Students at the Lab School of Washington are from many different races, religions, cultures, families, and economic statuses. They come from Maryland, DC, and Virginia. Their interests and talents are far ranging. They are intelligent, curious, empathetic, and bursting with potential. Many of them come to Lab knowing what it’s like to be embarrassed that they may not read or write as well as peers, to feel not as smart as their friends, to hide part of themselves, to be anxious about school. At Lab, they quickly learn that the difference is extraordinary!
The Lab School of Washington is designed to best serve the needs of students whose cognitive profiles are in the average to above average range.
Despite that strength, our students are primarily affected by what we call a Language-based Learning Difference (L-bLD). That learning difference is typically diagnosed as:
• Dyslexia, or a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in areas of reading;
• Dysgraphia, or a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in areas of writing;
• Dyscalculia, or a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in areas of math;
• Language Disorder, or Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder.
Some of our students also have difficulty with attention and/or organization; typically, it is secondary to the language-based piece above. They also may have a diagnosis of ADHD and/or Executive Functioning challenges.
Because we devote our expertise and resources to the language-based profiles above and create social-based learning environments for our students, The Lab School is typically not able to provide appropriate support for students whose challenges involve the social, emotional, or behavioral areas.
At Lab, we don’t use the word “disability;” our kids aren't broken, they do not need to be fixed. They have different brains, and they learn differently than students for whom mainstream education is designed. Sally Smith, our Founder, had a simple saying that holds true: “Children who learn differently, need to be taught differently.”