Specific Learning Disabilities A Neurological Disorder A Workshop for Paraprofessionals
Who am I?Gale E. Cossette, Ph.D.Reading interventionist VVCSLD Specialist/Reading SpecialistHighly Qualified in Elementary Special Education,Reading, Elementary Educator, and Early ChildhoodPresident of the NH Branch of the Learning DisabilityAssociationDevelop online professional development courses forOPEN NH and teach them.
AGENDAIndividual activityThe brain and learningLearning disabilities and causesNH definition of SLDTypesWhat they look likeIn class strategiesResources
The BrainFrontal LobeBehavior, attention,creativity, intellect,libido, abstractthought, reasoning,non-verbal learning, Occipital Lobespeech, and smell Reading, vision Temporal Lobe Hearing, memory fear, some language, speech and auditory memories
Left Side & Right Side Left Right Lots of reading New learning Writing Pictures, diagrams Assignments Video involving reading Talks about feelings and analyzing Social Activities Attention to detail Music Quantitative The Big Picture methods Organized approach Creative projects to assignments New LearningEducation favors the left side of the brain – Best to teach to both
How Learning OccursThe more dendrites the betterCan increase dendrites through active learningTransmit nerve signals to the brain at 200 mph Axon Dendrites
LearningElectrical charges – synapsesDopamine helps electrical charges go to dendritesRepeated activities strengthen chargesAn active and challenged brain creates more dendrites Synapse
The Brain and Learning Disabilities Exposure to toxins Genetics Birthing factors Symmetry of brain Developmental disruptions Nutrition Tobacco/Alcohol/Drugs
Learning DisabilitiesAny disability that affects/inhibits achild to acquire and apply knowledge Autism Traumatic Brain Disorder Mental Retardation Specific Learning Disability
Specific Learning Disability It is a lifelong disability. RTI Discrepancy Model Child does not achieve according to age and ability levels in one or more identified criteria and has been provided with the opportunity to achieve.
NH Specific Learning Disability Criteria Team find a severe discrepancy in: Oral Expression Listening ComprehensionWritten Expression
BUT, Not a Learning Disability, If: Severe discrepancy is a result of Visual, hearing, or motor impairment Mental Retardation Emotional Disturbance Environmental, Cultural, or Economic Disadvantage
DisclaimerThe following are different types of learning disabilities,what they might look like in the classroom, andstrategies to use in the classroom.They do not suggest that a student has a disabilitybecause he/she displays these signs.To identify a child as having a learning disability entailsa team approach and the following of the specialeducational process.
Listening Comprehension Central Auditory Processing DisorderDifficulty processing information or language, but no problems withremembering non-verbal language or soundProcess sounds slowly, but difficulty in repeating them.Misspells/mispronounces similar sounding words (celery/salary, three/free)Often distracted by other noisesDifficulty in staying focused on and remember verbal presentationsMisinterpret or difficulty following verbal directionsDifficulty with rapid speech“Ignores” people, especially when engrossedSays “What?” a lot, even when he has just “heard” what was saidLiteral, does not get puns or jokes
Listening Comprehension StrategiesStudent to constantly verbalize conceptsAllow student 5-10 seconds to respondShow vs. explainingSpeak slowerVisual cues, manipulatives, handoutsVary pitch and toneReword/help understand confusing oral directionsAvoid child listening and writing at the same timeAsk specific questions to see if student understandsReduce or space directions – “Ready?”Provide favorable seating – less distractionsTeachers look at student when speaking
Visual Perceptual/Motor Deficit Affects Reading/Writing/ComprehensionSubstitutes small sight words (I/me, he/she)Letter reversalsEye itches, blurs, painHolds head at odd angles while readingHolds pencil too tightly/breaks pencilsCannot copy accuratelyLooses place while readingStruggles to cut and/or pasteMessy papers/misaligned letters
Oral ExpressionDifficulty in expressing thoughts verballyDifficulty labeling objectsFrustrated by having to say a lot and no way tosay itCan describe a word or draw it, but cannot retrievethe wordDifficulty getting jokes
Oral Expression StrategiesProvide alternatives:Video taping/tape recordWritten/visualWork/practice with a peerProvide plenty of opportunities to build priorknowledgeProvide classroom discussion topics before handSpeaking slowlyPractice story mappingGraphic organizers
Introduce F.A.T. CitySimulationHow children with a learningdisability perceives the classroomand its daily activities.
Three Dys’sBad, impairedDyslexiaDygraphiaDyscalculia
Dyslexia ReadingSlow, painful readingDecoding errors/reversalsEncoding problemsMay have difficulty w/writingDifficulty recalling known wordsWritten languageMath computations
DyslexiaQuiet areas for reading activitiesBooks on tapeLarge print books/big spacesDon’t count off for spellingLaptop for writingMulti-sensory methods of teachingUse logic vs. rote memoryPresent material in small unitsUse different colored chalk on board for each linePre-teach in class reading and assign a passagePaired reading
Dyslexia Strategies, ContSpelling RulesTeach to find errorsAllow students to dictate creative storiesTracking toolsExperiment with pastel, embossed, or raisedline paperRestrict copying tasks
Dysgraphia Written ExpressionHard to read writingMixture of cursive/printingUnfinished words/letters or omits wordsOdd wrist, body, or paper positionDifficulty pre-visualizing lettersWriting very slow and laboriousPoor spatial planning on paperCramped or unusual gripDifficulty thinking and writing notes at the same time
DysgraphiaUse a word processorCorrections about writing privatelyOral testingTape recorderProvide notes/note takerPre-printed math problemsWide rule paper or linesPencil gripsAlternatives to writing assignmentsGrade content vs. writing
Dyscalculia MathDifficulty understanding math concepts (place value, quantity, numberlines)Word problemsSequencingSteps in solving problemsUnderstanding fractionsDifficulty recognizing patterns in X, -, +, and /Challenged when making changePutting language to math processesTime, days of the week, keeping numbers lined upOrganization on paper
Dyscalculia – Allow the use of finger/other devices – Use diagrams/draw out concepts – Peer assistance – Graph paper, colored pencilsManipulativesTeach how to draw picturesMnemonic devicesRhythm/MusicComputersPlenty of scratch paper w/linesSpace
Resourceshttp://www.ldanh.org/ NH Branch ofLDAhttp://www.bookshare.org/web/Welcome.html Books on tape - free forschoolshttp://www.ldanatl.org/aboutld/adults/index.asp Adults with learningdisabilities
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