Literacy nova scotia cli workshop may 13 th 2008 digby ns
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Although the individual with a learning disability has an average or above-average IQ, the disability becomes evident in both academic and social situations. ...

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Literacy Nova ScotiaCLI WorkshopMay 13th 2008- Digby, NS

Learning Disabilities-

Information and Strategies


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Workshop Topics

  • Learning Disabilities- what does it feel like?

  • Warning signs- or what we call Red Flags for Math and Language Based LDs

  • How are learning disabilities diagnosed/assessed?

  • How can we meet the needs of a learner who might have a LD?


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What might it feel like to have an LD?

Who do you know that has a Learning Disability?

Have you ever ask them to talk about their Learning Disability?


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What is a learning disability?

  • A learning disability is a disorder that affects a person's ability to either interpret what they see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain. Although the individual with a learning disability has an average or above-average IQ, the disability becomes evident in both academic and social situations. The individual can have marked difficulties on certain types of tasks while excelling at others.

    http://www.ldac-taac.ca/Defined/defined_new-e.asp



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No two students who have learning disabilities are the same- their LD impacts them in different ways-

  • they have developed different coping strategies

  • they have used and been exposed to different resources

  • their life experiences are very different

    For Example….


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Case Studies same- their LD impacts them in different ways-


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Warning Signs or Red Flags same- their LD impacts them in different ways-


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Remember same- their LD impacts them in different ways-

  • Two students who may have similar difficulties may not both have learning disabilities

  • Two learners who have diagnosed LDs may not have the same challenges

  • No two learners are alike- regardless of disability


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General warning signs same- their LD impacts them in different ways-

Some common signs of learning disabilities include:

  • Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing

  • Avoids reading and writing tasks

  • Trouble summarizing

  • Trouble with open-ended questions on tests

  • Weak memory skills

  • Difficulty adjusting to new settings

  • Works slowly

  • Poor grasp of abstract concepts

  • Either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much

  • Misreads information


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Language Based Learning Disabilities same- their LD impacts them in different ways-

These students may have:

  • slow reading rates

  • difficulty modifying reading rate for different tasks

  • misreading what is written

  • confusion of similar words, difficulty integrating new vocabulary

  • poor and/or uneven comprehension

  • lower retention of information from print

  • difficulty identifying main points from printed material

  • requires more time to identify informationfrom charts, tables, and forms


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Math Learning Disabilities same- their LD impacts them in different ways-

These students may have:

  • Normal or accelerated language acquisition: verbal, reading, writing

  • Poetic and creative talents

  • Weak mental math ability

  • Poor long term memory

  • Inability to grasp and remember math concepts, rules, formulas, sequence, and basic algebra facts; inconsistent results in these areas.

  • Confuse similar numbers (e.g., 7 and 9; 3 and 8); difficulty using a calculator

  • Lack ability to visualize and see the “big picture”

  • Easily disorientated or lost; difficulty keeping track of time


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How and why to have a student assessed- same- their LD impacts them in different ways-

Pre Screens

and

Psycho Educational Assessments


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What is a Screening for Success Pre Screen? same- their LD impacts them in different ways-

  • It is a tool that is used to determine if a student is at risk for having a learning disability

  • It can be summarized to provide information to an assessor

  • It was developed with the Learning Disability Association of Canada in conjunction with many other organizations who deal with adults who have learning disabilities


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What types of questions does the Screening for Success Pre-Screen ask?

Questions related to the following:

  • The individual and their family

  • Health (past and present)

  • Language

  • Education (past and present)

  • Employment

  • Things that the student may have trouble with or no difficulty with

  • Activities they are good at (past and present)

  • Goals


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Why ask those questions? Pre-Screen ask?

  • Personal and family- other people in family who may struggle

  • Health (as a child until now)- possible vision, hearing or processing difficulties as a child

  • Language- languages learned at home vs. in school- ESL issues

  • Education (as a child until now)- Key grades that if repeated- may be indicators

  • Employment- switching jobs- why

  • Things that the student may have trouble with or no difficulty with- we are looking for the peaks and valleys

  • Activities they are good at- assessment of self

  • Goals- are they able to phrase them? Are they realistic?


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What happens after the pre-screen? Pre-Screen ask?

  • Information obtained is summarized

  • Information is shared with faculty and sponsors

  • Next steps are developed and talked about with learner

  • Possible assessment and accommodations



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Assessing Learning Needs a Learning Disability?

  • A psycho educational assessment is a reliable and common way to have a learning disability assessed

  • In order for students to access funding after your program, the Department of Education requires that a Registered Psychologist complete the assessment and that a clear diagnosis is stated as well as recommendations to assist the learner


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Assessing Learning Needs a Learning Disability?

  • So everyone has an understanding of how the student learns- their strengths and challenges

  • So supports can be talked about and possibly put in place

  • So advocacy skills can be developed

  • So future plans can be made


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Remember a Learning Disability?

  • Two students who may have similar difficulties may not both have learning disabilities

  • Two learners who have diagnosed LDs may not express the disabilities in the same way

  • No two learners are alike- regardless of disability


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A good assessment may include a Learning Disability?

  • Medical and learning background information- done through an interview

  • Observations during the assessment

  • IQ testing- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition for example

  • Testing of memory- Working Memory Index, Wechsler Memory Scale III for example

  • Processing speed assessment- Processing Speed Index for example

  • Academic Abilities- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Second Edition


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A good assessment may include a Learning Disability?

  • Testing on retrieval of information- immediate and delayed memory capabilities

  • Comparing ability to retrieve visual vs. auditory information

  • Strengths of the learners as well as challenges

  • Recommendations that go into detail on how the learner can be supported


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Assessment- From my perspective…. a Learning Disability?


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Follow up a Learning Disability?

  • Report should be explained to the learner by the psychologist

  • Supports need to be talked about with staff and student

  • Funding for supports have to be obtained

  • Follow up must be provided and accommodations must be re-evaluated for effectiveness

  • Documenting accommodations must be done as well


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Strategies for Success a Learning Disability?



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Trial a Learning Disability?

  • Accommodating a learning with a disability may require try a variety of strategies until you determine what works best for the individualstudent

  • General strategies can be useful but may not work for everyone


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Assisting the learner who may have language based LD a Learning Disability?

  • Practice

  • Find work that is interesting to them and at their reading level- perhaps in magazines

  • Encourage reading groups or reading one-on-one

  • Chunking reading into smaller pieces

  • Allow learners to see and feel the written word- maybe drawing pictures of what they have read or taking about it with other people

  • If books on tape are available USE THEM


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A little more personalized a Learning Disability?

  • Use technology

  • Try developing misspelled word lists

  • Develop personal word dictionaries

  • Summarize what they are reading while they are reading it

  • Use a highlighter

    And…….



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Some strategies to accommodate students who may have a Math LD

  • Use graph paper or Inspiration for students who have difficulty organizing ideas.

  • Work on finding different ways to approach math facts; i.e., instead of just memorizing the multiplication tables, explain that 8 x 2 = 16, so if 16 is doubled, 8 x 4 must = 32.

  • Introduce new skills beginning with concrete examples and later moving to more abstract applications.

  • For language difficulties, explain ideas and problems clearly and encourage students to ask questions as they work.

  • Provide a place to work with few distractions and have pencils, erasers and other tools on hand as needed.


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Strategies continued…. LD

  • Use manipulatives such as play money, tape measures, photocopy paper, measuring cups etc

  • Have the student explain how to complete a problem in their own words before/while they work on it

  • Have the student create a math dictionary to define important words (sum, combine) in their own way

  • Try to relate topics to the life of the student, cooking, carpentry work, etc.

  • Explain how work can be done in different ways- not just the way you are comfortable with- so try to use videos, web sites, guest speakers

  • Chunking material into smaller parts and allowing learners to see connections


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And… LD

BE CREATIVE


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Resources: LD

  • http://www.ldonline.org

  • http://www.disabilityservices.nscc.ca

  • http://ldans.nsnet.org

  • http://microscience.on.ca

  • http://www.aroga.com

  • http://www.frontiercomputing.on.ca

  • http://www.readingmadeeasy.ca

  • http://www.headstrongnation.org



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