Nov. 30, 2007
Lorna Leavitt, assistant professor of education at Morningside College, was a presenter at the Learning Disabilities Association of Iowa (LDA-I) annual conference recently in Des Moines.
Leavitt is a board member for LDA-I and was asked to give presentations explaining why the organization believes it is important to keep diagnosing specific learning disabilities.
“There is a new movement in the Iowa Department of Education to refer to students with special education needs as ‘entitled to special education services’ without a specific label,” said Kim Miller, special education instructor at Price Laboratory School at the University of Northern Iowa and co-chair of the LDA-I conference. “Our organization is concerned that the category of learning disabilities might be lost. Leavitt’s knowledge and activism regarding this issue made her perfect to give this presentation at our conference.”
Leavitt told educators and education students at the conference that knowing a person has diabetes, for example, helps ensure they will get the best treatment – insulin. She said diagnosing specific learning disabilities helps in the same way to ensure that people will receive the best treatment.
Leavitt has been on the faculty at Morningside College since 2005. She previously taught in Iowa’s public schools as a special education instructor for Cherokee Community School District, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Community School District, and River Valley Community School District. She also served as an adjunct instructor at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Leavitt earned a master’s degree in teaching multicategorical disabilities from Morningside College in 1995.