More about Learning Disabilites

More About Learning Disabilities at Brehm

Boarding School for Students with Learning Disabilities

Boarding schools such as Brehm are able to address multiple issues in a safe, controlled environment. Perhaps the most telling statistic about a school is where its students go after graduation. 88% of Brehm graduates continue on to colleges, junior colleges, vocational, and/or technical schools. When you find the proper school for your child, you give your child the best chance to achieve his or her full potential.

Schools for Students with ADHD

Most schools are not set up for students with ADD/ADHD. Brehm, however, is a boarding school that addresses the academic, social, and emotional needs of students with these issues. Students living in our boarding environment benefit from our 24-7 holistic approach. Brehm can provide the kind of comprehensive assistance not provided during a traditional academic day.

Multisensory learning, specialized technologies, strategy intervention, and remediation are implemented on a daily basis to fully address the range of educational challenges that students with learning disabilities face. The mantra at Brehm is: “Language is the engine that drives the train.” Dyslexia, auditory processing, expressive/receptive disorders, and even nonverbal learning disabilities all have language-based etiology.

Brehm’s focus on empowerment enables its students to take control of their learning issues in order to become lifelong independent learners and successful adults. Our student-to-teacher ratio is 1:4. Teachers, language therapists, nursing staff, dorm-parents, and other professionals assist in our holistic approach, addressing the academic, social, and emotional issues of our students.

Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

Nonverbal learning disabilities are far less understood than dyslexia and ADD/ADHD. Simply put, these disabilities are identified in children who have difficulties with spatial relations, sequencing, motor skills, and other nonverbal skills. These students often compensate, however, with above average verbal skills. As young children, their vocabulary and conversational abilities can be typical of a much older child. These children are seen as gifted, but as they get older, they have problems with school performance and social interaction with same age peers.

Students with nonverbal learning issues are those bright young students who fail to pick up on body language, social cues, sarcasm, and innuendo. They are the ones who may be socially isolated and unable to make friends or keep them. Social communication happens more with adults or younger children than their own peers. Computers, video games, and family pets become their best friends to the exclusion of interacting with others. At Brehm, social skills are learned 24-7 in the dorm, in the classroom, and during recreational activities. Social skill groups, as well as pragmatic language skill groups, are integrated throughout the school day.

Dyslexia/Reading Disabilities

Brehm has been addressing the needs of students with dyslexia and other forms of reading disabilities for more than 25 years. Students with dyslexia become frustrated in the average school classroom when trying to learn to read. Phonemic awareness, processing speed, and spelling interfere with their acquisition of reading skills. Typically, students with dyslexia need alternative methods of reading instruction.

At Brehm, we utilize a variety of specific reading programs, as well as technology, to address this issue. Among the reading programs we use are Wilson Reading Program, Project Read, Language!, and Orton-Gillingham and others. We use the Fast ForWord program for Phonemic Awareness and Processing Speed, The Reading Coach, and Lexia. All text books are downloaded onto the students’ laptops computers.


Students with ADD/ADHD have difficulty with executive functioning, planning, organization, time management, working memory, metacognition, self-regulation of affect, task initiation, flexibility, response inhibition, and goal-directed persistence. Academically, they may have difficulty in higher order math and written expression. Students with ADD may start the semester strong but will gradually lose the energy to sustain their studies until the end of a ten-week quarter. Work on strategy intervention, executive functioning skills, working memory, and multisensory teaching techniques enables the students to acquire the information they need to make progress toward specific goals and objectives.


We evaluate students with Asperger’s on a case-by-case basis. Although Brehm has the ability to address many of the challenges that children with Asperger’s experience, Asperger’s is on the autism spectrum. So, such needs may be beyond the scope of what Brehm is able to provide.

Complex Learning Disabilities

Children with learning disabilities often experience frustration in the academic world of school. Often, they don’t feel connected, services are sometimes unavailable, and they fall farther and farther behind their peers academically. In addition to learning issues, they may experience isolation, bullying, and depression. Others may begin to act out their frustration, which is something we call “survival behaviors.”

If you a have a child with a reading disorder plus ADD, in addition to social skill issues, you have a child with a complex learning disability. Depending on when interventions take place, you may have a child who experiences anxiety issues, depression, or anger. Brehm’s holistic approach addresses the academic, social, and emotional well-being of each student. We address academics through multisensory teaching, strategy intervention, and remediation.

Contact Admissions at (618) 457-0371, ext 1304 or
email for more information.