Understanding Learning Disabilities: How Processing Affects Learning, developed by the York Region District School Board, is a comprehensive resource that was originally designed for educators working with students with learning disabilities (LDs), from kindergarten to grade 12. That being said, there is a great deal of knowledge that parents can also benefit from, in terms of helping them to better understand their child’s specific LDs. It is also an extremely valuable resource that you can share with your child’s teachers, if it is something that they have not come across before.

Referred to as the “waterfall chart”, this resource provides the starting points to think, plan and support programming in response to a student’s assessed areas of strength and/or need. The waterfall chart lists various processing areas, including: phonological processing, language, visual-motor skills, memory, processing speed, attention and executive function. Additionally, the waterfall chart provides a definition, possible signs, instructional strategies, environmental strategies, assessment strategies, and possible assistive technology for each of these processing areas.

Front page of chart

Front side of the waterfall chart.

Click here to access a PDF version of the chart.

To support the implementation of this practical tool, the York Region District School Board developed a companion guide, which includes all of the information from the waterfall chart (in a sequentially flowing format), along with recommendations on how to use the chart and templates for students to assist in the understanding of their own strengths and needs.

Please note: Do not reproduce without permission from the York Region District School Board.

Front page of waterfall chart

Click here to access a PDF version of the waterfall companion guide.

Both charts can act as a great jumping off point for parents when discussing the needs of their child with a classroom teacher!