Learning disabilities

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  • 1. LEARNING DISABILITIES
    By Glen Ford
    Feb. 2011
  • 2. LEARNING DISABILITIY INTRODUCTION
    Learning Disabilities:
    -Are a cognitive disability
    -Presumed to be neurological
    -Not visible
    -Covers many different learning disorders
    -Are lifelong
    -50% of exceptional students have learning disabilities.
    -Disorders affect learning for students who otherwise demonstrate AT LEAST AVERAGE abilities essential for thinking or reasoning
    -Unexpected Difference between intelligence and achievement
    Definition
    -Refers to a group of disorders showing significant difficulties in listening, speaking, writing, reasoning, or math abilities. Disorders affect learning for students who otherwise demonstrate AT LEAST AVERAGE abilities essential for thinking or reasoning
  • 3. POSSIBLE CAUSES OF LEARNING DISABILITIES
    1. Genetic influence
    -Runs in the family
    3. Causes during birth
    -ie. Premature, brain trauma, etc.
    2. Causes Occuring Before Birth.
    -ie. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, etc.
    Causes occurring after birth
    -ie. Malnutrition, diabetes, etc.
    No matter what the cause, all learning disabilities are believed to involve the language and visual processing centers of the brain, and are a lifelong issue.
  • 4. DYSLEXIA
    Definition- (IDA)
    A neurological disorder... characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
    -Used to describe several reading and comprehension disorders, but not all
    In some cases, letters and numbers are reversed
    Difficulties in reading often cause problems in other subjects
    Dyslexics often have difficulty phonetically sounding out words
    Some dyslexics can pronounce the words but do not understand what they mean
    Many different theories on how best to treat dyslexia
  • 5. DYSCALCULIA
    DEFINITION
    -It is a broad description to describe many disorders in learning math.
    -A person with dyscalculia can be good at one aspect of math but impaired in another. ie, Successful at number work, but finds difficulty in problem solving
    Some symptoms could include-
    Difficulties in memorizing arithmetic facts
    Trouble learning and understanding reasoning methods
    Difficulty in visualisation of shape concepts
    This term is not as common as dyslexia
  • 6. DYSGRAPHIA
    DEFINITION
    -Is a broad term to describe a learning disability in writing. Difficulties with handwriting, spelling and written expression are common.
    -Poor handwriting is common symptom
    -Other symptoms include odd spelling and inappropriate sizes and shapes of letters
    -Is a neurological disorder that can be caused by motor injury
    -Use of a computer is a common way of overcoming dysgraphia
  • 7. ASSESSMENT
    Definitions of Learning Disabilities vary from country to country and even province to province
    -In Quebec indicates 10.2 % have a learning disability, while Ontario lists 3.1 %
    -Ontario requires extensive testing with IQ, while Quebec has a broad definition
    Referral- All concerns go through the resource teacher
    -A school psychologist is brought in to administer testing
    -Testing is difficult because a judgement must be made whether there is a disability or it is just normal childhood development.
    A Learning Disability is recognised to occur when there is a significant difference between a student’s achievement and intelligence.
  • 8. Side-Effects of Learning Disability
    1. Difficulty in accessing information for different subjects
    2. Reduced reading inhibits growth of vocabulary and comprehension
    3. Frustration and Despair- Difficulties cause student to “give up”
    4. Loss of confidence
    5. Negative self-image
    6. “Stigma” can be put on the student
  • 9. Instructional Strategies
    SINCE STUDENTS NEEDS ARE DIVERSE, DIFFERENT STRATEGIES ARE NEEDED
    Difficulties in Math
    Use Manipulatives
    Strategies for mental math
    Reading comprehension tasks for problem solving.
    TEACHING WRITING
    Guided Writing
    Modelling the Writing Process
    Write in Response to Reading
    READING INSTRUCTION
    1. Whole Language Method- Learning of structurecomes as the reader improves
    2. Phonemic Awareness- explicit instruction on phonics.
    3. Direct teaching of Comprehension
    GENERAL TEACHING PRACTICE
    Personal Spelling Dictionary
    Explicit Reading Comprehension Strategies
    Basic Listening Strategies
    Use of computers in classroom
  • 10. LISTENING SKILLS
    LISTEN STRATEGY-
    A copy of this was put on the front of each students exercise book and on a poster at the front of the class.
    L- Look at the teacher.
    I- Ignore the student beside you.
    S- Stay in your place.
    T- Try to focus on the teacher.
    E- Enjoy the story.
    N- Nice Job!
    In my experience, this is often one of the most crucial aspects of improvement for students with learning disabilities
  • 11. SUMMARY
    -Learning Disabilities are a neurological disorder.
    -Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia are the most common types of learning disabilities.
    Learning Disabilities are diagnosed when a student of average or above intelligence achieves lower than expected achievement in one aspect of learning.
    No student is the same, many teaching strategies must be used to meet the needs of the students.
    GOOD JOB, LET’S PLAY BIG BROTHER!