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  1. Emerging Populations on College Campuses: Students with LD, ADHD, Psychiatric, Disabilities, and Aspergers SyndromePACE University 2010 Faculty Institute May 18, 2010 Loring C. Brinckerhoff, Ph.D. Higher Education & Disability Consultant lbrincker@aol.com

  2. Learning Disabilities

  3. Definitions • Significant difficulty in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical skills despite average to above-average intellectual ability • Presumed to originate in central nervous system. • Not due to sensory impairment, mental retardation, psychiatric disability, cultural or educational deprivation, or cultural difference.

  4. Classification and Etiology • Dyslexia: unusual difficulty sounding out letters, tendency to confuse words and sounds, and slow processing speed. The most common type of learning disability. • Dysgraphia: unusual difficulty expressing thoughts on paper. Includes disorders in written expression, spelling, and penmanship. • Dyscalculia: unusual difficulty with mathematical calculations, abstract reasoning, and problem solving. Learning disabilities may be due to: • Genetic factors (runs in families; affects more males than females [3:1]) • Head trauma or stroke

  5. Areas of Functional Limitation • Depends on type and severity of the disability; compensating abilities; complexity of the task; access to assistive technology. Specific learning disabilities impact academics: • Reading (decoding, word attack, comprehension and rate) • Written language (spelling, handwriting, written organization) • Mathematical abilities (calculation, problem solving, abstract reasoning) • Related problems with time management, organization, social skills are also common.

  6. Reasonable Testing Accommodations • Additional time (1.5 or double time, typically) • Additional rest breaks • Larger font size, larger monitor; non-glare screen • Large print answer sheet • Audiotapes or CDs or a reader • Scribe or keyboard entry aide • Quiet room with a few others or a separate room • Basic 4-function calculator • Franklin Spelling Ace • Paper-based tests instead of CBT • Other accommodations/courtesies considered • Colored overlays • Multi-day testing

  7. Internet Resources • www.interdys.org • (International Dyslexia Association) • www.lda.org • (Learning Disability Association)

  8. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  9. ADHD Definition Definition: • Neurologically-based disorder that impacts learning and behavior • Affects a person’s ability to attain and sustain attention • Chronic, frequent and severe symptoms • Life-long impact

  10. ADHD Subtypes Three subtypes: • ADHD - Primarily Inattentive type • ADHD - Primarily Hyperactive/Impulsive type • ADHD - Combined type

  11. ADHD Subtypes (cont.) Inattentive • Has difficulty sustaining attention • Perseverates • Easily distracted • Forgetful • Appears not to listen • Has difficulty organizing Hyperactive/Impulsive • Has excess energy • Fidgety and restless • Interrupts/intrudes • Has difficulty sitting still or quietly

  12. ADHD Functional Limitations ADHD may include difficulties with: • Concentration • Focusing • Time/task management • Switching tasks/formats • Organizing responses

  13. ADHD Functional Limitations (cont’d.) ADHD may impact: • Approaching multi-faceted problems • Remembering and following directions • Performance consistency • Stress levels

  14. Possible Testing Accommodations • Additional time • Quiet room with reduced distractions • Additional breaks • Repeated directions - oral & written

  15. Internet Resources • www.add.org • (Attention Deficit Disorder Association - • ADDA) • www.chadd.org • (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder – C.H.A.D.D.) • www.ahead.org • (Association on Higher Education and • Disability - AHEAD)

  16. Psychiatric Disabilities

  17. Definition • Diagnoses are determined by the DSM-IV or the ICD-10 • Refers to emotions or behaviors that are: • extreme and not just slightly different from the norm • chronic – do not quickly disappear • atypical – unacceptable because of social or cultural norms • Causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

  18. Classification • Psychiatric disabilities include: • Psychotic disorders (bipolar, schizophrenia) • Conduct disorders (aggression, arson, or lying) • Mood disorders (chronic depression, social withdrawal, low self-esteem) • Anxiety disorders (fear of ordinary activities) • Personality disorders (paranoid, anti-social, Asperger) • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)

  19. Characteristics • Depression – depressed mood, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, low self-esteem • Bipolar disorder – periods of mania and depression; rapid mood swings • Anxiety disorder – may result in rapid heart rate, chest pains, dizziness, panic, and extreme fear • Schizophrenia – delusions and hallucinations

  20. Some Areas of Functional Limitation • Out of touch with reality • Concentration and perseverative thought • Self-talk • Extreme self-absorption • Time management difficulties • Many individuals with psychiatric disabilities are on medication with side effects that may adversely impact day-to-day functioning and test taking.

  21. Some Reasonable Testing Accommodations • Separate room; headphones; earplugs • Additional rest breaks (for medication and snacks) • Extended testing time, multi-day testing • Extended preparation time for a portfolio assessment • Individually proctored exams

  22. Asperger Syndrome

  23. Definition – DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria Qualitative impairments in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following: • Marked impairments in non-verbal behavior • Failure to develop peer relationships • Lack of sharing enjoyment with others • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, manifested by at least one of the following: • Encompassing preoccupation or restricted pattern of interest • Inflexible adherence to a specific routine • Repetitive motor mannerisms • Preoccupation with parts of objects

  24. Definition- DSM-IV (continued) • Causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning. • No significant language delay • No clinically significant delay in cognitive development • Rule-out criteria for PDD or Schizophrenia.

  25. Classification – “Geek Syndrome” • Genetic neuro-developmental disorder • No cure, not likely to grow out of it • Typically found in males • Used to be considered 1 in 4000 -- now it’s 1 in 62 ! • Often co-occurring with social anxiety disorder • Pervasive difficulties throughout all aspects of higher education experience • Social domain • Cognitive domain • Executive domain

  26. Characteristics: • AS is on a continuum – a spectrum • Overstimulation (lights, music, noise, smells, touch) • Tend to follow rules explicitly • Perfectionism to a fault • Often avoids eye contact because its irrelevant

  27. Characteristics (continued): • Trouble with social cues, body language, turn taking, may be manifested by: • Interruptions or calling out in class • Difficulty with “perspective taking” • Correcting the instructor • Odd mannerisms or noises • Meltdowns or outbursts are common (Wolf, Brown & Bork, 2009)

  28. Some General Recommendations for AS Students • In the dorm, provide special training to RA staff • Develop food rituals and familiar schedules • Ask family to assist with setting up dorm room • Appoint a “buddy” in the dorm for check-in • Determine fundamental requirements for course • Create a separate rule sheet and be very specific • Maintain and enforce conduct rules  (Wolf, Brown & Bork, 2009)

  29. Reasonable Accommodations: Accommodations cross multiple domains • Housing and residence life • Single room • Safe places to go • Organization of room • Emergency and fire drill preparedness In class accommodations: • No “cold-calling” in class • Permission to bring drinks and food • Breaks as needed • Notetaker or laptop Testing accommodations: • Off the clock breaks as needed • Extra testing time • Separate room • No use of scantron forms (Wolf, Brown & Bork, 2009)

  30. A wonderful new resource! Students with Asperger Syndrome: A Guide for College Personnel Authored by: Lorraine Wolf, Jane Thierfeld Brown, & G. Ruth Bork Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2009 www.asperger.net

  31. Contact Information Loring C. Brinckerhoff, Ph.D. lbrincker@aol.com www.loringbrinckerhoff.com