Review STEPS TO LEARNING• Senses• Processing• Memory• Expression
Processing * breakdown starting here often defines an LD• Visual Processing• Auditory Processing• Tactile (skin)• Kinesthetic Processing (body movement)Speed of processing crucial factor in interpreting information
Concrete Example of Processing• Rick Lavoie Processing
Breakdown in Pathways• General way of explaining what a learning disability is - breakdown or slowdown of pathways that process, interpret, express information
Learning Disabilities: A new definitionLearning Disabilities Association of Ontario (LDAO) 2001
“Learning Disabilities” refers to a variety of disorders that affect the acquisition, retention, understanding organization or use ofverbal and/or non-verbal information
These disorders result from impairments inone or more psychological processesrelated to learning,in combination with otherwise average abilities essential for thinking and reasoning.
“Psychological Processes” - An evolving list that has focused on functions such as:• phonological processing• memory and attention• processing speed
Learning disabilities are specific not globalimpairments and as such are distinct fromintellectual disabilities.
Learning disabilities range in severity andinvariable interfere with the acquisition anduse of one or more of the followingimportant skills: • Oral language (e.g., listening, speaking, understanding) • Reading (e.g., decoding, comprehension) • Written language (e.g., spelling, written expression)• Mathematics (e.g., computation, problem solving)
Learning disabilities may also causedifficulties with organizational skills, socialperception and social interaction.
The impairments are generally life-long.However, their effects may be expresseddifferently over time, depending on thematch between the demands of theenvironment and the individual’scharacteristics.
Common Elements Regardless of Definition • Neurological dysfunction • Uneven growth pattern and psychological processing deficits • Difficulty in academic and learning tasks • Discrepancy between achievement and potential • Exclusion of other causes
Now we have a sense of what a LD is• How do we assess one?
The Family as a System• All members of the “system” affect, and are affected by, other members of the system• “non-linear cause and effect” for what happens within the system• parental reactions• Reactions of siblings
Preview Social Emotional Aspects of Learning Disabilities• Proportion of Adults with LD who also have Social-Emotional Concerns• What May Cause Social-Emotional Concerns in Individuals with LD – Primary Social Disability – Shame – Family System Variables• Implications
What Proportion of Adults with LD Require Counselling Support?Estimates vary, but based on research and clinical experience, we estimate that 20--25% need significant degree of social- emotional intervention.Additional 20--25% could benefit from mild degree of intervention/ support
Why Social-Emotional Difficulties• Primary “Social Disability”• Secondary effect of the LD: Feelings of shame affecting self-image and self-esteem• “Learned Helplessness” - Family and School Environment
Primary Social Disability• Difficulties at the input, integration, or output level(s) of information processing• Attention and social perception• Language processing• Impulsivity and lack of reflectivity
Why/How do Feelings of Shame Develop?• Not living up to an idealized standard• Perceived failure despite effort• Stigma of LD label• Invisibility of LD• Family System Variables
How Can Shame Manifest in Adults with LDs?• Lack of trust• Anger• Isolation• Bravado• Reluctance to Take Risks• Reluctance to Seek Help
Implications for Support• If social difficulties are due to Primary Social Disability, – Teach social skills, provide opportunities for positive peer interaction• If social difficulties are due to Feelings of Shame related to the LD, – Individual counselling – Re-evaluate the teaching/learning environment
Implications for Support, cont’d• If social difficulties are due to issues in Family Relationships, – Consider family counselling to deal with unresolved problem• Often, the social-emotional concerns are due to a combination of factors and may require a combination of treatment strategies
Good News• Growth is an on-going processes• Counseling has been demonstrated to be effective• Close peer friendships are helpful• As an adult have choices - we can make supportive reliances