Research in learning disabilities demonstrates that outcomes improve when children are included in the understanding and management of their LD, just as studies in other areas of child wellness, such as diabetes and cancer, show better outcomes when kids are involved in the treatment of their illness. However, our research among kids with learning disabilities reveals that many have a limited understanding of their individual learning challenges. For many, every school day is a battleground. They feel that adults, including their parents and teachers, perceive them as less smart than their peers and siblings. They feel ashamed of being “different” and have an incredible desire to be acknowledged for what they do well.
By providing age-appropriate information, advice and peer support to kids with LD in a safe and interactive environment, SparkTop.org is designed to help them gain confidence and insight about their challenges and strengths. Equipped with this knowledge, kids can more fully participate in their own learning experience and communicate effectively with teachers about what they need in order to develop academic skills and comprehend instruction and subject matter.
SparkTop.org is expressly designed for kids ages eight to 12, a time when kids kids can understand and accept issues related to their particular learning disability, articulate their feelings, and navigate a Web site. These are also among the peak years during which identification of learning disabilities and recognition of learning difficulties by parents and teachers occurs.
SparkTop.org presents a unique blend of entertainment, technology and information designed to nurture self-awareness, self-esteem and self-advocacy among kids with learning disabilities. The site offers powerful creative tools and activities through which kids can showcase their creativity, pursue their interests, and discover new ways to succeed in and out of school. By providing kids with information about different ways of learning and helping them recognize their talents, SparkTop.org can help children gain confidence and insight about themselves and how they learn.
In January of 2008, the Foundation transitioned the content of SparkTop.org to the Professor Garfield Foundation. For more information on this, go to Past Press Releases.