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Tutoring Students with Learning Disabilities. Characteristics of LDs & Strategies to Help Students with LDs in Their Learning Presenter: Mike Walker, Learning Strategist Presented to Peer Tutor Session September 2002. General Learning Outcomes (Presentation Objectives).

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Tutoring Students with Learning Disabilities


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    1. Tutoring Students with Learning Disabilities Characteristics of LDs & Strategies to Help Students with LDs in Their Learning Presenter: Mike Walker, Learning Strategist Presented to Peer Tutor Session September 2002

    2. General Learning Outcomes(Presentation Objectives) • Define the term learning disability. • Describe how a LD might affect learning. • Examine non-academic affects of LDs. • Explore what you can do as a tutor. • Discuss effective instructional strategies for tutoring all students, including students with LDs. Tutor2.ppt

    3. A quick overview . . . What is a Learning Disability?

    4. What is a Learning Disability? A new definition from the LDAO

    5. In brief… Learning Disabilities …refers to a variety of disorders that affect the acquisition, retention, understanding, organization or use of verbal and/or non-verbal information. Tutor2.ppt

    6. These disorders …result from impairments in one or more psychological processes related to learning in combination with otherwise average abilities essential for thinking and reasoning. Tutor2.ppt

    7. These psychological processes are • phonological processing • memory and attention • processing speed • language processing • perceptual-motor processing • visual-spatial processing • executive functions (e.g., planning, monitoring and metacognitive abilities) Tutor2.ppt

    8. Learning disabilities …range in severity and invariably interfere with the acquisition and use of one or more of the following important skills: Tutor2.ppt

    9. These skills are • oral language (e.g., listening, speaking, understanding) • reading (e.g., decoding, comprehension) • written language (e.g., spelling, written expression) • mathematics (e.g., computation, problem solving) • organizational skills • social perception • social interaction Tutor2.ppt

    10. What a LD is Not! IT IS NOT: • low intelligence/an intellectual disability • mental illness/emotional disturbance • autism • visual or auditory acuity problems • laziness/lack of motivation • a way to avoid other issues • a physical handicap • the result of a poor academic background Tutor2.ppt

    11. So, a Learning Disability is an Information Processing Impairment It is like having too many bridges out as well as too many overlapping pathways along the “information highways” of the brain. Dale R. Jordan U. of Arkansas

    12. A Simple Model of Learning & Information Processing • Attention • Sensory Input • Decoding • Processing • May include Storage and/or Retrieval processes • Encoding • Physical Output Tutor2.ppt

    13. Where can IP break down? Dr. Allyson G. Harrison, Queen’s University 1. Frontal lobe functioning deficits - abstract and conceptual thinking 2. Memory impairment - Short term memory - Working memory-mental blackboard; dynamic process - Long term memory - Storage vs retrieval issues 3. Sequencing deficits (visual or auditory) Tutor2.ppt

    14. Breakdown continues Dr. Allyson G. Harrison, Queen’s University 4. Speed of information processing 5. Attention - Selective (cannot choose/focus) - Sustained (cannot maintain) - Divided (cannot shift/hyperfocus) 6. Narrow processing style - can’t simultaneously attend to & process multiple aspects of a stimulus field Tutor2.ppt

    15. Still breaking down Dr. Allyson G. Harrison, Queen’s University 7. Poor scanning resolution-miss relevant data 8. Right hemisphere dysfunction: good at details but not global picture. Gets lost in details, easily overloaded. Can’t make sense of holistically presented information. Poor ability to interpret visual cues. 9. Faulty output mechanism - interferes with demonstration of adequate information processing. Tutor2.ppt

    16. Diagnosing a Learning Disability The Criteria

    17. Average StudentAptitude vs Achievement – normal differences Tutor2.ppt

    18. Student with a LD (Reading)Aptitude vs. Achievement – significant differences Tutor2.ppt

    19. Visual LD (Dyslexia)Aptitude, Achievement & Info Processing Tutor2.ppt

    20. Aptitude, Achievement, Info Processing Auditory (CAPD) Tutor2.ppt

    21. So how might an LD affect a Learner? A Couple of Examples . . .

    22. Can’t you read this? • Myle arn in gdisa bi LI tyma kesit dif Ficu ltform eto re Adi tslo wsm edo wnwh eniha veto re AdmYte xtbo Ok sbu twhe nius Eboo kso Nta peo rco mpu Teri zedsc ree nrea Din gsof twa Reto lis tent Om yte xtbo ok sith elp sal Ot. Tutor2.ppt

    23. Can’t you see this? • Can’t you see the _________? Tutor2.ppt

    24. IP impairments may cause academic difficulty with… * • Alphabet/Penmanship • Copying/Note-Making • Reading, Writing, Spelling & Math • Listening & Speaking • Expressing what is Known & Understood • Attention & Memory • Personal Organization • Time and Sequence • Slow Work Speed (*See Appendix A) Tutor2.ppt

    25. Social & Emotional Aspects* of a Learning Disability *From Introducing Learning Disabilities to Postsecondary Educators The Meighen Centre for Learning Assistance and Research, Mount Allison University

    26. A Tough Fact • 50% of adolescent suicides had previously been diagnosed as having learning problems. The single most commonly cited factor for this desperate act was low self-esteem arising from school failure. Tutor2.ppt

    27. Possible Academic Problems • silent reading/reading aloud • writing/spelling • learning languages/math • expressing what is known and understood • having to re-do school work at home • having no time off since everything takes longer • dropping out Tutor2.ppt

    28. Possible Social/Emotional Problems • feeling dumb, stupid, embarrassed, frustrated, anxious, lonely, isolated • being called stupid, lazy; being put down by teachers, friends, and even parents • feeling nobody understands • feeling need of help • fearing rejection & failure • always having to cover up, act a role Tutor2.ppt

    29. Possible Career/Vocational Problems • lack of basic skills • lack of social skills • “It’s never cured”, “It never goes away” • having to cover up • never feeling adequate • low expectations • jobs don’t last Tutor2.ppt

    30. Meeting Their Needs . . . Typical accommodations available to students with learning disabilities at the post-secondary level

    31. Common extra time spell checker use of a computer distraction-free environment leniency towards spelling & grammar Less Common reader scribe e-reader voice dictation Test/Exam Accommodation Tutor2.ppt

    32. Common tape recorder note-sharer/taker use of overheads/ visual organizer Alpha-Smart/lap-top computer/Pocket PC Less Common FM system wait time when called upon lecture notes on reserve/on web lecture outline in advance Classroom/Lecture Accommodation Tutor2.ppt

    33. master notebook organizer talking spell checker texts on tape tape/digital recorder computer scanner e-reader/e-texts voice dictation reduced course load study buddy mentor academic skills peer tutor professional tutor technology training targeted learning strategy training based on LD assessment Personal Study Accommodation Tutor2.ppt

    34. Despite accommodation… • Direct instruction in the area of weakness is extremely valuable; hence, the value of the tutor in the learning process. Tutor2.ppt

    35. What you can do . . . How can you support a student with a learning disability?* *sources online: Tutoring Strategies for LD Students. http://depts.gallaudet.edu/englishworks/tutoring/tutortechLD.html Tutoring Student with Learning Disabilities. http://lynchburg.edu/public/writcntr/guide/tutoring/ld.htm

    36. General principles . . . • Learning disabilities are permanent • ∴ you aren’t going to “fix” the disability • You have to use strategies to “work around” or compensate for the disability • Learning disabilities are heterogeneous; each learner has a unique profile • ∴ you must be flexible in your approach • Remember, you are tutoring in your area of strength, and as such the content may seem intuitive to you – this is not so with the student! Tutor2.ppt

    37. General Strategies • Give student time (practice patience) • Tutor in a quite environment (visual noise, too) • Present info in small, manageable steps • Restate/present info in a variety of ways (text, graphs, charts, drawings – multi-sensory) • Write out instructions – or tape instructions • Give examples, lots of practice, test knowledge • Allow frequent breaks (cognitive load) • Teach strategies for reading, note taking, study, etc. Tutor2.ppt

    38. Math & Science • Use colour coding • Memorize/drill (rote learning) while walking or exercising • Use flowcharts, diagrams • Use flashcards • Use graph paper instead of lined • Create simulations • Provide hands-on materials and hands-on activities when possible Tutor2.ppt

    39. Reading • Discuss key terms & unfamiliar vocab/jargon • Use colour/highlighting • Read aloud • Help student outline lessons, new material • Teach a reading strategy (SQ3R, SQRW) • Discuss the material • Probe for information; get the student to clearly define and elaborate (avoid yes/no questions) • Use sketches, mind maps, flowcharts… Tutor2.ppt

    40. General tips when tutoring students with LDs • Be patient (disability slows certain processes) • Do not rely solely on language to explain • Teach the process – don’t skip steps • Encourage independence • Respect student’s confidentiality • Get help from professor, Georgia, learning strategist • Ask the student what he/she needs Tutor2.ppt

    41. Be a GREAT teacher Use multi-modal teaching techniques, and remember . . .

    42. We Learn...William Glasser • 10 % of what we read • 20 % of what we hear • 30 % of what we see • 50 % of what we both see and hear • 70 % of what is discussed with others • 80 % of what we experience personally • 95 % of what we teach someone else Tutor2.ppt

    43. Or Simply Tell me and I will forget Show me and I may remember Involve me and I will understand Ancient Chinese proverb Tutor2.ppt

    44. So remember . . . • See • Listen • Say • Model • Do • Do again • The list goes on . . . Tutor2.ppt

    45. and . . . • These strategies should work for all students. • With non-LD students, you are still teaching to an area of weakness. • Using these strategies will make you an awesome teacher. • And, unfortunately, even awesome teachers may not reach all students  Tutor2.ppt

    46. To review . . . • Raise self-esteem by staying positive – you may be the person who makes a difference • Include the student in the process – ask “How can I help you?” • Focus on strengths, accommodate for weaknesses (sensory, cognitive, MI) • Teach learning strategies (or refer for direct instruction) • Use the resources of the learning strategist • Encourage/teach social skills • Offer positive, realistic feedback Tutor2.ppt

    47. What did we learn? • Learning disabilities are caused by information processing deficits • Students with LDs are heterogeneous with unique profiles • LDs are lifelong and can affect a person socially, emotionally, vocationally as well as academically • Direct instruction (tutoring) can be a valuable learning tool • Know your student; ask for help; use multi-modal instructional strategies Tutor2.ppt

    48. More Info . . . • On learning disabilities • www.schwablearning.org • www.ldonline.org • www.ldpride.net • www.ldao.on.ca • www.ldrc.ca • http://specialed.about.com/cs/learningdisabled • Mike’s Learning Resources site • www.nipissingu.ca/faculty/mikew/resource Tutor2.ppt

    49. Questions? . . . our thanks for this opportunity!

    50. Appendix: LDs & Academic Performance *Specific Deficits which may occur in Adolescents and Young Adults with Learning Disabilities *From Introducing Learning Disabilities to Postsecondary Educators The Meighen Centre for Learning Assistance and Research, Mount Allison University