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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 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???? • All Dys’s impact 5 to 10 % of the general population
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
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
Dyslexia – Classroom Signs • Reading • Spelling • Writing • Listening • Motor Control • Memory Difficulties • Spatial / Temporal
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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…
Executive Dysfunction - Definition • Executive FUNCTION: “a set of mental processes that help connect past experiences” • Planning • Organizing • Strategizing • Etc.
Executive Dysfunction – Signs in the classroom • Planning • Comprehending time • Initiating activities or tasks • Long term memory • Working memory
Executive Dysfunction – Strategies to Help • Know your students • Routine • Planners • Follow up • Encourage memorization techniques
ADD – Definition • Attention Deficit Disorder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmDzwigUoIk “A neurobiological condition characterized by inappropriate levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.”
ADD – Signs in the classroom • Difficulty staying focused • Difficulty paying attention • Difficulty delaying gratification • Difficulty controlling impulses • Overly active or restless
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
Autism – Definition • Three key aspects: • Social interaction • Social communication • Social imagination/behavior http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=p9-l19CKISg
Autism – Signs in the classroom • Lack of eye contact • Emotions • Own needs/personal interests (obsessive passions) • Routine • Rocking/fidgeting/flapping • Hypersensitivity
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