Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS
LEARNING DISABILITIES Examples I. Introduction and Definition under IDEA A. Information Processing Disorder B. Difficulties in Learning C. Exclusionary Rule D. Discrepancy Controversy • II. Prevalence • III. Characteristics of Students with LD • IV. Teaching Strategies for Students with LD
I.Introduction to LD • The term learning disabilities was only founded in 1963 by Samuel Kirk. At that time, children with LD were referred to by such terms as: • “perceptually handicapped,” • “brain-injured,” and • “neurologically impaired” • were served in classrooms for students with MR or in most cases, were not receiving any specialized services in the public schools.
Definition of a Learning Disability under IDEA • LEARNING DISABILITY: (1) a disorder in theprocessing of information involved in understanding and using language (spoken or written) (2)Difficulties in learning,particularly reading, writing, mathematics, and/or spelling (3) Theproblem isnot primarily due to other causes (4)Special educational services neededto succeed in school **Severe discrepancy between potential and achievement
1. Disorder in the Processing of Information • First, having a learning disability means that the brain "processes" information differently than most other students. • Simply stated, certain kinds of information get stuck or lost while traveling through the brain of the student with LD.
1. Disorder in the Processing of Information Information processing refers to how your brain: • Takes in information, • Uses information, • Stores the information in memory, • Retrieves the information from memory, • and Expresses the information
1. Disorder in the Processing of Information • Students with LD struggle with certain kinds of learning because their brains have difficulty "processing" certain kinds of information. • It is like when you go on a car trip and get stuck in road construction and need to take a detour. It takes you a lot longer to get where you are going. Its the same with information going through the brain of a student with LD.
1. Disorder in the Processing of Information • Different kinds of information travel through different parts of the brain. That's why some information is learned quickly and easily while other information is much more difficult.
1. Visual Processing • Visual Processing involves how well a student can use visual information. When he sees something, especially something complex, • e.g., does he understand it quickly and easily? Can he "visualize" things (like pictures, shapes, words, etc.) in his head? Can he remember information that he sees?
Read this Story Mhat I bib last snwwer Wy frieub Roddie donght a bop frow the det shod for $148.His darents pave hiw the wouey pnt saip that he wonlp have to day half to thew over the snwwer dy poinp sbecial chores aronud the yarp.He fipnreb he conlp rebay his dareuts L4 bollars. Later that pay, I cawe over to share sih exciteweut.With the bop’s pip ears aup mappinb tail, we blayeb all bay.Roddie chose a dlne collar for hiw.The E of ns bassep onr snwwer pays dike ripinp, hikiup, and blayinp pall.
Answer these Questions • Mhat bib Roddie duy frow the det shod? • Mhat color bib Roddie choose for the bop’s collar? • Hom wnch wouey bib Roddie fipnre he conlp rebay his dareuts?
What I did last summer • My friend Robbie bought a dog from the pet shop for $148. • His parents gave him the money but said that he would have to pay half to them over the summer by doing special chores around the yard. • He figured he could repay his parents 74 dollars. • Later that day, I came over to share his excitement. • With the dog’s big ears and wagging tail, we played all day. • Robbie chose a blue collar for him. • The 3 of us passed our summer days bike riding, hiking, and playing ball.
Answers to What I Did Last Summer • What did Robbie buy from the pet shop?A dog • What color did Robbie choose for the dog’s collar?Blue • How much money did Robbie figure he could repay his parents?74 dollars
1. Auditory Processing Auditory Processing-involves how well a student can use auditory information. • When he hears something, especially something detailed, does he understand it quickly and easily? Can he “hear" things (like sounds, numbers, words, etc.) in his head? Can he remember information that he hears?
1. Processing Speed • Processing Speed refers to how fast information travels through the brain. • All LD students experience some processing speed difficulty when required to process information through their weakest processing "channel" or "modality". • It is like having the brain work at 30 miles per hour when the rest of the world (and all the information) is going 55 miles per hour. Such students just can't keep up.
1. Processing Speed • Who was the first President of the United States? • Who = a question • Was = Past tense • First = #1 • President of United States-Leader of Nation
2. Difficulties in Learning Dyslexia-Severe difficulty learning to read Dysgraphia- Severe difficulty learning to write Dyscalculia- Severe difficulty learning to do mathematical concepts and computation Dysorthographia- Severe difficulty learning to spell
p d b q Object Orientation and Object Identification
M W E 3 Object Orientation and Object Identification
Famous People with LD • Whoopi Goldberg • Tom Cruise • Henry Winkler • George Patton • Winston Churchill • Bruce Jenner • Nelson Rockefeller
Visual Disability Hearing Disability Motor Disability Mental Retardation Emotional Disturbance Emotional, Cultural or Economic Disadvantage 3. Problem is NOT Primarily Due to Other Causes
4. Special Educational Services Needed to Succeed in School It is possible for a student to "technically" have a disability but not to "qualify" for special education services. This happens when a student demonstrates the information processing difficulties associated with a LD but his or her academic skills are not found to be "severely discrepant" from their ability. This may indicate that the student has learned how to "cope" with his/her learning difficulties at least to some extent.
**Severe Discrepancy Between Potential and Achievement • Look for a discrepancy between potential and achievement ( Not “mandated” under reauthorization of IDEA but can still be used) • There is no one sign that shows a person has a learning disability.
II. Prevalence • Almost 3 million children (ages 6 through 21) have some form of a learning disability and receive special education in school. • LD form the largest category in special education.
II. Prevalence • In fact, approximately 50% of all children who receive special educationhave alearning disability • 3:1 ratio males to females
may have trouble learning the alphabet, or connecting letters to their sounds; may make many mistakes when reading aloud, and repeat and pause often; may not understand what he or she reads; may have real trouble with spelling; may confuse math symbols and misread numbers; III. Characteristics
may have very messy handwriting or hold a pencil awkwardly; may struggle to express ideas in writing; may learn language late and have a limited vocabulary; may not follow the social rules of conversation, such as taking turns, and may stand too close to the listener; III. Characteristics
may have trouble remembering the sounds that letters make or hearing slight differences between words; may have trouble following directions; may not be able to retell a story in order (what happened first, second, third) may mispronounce words or use a wrong word that sounds similar; may have trouble organizing what he or she wants to say or not be able to think of the word he or she needs for writing or conversation; III. Characteristics
IV. Teaching Strategies • Provide high structure and clear expectations. Children who are LD tend to have difficulty focusing, getting started and setting priorities. Creating a clear structured program allows the student to be exposed to fewer distractions and possible avoidance and allow for greater focus on work related tasks.
IV. Teaching Strategies • Allow flexibility in classroom procedures (e.g., allowing the use of tape recorders for note taking and test-taking when students have trouble with written language). Keep in mind that the greater the number of options in responding to a task, the greater chance that a particular student’s learning style will be useful and successful.
IV. Teaching Strategies • Learning materials should easily accessible, well organized and stored in the same place each day. The less the LD student has to worry about, comprehend or remember, the greater chance for success. Too many details can easily overwhelm this type of student.
IV. Teaching Strategies • All assignments should be presented on the blackboard as well as orally presented. This multilevel sensory approach will only enhance the chances of the child being able to bring home the correct assignment. This will also cut down on parent child frustration which often occurs when the child with learning disabilities brings home part of the assignment or and assumption of what needs to be done due to a lack of ability in copying quickly.
IV. Teaching Strategies • Make sure that the child's desk is free from all unnecessary materials. Children with learning disabilities tend to have organizational problems as well. The less chaos, the better the focus. Use small binders that hold fewer papers. Keep the desk free of most materials. Otherwise he may be embarrassed to get up to go to the pail and stuff it in his desk.
IV. Teaching Strategies • Correct the student's work as soon as possible to allow for immediate gratification and feedback. Students with learning disabilities do not often have foundations of success when it comes to schoolwork. Therefore, when they hand in work they begin to worry about how they did. If they do not receive it back quickly, some children may use a great deal of energy worrying about the reactions of others if they did not do well.
IV. Teaching Strategies • Try to separate him from students who may be distracting. Some children with learning disabilities are very distractible, while others may use any external situation to avoid a potential failure situation. Sitting a child with learning disabilities next to students who are self-motivated and internally controlled will provide extra structure and controls.
IV. Teaching Strategies • Use multi-sensory teaching methods whenever possible. This is a common sense issue since all the research indicates that the greater number of sense utilized to learn something, the greater chance for the information to be understood and retained. Using visual, auditory, kinesthetic or tactile input together is highly recommended for children with learning disabilities.
IV. Teaching Strategies • Respond to the child’s comments praising whenever possible. Many children with learning disabilities tend to have secondary emotional issues as a result of frustration and lower sense of self worth due to academic failure and stress. Consequently, when he responds or initiates conversation, praise for the initiation of communication should be praised.
IV. Teaching Strategies • Give constant feedback. Many children with learning disabilities tend to write negative scripts about their ability and their performance. Feedback in any form reduces this negative energy pattern and offers reality, the only thing that breaks down fear.