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Learning Disabilities Victoria Smith & Jason Harnett Adapted Physical Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning Disabilities Victoria Smith & Jason Harnett Adapted Physical Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning Disabilities Victoria Smith & Jason Harnett Adapted Physical Education

2 What is a learning disability? Professionals are unable to agree on one specific definition of a learning disability or LD. What experts do agree on is that this group does not learn for a variety of reasons. Many believe that children with LD have a neurological disorder that results in problems in storing, processing, and producing information in the central nervous system, thus causing a deficit in understanding spoken or written words. Individuals with LD often have an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, calculate mathematical equations, or motor plan. Let’s break it down into simple terms…

3 The IDEA defines a learning disability as… “Specific learning disability” means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not apply to children who have a learning problem that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of mental retardation; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.”

4 Characteristics of LD Difficulty learning new skills, relying on memorization Trouble learning about time Difficulty remembering facts Confusing basic words (dog, cat, run) Poor coordination, 'accident prone', unaware of physical surroundings Having a hard time learning the connection between letters and sounds (Phonetics) Spelling and reading errors such as substitutions (house/home), letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w) and transpositions (felt/left) Problems with planning Impulsive behavior Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs

5 Five common learning disabilities include… Dyslexia Dyscalculia Dysgraphia Visual Processing Disorders, and Non-verbal learning disabilities.

6 Dyslexia A language-based learning disability Involves a cluster of symptoms resulting in difficulty with specific language skills, particularly reading. The core difficulty is with word recognition and reading fluency, spelling, and writing. Dyslexia is diagnosed in people of all levels of intelligence. There are no known causes of dyslexia. Most people with dyslexia need help from a teacher, tutor, or therapist specially trained in using a multisensory, structured language approach.

7 Dyslexia Empathy Activity You will be given exactly one minute to read the paragraph on the following slide. You will then be given two minutes to answer questions relating to the excerpt. Ready…

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9 Answer the following questions on a blank sheet of paper. You will have 2 minutes to complete the following questions. 1.What did Bob suggest to do for the day? 2.What were Bob and John searching for in the cupboard? 3.What was the brand? 4.How did they cook it?

10 Dyslexia Tips to help individuals with dyslexia: A student with dyslexia can be given extra time to complete tasks, help with taking notes, and work assignments that are modified appropriately. Teachers can give taped tests or allow dyslexic students to use alternative means of assessment. Students can benefit from listening to books on tape, using text reading computer programs, and from writing on computers.

11 Dyscalculia Dyscalculia is a term referring to a wide range of lifelong learning disabilities involving math. Some warning signs for dyscalculia include: Good at speaking, reading, and writing, but slow to develop counting and math problem-solving skills Good memory for printed words, but difficulty reading numbers, or recalling numbers in sequence Good with general math concepts, but frustrated when specific computation and organization skills need to be used Trouble with the concept of time-chronically late, difficulty remembering schedules, trouble with approximating how long something will take Poor sense of direction, easily disoriented and easily confused by changes in routine Poor long term memory of concepts-can do math functions one day, but is unable to repeat them the next day Poor mental math ability-trouble estimating grocery costs or counting days until vacation Difficulty playing strategy games like chess, bridge or role-playing video games

12 Dyscalculia Empathy Activity Solve the following math problem. You will be given 2 minutes to complete this task. One day, a person went to a horse racing area. Instead of counting the number of humans and horses, he instead counted 74 heads and 196 legs. How many humans and horses are there? (No one is missing any appendages or heads)

13 Dyscalculia Tips to help individuals with dyscalculia: Use graph paper for students who have difficulty organizing ideas on paper. Work on finding different ways to approach math facts; i.e., instead of just memorizing the multiplication tables, explain that 8 x 2 = 16, so if 16 is doubled, 8 x 4 must = 32. Practice estimating as a way to begin solving math problems. Introduce new skills beginning with concrete examples and later moving to more abstract applications. For language difficulties, explain ideas and problems clearly and encourage students to ask questions as they work. Provide a place to work with few distractions and have pencils, erasers and other tools on hand as needed.

14 Dysgraphia Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. It can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting, and trouble putting thoughts on paper. Common signs of dysgraphia include: Tight, awkward pencil grip and body position Illegible handwriting Avoiding writing or drawing tasks Tiring quickly while writing Saying words out loud while writing Unfinished or omitted words in sentences Difficulty organizing thoughts on paper Difficulty with syntax structure and grammar Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech.

15 Dysgraphia Empathy Activity On your paper, re-write the following statement using the pencil provided and your non-dominant hand. You will be given one minute to complete this task. Write neatly!! Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. It can manifest itself as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting, and trouble putting thoughts on paper.

16 Dysgraphia Tips to help individuals with dysgraphia: Use paper with raised lines for a sensory guide to staying within the lines. Try different pens and pencils to find one that's most comfortable. Practice writing letters and numbers in the air with big arm movements to improve motor memory of these important shapes. Also practice letters and numbers with smaller hand or finger motions. Encourage proper grip, posture and paper positioning for writing. It's important to reinforce this early as it's difficult for students to unlearn bad habits later on. Be patient and positive, encourage practice and praise effort - becoming a good writer takes time and practice.

17 Visual Processing Disorders A visual processing, or perceptual, disorder refers to a hindered ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes. This is different from problems involving sight or sharpness of vision. Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted, or processed by the brain. Some visual processing disorders include:  Visual discrimination The ability to differentiate objects based on their individual characteristics  Visual Closure The ability to identify or recognize a symbol or object when the entire object is not visible  Object recognition The ability to consistently recognize letters, numbers, symbols, words, or pictures

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19 Visual Processing Disorder For reading: Enlarge print for books, paper, and worksheets. Create a “window” using an index card which can be used to block out peripheral material which can be distracting while reading. For writing: Use paper that structured (dark, bold lines) Paper that is divided into large sections can be used for writing math problems Teaching Style Try to avoid the student’s weakness For example, if you write something on the board, verbalize what is being written

20 Non-verbal Learning Disabilities A non-verbal learning disorder (NLD) is a neurological syndrome consisting of specific assets and deficits. The assets include: Early speech and vocabulary development Remarkable rote memory skills Attention to detail Early reading skills development Excellent spelling skills Also, these individuals have the verbal ability to express themselves eloquently.

21 There are four major categories of deficits and dysfunction that also present themselves with NLD: motoric (lack of coordination, severe balance problems, and difficulties with graphomotor skills). visual-spatial-organizational (lack of image, poor visual recall, faulty spatial perceptions, and problems with spatial relations). social (lack of ability to comprehend nonverbal communication, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, and deficits in social judgment and social interaction). sensory (sensitivity in any of the sensory modes: visual, auditory, tactile, taste or olfactory)

22 Empathy Activity for Non-verbal Learning Disabilities Any volunteers???

23 Teaching Strategies Slow down instruction Slow down instruction Use eye contact to make sure student is engaged Use eye contact to make sure student is engaged Write rules and instructions on the board with bold lettering Write rules and instructions on the board with bold lettering Have students reiterate instructions or rules of games Have students reiterate instructions or rules of games Modify equipment to fit the specific LD Modify equipment to fit the specific LD Practice small games before playing on larger scale Practice small games before playing on larger scale Be visual – i.e. Use arrows for receiver patterns in football unit Be visual – i.e. Use arrows for receiver patterns in football unit Provide many opportunities of differentiated instruction Provide many opportunities of differentiated instruction Have students model the skill being learned Have students model the skill being learned Humor will lighten anyone’s anxiety Humor will lighten anyone’s anxiety Have a student act out position in a game before hand Have a student act out position in a game before hand Peer partners can be effective Peer partners can be effective Maintain consistent class routines Maintain consistent class routines Know your student and build rapport! Know your student and build rapport! Be Patient! Be Patient! Academic Intervention Ideas for Learning Disabilities Academic Intervention Ideas for Learning Disabilities

24 Learning Disabilities: Facts and Statistics Approximately 5% of all students in the public schools have a LD 2.8 million students are currently receiving special education services for learning disabilities in the United States LD is the most common disability present today (80% of all disabilities are LDs) ADD/ADHD is not technically a LD, however, these disabilities can coexist 28% of students with a LD drop out of High School Children without learning disabilities performed at a higher level of efficiency as follows: balance (147.7%) strength (102.9%) upper limb speed and dexterity (81.4%) visual-motor control (36.4%) bilateral coordination (35.2%) upper limb coordination (34.6%) running speed and agility (33.3%) response speed (23.8%).

25 It is important to note the following… Most children have difficulty in some areas (i.e. reading, writing, speaking) at one time or another. Only when these difficulties occur in more than one setting, persist over an extended time, and interfere with learning do they need special attention. A key feature of a learning disability is that an educationally significant discrepancy exists between estimated intellectual potential and actual academic achievement. This discrepancy is referred to as “Unexpected underachievement” A learning disability cannot be caused by cultural differences, lack of educational opportunities, poverty, or other such conditions. Learning disabilities can coexist with other conditions such as ADHD The majority of individuals with LD possess normal intelligence, however, their academic performance lags behind their peers. Individuals with LD have difficulty learning in traditional ways.

26 Therefore… As future physical educators, it is vital that we remember that a learning disability affects how the individual learns and not how well they learn. It is up to the teacher to find effective ways to teach individuals with LD.

27 Resources Graham, G, Holt/Hale, S, & Parker, M (2007). Children Moving: A Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Grosshans, J, & Kiger, M (2004). Identifying and Teaching Students with Learning DIsabilities in a Genaral Physical Education. JOPERD. 75, LD Basics. Retrieved April 3, 2009, from The World's Leading Website on Learning Disabilities and ADHD Web site: Ormond, Jeanne Ellis (2006). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Santrock, John W. (2007). A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Winnick, Joseph P. (2005). Adapted Physical Education and Sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Wright, Jim Academic Intervention Ideas That Any Teacher Can Use. Retrieved April 3, 2009, from Intervention Central Web site:


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