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Why focus on youth?
The adolescent years build on the foundations established in childhood and set the course across the lifespan. In focusing on "youth," we are referring not only to a specific developmental period, but also to the childhood experiences that influence youth, as well as the early adult years that are determined by successful adolescent passages.
Investments in adolescents, or conversely the failure to address their needs at this stage of development, can result in lifelong consequences for youth and for our society.
“Teachers and special educators need answers about how to best support learners with disabilities in order to prevent or at least reduce the impact of learning disabilities across the lifespan,” says Dr. Gina Harrison, registered school psychologist and learning disabilities consultant to the Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities (RCSD) at the University of Victoria.
With extensive experience working in the K-12 school system providing assessment services and programming support for at-risk students and students with special needs, Dr. Harrison says she’s strongly motivated to find ways to address the needs of academically at-risk learners – especially those with reading and writing difficulties and disorders. Her research is looking at just that.