Thirty-six years ago, while at Harvard Medical School, I founded the “Learning Disabilities Conference.” The first of its kind, this conference brought together theorists, researchers, and teachers to improve the lives of students with learning and attention difficulties.
Over the last three decades, we have worked to shift the paradigm in special education from an emphasis on deficits to an emphasis on strengths and resilience. Beginning this year and moving forward, ResearchILD’s annual conference will be titled the “Executive Function Conference, a natural transition for the mission and goals of our program.
From disabilities to differences
As ResearchILD’s Annual Conference, co-sponsored with the Harvard Graduation School of Education, evolved and changed over the years, we replaced the term “learning disabilities” with “learning differences.” We also emphasized the importance of fostering the strengths of students who think and learn differently through a lens that is both positive and affirming.
Executive function for ALL students
The one constant throughout has been a focus on executive function as the foundation of success for all students, not only for those with learning and attention differences. Our conference audience has expanded to include more superintendents, school principals, and general education teachers as our sessions reflect the importance of executive function strategies for ALL students.
2021 Theme: Attention and Stress
This year’s conference theme is “Executive Function, Attention and Stress: Promoting Resilience and Equity for ALL Students”. We have put together a wonderful slate of speakers on a range of important topics, and we are excited to welcome you to learn with us. Learn more about this year’s conference and register to save your seat.
- Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D. Conference Founder and Chair, President, Institutes for Learning and Development (ResearchiLD and ILD)
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org
The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org