relationships with others
  • Immature and "bossy" behavior
  • Low frustration tolerance resulting in disruptive behavior (LDA of America, 2013).   

    These behaviors are a concern for families and educators due to obstructions connected to learning and social competence.
Most often, there is a focus on addressing the challenges related to learning. It is true that in the classroom, children who experience struggles with academics and impaired social competence can compound learning challenges.
However, the same deficits linked to learning can be the reason for challenges with social competence. There can be issues with processing social information both verbally and nonverbally. Social competence involves the skills that are necessary for interpersonal functioning that are both verbal and nonverbal. These skills are considered socially valued and can produce positive responses from others (Osman, Stanberry, 2016).

In order for parents and educators to effectively help individuals with challenges with social competence they need to understand that there may be an unawareness of the lack of skills in social competence with individuals with learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. There may be the knowledge of deficiency in areas such as friends or a job, but there could also be a lack of understanding of why their social or work life is not like others.
Social competence involves both the use of language and nonverbal communication.
Language allows for connection and engagement with others. Nonverbal communication helps with interpretation of the social interaction such as reading facial expressions of the person who is talking. Some individuals with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders may have challenges with expressive or receptive language areas. Deficits in these areas can impact the ability to receive or send messages during communication discourse. This can create miscommunications between individuals as they engage in communicative activities that can take place in the classroom, home, work, and community.
Individuals can also experience challenges with nonverbal communication areas that could also lead to miscommunications. Deficits in the ability to effectively process nonverbal areas of communication can leave individuals feeling socially awkward or inept.
According to Stanberry, the basic elements of social interaction are:
  • Social Intake-noticing and understanding other people's speech, vocal inflection, body language, eye contact, and even cultural behaviors.
  • Internal Process-Interpreting what others communicate to you as well as recognizing and managing you own emotions and reactions.
  • Social Output-how a person communicates with and reacts to others, through speech, gestures, and body language (para. 5, 2016).
In the area of social intake, which is complex because it involves both the unspoken and spoken components of communication, individuals can misinterpret either or both of the components of communication. There could be several reasons for challenges in this area such as inattentiveness or a lack of interpreting the reciprocity of conversations.
While social intake is in process, individuals are also engaged in the internal process element. According to Thomas Brown as cited in Stanberry, there is emotional intelligence, which is "a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor feelings and emotions in self and others. This includes the ability to "discriminate among feelings; to guide thinking and action" (para. 7, 2016).

Social output happens after individuals interpret information from elements, which transfers into the selection of behaviors and words expressed during the communication reciprocity. Misinterpretations can lead to miscommunications and emotional responses.

Since social competence impacts multiple settings, it is important to teach the skills related to areas of challenge.
Each individual's needs will be different, but many experts feel that teaching with modeling the skills and providing opportunities to practice them in safe environments in order to provide the individual with feedback may lead to better use of the skills. These steps are recommended before there is the expectation to use them in real-life settings with proficiency. Providing instruction and supports has the abili ty to lead to better social competence.

Individuals with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders can be impacted by diverse challenges. Not everyone will experience challenges in social competence, but for others, the lack of skills are a daily reality (Reiff, 2018). The understanding of the ramifications connected to deficits in social competence indicates the significance for life preparation.

Reiff, H. (2018). Retrieved from
Social skills and learning disabilities. (2013). Learning Disabilities Association of America. Retrieved from

2018 Award Winners
Congratulation to the following award winners who were honored
 at LDA's Annual Conference on November 2!

Jennifer Drosche
The Amy Forshey Memorial 'Excellence in Education' Award Winner, Jennifer Drosche
Jennifer Drosche has been an educator for fifteen years. Mrs. Drosche is employed with the Avon Community School Corporation Avon and is a teacher of Language Arts and Social Studies at Avon Intermediate East.
In nominating her, Stephanie Goebel said, " During the time she was my son's homeroom teacher, she went above and beyond for each of her students. My son missed many days during the school year due to TBI yet she worked to keep him caught up on his work." She went on to say, "My son's TBI issues began at a very early age and now has memory issues. She makes sure that he succeeds. One of his goals since second grade has been to be on the "A and B" Honor Roll since second grade. Thanks to her teaching methods and ability to make him understand the materials, he was able to achieve his goal!"
Jennifer A. Drosche earned the bachelor's degree at Ball State University. She began her career at Clinton Young Elementary School in Perry Township in 2003. She transferred to Glenns Valley Elementary in 2008 and was there until 2015 before joining the Avon Community School Corporation.

The Sharon Harris 'You Make a Difference' Award Winner, Wendy Mader
Mrs. Mader lives in Fort Wayne and has been dedicated to children with learning needs for many years. Through her nomination, Dr. Bobbie Weikle said, "Wendy Mader has always taken students falling behind and given them extra remedial help. She has never been too busy to talk with a parent or work with a student who needed help." Wendy Mader has truly made a difference and her students have become leaders in their communities and with their families.  
Her 41-year career in education has been varied.  She has the distinction of being a highly qualified teacher under NCLB and was Walmart Teacher of the Year in 2004.  Some of her positions included serving as St. Paul's Lutheran School's first resource room teacher and Director of Special Education for the Lutheran Association for Elementary Education in Fort Wayne.  She sherved as a consultant for students with emotional disabilities (ED) and Autism for the Northeast Indiana Special Education Co-op.  She created and directed the first summer school program from 1980-1997 at the Holy Cross Lutheran School in Fort Wayne, Pathways to Progress, a K-8 summer program open to the public and dedicated to students with LD and/or ADHD.

Did you know that you can nominate someone for an LDA award anytime during the year?  If you know someone who stands out in the area of learning disabilities, go ahead and submit a nomination for next year's conference.

What student do you know who has worked hard and has
been successful in spite of having a learning disability?
 What educator do you know who has exhibited excellence in the field
of teaching students with learning disabilities? 

Who do you know who makes a difference in the lives of 
persons with learning disabilities?

Rick Lavoie, Keynote Speaker
Meg Edwards, Luncheon Speaker

Some Pictures from the Conference
IWU Students help at 
Registration Table
Some of the LDA Board Members 

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LDA Board Meeting
You are invited to attend the next Board meeting on
February 9 at Midwest Academy, 1420 Chase Court in Carmel. 
See a map and directions on the LDA website. 

For information about the conference or state organization 
or go to the
for up-to-date legislative news or information about
Learning Disabilities, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalulia,
Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Language Processing Disorder,
Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities, Visual Perceptual,
Memory, ADHD, Executive Functioning.
LDA of Indiana has a New Address
Please use the following address for communications via mail. 
PO Box 2452
West Lafayette, IN 47996