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Goals. Understanding of Learning Disabilities Why do we want to help? How can we help? Potential pitfalls Specific task needs of children with a LD. Hierarchy of Neurodevelopmental Status. Variation Leads to a developmental weakness (Ex. Expressive language) Dysfunction

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Goals l.jpg
Goals

  • Understanding of Learning Disabilities

  • Why do we want to help?

  • How can we help?

  • Potential pitfalls

  • Specific task needs of children with a LD


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Hierarchy of Neurodevelopmental Status

Variation

Leads to a developmental weakness

(Ex. Expressive language)

Dysfunction

Interferes with acquisition of a particular skill (Ex. Writing)

Disability

The impaired skill is integral to productivity and acquisition of reasonable gratification in our society

Handicap



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Impact spell, or do math calculations

Social behavior and interactions, Home environment, Critical life events, Mood, Health,etc.

Resilience, Malleability

Learning process

Academic performance, Skill, Interest, Self- esteem, etc.


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Kids don’t outgrow LD spell, or do math calculations, they may improve, but they are at continued risk for underachievement.


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Assessment spell, or do math calculations

  • Complete medical history and examination

  • Tests

    • IQ

    • Academic achievement

  • Informal classroom observation

  • Psychological assessment as indicated


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Assistive Technology spell, or do math calculations

  • Bypass strategy; it “Helps to get the job done.”

    vs.

    Instructional software

  • Develops specific academic skills


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Computers—How do they help? spell, or do math calculations

  • Tool to expand a child’s access to the curriculum, not purely for remediation

  • Increase interest and motivation

  • Immediate feedback

  • Don’t give negative comments

  • The “Great Equalizer” for kids with writing difficulties


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Potential Pitfalls spell, or do math calculations

  • Too much information can be counterproductive

  • “The less clutter on the screen, the better”

  • Make programs modifiable (speed, number of problems, instructional level)

  • Make small increments between levels (don’t get “too hard too fast”)

  • Allow limited number of attempts at a response to discourage guessing


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More Pitfalls spell, or do math calculations

  • Provide clues to the correct answer when the student makes an error

  • Need good record keeping capability, so students can track their progress and set goals

  • Offer built-in instructional aides (particularly in math programs), such as number lines, fraction strips, etc.

  • Use real life scenarios (esp. for math)


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What else? spell, or do math calculations

  • Frequently need to look at the curriculum and then ask how tools might assist the student in the learning process/ achieving outcomes


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Types of Computer-based AT Interventions spell, or do math calculations

  • Spell checks

  • Word prediction

  • Word processing

  • Proofreading programs

  • Outlining

  • Graphic organizers

  • Speech recognition

  • Screen readers

  • Calculators and electronic math worksheets


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Important Questions spell, or do math calculations

  • What are the specific needs to be met?

  • What abilities/strengths are required to use the AT?

  • What setting will it be used in?

  • Age-group targeting

  • Need simple operating instructions

  • What system will it work in?

  • Technical support


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Signs of Weak Language Skills spell, or do math calculations

  • Asks to have things repeated

  • Difficulty following instructions

  • Uses the wrong words or gets mixed up

  • Difficulty telling a story


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Basic Tasks in Reading spell, or do math calculations

  • Phonemic awareness: Hear speech sounds and tell them apart

  • Phonics: Match sounds to letters and make them into words

  • Semantics: Word knowledge

  • Syntax: Sentence comprehension

  • Fluency/Discourse processing: Ability to read quickly and fluently to remember and understand what has been read


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Reading Comprehension Tasks spell, or do math calculations

  • Increasing vocabulary

  • Understanding word parts and changes in the inflections of words (present)

  • Understand meanings and relationships between words

  • Know the rules for putting words into sentences

  • Having background knowledge


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Spelling spell, or do math calculations

  • Phonology

  • Segmentation

  • Visual recall (grapheme)

  • Rule recall

  • Morphology/Semantics

  • Reading skill


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Writing Tasks spell, or do math calculations

  • Concept development/Ideation

  • Expressive language: Communication

  • Organization: Sentence structure, Paragraph structure

  • Memory functions:

    • Long term--Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, Beginning and ending

    • Short-term—Copying, Note-taking

  • Fine motor coordination


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The Wrath of Math spell, or do math calculations

  • Effective memory functions (factual recall, procedural recall, pattern recognition, multi-tasking)

  • Accurate spatial processing

  • Concept formation

  • Language ability

  • Problem-solving skills


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Broader Tasks spell, or do math calculations

  • Accessing the web to learn


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Summary spell, or do math calculations

  • Understanding of Learning Disabilities

  • Why do we want to help?

  • How can we help?

  • Benefits and Pitfalls of AT

  • What are the underlying tasks that children with LD struggle with?


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Resources spell, or do math calculations

  • www.schwablearning.org

  • www.ldonline.org

  • Educational Care by Mel Levine, M.D.


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