About Learning Foundations

Learning Foundations is a Diagnostic and Learning Center based in San Antonio, Texas. We strive to create a friendly and safe environment for our students to challenge themselves and think about themselves in a positive way.

Our team of experienced trainers are specialists in their field and are caring mentors for our often frustrated children. We are excited to work with you and help your child become the confident learner he or she deserves to be.

Meet the Learning Foundations Directors


Rafael Scarnati Rafael Scarnati

As a former Middle School Social Studies teacher, I came across the same frustrations that so many other teachers have.  One of my students, Carlos, loved my class and was deeply knowledgeable of the material, but could never pass his tests and rarely turned in his homework.  Not only could I barely understand his writing, but every other word was misspelled.  Even the multiple choice questions looked as though he was just guessing at the answer.  Something was just not right.

I was told that Carlos was dyslexic, and the Resource Teacher suggested some accommodations for me to use in his class.  I did just that, and he still failed every test.  I started to think that he was just lazy, and all he needed was just to try harder.  If only I could motivate him better, I thought.

I can guarantee that I’m not the only teacher that has gone through this frustrating feeling.  About 1 in 5 students in the United States have some kind of learning challenge and is struggling in school.  Some get diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, Autism, Auditory Processing Disorder and an alphabet soup of other conditions.  But many either are misdiagnosed, or don’t get identified at all.  And despite all the research, in most teacher training colleges and professional development, teachers get no training in dyslexia or other learning challenges.

After years of researching these issues on my own, going to workshops and seminars, I have understood that smart kids that struggle in school have the same potential as any other high-performing child.  I joined the Learning Foundations team in 2010, and have been amazed to see kids who, just like Carlos, were frustrated, demoralized and struggling now become confident learners.

My staff and I are 100% committed to making learning easier and more enjoyable for your child.  I hope we inspire you to take action and spread the word that learning challenges can be identified early, and that kids and teens with learning disabilities don’t have to go through life feeling like a failure.

***Listen to this radio segment on Texas Public Radio’s show where documentary filmmaker Luis Macias and I talk about dyslexia, the need to identify it early and what families can do if their kids are struggling with reading and spelling.


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Leslie Jernigan - Program Director and Diagnostician of Learning FoundationsLeslie Jernigan –

I joined Learning Foundations after 10 frustrating years in the public schools. As a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in school psychology, I had dreams of helping struggling students of all ages, one student at a time. Upon graduation I learned just what teachers, parents and students are up against. By necessity, the schools best serve the “typical” learner. For those who learn in nontraditional ways, school can be at best a holding cell and at worst, a place of daily struggle and mental torture.

As a school psychologist, my primary task was to test struggling students, mainly to determine eligibility for special education.  It broke my heart to have to tell parents that their child could not qualify for special services or accommodations in school because they weren’t low enough.  There are thousands of students in San Antonio schools that are not getting the help they need.  In many cases, the school does not want to test for a learning disability or dyslexia until 3rd grade.  In others, schools will simply fail to recognize that their is a problem, and parents are left feeling helpless.

Although research shows that kids can be identified as early as kindergarten, most schools choose the “wait and see” approach, and tell parents that their struggling child will simply “grow out of it.”  Years go by, and the cycle of frustration and failure only gets worse for kids and their families.  I finally grew tired of having to tell families that there was no hope for their child.  I knew it didn’t have to be that way.

Now, as Learning Foundations diagnostician, I use a specialized battery of tests to determine a student’s learning profile, including strengths and weaknesses in cognitive skills such as memory, attention, processing speed, and language processing, and to determine if a child may have dyslexia.  Through standardized, norm-reference tests, observational analysis and parent input, I can give parents honest answers as to why their child is struggling in school.   Using assessment results as well as parent and teacher input, our staff and I develop an individualized, prescriptive program designed to strengthen the underlying weaknesses preventing comfortable, efficient learning.

You can read my articles on learning, reading and attention in the Stone Oak and Encino editions of Welcome Home Newspaper.

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