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DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE A LEARNING

DISABILITY?
What we know about learning disabilities and how to help
children who have them.
Presented by : Kunnampallil Gejo John

THIS PRESENTATION WILL


COVER:

What a learning disability is


Some common signs of
learning disabilities
Types of learning disabilities
Causes of learning disabilities
Basic facts about learning
disabilities

How learning disabilities are


identified and diagnosed
What can be done about
learning disabilities
IDEA 2004
Questions

DEFINITION OF
LEARNING
DISABILITY:

The public school system uses the term Learning


Disability. The medical classification system uses the term
Learning Disorder. A new term now used by educators
and clinicians is Learning Difference or Differences in
Learning.
A learning disability is a neurologically-based processing
disorder resulting from faulty wiring in the cortex.
Depending on what part of the cortex is affected, the
student will have problems with learning, language, and/or
motor function.

DEFINITION OF
LEARNING
DISABILITY:
These processing difficulties might involve understanding or
using language, spoken or written, resulting in an imperfect
ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do
mathematical calculations. Individuals with learning
disabilities are of at least average intellectual ability or
higher. They struggle in school because of these processing
problems.
Learning disabilities might impact learning to read, write, or
do basic math or reading comprehension, written language,
or more complex math.

DEFINITION OF
LEARNING
DISABILITIES:

Learning disabilities might impact the students ability to organize


materials and thoughts or to plan a task and carry out that plan. Thus,
some problems are apparent in the earlier school years; some are not
apparent until late elementary school; and still others show up in
middle or high school. In any grade, the problem is struggling with
school work, possibly with failing grades. (LDA)
You might hear that homework is a battle every night. Unfortunately,
some teachers and parents blame the victim. They complain that the
student is lazy or unmotivated.

SOME COMMON
SIGNS OF LEARNING
DISABILITIES:
Reading: problems with syntax or grammar; poor reading ability or
poor comprehension; difficulties with phonics
Writing: problems with sentence structure, writing mechanics and
organization; may spell the same word differently in the same paper
Math: problems with numerical operations, math facts, or concepts;
may reverse numbers

Language: problems with comprehension of what is said or may


misinterpret language; may respond in an inappropriate manner,
unrelated to what is said; may be able to explain things orally, but not
in writing

SOME COMMON
SIGNS OF LEARNING
DISABILITIES:
Auditory: may be bothered by different frequencies of sound; may
consistently misunderstand what is being said
Cognitive: may acquire new skills slowly; may have difficulties
following directions, especially multiple directions
Motor: may have problems with fine motor skills, such as holding a
pencil; may have poor coordination; not good in sports
Memory: may be able to learn information presented in one way, but
not in another; may have difficulties memorizing

SOME COMMON
SIGNS OF LEARNING
DISABILITIES:
Organization: may have difficulties following a schedule or being
on time; may have trouble learning about time
Social: may have difficulties with social skills; may misinterpret
non-verbal social cues; may experience social isolation
Attention: may have short attention span or be impulsive; may be
easily distracted; may experience stress on extended mental effort

TYPES OF LEARNING
DISABILITIES:

Dyslexia: difficulties processing language; difficulties with reading


Dyscalculia: difficulties with math concepts and numerical
operations; difficulty learning to count by 2s, 3s, 4s
Dysgraphia: difficulties with handwriting; written expression

Dyspraxia: difficulties with motor coordination; fine motor skills

TYPES OF LEARNING
DISABILITIES:

Auditory Processing Disorder: difficulties interpreting auditory


information; may impact both language development and reading
Nonverbal Learning Disorder: difficulties with nonverbal cues; social
skill deficits; visual-spatial difficulties
Visual Processing Disorder: difficulties interpreting visual
information; difficulties with copying
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: difficulties with
concentration and focus; impulsivity

CAUSES OF LEARNING
DISABILITIES:

New evidence seems to show that most learning


disabilities do not stem from a single, specific region of
the brain, but from difficulties in bringing together
information from various brain regions
Today, a leading theory is that learning disabilities stem
from subtle disturbances in brain structures and functions.
Some scientists believe, that, in many cases, the
disturbance begins before birth

LEARNING
DISABILITIES MAY
BE DUE TO:
Heredity often learning disabilities run in the family, so its not
uncommon to find that people with LD have parents or other
relatives with similar difficulties recent research has found a gene
linked to dyslexia
Problems during pregnancy and birth LD may be caused by illness
or injury during or before birth. It may also be caused by drug and
alcohol use during pregnancy, low birth weight, lack of oxygen and
premature or prolonged labor
Incidents after birth head injuries, nutritional deprivation and
exposure to toxic substances (i.e. lead) can contribute to LD

LEARNING
DISABILITIES ARE

NOT CAUSED BY:


Economic disadvantage
Environmental factors
Cultural or differences
Poor parenting

BASIC FACTS ABOUT


LEARNING
DISABILITIES:
Nearly 2.9 million students are currently receiving special education
services for LD in the US (2002)
The majority of all individuals with learning disabilities have difficulties
in the area of reading
Two-thirds of secondary students with learning disabilities are reading
three or more grade levels behind. 20% are reading five or more grade
levels behind (2003)
More than 27% of children with learning disabilities drop out of high
school, compared to 11% of the general student population (2002)

BASIC FACTS ABOUT


LEARNING
DISABILITIES:
Two-thirds (66%) of high school graduates with learning disabilities were
rated not qualified to enter a four-year college, compared to 37% of
non-disabled graduates (1999)
Research suggests that the prevalence of learning disabilities in the
general population ranges from 2% to 10%. Some research suggests that
the prevalence could be as high as 10%

ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder of childhood.


ADHD affects an estimated 4% to 12% of 6 12 year old children in
the US (2005)

HOW ARE LEARNING


DISABILITIES
IDENTIFIED AND
DIAGNOSED?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
explicitly prescribes evaluation procedures for students
IDEA 2004 has replaced IDEA 1997. IDEA 2004
contains several significant changes, including new
provisions regarding how schools can determine whether a
child has a specific learning disability (SLD), and may,
therefore need special education services

DIAGNOSIS OF LD AND
ELIGIBILITY:

IDEA 1997 proposed that a discrepancy model between


aptitude and achievement be used
IDEA 2004 proposes that school districts can decide to
use either a formula that requires a severe discrepancy
between achievement and intellectual ability, or a process
that determines if the child responds to scientific,
research-based intervention as part of the evaluation
procedures

NORTH CAROLINA AND IDEA 2004:

The NC Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI), Exceptional


Children Division currently has a pilot program operating in 8 school
systems that will provide information to help school systems implement
a response to intervention process. This school year, it is unlikely that
any changes in the method of labeling a student as learning disabled
will happen

HOW ARE LEARNING


DISABILITIES
IDENTIFIED AND
DIAGNOSED?

If a parent chooses to have their child evaluated outside the schools, by a


private, qualified professional, what might they expect?

EVALUATION FOR LD:

Tests commonly used


Aptitude or IQ tests (WAIS III; WISC IV)
Achievement tests (WJ III; WIAT II)
Reading tests (GORT series)
Writing tests (TOWL)

COST OF AN LD EVALUATION:

Costs vary depending upon the tests used. Range is usually between
$500 - $1500. This includes a report. Insurance companies do not pay
for educational testing.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Individual Education Plan (IEP)


Section 504
is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with
disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Children with learning disabilities have many strengths. Parents and


teachers need to help children with LD to find and maximize their
strengths

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Instructional strategies in the classroom that meet the


childs unique learning needs and style
Accommodations in the classroom, such as preferential
seating and extended time for tests

Interventions, such as 1: 1 instruction outside the


classroom

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Parents and teachers need to work together


Clinicians and teachers/educators need to work together
Parents and teachers need more education about LD and the short
and long term effects of LD in a persons life

Parents and teachers need more information about what they can do
to help a child with LD

TIPS FOR PARENTS:

Help your child find their strengths and/or passion


Help your child find their island of competence
Help your child accept both his/her strengths and weaknesses
Explore and make available opportunities for success
Be careful with how you criticize your child
Avoid homework wars
Set realistic goals

TIPS FOR PARENTS:

Most of all
Accept your child for who they are
Dont blame your child for their learning differences. It is not their fault
Let your child be involved. Listen to your child. Be aware of his/her
feelings
Your childs self-esteem is very important. Help your child to have a
healthy self-esteem

QUESTIONS: