David Carson spent his first 25 years excelling in math, science, and on the football field. However, the same success did not greet him when it came to English, reading, and spelling. After graduating from Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as an all-state football player, Carson accepted an offer to play football for Coach Lou Holtz at North Carolina State. Carson was slated to be roommates with former Steelers’ coach Bill Cowher. Carson never attended NC State, struggling with the anxiety caused by the transition from high school to college. From here, David continued to try to make the jump into postsecondary education, but unfortunately failed out of college 3 separate times.

At age 25, David was tested and learned that he was by definition a gifted student. He also learned that the test identified his documented learning disability. With the proper recognition of and support for his LD (which he likes to refer to as a “learning difference”), David soon found academic success, graduating from college with a 3.91 GPA. Carson remained committed to advocacy for LD students, publishing his first book, “The Survival Guide for College-Bound LD Students,” a publication used by over 45 colleges nationwide. Carson is a fixture at national LD conferences, including the LDA International conference (in 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012), to accompany appearances at Penn State, Ohio State, and various state Departments of Education.

He served as speaker at Beacon College’s Commencement ceremony, and presented at the National Conference for the Council for Exceptional Children. David’s guide discusses his journey from grade school through life into college and beyond. His personal style uses his own real life experiences to show students, parents, and educators that the path to the future can still include college and success, that having a learning disability does not have to prevent a student’s ability to succeed. Carson reminds students, parents, and educators alike that "The next great wave of diversity is students with learning differences. My mission is to give direction and hope to these students."

  • Graduated Upper St. Clair high School – 1975

  • All-state football player

  • Signed with NC State – Coach Lou Holtz (ESPN Analyst)

  • Was going to be Bill Cowher’s teammate/roommate

  • Did not attend NC State – transitional anxiety

  • Failed college 3 times

  • Tested for a learning disability – age 25

  • Graduated college – 3.91 GPA

  • Author – “Survival Guide for College - Bound LD Students”

  • Used by over 45 colleges nationwide

  • Presenter at the LDA (Learning Disability Association of America) International Conference 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012

  • For all colleges, "The next great wave of diversity are students with learning differences. My mission is to give direction and hope to these students." - Dave Carson     


My Story – Survival Guide for College-Bound LD Students

David Carson will discuss his journey from grade school through college. He will use his real life experiences to show students, parents, and educators that the next great wave of diversity for colleges are students with learning disabilities. The skills and coping strategies it takes for youth/young adults to succeed in college will be reviewed.    


About The Speaker

David Carson learned at the age of 25 that he had a learning disability. This disability hampered his ability to excel in the classroom and also his belief in himself. He flunked out of three schools before finally graduating from college. Now that he had finished college and has successfully completed two further diplomas, he can see where he went wrong when he first attempted to progress through school. Mr. Carson's perspective is genuine and his goal sincere; he truly wants to help young adults who are heading to college, assisting them in succeeding and believing in themselves.  


   Download this Biography


Contact Information:  David W. Carson  ~  Email:    ~  Phone: 412-519-9102


Copyright 2001 Survival Guide for College-Bound L. D. Students. All rights reserved

Website designed by WJDesigns