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Demystifying the Dys ’… …and other challenges to learning. An Edupalooza presentation by the HS Learning Support Team: Carla Guedes Des Maree Elizabeth Fulton. Some terms and facts to know…. Comorbid Neurotypical Spectrum Continuum Obvious vs Huh????

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Demystifying the Dys ’… …and other challenges to learning


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    1. Demystifying the Dys’……and other challenges to learning An Edupalooza presentation by the HS Learning Support Team: Carla Guedes Des Maree Elizabeth Fulton

    2. Some terms and facts to know… • Comorbid • Neurotypical • Spectrum • Continuum • Obvious vs Huh???? • All Dys’s impact 5 to 10 % of the general population

    3. Common misconceptions • LD is not a measure of IQ • IQ > 90 (85) required for a diagnosis of LD • Avoidance ≠ Laziness • Anxiety is a ALWAYS a factor • Developmental does not mean you grow out of it • There are a variety of definitions

    4. Dyslexia

    5. Dyslexia – Kiera Knightly

    6. Dyslexia – Definition Definition adopted by the IDA board of Directors, November 12th, 2002. Also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge

    7. Dyslexia – Classroom Signs • Reading • Spelling • Writing • Listening • Motor Control • Memory Difficulties • Spatial / Temporal

    8. Dyslexia – Examples of Print This is what written text might look like to someone with dyslexia: Thewordsare n otsp aced correctly We spell wrdsxatleazthasnd to us Sometimesallthelettersarepushedtogether

    9. Dyslexia – Strategies to Help • Time • To complete work • To organize • Classroom environment • Assignments • Reduce questions; length of reading etc. • Content • Heart • Respect for student’s strengths and challenges • Zone of proximal development

    10. Dysgraphia

    11. Dysgraphia – Thomas Edison

    12. Dysgraphia - Definition “Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. It makes the act of writing difficult.” From the National Center for Learning Disabilities

    13. Dysgraphia – Classroom Signs • Illegible handwriting • Mixture of cursive and print writing • Trouble thinking of words to write • Omitting or not finishing words in sentences • Trouble organizing thoughts on paper • Trouble keeping track of thoughts already written down • Difficulty with syntax structure and grammar • Concentrating so hard on writing that comprehension of what’s written is missed • Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech

    14. Dysgraphia – Strategies to Help • Allow the use of a word processor • Do not penalize student for seemingly sloppy, careless work • Oral feedback to assess understanding • Allow use of tape recorder for lectures • Provide notes or outlines to reduce the amount of writing required • Reduce copying aspects of work (pre-printed math problems) • Allow use of wide rule paper and graph paper • Suggest use of pencil grips and /or specially designed writing aids • Provide alternatives to written assignments e.g. video-taped reports, audio-taped reports

    15. Dyscalculia

    16. Dyscalculia - Cher

    17. Dyscalculia - Definition “…wide range of lifelong learning disabilities involving math. There is no single type of math disability. Dyscalculia can vary from person to person. And, it can affect people differently at different stages of life.” Taken from www.ncld.org

    18. Dyscalculia – Classroom Signs • Avoidance of numbers • Avoidance of visual representations • Graphs • Tables • Mind maps • Difficulty with math logic • No automatizing of math facts • Difficulty with understanding time - DIGITAL

    19. Dyscalculia – Strategies to Help • Calculator use for EVERYTHING with numbers • Slower paced math curriculum • Flipped class • Remediation • Math games • Math for life • Time for processing of visual information • No judgment or assumptions • Help figure out money – change, tips etc.

    20. Dyspraxia

    21. Dyspraxia – Daniel Radcliffe

    22. Dyspraxia - Definition “Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development. People with dyspraxia have trouble planning and completing fine motor tasks. This can vary from simple motor tasks such as waving goodbye to more complex tasks like brushing teeth.” Taken from National Centre for Learning Disabilities.

    23. Dyspraxia – Some Points • Technically not a learning disability • Comorbid with dyscalculia, dyslexia etc. • Developmental • Different signs at different ages • Impacts memory, processing etc. • Neurons are impacted • Often misdiagnosed

    24. Dyspraxia – Classroom Signs • Challenged by fine motor skills • Difficulty with sitting in a chair • Tires quickly • Slumps over desk • Difficulty following instructions • Difficulty with multi-processing • Listening and writing notes • Listening and processing mentally • PE is a nightmare

    25. Dyspraxia – Strategies to Help • Provide teacher notes/ Power Points/ study buddy notes/ recorded lectures • Reduce need for multi-tasking • Keep instructions short, singular and to the point • Allow time for task completion • Decide which battle is truly worth fighting • Allow for breaks • Know the signs of concentration loss • Differentiate the assessment – no models…

    26. Executive Dysfunction

    27. Executive Dysfunction - Definition • Executive FUNCTION: “a set of mental processes that help connect past experiences” • Planning • Organizing • Strategizing • Etc.

    28. Executive Dysfunction – Signs in the classroom • Planning • Comprehending time • Initiating activities or tasks • Long term memory • Working memory

    29. Executive Dysfunction – Strategies to Help • Know your students • Routine • Planners • Follow up • Encourage memorization techniques

    30. ADD

    31. ADD – Justin Timberlake

    32. ADD – Definition • Attention Deficit Disorder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmDzwigUoIk “A neurobiological condition characterized by inappropriate levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.”

    33. ADD – Signs in the classroom • Difficulty staying focused • Difficulty paying attention • Difficulty delaying gratification • Difficulty controlling impulses • Overly active or restless

    34. ADD – Strategies to Help • Know your students • Make expectations and procedures very clear • Differentiation • One-on-one discussions • Journal • Post-it Notes • Breaks • Fiddle Objects

    35. Autism – Definition • Three key aspects: • Social interaction • Social communication • Social imagination/behavior http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=p9-l19CKISg

    36. Autism

    37. Autism – Albert Einstein

    38. Autism – Signs in the classroom • Lack of eye contact • Emotions • Own needs/personal interests (obsessive passions) • Routine • Rocking/fidgeting/flapping • Hypersensitivity

    39. Autism – Strategies to Help • Be aware • With sensitivity, maintain same social parameters and standards • Routine • Interaction • Differentiate • “Do things with instead of for the student” • Allow extra time • Allow for short breaks