Effective practices for students with learning disabilities
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Effective Practices for Students with Learning Disabilities. Steve Fadden, Ph.D. Landmark College Institute for Research and Training. Topics. General issues, behaviors, and practices Success Characteristics and Metacognition Universal Design Assistive Technology

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Effective Practices for Students with Learning Disabilities

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Effective practices for students with learning disabilities

Effective Practices for Students with Learning Disabilities

Steve Fadden, Ph.D.

Landmark College Institute for Research and Training

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Topics

Topics

General issues, behaviors, and practices

Success Characteristics and Metacognition

Universal Design

Assistive Technology

Student-Centered Support Systems

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Many disabilities are hidden or invisible

Many Disabilities Are Hidden Or Invisible

  • Learning disabilities (LD) constitute largest group of students with disabilities

    • American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 2002 publication, New career paths for students with disabilities: Opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

  • “Students with disabilities are less likely than their peers without disabilities to complete a full secondary school academic curriculum, especially in math and science curriculum areas.”

    • National Council on Disability, 2003: http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2003/education.htm

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Nonverbal characteristics

Nonverbal: Characteristics

Issues

Behaviors

  • Pictorial/spatial thinking

  • Processing of nonverbal cues (facial, vocal, body)

  • Visual-spatial relationships

  • Part-to-whole relationships

  • Executive functioning (active working memory, organization, sequencing, emotional regulation)

  • Adjusting to novel situations

  • Top-down processing

  • Processing speed deficits

  • Sensory hypersensitivity and integration

  • Loud, excessive, interrupts

  • Intense, narrow interests, monopolizes conversation

  • Inappropriate laughter (or none at all)

  • Poor eye contact, stands too close

  • Stoic or anxious, perseverative behavior

  • Misinterprets reading, humor, sarcasm

  • Writing appears clumsy, jumbled

  • Struggles with building models, drawing diagrams

  • Misses deadlines

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Nonverbal best practices

Nonverbal: Best Practices

Academic

Social

  • Counseling, peer mentoring, pragmatics training

  • Executive Functioning Coaching

  • Reduced visual stimulation and sensory input

  • Direct, verbal explanations; feelings with text

  • Structure and routines, ample transition time

  • Frequent, consistent feedback

  • Simple room configuration; space for rituals

  • Augment images with text/verbal information

  • Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations for social rules and interactions

  • Rules sheets for policies, procedures

  • Practice routines (bathroom etiquette, hygiene, dining hall procedures)

  • Consistent room organization and structure

  • Ability to anticipate/avoid sources of overstimulation

  • Schedule for predictability (avoid extremes)

  • Mastery of campus map, locations, resources

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Language characteristics

Language: Characteristics

Issues

Behaviors

  • Word analysis

  • Phonemic awareness

  • Phonics skills

  • Word formation

  • Word storage

  • Sensorimotor linguistic integration

  • Organization and production of language and speech

  • Visual guided motor skills

  • Avoids reading, writing, or speaking

  • Difficulty generating, articulating ideas

  • Comprehension and memory issues

  • Doesn’t take notes

  • Disorganized thoughts

  • Needs extra time

  • Easily fatigued, frustrated

  • Trouble learning new words

  • Mechanical & spelling errors

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Language best practices

Language: Best Practices

Multisensory language instruction

Decreased emphasis on text or lecturing; increased use of kinesthetic, visual-spatial activities

Direct instruction on reading comprehension, note taking, process writing

Explicit and balanced grading rubrics

Additional time for processing, formulating, and producing

Alternative modes of input and output

Assistive Technology to promote decoding, comprehension, writing

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Attention characteristics

Attention: Characteristics

Issues

Behaviors

  • Initiating activities

  • Organizing, planning, prioritizing

  • Selective focus, inhibition of non-relevant information

  • Maintaining mental effort

  • Awareness and regulation of emotions

  • Working memory capacity

  • Memory encoding and recall

  • Time management

  • Self-concept and self-esteem

  • Inconsistent focus, motivation

  • Difficulty transferring skills

  • Disorganized, overwhelmed by prioritization

  • Inconsistent performance

  • Difficulty meeting deadlines

  • Memory, recall difficulties

  • Lack emotional awareness, support

  • Issues with independence and/or dependence

  • Unhealthy locus of control

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Attention best practices

Attention: Best Practices

Multisensory instruction

Assistive Technology for organization, comprehension, memory

Frequent, consistent behavioral feedback

Counseling, mentoring, Executive Function coaching

Direct instruction on metacognitive processes

Explicit and balanced grading rubrics

Reduced distractions

Instruction and support for self-regulation

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Math characteristics

Math: Characteristics

Issues

Behaviors

  • Language processing

  • Mathematics vocabulary

  • Number sense

  • Numerical relationships

  • Visual-spatial processing, alignment

  • Visual perception of quantity

  • Sequencing

  • Processing verbal symbolism (multiplication facts)

  • Difficulty with 3+5, 33x3, 5 vs 3

  • Can’t remember formulas, sequences

  • Difficulty processing groups

  • Trouble with currency, phone numbers, times, dates

  • Difficulty estimating 5 x 207 = ~1,000 vs. ~10,000

  • Incorrect recall of math facts

  • Inappropriate use of math vocabulary

  • Unpredictable errors

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Math best practices

Math: Best Practices

Ruled/lined paper, graph paper

Sufficient spacing between problems

Instant answers, chances to re-do

Pure and simple number information

Math vocabulary instruction, clarification

Prompts for specific strategies

Additional processing time

Alternative testing formats

Opportunity to write and talk through each step

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Success attributes

Success Attributes

  • Defined across a number of domains:

    Goldberg, R.J., Higgins, E.L., Raskind, M.H., & Herman, K.L. (2003). Predictors of success in individuals with learning disabilities: A qualitative analysis of a 20-year longitudinal study. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 18(4), 222-236.

    • Crime/substance abuse, Education, Employment, Family relations, Independence, Life satisfaction, Psychological health, Social relationships

  • Common attributes of “successful behaviors”

    • Self awareness/self acceptance

    • Proactivity

    • Perseverance

    • Emotional stability

    • Appropriate goal setting

    • Use of effective social support systems

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Factors that promote success

Factors that Promote Success

  • Encourage a positive and proactive outlook

    Gerber, P.J., Ginsberg, R., & Reiff, H.B. (1992). Identifying alterable patterns of vocational success in highly successful adults with learning disabilities, Journal of Learning Disabilities, 25, 475-487.

    • Feelings of control over goals and circumstances

    • Proactive internal decision-making

      • Cultivating an internal desire to succeed

      • Understanding the importance of strong goal orientation

      • Reframing LD into a positive, productive experience

    • Need for effective external manifestations

      • Creating systems to promote persistence

      • Ensuring goodness of fit between abilities and environment

      • Using creativity to cope with setbacks

      • Establishing a supportive social ecology

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Metacognition

Metacognition

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Metacognition practices

Metacognition: Practices

Model active questioning and ask students to evaluate their own understanding of content

Provide opportunities for self-reflection and self-assessment

Identify requirements of the ‘hidden curriculum’ and discuss how they can be met

Publish clear rubrics and have students apply them to each other’s work

Provide authentic choices through multiple assignments and assessment options

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Metacognition modeling

Metacognition: Modeling

  • Mastery Peer Led Team Learning

  • Integrates technology with group study techniques

  • Online role models who engage in “self-talk” to solve problems

  • Includes problem-solving strategy templates

  • Raises awareness of effective problem solving processes and skills

    Project led by Robert Koff & Christine Street, Washington University: http://www.mpltl.org/

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Universal design and education

Universal Design and Education

U.D. for Instruction

U.D. for Learning

  • Equitable use

  • Flexibility in use

  • Simple and intuitive

  • Perceptible information

  • Tolerance for error

  • Low physical effort

  • Size and space for approach and use

  • A community of learners

  • Instructional climate

    Shaw, S., Scott, S., & McGuire, J. (2001). Retrieved 3/12/07 from: http://www.facultyware.uconn.edu/UDI_examples.htm

  • Incorporate multiple means of engaging, challenging, and motivating learners

  • Provide multiple means of representing information

  • Support multiple means of expressing knowledge

    Center for Applied Special Technology, retrieved 3/12/07, from: http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Assistive technology for learning

Assistive Technology for Learning

  • Concept mapping software to quickly capture and visually organize information

  • Speech recognition systems to convert spoken words into digital text and information

  • Electronic organizers to track and remind users of tasks and sequences

  • Annotation and commenting systems to track and view changes over time

  • Text–to–speech software to convert text to audible information

  • Reading systems to convert text to speech and promote elaboration and processing of written information

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Strategy instruction integration

Strategy Instruction Integration

  • Technology benefits learning best when integrated with strategy instruction

    • Reduces barriers associated with disabilities

    • Promotes understanding, thinking, and learning

  • Strategies include:

    • Active reading

    • Textbook note-taking

    • Test preparation

    • Process writing

    • Task planning, sequencing, and execution

    • Time and materials management

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Graphic organizers

Graphic Organizers

  • Visually depict concepts, properties, relationships

  • Highlights critical versus noncritical differences

  • Alternative to verbal or text-based descriptions

  • Associates examples with explanations

  • Used for self-assessment

    Allen, J. (2007). Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary, Grades 4-12. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Role models

Role Models

  • Messages about what is “normal” and possible

  • Explicit paths to success

    Example: NFB Youth Slam

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyC_ZsBxs58

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Student centered support systems

Academic Skills

Support Center

Instructor

Office Hours

Counseling

Services

Advisor

First Year Special

College Course

Diagnostic

Consulting

Services

Peer

Mentoring

Parents

High School

Transition Support

Services

College

Transition

Support Services

Work

Student-Centered Support Systems

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


Guidelines to support struggling students

Guidelines to Support Struggling Students

  • Set expectations

    • Engagement within and beyond classroom setting

    • Requirements for academic and social performance

  • Anticipate lack of awareness and independence

    • Unrealistic expectations about academic rigor

    • Under-prepared for self-regulation

    • Need for reasonable academic, social and organizational goals

  • Engage students in goal development and assessment

    • Explicitly express goals

    • Experiment with methods to achieve goals

    • Evaluate and assess progress

    • Introduce resources, support strategies and techniques

(c) 2009 Landmark College Institute for Research and Training


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