What is a learning disability? If your child seems bright and curious about the world but has a noticeable problem with speech, reading, or arithmetic, he may have a learning disability. Learning disabilities include a spectrum of disorders that affect the way the brain processes information and make it difficult to grasp certain concepts. They can be mild or severe.
Children with learning disabilities usually have normal or above normal intelligence but struggle with some kinds of learning. Recognizing individual letters might be easy but putting them together to read may be confusing. Tying shoes or fitting together the pieces of a puzzle may be perplexing, or simple math insurmountable
What is Learning Disability: -a neurological disorder… resulting from a difference in the way a person’s brain is “wired.” -children with learning disabilities are as smart of smarter than their peers. -they have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling &/or organizing information if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.
-a learning disability cannot be cured or fixed;
it is a lifelong issue; with the right support or
intervention, children with learning disabilities can
succeed in school & even distinguished careers later
-parents can help them succeed by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working w/ professionals & learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties .
Common Learning Disabilities:
Dyslexia – a language-based disability – trouble in understanding written words. Also referred to as reading disability or reading disorder.
Dyscalculia – a mathematical disability - difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
Dysgraphia – a writing disability – difficulty informing letters or write w/in a defined space
Auditory & Visual Processing Disorders – sensory disabilities – difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.
5. Nonverbal Learning Disabilities – a neurological disorder; originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems with visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic processing functions. Good News: scientists are learning more every day: their research provides hope and direction. If.. Parents, teachers & other professionals discover a child’s learning disability early and provide the right kind of help, it can give the child a chance to develop skills needed: lead a successful/productive life.
Parents: often the first to notice that “something doesn’t seem right.” Awareness of common signs: enable one to identify potential problems early. Most people see one or more warning signs in their children. If several of the known characteristics are seen over a long period of time, consider the possibility of a learning disability.
Preschool: -speaks later than most children -pronunciation problems -slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word -difficulty rhyming words -troubling learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes -extremely restless and easily distracted -trouble interacting with peers -difficulty following directions or routines -fine motor skills slow to develop
Grades K-4 -slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds; impulsive, difficulty planning - confuses basic words ( run, eat, want ); accident prone -makes consistent reading & spelling errors including letter reversals ( bid ), inversions ( miw ), transpositions, ( felt/left ), and substitutions ( house/home ) -transposes number sequences & confuses arithmetic signs ( +, -, x, l, = ); slow to remember facts - slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization, - unstable pencil grip; trouble learning about time - poor coordination, unaware of physical surrounding
Grades 5-8 -reverses letter sequences ( soiled / solid, left/felt ) -slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words & other spelling strategies; difficulty with handwriting -avoids reading aloud; trouble with word problems -awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip -avoids writing assignments & compositions -difficulty making and keeping friends -slow or poor recall of acts -trouble understanding body language and facial expressions
-lacks verbal participation in class; inconsistent -struggles with word problems -fails to demonstrate strong automatic memory -shows poor self-monitoring skills -can’t discern relevant detail -demonstrates poor learning strategies -disorganized with time or space -experiences peer rejection
High School and Adulthood: -continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing -avoids reading and writing tasks; works slowly -has trouble summarizing; weak memory skills -struggles with open-ended questions on tests -demonstrates a weak grasp of information -experiences foreign language problems -has poor written expression; mental fatigue -either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much; misreads information
What to do next? 10 Steps Parents can Take:
Know your child’s strengths.
Collect information about your child’s performance
Have your child evaluated.
Work as a team to help our child.
Talk to your child about learning disabilities.
Ask for classroom accommodations.
Monitor your child’s progress.
Know your legal rights.
Organize information about your child.
Work with your child at home.
Parent Strategies: - attention: use timer, play coordination, improve auditory memory, story, seating arrangement - organization: reduce confusion, box of supplies, more copies of books, post assignment, forget mess be on time, keep calendar, child learn by imitation - memory: memory deficits & problems, trip game, naming exercise, extra drills, mnemonic devices - handwriting: poor eye-hand coordination, physical clumsiness, perceptual deficits, give thick pencils, wide-ruled paper, child practice what is enjoyable use sand box, modify school assignments & tests
Spelling: typewriter & computer programs with built-in spell-checkers, spelling deficits should not damage the child’s performance in other areas. -don’t let the child look for words he can’t spell -for many, spelling problems result in handwriting difficulties; use scrabbles & other word games Mathematics: children have no number sense or grasp of abstract concepts. Calculator may be used -give practical experience with numbers; focus on survival skills: telling time, counting money, play store, take him /simulate shopping.
Socialization: rejection is often a problem for learning disabled children; trouble interpreting people’s body language & facial expressions: anger, joke, playing or serious as a result, they give inappropriate response that irritate their peers -encourage child to spend time with peers in controlled situations: scouting & camps – stress cooperation not competition. - arrange social situations for youngsters; observe, use role playing to teach correct behaviors.
Classroom Strategies for Improving Comprehension:
1. Make sure that student’s vision has recently been
2. Make certain that student is reading on her level
3. Reader should know the purpose of reading.
4. Let student look over question before reading to
prepare for the information; let him read while he
answers the questions, write page of answer.
Teach the use of context clues for meaning
Prerecord reading material, let him listen & read
Have student read ahead to familiarize material
8. Outline reading material for use of words & phrases 9. Arrange for peer tutoring in reading 10. Have student take notes while reading 11. Teach student to draw personal learning to enhance comprehension. 12. Maintain mobility; be near to provide assistance 13. Have him verbally paraphrase material just read. 14. Teach student to identify main points. 15. Underline/highlight salient points in material. 16. Have student outline important points in material. 17. Let student read progressively longer segments to build comprehension skills.
18. Reduce emphasis on competition. 19. Use a sight vocabulary approach to teach key words & phrases when reading directions and instructions. 20. List new or difficult words in type. 21. Maintain vocabulary notebook w/ definition of words with unknown meaning 22. Practice making up sentences of new word 23. Learn dictionary skills to find meaning on his own 24. Learn new words & meaning before reading 25. Learn meanings of all commonly used prefixes and suffixes.
26. Write notes / letters to student as reading matter 27. Read selection more than once: accuracy and speed 28. Determine: student can make inferences or not predictions, determine cause & effect in daily experiences: to use concepts when reading 29. Prepare test questions based in information read to enhance ability to focus on key elements 30. Include frequent written assignments on topics of interest to reinforce correlation between writing and reading ability.
31. Avoid subjecting students to uncomfortable reading situations: reading aloud, w/ time limits 32. Stop study at various points to check comprehension 33. Reduce amount of information on a page if it is causing visual distractions; less print to read of fewer pictures. 34. Highlight / underline important information to pay close attention when reading. 35. Make it pleasant & positive to ask questions about things not understood. 36. Use highlighter on facts requested by the teacher
37. Listen & take notes when concepts are being
presented & identify “What, How, Where, When
and Why” in the text.
38. Have students map reading materials.
Classroom Strategies for Solving Math Problems
Make sure student’s inability to read is not cause
of difficulty in solving math word problems.
2. Silent reading of math word problems, then aloud
3. Provide word problems that need one-step process
4. Look for clues / keywords that show math operation
5. Orally analyze steps required to solve word problems. 6. Represent numerical amounts in concrete forms. 7. Write a number sentence after reading math word problem. 8. Create word problems for number sentences. 9. Restate math word problems in his own words. 10. Identify primary question that must be answered to solve a given word problem….continue activity using more difficult word problems containing two or more questions…he should understand that questions are often implied than direct.
11. Make up word problems, others can solve … 12. Supplement textbook problems with teacher- made problems; deal with classroom experiences include students’ names: realistic & meaningful 13. Use interesting and relevant problems 14. Read through entire problem before solving 15. Break down each problem into specific steps. 16. Solve math word problems by using objects. 17. Help student recognize common patterns 18. Discuss & provide a list of words / phrases that indicate an addition operation: together, sum, saved altogether, in all, both, gained, received, total, won
19. Discuss words/phrases that show a subtraction operation: difference, between, from, left, spend how many (more, less), how much (taller, farther heavier), withdrawal, lost, remain… 20. Discuss words/phrases that specify multiplication operation: area, each, times, product, triple, twice 21. Discuss words/phrases that denote a division operation: into, share, each, average, monthly, daily, weekly, yearly, half as many, quotient 22. Convert words into their numerical equivalents to solve word problems: 2 weeks = 14 days, 1 year = 12 months, one quarter = 25 cents
23. Learn vocabulary often found in word problems
not only dozen, amount, triple, twice…
24. Use a calculator when solving problems
25. Read math word problems at least twice before
solving the problem.
26. Present students with phrases to be translated
into numbers: “6 less than 10 equals” is “10-6=“
27. Assign a peer to act as a model to demonstrate
how to solve math word problems.
28. Reduce the number or problems assigned to the
student at one time.
29. Demonstrate step by step how to solve math word problems by reading the problem and by solving on paper while student observes. 30. Correlate word problems with computation procedures just learned in the classroom. 31. Teach the meaning of mathematical terms: sum dividend, quotient, product. 32. Highlight / underling keywords in math problems 33. Make sure student has a number line ready to use as a reference. 34. Develop a math reference sheet for student to keep at desk outlining the steps in processes.
37. Provide practice solving math word problems by
using computer software program for immediate
38. Manipulate objects as teacher describes operations
39. Use graph paper to keep numbers lined up in straight
columns so that one number is in the box.
Turn lined notebook paper to the side, to line up his
numbers in the proper columns.
Features of an Inclusive Classroom: Chloe Mayer
-Everyone learns together in an inclusive class.
- Diverse learning needs can be catered for, social
problems: prejudice against disabled people will
2. Support for Disabled Students
- Implementation of inclusive classroom may either
be partially or fully. Disabled students will either
spend most of the day in the general classroom, w/
some private assistance given separately.
-The partial system – the most common method.
-the disabled: likely to require some extra services
compared to nondisabled students; special needs
staff, equipment to assist w/ physically mobility.
3. Appropriate Students: whole purpose of inclusive
classroom – it cater for the needs of every child.
-in some cases, the disabled may suffer from this set
up: in severe attention problems, he would hardly
be helped if there were other 20 fidgeting children.
-this approach may endanger his classmates if the
disabled child is prone to violent attacks.
Accommodate is the word: Jo Chopra
-a child with disability (mainly learning or a mental
handicap) entering a typical school automatically
becomes a problem…
- why should any child’s first encounter with organized
education be burdened with anxiety?
-why should a child have to fear rejection?
-no child should be asked to swallow he idea that he is
not good enough for a particular school.
-(show me a child who is not good enough for a school
and I’ll show you a school which close its doors and
admit that it hasn’t a clue about education)
-the difficulties are not with the child but with the
-the child with disability holds up a mirror for us,
showing us what we are really doing…???
-our classrooms are not communities of learners,
they are arenas where competitors vie for prizes.
-children are not encouraged to acquire knowledge
for its own sake but for points & their classmates
are not their collaborators but their rivals.
-in a tug of war, one side wins & one side loses, but
everyone ends up falling over.
-in a typical classroom, children are humiliated.
-cooperation & sharing are neither taught nor valued
in fact they are often actively discouraged
-when there are kids with disability, these wonderful
human qualities become essential – because
disability turns the world upside down.
-kindness: the simplest to describe, the hardest to
practice; no teacher can ever be excused for being
unkind to a child, yet belittling & sarcasm are so
common we hardly notice them.
-creating a classroom atmosphere of kindness and
respect is a teacher’s first responsibility…
DISABILITY PHILIPPINE SITUATION
Poverty in the Philippines identifies that Disability is one of the seven causes of poverty. (Asian Development Bank, 2004)
In the Philippines, half of the population suffers severe poverty, resulting in the increase of incidence of disabilities. These populations are mostly deprived from opportunities to basic services on education, health, and employment, which have aggravated the situation of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).
10% of the total populations of the Philippines are disabled. This is about 8.7 million PWD. 82% are in rural areas with limited access to basic social services (WHO).
Group work: children need to learn to work in teams
-it is a critical skill for life as an adult & it makes the
best use of the range of talents & skills in class.
-nothing in adult life is possible without team work
-we should lead children into consensus building and
appreciating others’ contributions.
Scoring: let kids decide about lazy team members.
Random Buddy System: pair children up so that each
has something to offer the other; learn something
there is no one who doesn’t have contribution to
Realistic Expectations: don’t expect the same things
from each child.
Substitutes: everything is adaptable, yet we behave
as if the syllabus arrived straight from God & can
never be tampered with.
-different kids have different learning goals; adjust
the curriculum, time allotment, skill level to suit the
needs. Get away from the idea of competition
Creative participation: children can take part in
activities according to their abilities, not by pre-set
Praise effort, not intelligence: new research indicates
that when children are praised for being smart,
they immediately begin to fear looking dumb & they
stop taking risks. Intelligence is not in anyone’s control
-once we change the ground rules, once we under-
stand that learning is cooperative & not competitive
& that we are all in this together, inclusion becomes
a simple task.
-it can work in our schools as it works in our families
-we all just learn to adapt to the special needs of
each member. INCLUSION IS THE HOPE OF THE
FUTURE ! teachers & parents, the future is in our hands
Teaching Students in Inclusive Classrooms:
-teachers who promote inclusion in their classrooms
for mainstream children find that most students
develop better social skills, self-discipline, higher
self-esteem, & greater academic competence.
-some are motivated by a determination to diminish
or eliminate bullying, teasing or destructive cliques
within the school.
-every teacher can be successful following inclusive
education models that have been developed over
-starting an inclusion program w/o the support of
parents or admin may be challenging, but allows
freedom to build one that is specific to their own
teaching style & particular learning styles of students
-appropriate methods promote positive behavior
support & inspiration for academic achievement.
-the most satisfying time a teacher spends is usually
one-to-one with students, with small groups, or
their whole classroom.
-commitment to inclusive education allows teachers
to maximize their education, experience & energy
With average annual birth rate of 2.3 million, it is presume that 230,000 disabled children are added annually to the total disabled population.
More than 98 percent of Children With Disabilities have no access to preparatory and elementary education.(NCWDP, CBM, UNESCAP)
Many SPED pupils graduated from elementary could not pursue secondary schooling because of lack of…
clear transitory programs and budgets. (NAPC-PWD)
Despite the provisions of the Magna Carta for the Disabled Persons (RA 7277), a law mandating all National Government Agencies to set aside 5% of their casual or temporary employment for PWDs and encouraged private companies to employ PWDs in exchange for tax exemptions, many PWDs are still jobless for the following reasons:
high transportation cost (inaccessible and unaffordable)
the facilities of the workplace are not accessible
lack of education
mismatch of skills to job requirements
unawareness to Magna Carta for the Disabled Persons or Republic Act 7277
Malnutrition and unsatisfactory living condition as a result of extreme poverty, is the most significant cause of disabilities, especially among children. (Department of Health)
The prevalence of disability among children of 0-14 years old is higher in rural communities where accesses to health services are limited
Because of poor access to education, employment and health care the social participation and development of PWD are very limited thus further aggravating their isolation and exclusion from society.
http://www.montessori.ph/admission_child_dsblts.html Children with Learning Disabilities Montessori schools recognize the wide range and levels of learning difficulties that a child can have. Within the context to the Montessori teaching and learning principles and within the resources available to MMCSFI, the school shall consider the presence of children with learning difficulties in planning its programs under the following conditions:
“ my parents were worried because I started to talk comparatively late, and they consulted a doctor because of it.” Albert Einstein 1924
The parents and / or guardian will fully disclose at the time of application the nature and history of the learning disability; the school should be provided with complete documentation of any treatment or intervention that has been or is still being done.
The school reserves the right to deny acceptance to student applicants whose learning disabilities are of such nature that they would require specialized care or treatment beyond what the school can regularly handle or provide.
As conditions for initial acceptance and continued enrollment, the school reserves the option to require additional appropriate professional help for the student and regular conferences with the parent and therapist and / or psychologist of the student. Further, the school reserves the right to levy additional fees on students who may need special programs to help them cope with their learning disabilities.
Conditional acceptance is for a period of six (6) months from the date of entry of the student. During this period, the school will exert its best efforts to aid the child's development. However, should the school determine that continued stay in school not be in the child's best interest, the parents agree to abide by the school's decision that the child be transferred to a more appropriate learning environment.