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Learning Disabilities Brittany Thomas
Learning Disabilities • A learning disability (LD) is a neurological disorder that affects one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. • On average, people with a learning disability have average or above average intelligence but there is a gap between the persons potential and their actual achievement. • LD does not include problems that result primarily from cultural, environmental, or economic disadvantage. • Learning Disabilities are lifelong and about 3 million school-age children have LD. • Inclusion: Since 1992, the percentage of students with learning disabilities who spend more than 80% of their instructional time in general education has more than doubled, from 21% to 45%. (Child Welfare League of America, 2005)
Common types of Learning Disabilities (HelpGuide, 2009)
Signs and Symptoms • (Dyslexia specific) • Reads slowly and painfully • Experiences decoding errors (letter order) • A large difference between listening comprehension and reading comprehension • Spelling trouble • Handwriting difficulties • Difficulties with written language (Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2009)
Article Review#1 Summary:Adolescent Literacy: What’s Technology Got to Do With It? Studies show that youth with LD are among the least prepared students for a successful postsecondary education and the workplace. They also have unique instructional needs. So, the National Center for Technology Innovation and Center for Implementing Technology in Education promotes the use of technology to support individuals needs. Technology is especially useful for students with learning disabilities as they are integrated in the general education classroom. Youth with learning disabilities may not have much motivation from years of school failure. The best way to engage students in learning is to watch what they do in their free time. You can see students listening to music, playing sports, on their iPods, or playing computer games. Technology is an important part of our society, and a key instructional tool. The use of technology is beneficial for individualizing students needs and teaching to a wide range of abilities in your classroom. (Nation Center for Technology Innovation and Center for Implementing Technology in Education, 2010).
Findings (Nation Center for Technology Innovation and Center for Implementing Technology in Education, 2010).
Article Review #2 Summary:Growing Up With a Learning Disability I interviewed my 25 year old brother, Jon Kruger who is a successful I&E (electrical and instrumentation) technician and head mechanic as well as a construction coordinator at Tesoro Oil Company. Jon has Dyslexia. I called him at his Californian home to interview him about his LD and he did not even remember that he had this label. He is a very intelligent, hands on kind of guy and could not remember growing up with adaptations in school. As his sister, I do. I remember his summer tutors, the plastic colored sheets they would put over his books to help him read, the popsicle stick they used to try and train his eyes to work together, all the times he asked me how to spell something and his mixed up reading. This was just the way it was for him and he didn’t even know the difference. Once I started prompting him and pumping him for information he started talking about how hard it is to memorize facts, and hating reading and mixing up his numbers and writing letters backwards, and horrible spelling test and it clicked for him. He had an epiphany at 25 and realized that not everybody learned the same way that he does. Then he admits that it is harder to remember things the more pressure there is and if he has to give and answer on the phone really fast it is not as clear as he would have typed it in an email with no time restraints. The computer was very helpful to him and an electronic speller was available in his classroom as a part of his 504 plan. My mom was a big advocate for him and got the teacher to reduce his spelling list, provide technology tools and do away with timed multiplication tests. He graduated high school, excelled at Perry Tech. Technical School and is rising in his career. He learns exceptionally well if he can read it, hear it and do it. My brother is a great example of someone who works hard even though it would be easy to give up. (Kruger, 2010)
Findings • You have to advocate for the child. Jon needed a 504 plan to receive adaptations. • Jon’s adaptations included: shortened spelling lists, more time for assignments and tests, electronic spellers in the classroom and no timed multiplication tests. • Dyslexia does not mean you are not smart and can’t succeed. (Kruger, 2010)
Article Review #3 Summary: Inclusion and Students with Learning Disabilities • The problem: There is an increase in students with learning disabilities • The question: “Does the practice of inclusion increase academic achievement for children with LD? • The Method: Five studies investigated models of inclusion compared to the traditional pull-out model. • The Results: Students with mild LD showed progress in the area of reading in a combined model of inclusion. (Holloway, 2001)
Findings: Using the five inclusion methods listed below, Holloway found that reading progress of students in the combined model was significantly better than either inclusion or the resource-room-only model (highlighted in purple). (Holloway, 2001)
Recommendations • Provide a quiet area to work • Use books on tape • Use books with large print and big spaces between the lines • Provide a copy of the lecture notes • Don’t count spelling (when appropriate) • Allow the use of a laptop (Learning Disabilities Association, 2010)
More Recommendations • Use multi-sensory teaching methods • Present material in small units • Allow alternative forms for book reports • Teach students to use logic rather than rote memory • Don’t emphasize time restraints or rush students • Allow students to work at their own pace as long as they are working hard (Stiggings, Arter, Chappuis, Chappuis, 2006)
Even More Recommendations • Use a variety of assessments: • Performance assessments • Skill demonstrations • Presentations • Portfolios • Rubrics • Self evaluations • Reflections • Blogs • Podcasts • Videos • Art (Ellis, 2001)
Inclusion for students with LD? (Hallahan, Kauffman, Pullen, 2009)
Applications to my classroom • Allowing the use of a laptop on papers will increase success in spelling and grammar. • Creating an unhurried, relaxed environment will help ease anxiety. • Requiring performance assessments instead of tests, will ease the pressure off of difficulties reading and writing. • Using visual demonstrations will help understanding of expectations. • Presenting material in small sports units will increase the understanding of the information.
Citations/References • Child Welfare League of America. (2005 December). Learning Disabilities: What They Are, and What They Are Not. Retrieved 2010 12-August from NCLD: www.ncld.org/ld-basics/ld-explained/basic-facts/learning-disabilities-what-they-are-and-what-they-are-not • Ellis, A. (2001). Teaching, Learning & Assessment Together. Larchmont, NY: Eye On Education. • Hallahan, D., Kauffman, J., & Pullen, P. (2009). Exceptional Learners; An Introduction to Special Education. Boston: Pearson. • Holloway, J. (2001). LD Online. Retrieved August 13, 2010, from Inclusion and Students with Learning Disabilties: www.ldonline.org/article/inclusion_and_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities • Kemp, G., Segal, J., & Cutter, D. (2009 May). Learning Disablities in Children. Retrieved 2010 12-August from Help Guide: http://helpguide.org/mental/learning_disabilities.htm • Kruger, J. (20104-August). Growing Up With Learning Disabilities. (B. Thomas, Interviewer) • Learning Disabilities Association (2010). Dyslexia Retrieved 2010 from LDA: www.ldanatl.org • National Center for Technology Innovation and Center for Implementing Technology in Education. (2010). Adolescent Literacy: What's Technology Got to Do With It? . Retrieved 2010 12-August from LD online: www.ldonline.org/article/35792 • NCLD Editorial Staff. (2009 4-March). Learning Disabilities: Signs, Symptoms and Strategies. Retrieved 2010 12-August from Learning Disabilities Association of America: www.ldanatl.org/aboutld/teachers/understanding/ld.asp • Stiggins, R., Arter, J., Chappuis, J., & Chappuis, S. (2006). Classroom Assessment for Student Learning. Columbus , Ohio: Pearson.