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Chapter 6. Persons with Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities. Samuel Kirk, 1962

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chapter 6

Chapter 6

Persons with Learning Disabilities

learning disabilities
Learning Disabilities
  • Samuel Kirk, 1962

“…A retardation, disorder or delayed development in one or more of the processes of speech, language, reading, writing, arithmetic, or other school subjects resulting from a psychological handicap caused by possible cerebral dysfunction and/or emotional or behavioral disturbances. It is not the result of mental retardation, sensory deprivation, or cultural and instructional factors.”

specific learning disabilities act of 1969
Specific Learning Disabilities Act of 1969
  • Disorder in basic psychological processes
    • Spoken and written language
  • Manifested in specific disorders
    • Listening, thinking, talking, reading, writing, spelling, or arithmetic
  • Included were perceptual handicaps, brain injury minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, developmental aphasia
  • Not included were learning problems attributed to:
    • Visual, hearing, or motor handicaps
    • Mental retardation, emotional disturbances
    • Environmental disadvantage
idea 101 476 i
IDEA (101-476) I
  • Specific learning disability
    • Disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in
      • Understanding or using language, spoken or written
        • May manifest in an imperfect ability to
          • LISTEN
          • SPEAK
          • READ
          • WRITE
          • SPELL
          • MATHEMATICAL CALCULATIONS
idea 101 476 ii
IDEA (101-476) II
  • The term learning disability includes
    • Perceptual handicaps
    • Brain injury
    • Minimal brain dysfunction
    • Dyslexia
    • Developmental aphasia
  • The term learning disability does not include learning difficulties resulting primarily from
    • Visual, hearing, or motor handicaps
    • Mental retardation or emotional disturbance
    • Environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage

(U.S. Office of Education, 1977, p. 65083)

severe discrepancy
Severe Discrepancy
  • Discrepancy between student’s academic performance and his or her estimated or assumed ability or potential
    • Based on assumption of overall average to above average IQ
    • A discrepancy of two or more years below expected performance levels in one academic area
    • Parameters not specified nor authorized by federal definition
controversial definitions
Controversial Definitions
  • National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, 1981
    • Heterogenous groups
    • Concomitant handicapping conditions
  • Learning Disabilities Association of America, 1986
    • Chronic condition of neurological origin varying in manifestation and degree
      • Affecting self-esteem, education, vocation, socialization, and/or daily living activities
history of the field learning disabilities
History of the Field Learning Disabilities
  • Four phases
    • Foundation (1800-1930)
    • Transition (1930-1960)
    • Integration (1960-1980)
    • Current (1980-present)
foundation phase 1800 1930
Foundation Phase1800-1930
  • Emphasis on brain research
      • Hinshelwood- “word blindness”, brain defect
      • Goldstein- behavioral and perceptual impairments resulting from brain damage
      • Strauss & Werner- Wayne County Training School
        • Mental retardation attributed to brain damage rather than genetic factors
        • Characteristics suggested need for instructional tactics
transition phase 1930 1960
Transition Phase1930-1960
  • Emphasis on clinical study, assessment, and remediation strategies
    • Orton- cerebral dominance, dyslexia
    • Fernald- remedial programs
      • VAKT- multisensory approach to learning
    • Kephart- perceptual motor theory of learning
    • Frostig- visual perceptual skills
      • Developmental Test of Visual Perception
integration phase 1960 1980
Integration Phase(1960-1980)
  • Established disability area in US schools
    • Samuel Kirk- popularized term learning disabilities
    • Specific Learning Disabilities Act of 1969
    • Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975,PL 94-142- forerunner to IDEA
      • Bill of Rights for children with disabilities
    • Formation of The Council for Learning Disabilities
current phase 1980 present
Current Phase(1980- present)
  • Turbulent transitions and challenges
    • Movement for full inclusion
    • Culturally and linguistically diverse learners
    • Computer technology, issues and trends
    • Impact of attention deficit disorder research
    • Controversy over assessment and the use of the severe discrepancy criteria for placement
prevalence
Prevalence
  • 2.8 million pupils ages 6-21
  • Largest category of special education, slightly less than 50% of all individuals receiving service
  • Dramatic increase since the 1970’s
    • Possible reasons
      • Ambiguous parameters
      • Increase public awareness
      • Improved diagnostic and assessment capabilities
      • High social acceptance of the label
etiology i
Etiology I
  • Acquired trauma
    • Injury to the central nervous system
      • Prenatal- smoking, drugs, alcohol
      • Perinatal- anoxia, low birth weight, prematurity, difficult delivery, forcep trauma
      • Postnatal- high fever, stroke, concussion, TBI
etiology ii
Etiology II
  • Genetic/Hereditary Influences
    • Familiality studies are not conclusive
      • Suggest speech, reading, and language difficulties may occur in certain families but cannot eliminate the influence of environmental reasons
    • Heritability studies compare twins
      • Certain types of learning problems are more common among identical twins than fraternal twins
etiology iii
Etiology III
  • Biochemical abnormalities
    • Fiengold theory- proposed that allergic reaction to food products contributed to hyperactive behavior; not substantiated within the scientific community
    • Cott’s megavitamin theory- learning disability resulting from vitamin deficiency; not substantiated by scientific community
etiology iv
Etiology IV
  • Environmental possibilities
    • Contributing to neurological dysfunction
      • Low socioeconomic status
      • Malnutrition
      • Lack of access to health care
    • Quality of instruction
      • Poor teachers and inadequate instruction
      • Lack of direct systematic instruction
characteristics lerner 2000
Characteristics (Lerner, 2000)
  • Disorders of attention
  • Poor motor abilities
  • Psychological process deficits
  • Information/processing problems
  • Oral language difficulties
  • Reading and written language difficulties
  • Quantitative disorders
  • Social skill deficits
learning disabilities19
Learning Disabilities
  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Written language
  • Spoken language
  • Short term memory
  • Working memory
  • Metacognition
  • Attributions
academic characteristics

Reading

Written language

Oral language

Mathematics

Academic Characteristics
  • Deficits in:
disability in reading
Disability in Reading
  • Reading comprehension
    • Cannot recall facts, sequences, or main themes
  • Word recognition errors
    • Omissions, insertions, substitutions, reversals
  • Oral reading
    • Insecurity, loses place
  • Word analysis skills
    • Phonological awareness difficulties, dyslexia
disability area mathematics
Disability Area Mathematics
  • Computation skills
  • Word problems
  • Spatial relationships
  • Writing or copying shapes
  • Telling time
  • Understanding fractions/decimals
  • Measuring
disability in written language
Disability in Written Language
  • Spelling
    • Omission or substitution of letters
    • Auditory memory and discrimination difficulties
  • Handwriting
    • Absence of fine motor skills
    • Lack of understanding of spatial relationships
  • Composition
    • Sentence structure
    • Paragraph organization
    • Complexity of stories
disability in memory
Disability in Memory
  • Short-term memory
    • Recalling in correct order, of either aurally or visually presented information shortly after hearing or seeing the items
  • Working memory
    • Retaining information while simultaneously engaging in another cognitive activity
    • Success in reading and math depend on this ability
    • Crucial for word recognition and reading comprehension
disability in spoken language
Disability in Spoken Language
  • Oral Expression
    • Word choice
    • Understanding complex sentence structures
    • Responding to questions
    • Mechanical deficits
      • Syntax, semantics, phonology
    • Pragmatics
      • Conversational skills
      • Nonverbal language
disability in metacognition
Disability in Metacognition
  • Lack of awareness of strategies and resources needed to perform effectively
  • Inability to monitor, evaluate, and adjust performance to ensure successful task completion
disability in attributions
Disability in Attributions
  • Students may attribute success to situations beyond their control such as luck rather than to their own efforts
    • Chronic failure makes success seem unattainable
    • Learned helplessness (Seligman,1992)
    • Passive learners
      • Deficits in strategic learning behaviors
situational problems
Situational Problems
  • Social and Emotional
    • Lower self-esteem, poor self-concept, social imperceptiveness, and peer rejection
  • Attention and Hyperactivity
    • Difficulty staying on task, completing assignments, and following directions
assessment
Assessment
  • Norm-referenced
  • Criterion-referenced
  • Curriculum based
  • Portfolio
instructional approaches
Instructional Approaches
  • Cognitive Training
    • Self Instruction
    • Mnemonic Strategies
  • Direct Instruction
    • Skill training
    • Task analysis
  • Learning Strategies
    • Strategies Intervention Model (SIM)
teaching suggestions
Teaching Suggestions
  • Highly structured environment
  • Clear expectations
  • Positive reinforcement of appropriate social skills
  • Opportunity for success
  • Supportive atmosphere
  • Safety from embarrassment
a child at risk gargiulo kilgo 2001
A Child at Risk(Gargiulo & Kilgo, 2001)
  • Maternal alcohol and drug abuse
  • Home environment lacking in adequate stimulation
  • Chronic poverty
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Accidents and head trauma
  • Inadequate maternal and infant nutrition
  • Prematurity
  • Rh incompatibility
  • Low birth weight
  • Prolonged or unusual delivery
preschool curriculum models
Preschool Curriculum Models
  • Developmental/cognitive model
  • Behavioral curriculum model
  • Functional curriculum model
  • Combination approach
transition planning smith et al 1993
Transition PlanningSmith et al. (1993)
  • Preparation for high school content classes
  • Preparation for high school exiting tests
  • Counseling for daily crises
  • Preparation for independent living
  • Preparation for postsecondary training
  • Preparation for employment or military service
post secondary accommodations section 504 of pl 93 112
Post-secondary Accommodations(Section 504 of PL 93-112)
  • Adjustment in Evaluation Procedures
    • Extra time on exams
    • Distraction free setting
    • Oral examinations
  • Modifications in Program Requirements
    • Waiving or substituting courses
    • Decreasing academic load
  • Auxiliary Aid Provisions
    • Tape recording lectures, note takers
    • Assistive technology (screen readers, speech to text)
technology in the classroom
Technology in the Classroom
  • Start with curriculum, not the technology
  • Use as an instructional tool: not a toy
  • Provides guided practice and immediate feedback
  • Customize technology to the student’s needs
  • Use to enrich and extend the curriculum
  • Provide opportunity and encouragement to practice using technology to empower and achieve greater levels of independence
trends issues and controversies
Trends, Issues, and Controversies
  • The full inclusion movement verses a continuum of services model
  • Goals 2000, Educate America Act, 1994 has created trends for higher graduation standards as well as greater teacher accountability for student performance
  • 1997 IDEA inclusion of students with disabilities in state and district-wide assessments
  • Impact of the reauthorization of IDEA in 2004