Learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities.
These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to central nervous dysfunction
Other general terms for a learning disability are minimal brain dysfunction, attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia, and hyperactivity.
The majority of people with learning disabilities have language and/or memory deficits.
Individuals with learning disabilities appear normal and have been found to have at least average, if not superior (gifted), intelligence.
Even though there is a large discrepancy between a learning disabled person’s intellectual abilities and his or her performance levels, no cause-and-effect relationship exists: Those who exhibit this discrepancy are not necessarily learning disabled.
Myth: Children with learning disabilities should be treated like everyone else.
Learning disabilities are not caused by retardation, emotional disturbances, physical impairments (blindness or deafness), or environmental deprivation such as lack of educational opportunity or cultural diversity
With these individuals, visual stimulation should be kept to a minimum.
Visual materials such as pamphlets or books are ineffective unless the content is explained orally or the information is read aloud
If visual items are used, only one item should be given at any one time with a sufficient period in between times to allow for the information to be focused on and mastered.Teaching Strategies
Recall and retention of information can be assessed by oral questioning, allowing learners to express back to you in oral form what they understand and remember about the content that has been presented.Teaching Strategies
There also may be a problem with auditory “figure ground,” such that the sound of someone speaking cannot be identified clearly when others are speaking in the same room.
Auditory “lags” may occur, whereby sound input cannot be processed at a normal rate.Auditory Perceptual Disorders
Using as few words as possible and repeating them when necessary (using the same words to avoid confusion) are useful strategies
Direct eye contact helps keep the learner focused on the task at hand.Teaching Strategies
Using hand signs for key words when giving verbal instructions and allowing the learner to have hands-on experiences and opportunities for observation are useful techniques.
Directions for learning via these methods and tools should be in written form.Teaching Strategies
Awareness to these details may have developed as a compensatory strategy to aid comprehension.
If the learner does not understand something being taught, he or she may exhibit frustration in the form of irritability and inattentiveness.Teaching strategies
They enjoy doing things with their hands, want to touch everything, prefer writing and drawing, engage in physical exploration, and enjoy physical movement through sports activities
A child who has difficulty sequencing information may read and understand the word dog as god because the letters d, o, and g are processed in the incorrect order.
Abstraction is the inability to infer meaning from words or phrases; that is, the specific intended meaning of words or thoughts is misunderstoodIntegrative Processing Disorders
You should avoid using confusing phrases, puns, or sarcasm with such patients.
Frequently ask the person to repeat or demonstrate what was learned to immediately clear up any misconceptionsTeaching strategies
Long-term memory consists of information that has been repeated and stored and becomes available whenever you think about it
Individuals with short-term memory deficits may be unable to recall what they learned an hour before, but they may be able to recall the information at a later point in time.Short-Term or Long-Term Memory Disorders
For persons with either type of language disability, the greatest gift you can give them is time—time to process internal thoughts, to find words, and then to speak for the purpose of initiating a conversation or responding with answers to questions.Teaching strategies
• Use hand signs for key words when giving verbal directions.
• Use hands-on experience or observation.
• Highlight important information.
• Use a computer.
• Capitalize on teachable moments.
• Use puzzles.
• Appeal to all senses—auditory, visual, and tactile.
• Use mnemonics
• Use a cognitive map
• Use an active reading strategy such as SQ3R (skim, question, read, rehearse, revise).Adaptive techniques:
Often people with this type of disability will avoid such tasks because of inadequate motor skills. For example, they will shy away from using writing as a form of communication because it requires fine motor coordination to accomplish.Motor Disorders
Depending on the disabled person’s auditory and visual strengths, computers, typewriters, and preprinted materials may prove helpful tools for teaching and learning.
Safety also is always a concern for those with gross motor difficulties because they are prone to clumsiness, stumbling, or falling.
The environment should be kept as uncluttered as possible to avoid injury and embarrassmentTeaching strategies
The ability to pay attention is an important prerequisite to success in school and work.
The exact cause of ADD is unknown, but its primary characteristics are signs of inattention and impulsivity that are developmentally inappropriate.
Hyperactivity (ADDH) often accompanies the inattentiveness and impulsivity.
When giving instructions or assigning a task, give directions one at a time, and divide the work into small parts.