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Go Ask Mom

Concerned about learning disabilities? Red flags parents should know about

Posted October 23, 2013

The Hill Center in Durham

I can thank some Go Ask Mom readers for prompting The Hill Center to pass along information about their program, which has helped thousands of kids across the Triangle since 1977.

Emily Ziberna with the Durham-based center tells me they are the ones who repeatedly encouraged her to share with me information about this very successful resource for kids with specific learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders. Thank you, as always, Go Ask Mom readers!

The center offers an intensive remediation program, considered a model, for those kids. Through low 4:1 student to teacher ratios and individualized programs, educators have worked to help those kids achieve at a level that matches their intellectual abilities.

The half-day program offers instruction in reading, written language, math and high school-level Spanish. Within three years, the average student typically can transition back to his base school, according to the center.

Since 1993, the school also has offered Hill Tutoring, which uses some of the school's same techniques. Hill offers remediation tutoring that focuses on reading, math and written language for kids in kindergarten to eighth grade. More services are available for kids in grades six to twelve. There are locations in Durham and Raleigh.

You can read a lot more about The Hill Center and its program, including twice monthly information sessions, on its website. You'll also find information about consultations and workshops that it offers to parents, educators and others in the Triangle.

The school aims to be a resource to parents in the Triangle who have questions about or need resources for students with learning disabilities, Ziberna tells me. A student at The Hill Center in Durham

Along that same vein, Ziberna passed along some information that I thought I'd share here. They are red flags that all parents should be aware of and could indicate that a child has learning differences.

"It is important to remember that children display one or more of these characteristics from time to time, and this is common to childhood developmental stages," according to the school. "However, if you see several of these characteristics over a long period of time, you may want to consult a professional to determine if your child has a diagnosed learning difference." 

  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Trouble learning numbers, letters, days of the week, etc.
  • Easily distracted, impulsive
  • Immature social behavior
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Organizational difficulties
  • Difficulty learning letter/sound relationships
  • Trouble with math concepts, such as counting coins and telling time
  • Makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Makes consistent letter and number reversals
  • Poor memory skills, often forgetful, and loses personal belongings
  • Poor recall of facts and difficulty learning new skills
  • Difficulty sitting still and constantly in motion
  • Spelling and writing difficulties
  • Avoids reading and has difficulty with comprehension
  • Struggles with completion and accuracy of homework assignments
  • Lack of planning and poor self-monitoring
  • Trouble focusing in class and on assignments
  • Inconsistent academic performance
  • Difficulty learning a foreign language

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  • stephlw Oct 24, 2013

    Hill Center is an amazing school and where I would send my children if they had a lot of difficulties. Considered it with one but she is doing well with interventions for now. Plus Sherri from Hill Tutoring is AMAZING if you need a tutor she will help you find one ;)

  • slaupert Oct 24, 2013

    The Hill Center and Hill Tutoring are exceptional resources for all parents/ students. You do not have to have a diagnosed learning difference to get help. If you or someone you know has a child that is struggling in school, please contact Hill. We