DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING DISABILITIES
With a focus on the learning disabilities dysgraphia and dyscalculia
Jean Piaget‟s thi...
Thus those affected know and understand perfectly normally, but are unable to write
„efficiently‟.People with Dysgraphia o...
order (counting is a form of progression), etc., among others. It must be noted that these
abilities may be present from a...
Trouble recognizing printed
numbers
Difficulty tying together the idea
of a number (4) and how it exists
in the world (4 h...
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Developmental learning disabilities with a special focus on dyscalculia and dysgraphia

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  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjO27vEVZJQ - video for dysgraphia

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o77ndNu6S1s -video for dyscalculia
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Developmental learning disabilities with a special focus on dyscalculia and dysgraphia

  1. 1. DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING DISABILITIES With a focus on the learning disabilities dysgraphia and dyscalculia Jean Piaget‟s third stage of cognitive development, or the concrete operational stage is characterized by the child‟s ability to perform mathematical and written activities due to the use of logic. It is at this stage that the child‟s cognitive functioning matures to resemble that of an adult. It is also at this stage (age 6/7) that the child begins formal schooling. Subsequently, the child‟s growth and development is multi-faceted. This is also when children become slightly self-aware of their capabilities, skills, strengths and weaknesses. This is usually decided by their success or failure in classroom activities and social skills, among others. At this juncture, initially, it would be difficult to distinguish between the abilities of the students on an average. Almost every student finds it difficult to write (initially), even if they are able to grasp concepts quickly.However, most learning disabilities, disorders that interfere with specific aspects of learning and school achievement, are also identified at this time. Contrary to popular belief, dyslexia is not the only developmental learning disability that children may have. Two other common ones include dyscalculia and dysgraphia, which we will be looking at. One of the first skills a child is taught to acquire is to write. Language skills are extremely important for learning to communicate better as it complements what is learned through reading. This is where children build on their vocabulary and can express their ideas through the written medium. Expressing ideas (through writing) also help children organize and structure their various ideas, which usually involve multiple cognitive processes like memory, accommodation, self-evaluation, etc. Even if every child learns at different speeds, eventually, there would be an average pace of teaching a facilitator would follow. In some cases, a child may have difficulty in writing, even if he/she comprehends fairly well. Dysgraphia is a learning (writing) disorder that is characterized by lessened ability to write, both by way of physical inability and coherence of words. “Dysgraphia is characterized as a learning disability in the category of written expression, when one‟s writing skills are below those expected given a person‟s age measured through intelligence and age-appropriate education.” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
  2. 2. Thus those affected know and understand perfectly normally, but are unable to write „efficiently‟.People with Dysgraphia often have superior verbal abilities, which have progressed well. A disparity between what one thinks and can write is the most prominent condition. People with dysgraphia usually have difficulty with organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page. Their writing may often be misconstrues, as they may often cite the write words while trying hard to put thoughts to paper. They usually also have drawing images. Due of the great difficulty they experience with writing (primarily handwriting and spelling), people with Dysgraphia may suffer from writing fatigue too. They may lose several opportunities to be trusted with any official or significant work that involves writing, and thus face a lost sense of confidence, esteem. Frustration, helplessness, depression, and even self- loathing may follow. Students may undergo extreme levels of emotional trauma due to comparison to written works of their peers, and inability of others to read their work, etc. Dysgraphia is usually characterised by one or both of the following : Motor- Exhibit poor dexterity and motor clumsiness. Illegible writing, but normal (oral) spelling. Spatial- Defective understanding of space is seen(in terms of writing). Illegible writing once again, though spelling is normal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjO27vEVZJQ Though it may only be discovered (or never at all) when the child is first introduced to writing, it is a disorder that may affect people through all ages. Other symptoms include inability to handle tools normally held easily enough with one or two hands. Buttons, zippers, shoe-laces, pencils (objects that require fine motor skills for handling). Remedies and treatment are largely case-specific, and some include treating motor disorders to for more controlled writing, teaching cursive writing as it considerably reduces issues as opposed to other types of writing in terms of fewer reversible letters, etc.; and the use of kinaesthetic memory to emphasize on the feel of the letters being written rather than their visual form. Generally, computers are advised to be used to by-pass the issues that plague writing, though of course this short-steps the problem itself. In the first grade, children are usually introduced to elementary arithmeticand in the process of learning, begin to properly understand concepts such as order irrelevance (counting is not dependent on the sequence of the objects, just that it is only counted once in any order), one- to-one (assigning only one count word to an individual object that has been counted), stable
  3. 3. order (counting is a form of progression), etc., among others. It must be noted that these abilities may be present from a much younger age, but are strengthened once children begin working with mathematical operations. Apart from this they also possess certain (Acquired) skills through their elementary school years to be good at math. Some of these include: understanding arithmetical problems and laws, comprehending and solving word problems, counting, estimating, retrieving arithmetic facts, etc. The term „dyscalculia‟ roughly translates to „counting badly‟ from Greek and Latin terms, and hence applies to all types of difficulties involving manipulating numbers, including, reading analog clocks, measurements, and visual-spatial difficulties (it may be difficult to visualize patterns or different parts of a math problem). The cause for dyscalculia has not been clearly established. However, there are two major contributing factors to its development. These include: Visual-spatial difficulties, which result in a person having trouble processing what the eye sees and language processing difficulties, which result in a person having trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears As mentioned before, detecting dyscalculia, which is the difficulty in comprehending and learning arithmetic, may be difficult to detect, owing to the fact that different people take different amounts of time to comprehend certain concepts. Due to the nature of the disability, dyscalculia may be passed off as laziness, or even disinterest, or just „math anxiety‟. This however, could lead to problems later in life. Primarily, the less than satisfactory performance and consequent treatment from teachers, peers, and family would have a major impact on the individual‟s self-esteem and self-confidence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o77ndNu6S1s Secondly, as the child grows older, and his/her peers move on to more complex mathematical problems, he/she will find it more and more difficult to cope and/or catch up. If still not checked or identified, it would definitely lead to maths anxiety. Apart from this, the individual will find challenging simple tasks like maintaining house accounts, being on time for appointments, estimating distances, taking measurements, etc. Below is a table that elaborates on the same. Young Children Trouble With: Difficulty learning to count School-Aged Children Trouble With: Trouble learning math Teenagers and Adults Trouble With: Difficulty estimating costs
  4. 4. Trouble recognizing printed numbers Difficulty tying together the idea of a number (4) and how it exists in the world (4 horses, 4 cars, 4 children) Poor memory for numbers Trouble organizing things in a logical way - putting round objects in one place and square ones in another facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) Difficulty developing math problem-solving skills Poor long term memory for math functions Not familiar with math vocabulary Difficulty measuring things Avoiding games that require strategy like groceries bills Difficulty learning math concepts beyond the basic math facts Poor ability to budget or balance a checkbook Trouble with concepts of time, such as sticking to a schedule or approximating time Trouble with mental math Difficulty finding different approaches to one problem Dyscalculia can be rectified by the help of strategies that identify the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. With support and encouragement of facilitators and parents, individuals can boost and/or maintain their self-esteem, knowing that they are cherished and accepted. Help outside the classroom lets a student and tutor focus specifically on the difficulties that student is having, taking pressure off moving to new topics too quickly. Repeated reinforcement and specific practice of straightforward ideas can make understanding easier. References http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dysgraphia/what-is-dysgraphia http://www.ldanatl.org/aboutld/parents/ld_basics/dysgraphia.asp http://www.ldonline.org/article/12770/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysgraphia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_disability http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dyscalculia/what-is-dyscalculia http://www.education.gov.uk/lamb/module4/M04U16.html# Human Development (Edition 9) –TATA McGraw HILL By Rijul Ray, AkashMenon, Moksha Menon, Maithreyi Mao Joshi, AhalyaAcharya II-JPEP (CIA-3)

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