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This study was originally titled Children Who Learn Differently.   But in recognition of the fact that we continue to learn all throughout our lives, and the fact that people who learn differently do not cease to learn differently just because they are no longer children, the name was changed to Students Who Learn Differently.  In 2010 the name was changed to Students Who Learn Differently Overseas to more accurately describe its purpose and scope.


For the purposes of this study, students who learn differently (or LD learners) will refer to those people who are most commonly described as having specific learning difficulties/disabilities like dyslexia, dyspraxia, or dyscalculia.  These are students who are able, or should be able, to be mainstreamed (taught in a normal classroom setting) providing they receive the necessary accommodations.  However recently information has been included that might prove of value to autistic, Asperger’s, blind, and deaf students.


We would like to take this opportunity to recognize those students whose learning abilities do not fall within these parameters, such as students with exceptional ability who might function better in programs or schools for gifted students, or those students whose needs, be they mental or physical, often demand highly specialized schooling or accommodations. Perhaps in the future another study might be done that would explore the options available to such students in the context of expatriate living.


All the pages on this site have been done in ARIAL font, size 10.  This size has been chosen for quicker download time.  If you have trouble reading this, you should cut and paste the pages into a document where you can change to a larger format.  ARIAL was chosen because of the uniformity of all the letters – the thickness in any part of the individual letters does not vary, making it easier for persons who have visual-perceptual problems.  The web version of this book has also been speech-enabled through the kindness of BrowseAloud.




In the autumn of 1997, a cover letter and questionnaire were sent out to the then 64 member clubs of the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (hereafter FAWCO. Of the 64 clubs surveyed, 32 responded and of that number, 24 completed the questionnaire. In addition to the information gathered as a result of this questionnaire, various organizations supporting students who learn differently were consulted, seminars and conferences on the subject were attended, and books, articles, websites and videos were researched.   The first edition of Students Who Learn Differently was presented to the 1998 FAWCO conference, which was held in Athens, Greece.


In the autumn of 1998, another questionnaire was sent to all FAWCO clubs, and the results were published in an Addendum to the original report in 1999 and presented at the FAWCO London conference.

Addendum 2000 was presented to the FAWCO conference held in Washington D.C. that year.  After the conference, then Educational Support Committee chair Susan van Alsenoy walked the halls of the Senate and House of Representatives Office Buildings, hand-delivering the results of FAWCO constituents’ questionnaires to the offices of their elected representatives. 


In 2001, FAWCO’s Educational Support Committee initiated a project to support mainstream educators, from pre-school teachers to university professors, by providing simple strategies they can employ in their classrooms to help learning-differently students. This project was completed in March 2003. Translations and details of this project can be found in “LD Support for Teachers Worldwide” and “Project Translations”.



Students Who Learn Differently Accepted by ERIC


We are delighted to announce that the original Students Who Learn Differently report was accepted by ERIC, the U.S. Government, Department of Education, Educational Resources Information Center.  ERIC is a federally-funded, national information system that provides information on a broad range of education-related issues.  Our study was accepted under the Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education department.




Students Who Learn Differently Overseas is a work in progress.  Begun in 1998, the study has been added to, corrected, and updated over the years.  Due to the rapid growth both in this field and in modern communication techniques, we apologize ahead of time if some of the information presented is no longer current or if some of the links no longer work.




None of the products, programs or resource materials presented in this study is endorsed by the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas.  Any opinions expressed are the personal or professional opinions of individuals and do not necessarily represent the views of FAWCO clubs or their members.






Students Who Learn Differently Overseas


by Susan van Alsenoy, AWC Antwerp




Page created 10/29/99 EvE. Last updated 03/01/11 SvA.




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