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Helping Students Navigate

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1 Helping Students Navigate
Effective Math Learning Strategies/ Accommodations for Students with LD, ADHD, TBI and Wounded Warriors Helping Students Navigate Academic Success Dr. Paul and Kimberly Nolting Academic Success Press, Inc. (941) Copyright 2012

2 Agenda Informal Quiz Processing Deficits and Their Effects on the Learning Process Learning & Memory Processing Difference PTSD, TBI and MTBI Teaching/Tutoring Concerns – Best Practice Learning Strategies to Help Students Process Math and Other Subjects

3 Students with Disabilities

4 An Informal Quiz Brainstorm as many ideas as you can about learning disabilities, ADHD and, PTSD TBIs . Wounded Warriors Processing Deficits and vs. Learning Style Separate the myths from the truths. List learning strategies that you have used to help students with disabilities.

5 The Myths and Truths Disabilities can go away
Students with LD, ADHD, PTSD and TBI have low intelligence or are slow learners If they would just study harder or be exposed to more educational opportunities they would not be disabled Students with disabilities have the same learning problems. Disabilities can be cured. Disabilities do not exist. Truths Disabilities do not disappear but may range in expression and severity at different life stages By definition a student with LD has average to high intelligence. Disabilities are neurological in origin. They have a central nervous system basis. It doesn’t arise from lack of exposure to life experiences. There are many different disabilities that require different strategies. A student can have more than one disability type. Disabilities are permanent conditions. Disabilities do exist under ADA

6 Definitions of Math and Other Disabilities
Acalculia – inability to read or write numbers in that individuals can not perform calculations or having impaired spatial organization Dyscalculia – failure to develop math (arithmetic) competences that is not due to a brain injury or mental impairment Dysalgebria – students with average to above average IQ can master calculations but can not master algebra (Nolting, 2000). Dyslexia – is not a math learning disability but may cause math learning problems due to misreading or miscopying numbers and letters. Dysgraphia – is not a math disability but may cause math learning problems due to poor hand writing and copying from the board.

7 PTSD Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can occur following a life-threatening event like military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape The traumatic events that lead to post-traumatic stress disorder are usually so overwhelming and frightening that they would upset anyone. Following a traumatic event, almost everyone experiences at least some of the symptoms of PTSD.

8 PTSD Acute Stress Disorder
Within 30 days of traumatic event or exposure to trauma or abuse. Symptoms must be present for longer than a month; those with symptoms in the first month after a traumatic event may meet criteria for Acute Stress Disorder. Apart from symptoms specified in the diagnostic criteria, PTSD patients often have important associated symptoms such as shame, guilt and isolation. . But if you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the symptoms don’t decrease. You don’t feel a little better each day. In fact, you may start to feel worse.

9 PTSD SHORT CIRCUITRY In spite of the evolution/adaptation of the brain over the eons, and the increasing awareness of the pre-frontal Cortex, when confronted by worries, stressful and traumatic events, the response skips back to more primitive times and jumps to the limbic system. Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again) Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)

10 PTSD Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma Loss of interest in activities and life in general Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a careerDifficulty falling or staying asleep Irritability or outbursts of anger Difficulty concentrating Hyper vigilance (on constant “red alert”) Feeling jumpy and easily startled

11 PTSD Approaches to help Be patient and understanding.
Try to anticipate and prepare for PTSD triggers. Don’t take the symptoms of PTSD personally. Don’t pressure someone into talking. (Don’t pursue a distancer)

12 TBI and MTBI Acquired brain injury Violent hit to the head
May or may not lose consciousness Movement of brain back and forth in skull Symptoms can be mild, moderate, severe Several MTBI is as bad as a TBI Can change biochemistry May or may not improve over time Silent disability and growing

13 Stages of Memory Sensory input is when an individual physically takes in the information. TBI, PTSD Sensory register is when the mind neurologically accepts the information. TBI, PTSD Short-term Memory is when the brain receives information and stores it for a brief time. TBI Forgetting = Information not input or registered.

14 Stages of Memory Working Memory is like RAM in a computer that can send or recall information and is part of executive function. TBI, PTSD Long-term memory is a storehouse of material that is retained for long periods of time. Abstract Reasoning uses recalled concepts to make new meaning and understanding without using language. TBI Memory Output is recall learned facts and/or concepts. TBI, PTSD Forgetting = Information not Understood

15 Auditory Processing Disorder
Definition: Students with auditory process problems have difficulty synthesizing words and understanding words in noisy classrooms. These students may misinterpret words or not “hear” the words. This is not a hearing problem or short term memory problem. It is a problem of misinterpretation of words spoken words. Primary Affected Areas: sensory register, short term memory Observable Behaviors: students misunderstanding math vocabulary; difficulty solving word problems; difficulty reading the text and understanding lectures

16 Processing Speed Disorder
Definitions: Students with a visual speed processing disorder have great difficulty quickly recognizing numbers and conceptually similar visual objects. A student with visual speed processing disorder is able to visually process but very slowly. Primary Affected Areas: sensory input & register; significantly related to math PTSD Common Observable Behaviors: re-reading sentences & paragraphs; scanty notes or no notes at all; very slow in completing homework, very slow in doing on line homework, very slow in completing tests, having difficulty quickly recognizing variables and math symbols, problems with automoticity

17 Short-term Memory Processing Disorder
Definition: Short-term memory disorder is categorized as auditory memory. It is the difficulty in keeping information in short term memory long enough to transfer it into working or long term memory. Also it is the automoticity of rearranging numbers in your head. Primary Affected Areas: Subsequent effects on the long-term retrieval, working memory, long term memory, and abstract reasoning. Students who cannot hold information for more than a few seconds cannot use it to rehearse or recall from working memory. TBI Observable Behaviors: Auditory: forget oral instructions; difficult to be group learner; ask questions about recent information; can’t hold on to steps long enough in mind to understand concept; difficulty in manipulating numbers in you head; difficulty in switching number in an equation presented verbally; some problems with abstract learning

18 Visual-Spatial Thinking Processing Disorder
Definitions: A student with a visual- spatial processing disorder has great difficulty in recognizing and synthesizing visual information. The student also has difficulty remembering visual information and remembering it in the correct order. Primary Affected Areas: sensory input & register; short term memory Common Observable Behaviors: re-reading sentences & paragraphs; “chicken scratch” notes or no notes at all; problem solutions all over the page; numbers miss-aligned; copying down incorrectly; difficulty reading tutor/instructor handwriting; facial gestures while looking at something; misreading variables and numbers such as b for d or 9 as a 6 or + for x

19 Long-Term Retrieval Processing Disorders
Definitions: Students with LTR disorders have minimal ability to input or retrieve information in active memory in order to understand concepts. The LTR process pertains to speed of putting information into/taking it out of long-term memory and abstract memory. Primary Affected Areas: Abstract/fluid reasoning, Long-term memory; Memory output; Any learning task that involves using several pieces of information or concepts; tired after a short period of studying. TBI, PTSD Observable Behavior: Confusion on multiple step assignments; Brain Traffic Jam; spaced out look; student understands step by step problem solving but can not put all the steps together to solve the next problem.

20 Working Memory Processing Disorders
Definitions: Students with working memory disorders have minimal ability to retain a large amount of information in active memory in order to understand concepts. Students also have problems manipulating that information to solve problems. Low RAM Primary Affected Areas: Abstract/fluid reasoning, Long-term memory; Memory output; Any learning task that involves using complex pieces of information or concepts; math problems that require using multiple concepts at the same time to solve; significantly related to math TBI, PTSD Observable Behavior: Confusion on multiple step assignments; Student may understand each concept but can not organize the steps in order to solve the problem. tired and frustrated after a short period of studying

21 Comprehension-Knowledge (LTM) Processing Disorders
Definition: Students with long-term memory problems have minimal ability to store information for a long period of time. The length of time for which students can hold information may vary. For instance, a student may learn material during one monthly unit and not remember it during the next unit. On the other hand it could be that a student remembers how to work a math problem one day and then forget how to do it the next day. Primary Affected Areas: working memory, abstract reasoning and long term retrieval; significantly related to math Observable Behaviors: holes in the foundation of concepts needed for further learning --- have to relearn information but remembers bits and pieces

22 Fluid /Abstract Reasoning Processing Disorder
Definition: Abstract reasoning disorders keep students from being able to form concepts and solve abstract problems that include novel situations and extrapolating information. It is also the inability to identify relationships with unfamiliar concepts and making inferences. Atomic structure Primary Affected Areas: working memory, long term memory, memory output, all dependent on the level of critical thinking required highly significantly related to math- TBI Covalence Covalent bonding compared to ionic means... Electrons Observable Behaviors: need for repeated instruction as if information was never learned; repeated blank looks; ability to mimic processes but not apply them, not making inferential leaps; can’t generate alternate problem solving strategies

23 Additional COG Useful Clusters
Verbal Ability: The student’s ability for language development that includes the comprehension of individual words and the comprehension word relationships. Thinking Ability: The student’s ability to process non language based information that is placed into short-term memory but needs additional processing to be understood. TBI Cognitive Efficiency: The student’s ability to cognitively process information accurately and automatically. For example, student’s visual/auditory speed in processing numbers (frees up working memory). TBI, PTSD Cognitive Fluency: The student’s ease and speed in performing cognitive tasks of recalling information. Faster fluency means more working memory can be use to solve math problems. TBI, PTSD Broad Attention: The student’s ability to input and process auditory information for a short period of time. Students with low scores may have a memory input deficit.

24 Memory Bypasses/Accommodations
Teaching Vocabulary lists Formula sheets/cards Mental cheat sheets Three column note taking Lectures with immediate practice to break up the inputting time with rehearsal time. Structured, step by step process for reading the textbook Overhead on during class for individual reference use during lecture (post on website) Class recitation Review and review Tutoring Tape-record sequential steps or questions that the student and tutor have created Place same information on note cards Put information cues to music or rhythmic recitation Mental cheat sheets Construct tutoring session to include constant student verbal and/or visual feedback. Over and over Draw pictures for cueing Review and review

25 Visual Clarity/Accommodations
Writing and Reading Computer programs with visual alterations Color coding parts of sentences, paragraphs Physically cut and paste Lots of white space Typing with large simple font Note cards for organization of paper and sentence structures Tests and readings with larger fonts and more white space. Pictures for organization of ideas Mathematics Graph paper Color assignment to different numerical functions and symbols Problem on left side of paper and extra math calculations on the right with line dividing down the middle Use of capital letters instead of small letters Lots of white space Students use whiteboard Test format with larger fonts and more white space Pictures/graphs for word problems

26 Teaching and Tutoring Concerns
Students will remember information correctly when they go to study on their own. Students must learn math study skills Students will reduce anxiety Students will learn how to self-regulate. Students will persist when studying gets tough. How can we help them mature into independent learners? Can we? We must focus as much on how to learn the discipline content as learning the content.

27 Alternative Math Course Sequence
Elementary Algebra Statistics Elementary Algebra Liberal Arts Math Elementary Algebra Topics in Math

28 Significant CHC Factors & Clinical Clusters for Course Substitution
Working Memory Not Enough RAM Long-Term Memory Not Enough Facts Abstract Reasoning Not Enough Logic

29 Course Substitutions Introduction to Computers Accounting I
Macro-economics Philosophy Environmental Science Business math Astronomy Oceanography Logic

30 Developing a Course Accommodation and Substitution Policy
What are you now using to process course substitutions? What are you now using to process course accommodations? Guidelines for developing these policies How do students find out about making a request? Who determines student eligibility to make the request? Who informs the student about documentation for the request? Who helps the student prepare the request? Who receives the students request? Who is on the committee? Faculty, counselor, DRC, chairs, expert? Who receives the recommendation for approval or non approval? Who receives the appeal for due process? How does the institution record the decision? How is the student notified about the decision? How can you be consistent in the decisions?

31 Mathematics Learning, Instruction and Tutoring Concerns
What are your concerns? What can you do about it?

32 Conclusion Each student with disabilities is unique; therefore, it is important to continue learning about the processing deficits and how they affect learning in specific disciplines. As a result, an instructor or tutor can take the suggested strategies and adapt them to meet an individual’s special learning challenges. Let’s continue the conversation. us at whenever you have questions or when you have success stories!

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