Learning Disabilities : An Academic & Personal Perspective

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This is the powerpoint from a presentation I did as part of my "Survey of Disability" course at CBU--the first course in my second masters program, disability studies on the topic of learning disabilities.

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  • http://www.learningtechnics.com/forparents.php (Physio-Neuro Therapy)
  • Learning Disabilities : An Academic & Personal Perspective

    1. 1. (Videos must be clicked to be played) Video credits: Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
    2. 2. Learning Disabilities An Academic & Personal Perspective Jacob C. Bunch, MNpS California Baptist University Disability Studies – Fall 2011
    3. 3. <ul><li>Presentation Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Background </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Cause identification </li></ul><ul><li>Symptoms, Characteristics and Diagnosis </li></ul><ul><li>Myths & Misconceptions </li></ul><ul><li>The Prevalence of LD </li></ul><ul><li>Assistive Technology & LD </li></ul><ul><li>A personal perspective : Living with LD </li></ul><ul><li>LD & Faith </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Learning Disabilities :: Historical Background </li></ul><ul><li>1877-2005 </li></ul><ul><li>1877- “Word blindness” coined by German neurologist Adolf Kussamaul, the term was refined later that year by German physician Rudolf Berlin described as &quot;dyslexia&quot;; a &quot;very great difficulty in interpreting written or printed symbols.” </li></ul><ul><li>1895- The Lancet medial journal publishes case of dyslexia. Ophthalmologist James Hinshelwood stresses “early identification” and intervention for dyslexia. </li></ul><ul><li>1896 - Dr. W. Pringle Morgan writes in the British Medical Journal of a 14 year old who seemed to have word blindness from birth. </li></ul><ul><li>1905 – The first U.S. report of childhood reading difficulties is published by Cleveland ophthalmologist Dr. W.E. Bruner. </li></ul><ul><li>1963 – Samuel A. Kirk credited with coining the term, “learning disabilities” </li></ul><ul><li>1969 – Congress passes the Children with Specific Learning Disabilities Act, which is included in the Education of the Handicapped Act of 1970 (PL 91-230). This is the first time federal law mandates support services for students with learning disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>1975 – The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142), which mandates a free, appropriate public education for all students. (This law is renamed IDEA in 1990.) </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Learning Disabilities :: Historical Background </li></ul><ul><li>1877-2005 </li></ul><ul><li>1987 - Establishment of Centers for the Study of Learning and Attention, whose sole purpose is to expand research and understanding of this issue. </li></ul><ul><li>1990 – The Education For All Handicaped Children Act renamed, Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Terminology revised from ‘handicap’ to ‘disability’. Transition services were mandated. The eligibility list extended to include; TBI and Autism. </li></ul><ul><li>1996 – M.R.I. applied to LD--to identify the regions of the brain that behave differently in dyslexics. LDOnline launches as first online resource “toolkit” dedicated to information dissemination and supports for LD </li></ul><ul><li>1997 – IDEA is reauthorized—revisions include; more comprehensive inclusion of LD students in general curriculum, rights to take state-wide assessments, inclusion of ADHD as valid health impairment </li></ul><ul><li>2004 – IDEA is reauthorized again, alignment with “NCLB” </li></ul><ul><li>2005 – Dr. Jeffrey Gruen and his research team at Yale University identified a gene that had patterns and variations that were strongly associated with dyslexia. </li></ul><ul><li>(Source: LDOnline.org, 2010) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Learning Disabilities :: Defined <ul><li>Two primary definitions of learning disabilities: </li></ul><ul><li>I.D.E.A. and “specific learning disabilities” - a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. </li></ul><ul><li>National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD): </li></ul><ul><li>. . . refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual, presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction, and may occur across the life span”. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Sources: nichcy.org, 2011, National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities [NJCLD], 1990 </li></ul>
    7. 7. Learning Disabilities :: Defined <ul><li>IDEA Vs. NJCLD DEFINITIONS – THE DIFFERENCES: </li></ul><ul><li>NJCLD definition adopted in 1990 in response to the limited scope and “controversy” of the IDEA definition </li></ul><ul><li>NJCLD acknowledges the heterogeneous nature of LD, IDEA does not </li></ul><ul><li>Under NJCLD definition students can qualify for services if they have a social or emotional disturbance associated with LD, under IDEA the “standalone challenges” of emotional and behavioral disturbances are not valid justifications for support services </li></ul><ul><li>The NJCLD definition acknowledges that LD occurs across the life continuum for an individual </li></ul><ul><li>NJCLD attempts to identify both intrinsic and extrinsic causes of LD </li></ul><ul><li> (Source: Turnbull, et al, 2004) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Cause Identification <ul><li>Turnbull et al., (2004) identify three probable causes for learning disability development: </li></ul><ul><li>NEUROLOGICAL CAUSES </li></ul><ul><li>Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction </li></ul><ul><li>MRI, PET, FMRI now used to identify brain chemistry differences in individuals with dyslexia and other reading disabilities, ADHD, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>HEREDITARY/GENETIC CAUSES: </li></ul><ul><li>Prenatal, Postnatal and parental factors </li></ul><ul><li>Reading disabilities as well as speech and language disorders are thought to show “strong evidence” (Turnbull, et al., 2004) as genetically inherit traits </li></ul><ul><li>TERATOGRNTIC FACTORS </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is solid evidence that pollutants and teratogens (aspects of the environment that cause malformation in humans) cause learning disabilities” (Turnbull, et al., 2004), by way of ingestion or long-term exposure. </li></ul><ul><li>Viable evidence shows a positive correlation between substance abuse (e.g. alcohol and crack cocaine) during pregnancy contributing to LD </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE: These are all speculative causal correlations made on the basis scientific theory in an attempt to identify causes of LD. Continuous from the literature shows that causes are still largely, “unknown”. </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Symptoms, Characteristics & Diagnosis </li></ul><ul><li>ACADEMIC SYMPTOMS </li></ul><ul><li>difficulty in copying accurately from a model </li></ul><ul><li>difficulty with tasks requiring sequencing </li></ul><ul><li>COGNITIVE SYMPTOMS </li></ul><ul><li>often obsesses on one topic or idea </li></ul><ul><li>poor short-term and/or long-term memory </li></ul><ul><li>PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS </li></ul><ul><li>poor visual-motor coordination </li></ul><ul><li>overly distractible; difficulty concentrating </li></ul><ul><li>BEHAVIORAL / SOCIAL SYMPTOMS </li></ul><ul><li>low tolerance for frustration </li></ul><ul><li>difficulty making decisions (ricklavoie.com, n.d.) </li></ul>
    10. 10. Symptoms, Characteristics & Diagnosis <ul><li>According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, learning disabilities should be conceptualized as, “neurologically-based processing problems” (ldanatl.org, 2005-2011). Depending on the processing affect-level, the defcit(s) could impair basic academics to higher level executive functioning skills. </li></ul><ul><li>PROCESSING CATAGORIES AFFECTED BY LEARNING DISABILITY: </li></ul><ul><li>Input </li></ul><ul><li>Integration </li></ul><ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><li>Output </li></ul><ul><li>INPUT - Intake of information to the brain through the neuropathways of; visual or auditory processing. </li></ul><ul><li>Receptive Language Deficits-Inability to process speech sounds correctly or at a normal pace. </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Perception Deficits – characterized by a misrepresentations of shapes through rotation or reversal </li></ul><ul><li>Source: (ldanatl.org, 2005-2011) </li></ul>
    11. 11. Symptoms, Characteristics & Diagnosis <ul><li>INTEGRATION </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to arrange thought processes in logical order, critically understand the information beyond “literal meaning” and then effectively arrange the information for presentation to others. </li></ul><ul><li>Sequencing – difficulty learning information in proper sequence. </li></ul><ul><li>Abstraction - difficulty inferring the meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Organization - Inability to organize thought patterns and logistics of day-to-day tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>MEMORY </li></ul><ul><li>Working memory deficits – Inability to hold on to “information fragments” must be presented as a full concept. </li></ul><ul><li>Short-term memory deficits- information recall </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term memory deficits- inability to engage the physical process of “moving” information from short to long term memories. Associated with insufficient metacognitive skills. (i.e. Study skills) </li></ul><ul><li>(Sources: ldanatl.org, 2005-2011, Turnbull, et., al 2004) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Symptoms, Characteristics & Diagnosis <ul><li>OUTPUT – How information is communicated through the senses either by words (language output) some form of tactile response such as; gestures, drawing, writing (motor output) </li></ul><ul><li>Language Disability - Difficulty in a demand speaking situations, the same person might struggle to organize her thoughts or to find the right words”. </li></ul><ul><li>Motor Disability – Inability to bring coordination to small muscle groupings (fine motor) or large muscle groups (gross motor) </li></ul><ul><li>(Sources: Turnbull, et., al 2004, Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2005-2011) </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>There are a total of 7 formal diagnosis attributed to the neurobiological causes of processing delay which are associated with learning, including: </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnosis: Dyslexia :: (difficulty reading) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems reading, writing, spelling, speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Dyscalculia :: (difficulty with math) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems doing math problems, understanding time, using money </li></ul><ul><li>Dysgraphia :: (difficulty with writing) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with handwriting, spelling, organizing ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Dyspraxia :: (fine motor deficits) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with hand–eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity </li></ul><ul><li>Dysphasia :: (language difficulty) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Auditory Processing Disorder :: (Inability to hear phonemic differences) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with reading, comprehension and language </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Processing Disorder :: (difficulty interpreting visual information) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Symptoms, Characteristics & Diagnosis
    14. 14. Learning Disabilities :: Myths & Misconceptions <ul><li>MYTH </li></ul><ul><li>LD is isolated to academics </li></ul><ul><li>LD is identified in 1 st Grade </li></ul><ul><li>There is more of a prevalence of LD in males </li></ul><ul><li>LD denotes “dumb” </li></ul><ul><li>LD is caused by a “lack of motivation” </li></ul><ul><li>TRUTH </li></ul><ul><li>LD is pervasive—across the lifespan of an individual </li></ul><ul><li>LD is often identified by Grade 3, but may not present until middle, secondary or postsecondary levels </li></ul><ul><li>Males are 4x more likely to be identified, however, females experience common reading problems that are under-identified and undertreated </li></ul><ul><li>People w/ LD often have average to above average levels of intelligence—can be “gifted” in a certain artistic or expressive skill </li></ul><ul><li>LD is commonly caused by perceptual and processing issues (e.g. direct instruction needed) </li></ul>
    15. 15. The Prevalence <ul><li>US BREAKDOWN OF L.D. </li></ul><ul><li>(ages 6+) – 4.67M </li></ul><ul><li>1 out of every 5 people in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>LD prevalence in the US – 8% (1977) 14% (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>1991 – with addition of ADD/ADHD, ASD the “other health impairment” category rose 200% from ‘77-’06 </li></ul><ul><li>Unemployment rate is x2 that than without LD </li></ul><ul><li>K-12 EDUCATION </li></ul><ul><li>2.5 million American public school students identified with LD as eligible under IDEA </li></ul><ul><li>POSTSECONDARY </li></ul><ul><li>National average of college students reporting disability and receiving support services 11% </li></ul>Source: ncld.org, 2011, nichcy.org, 2011. educationsector.org, 2007
    16. 16. Assistive Technology “ How Assistive Technology Enables Dreams” Produced, Written, and Directed by: Ken Ellis ©2005 Edutopia Funded by: The George Lucas Educational Foundation Run time – 10:00 Pause at: 3:46
    17. 17. Assistive Technology <ul><li>SCOPE OF ASSISITIVE TECHNOLOGY UNDER I.D.E.A. </li></ul><ul><li>1975 – Began the mandate for school districts to provide AT to students for whom it was an identified requirement in order to appropriately provide for a student’s FAPE. </li></ul><ul><li>1990 – When PL 92-142 was reauthorized as, “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” school districts responsibility for the provision of AT to qualified students was clarified: </li></ul><ul><li>can be part of the child's specially designed instruction </li></ul><ul><li>related services </li></ul><ul><li>a supplementary aid or service to help maintain a child with a disability in a regular classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>School districts cannot presumptively deny assistive technology to a child with a disability. (August, 1990). </li></ul><ul><li>To provide AT school districts retain the option for; rental, direct purchase, third-party purchasing, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The mandate of AT provision for qualified students under IDEA reiterates Turnbull, et., al (2004) principles of U.D.L., in specific, “augmented instruction” for LD students. One purpose of AT is, “cognitive augmentation”, this principle apples to LD as well. </li></ul><ul><li>FUNDING OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS: </li></ul><ul><li>The Handicapped Infant and Todlers Act of 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>(birth – 2 yrs of age, served by IFSP) </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals with Disabilities Education Act </li></ul><ul><li>(3-21yrs, served by IEP) </li></ul><ul><li>Schools responsibilities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider on individual basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must provide at least baseline model technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure that use is consistent with outlined goals of the IFSP or IEP. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sources: Reed & Walser, 2009, Cook & Polgar, 2004 </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Learning Disabilities :: A Personal Perspective <ul><li>BACKGROUND ON LD TESTING </li></ul><ul><li>A learning disability in the school setting is determined by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a significant discrepancy between one’s cognitive ability and academic ability. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average standard scores on these measures fall between 85-115. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MY LEARNING DISABILITY PROFILE </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007, I completed an IQ and LD battery of tests and scored an overall IQ or cognitive ability of 91. This score was derived from a verbal measure and a performance measure. My score was 107 and 74 respectively. The difference between these two scores is clinically significant and only occurs in .5% of the population. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengths: verbal reasoning ability is in the superior range, working memory is in the average range </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weaknesses: nonverbal reasoning ability is less developed, processing visual material is well below that of same aged peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ACADEMIC SKILL BREKDOWN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For academic skills I scored a composite score of 90 which is in the average range. However, when broken down by subjects reading was 95, writing was 89, oral language was 116 and math was 76. </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Learning Disabilities :: A Personal Perspective <ul><li>FINDINGS </li></ul><ul><li>When this score is compared to my academic scores there exists a significant discrepancy between the cognitive score and the scores in math and writing. These two discrepancies indicate that my performance in math and writing is significantly lower than would be expected given my intellectual performance. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In short, I can understand more than I am able to communicate. It takes me 2-4x longer than my peers to process information and complete tasks (e.g. writing process, systematic steps to mathematics' and independent living skills) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MY FORMAL LD DIAGNOSIS </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Disability in Written Expression </li></ul><ul><li>Dyscalculia </li></ul><ul><li>ADHD – (favoring attention deficit spectrum) </li></ul><ul><li>UNDERLYING CAUSE </li></ul><ul><li>Damage to my CNS during the onset of Cerebral Palsy. LDs are thought to be secondary to CP. </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>Learning Disabilities :: A Personal Perspective </li></ul><ul><li>ADVERSE COMMON FEELINGS </li></ul><ul><li>(some persist, some have been delt with) </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual inferiority (internalized) </li></ul><ul><li>Depression </li></ul><ul><li>Frustration </li></ul><ul><li>Physical and mental exhaustion </li></ul><ul><li>Occasional loneliness / isolation </li></ul><ul><li>“ Othering” (by certain family members and school admin.) </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of a “trapped mind” </li></ul><ul><li>POSITIVE COMMON FEELINGS </li></ul><ul><li>Learned the principles of, “respectful assertiveness” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Learned helplessness” (Turnnull, et al, 2004) has not been a persistent problem for me </li></ul><ul><li>Development of a “healthy rebellion” </li></ul><ul><li>Fortitude and follow-through </li></ul><ul><li>Aided in the development of my work ethic, once I understood LDs pervasive impact </li></ul><ul><li>Hold educational gains in high regard </li></ul><ul><li>Have the ability to “hyperfocus”, if needed </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitive to the learning needs of others </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>K-12 SCHOOL REFLECTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>Very strong, supportive base of friends </li></ul><ul><li>Often, the provision of accommodations, related transition services and “due process” rights were; met w/ resistance before implementation or refused </li></ul><ul><li>Special education admin. & select teachers would demean and devalue me by their actions and words. (e.g. “not college material”, “the 504 kid”. ) </li></ul><ul><li>Learned self-advocacy skills </li></ul><ul><li>UNIVERSITY REFLECTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, much more positive, inclusive experience </li></ul><ul><li>Person-first treatment </li></ul>
    22. 22. Learning Disabilities :: A Personal Perspective From my Arizona State University Graduation - College of Public Programs, School of Community Resources & Development (Fall 2010) - Masters of Nonprofit Studies.
    23. 23. “ Life Mountains” : The Life Story of Jacob Bunch Clear Lake United Methodist Church Houston, Texas May 11, 2008 Kay Alewine, Executive Producer - StreamGardenTV Learning Disabilities :: A Faith Perspective

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