Welcome • Tutoring Students with Learning Disabilities Online Tutoring Training Workshop The Learning Center The University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Points To Make • Learning disabilities occur in approximately 15% of the population. • Children with learning disabilities are often recognized in the early grades. • More and more learning disabled students graduate from high school. • More and more students with learning disabilities go on to college or universities. • Some students will talk openly about their disabilities. • Other students will reluctantly talk about their disabilities. • Many students at the college level have not yet been identified as having a learning disability. • All of these students can learn better from an instructor or tutor who is aware of and empathetic to their particular needs.
What is the Definition of a Learning Disability? The term learning disability is used to refer to a range of neurological conditions that affect one or more of the ways that a person takes in, stores, or uses information. Learning disabilities are specific, not global, impairments.
Examples of Problemsfor People with Learning Disabilities: Academic • Silent reading • Reading aloud • Writing • Spelling • Learning languages • Math • Expressing what is known and understood • Having to re-do the school work at home • Having no time off because everything takes longer • Dropping out
Examples of Problemsfor People with Learning Disabilities: Social/Emotional • Feeling dumb, stupid • Being called stupid, lazy • Being put down by teachers, friends or even parents • Feeling embarrassed, frustrated, anxious • Being isolated from others, lonely • Nobody understands • Feeling the need for help • Fearing rejection • Fearing failure • Always having to cover up, act a role
Examples of Problemsfor People with Learning Disabilities: Career/Vocational • Lack of basic skills • Lack of social skills • “It’s never cured”, “It never goes away” • Having to cover up • Never feeling adequate • Low expectations • Jobs don’t last
Points to Make • The brain receives information from the five senses. • Information processing: the brain needs to process the information received to make sense of it. • Once the information is received, processed, and understood, the brain can produce a response. • A malfunction at any point in this process can interfere with information transmission. • People with learning disabilities are said to have brains that are “wired different”, so that some of the normal functions of the brain do not work the same for them. • The problem can occur at any stage of the processing, and can appear at more than one point, in visual perception, for example, and at the same time in organization, or in written expression.
What a LD Is and Is Not What a LD Is: • Average or above average intelligence • A pattern of uneven abilities • A processing problem presumed to be due to central nervous dysfunction (taking in, sorting, and retrieving information) • Manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of: • Permanent
What an LD Is and Is Not What an LD Is Not: • An intellectual disability • The result of: • Poor academic background • Emotional disturbance • Lack of motivation • Visual or auditory acuity problems • Physical handicap • A homogenous group of disorders
Dyslexia Definition First, it must be established that dyslexia is not a single syndrome. It is a multifaceted problem. Like the word “disease” refers to a broad category of problems. Those who have dyslexia (dys = disability, lexia = reading) vary from slight to profound difficulty in learning to read.
Dyslexia Causes and/or History Dyslexia has many causes and many different manifestations. • Across all races and social classes • Dysfunction to the central nervous system • Lack of pre- or neo-natal medical care • Heredity • Birth defects within the nervous system • Injuries to the brain • See attached handout for characteristics and learning tips.
Dysgraphia Definition Dysgraphia is an impairment in the ability to write Causes and/or History Dysgraphia or learning disabilities in writing involve neurological processing problems and more than a lack of either motivation by the student or good instruction by the teacher or tutor. See attached handoutfor characteristics and learning tips.
ADD/ADHD Definition Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the latest name given to a clinical syndrome of symptoms which typically includes inattention, impulsivity, distractibility and possible hyperactivity and aggression.
ADD/ADHD Causes and/or History Although there is no one definitive cause of ADD, the commonly suspected causes have included: See attached handout for characteristics and learning tips.
Dyscalculia Definition Dyscalculia is the learning disability associated with the inability to comprehend numbers or use them in working mathematical problems, as is the numbers were the letters in words of a foreign language.
Dyscalculia Causes and/or History The definition of dyscalculia has been broadened to include a range of math disabilities. For the learning disabled, problems in math calculation and math reasoning are believed to result from central nervous system dysfunction. See attached handout for characteristics and learning tips.
Specific Academic Deficits forCollege Students with Learning Disabilities Many college students with learning disabilities are intelligent, talented, and capable. Typically, they have developed a variety of strategies for compensation for their learning disabilities. However the degree of severity varies from one individual to the next. Difficulties may be manifested in the following areas:
Specific Academic Deficits for College Students with Learning Disabilities Reading Skills • Slow reading rate and/or difficulty in modifying reading rate in accordance with material’s level of difficulty • Uneven comprehension and retention of material • Difficulty identifying important points and themes • Incomplete mastery of phonics, confusion of similar words, difficulty integrating new vocabulary • Skipping of words or lines of printed material • Difficulty reading for long periods of time
Specific Academic Deficits for College Students with Learning Disabilities Written Language Skills • Difficulty planning a topic and organizing thoughts on paper • Difficulty with sentence structure, especially in specialized and foreign vocabulary • Frequent spelling errors, especially in specialized and foreign vocabulary • Difficulty effectively proofreading written work and making revisions • Composition limited in length • Slow written production • Poor penmanship, ex. Trouble with spacing, overly large handwriting, incorrect use of capitalization • Inability to copy correctly from a book or the blackboard
Specific Academic Deficits for College Students with Learning Disabilities Oral Language Skills • Inability to concentrate on and to comprehend spoken language when presented rapidly • Difficulty in orally expressing concepts that they seem to understand • Difficulty speaking grammatically correct English • Difficulty following or having a conversation about an unfamiliar idea • Trouble telling a story • Difficulty following oral or written directions
Specific Academic Deficits for College Students with Learning Disabilities Mathematical Skills • Incomplete mastery of basic facts • Reversal of numbers • Confusion of operational symbols • Copying problems incorrectly from one line to another • Difficulty recalling the sequence of operational concepts • Difficulty comprehending word problems • Difficulty understanding key concepts and applications to aid problem solving
Specific Academic Deficits for College Students with Learning Disabilities Organizational and Study Skills • Difficulty with organizational skills • Time management difficulties • Slowness to start and to complete tasks • Repeated inability, on a day-to-day basis, to recall what has been taught • Lack of overall organization in taking notes • Difficulty interpreting charts and graphs • Inefficient use of library and reference material • Difficulty preparing for and taking tests
Specific Academic Deficits for College Students with Learning Disabilities Attention and Concentration • Trouble focusing and sustaining attention on academic tasks • Fluctuating attention span during lectures • Distraction from outside stimuli • Hyperactivity and excessive movements may accompany the inability to focus attention
Negative Effects Produced by Learning Disabilities on Social and Emotional Well-being: • Primary failures in communication • Secondary effects of academic failure • Interference with normal interpersonal relationships
Primary Failures in Communication The person with a Learning Disability may: • Miss or misinterpret verbal cues • Miss or misinterpret body language • Misinterpret other people’s moods • Be unable to express him/herself adequately • Appear socially awkward • Be often late, or completely forget things
Secondary Effects on Academic Failure • Frustration • Loss of self-esteem • Rejection • Learned helplessness • Inability to accept success • Attribution to others • Loss of motivation
Interpersonal Relationships The person with the Learning Disability may: • Have difficulty making and keeping friends • Be overly dependent on family, even as an adult • Be naïve and unworldly • Not be understanding of different kinds of relationships • Lack of self-discipline • Feel guilty, ashamed, and always inadequate
Think About? What factors could you use to help the students’ learning experience in The Learning Center
References • Roadways to Success by James C. Williamson, Debra A. McCandrew, and Charles T. Muse, Sr., Pearson Education • Focus on College Success by Constance Staley, Wadsworth Cengage Learning
Take the Quiz! To receive Tutor Training credit for your CRLA certification requirements, please complete the Quiz via the link below, and sign, print and bring the completed form to The Learning Center Coordinator – Lee 204b LEARNING DISABILITIES QUIZ LEARNING DISABILITIES HANDOUT