Presentation on theme: "Changing Definitions of Learning Disabilities"— Presentation transcript:
1 Changing Definitions of Learning Disabilities Chapter 1
2 Historical PhasesExpansion ( ) increase number of children identified as services are ensuredRetrenchment ( ) lack of adequate definition, increased #s ID and questions about services provided with recommendations for inclusionRevitalization (2002) President’s Commission recommend changesClinical ( ) LD differentiated from other disabilitiesClassroom Transition( ) classroom instructionConsolidation ( ) political pressure to consolidate various groups into one field
3 Clinical PhaseRecognized group of children different from children with MRResearch took place in non-school setting where students with LD received their educationMedical model
4 Visual-Perceptual/Motor Impaired visual perception and delayed motor development, emphasis on brain-based perceptual & motor disabilitiesKirk Goldstein: studied veterans after WWI – figure-ground problems (Gestalt), letter-reversal errors and design-copying. Used the term brain injured
5 Visual-Perceptual Cont. Strauss and Werner (Wayne County Training School) clinical setting w/ children whose retardation resulted from nongenetic factors-exogenous. Recommended educational program with reduced exposure to distracting stimuliCruickshank & Frostig:problems with intrasensory integration (optic nerve to motor nervous system)
6 Language TheoristsViewed academic achievement in terms of language usageSamuel Kirk:worked with children with speech delays, neurological basisSamuel Orton:normal dominance of one brain hemisphere in language (usually left side by age 7)was lacking. Developed educational approach that included phonic and kinesthetic aidsGrace Fernald: developed teaching approach focusing on multisensory basis, using visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile means
7 Classroom Transition Phase Education for students with learning disabilities was not legally mandated, students received services in clinics. Used the term minimal brain dysfunctionVisual-Motor: Cruickshank focused on distractibility & hyperactivy, wrote influential methods text concerning the education of individual with LDLanguage: Samuel Kirk publication of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities to identify visual & auditory-based language deficits
8 Consolidation PhaseAdvocacy groups joined with parents with children with learning disabilitiesKennedy created a national office – the Division for Handicapped Children to oversee research – opened the door for public funding
9 First Definition of LDKirk recognized common element among perceptual and language problems with inability to learn not caused by low intelligence or environmental factors:A retardation, disorder, or delayed development in one or more of the processes of speech, language, reading, spelling writing, or arithmetic resulting from a possible cerebral dysfunction and/or emotional or behavioral disturbance and not from mental retardation, sensory deprivation, or cultural or instructional factors. (Kirk, 1962)
10 Task Force I Definition Imperative to establish a national identity for individuals with LD and to exclude them from MR –group used term minimal brain dysfunctionChildren of near average, average, or above average general intelligence with certain learning or behavioral disabilities ranging from mild to severe, which are associated with deviations of function of the central nervous system. These deviations may manifest themselves by various combinations of impairment in perception, conceptualization, language, memory, and control of attention, impulse, or motor function. (Clements, 1966)
11 Early Federal Definition Definition to include all children who needed services but excluded other low-achieving children whose performance is not related to disability.Children with special learning disabilities exhibited a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written languages. These may be manifested in disorder of listening, thinking, talking, reading, writing, spelling, or arithmetic. They include conditions which have been referred to as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, developmental aphasia, etc. They do not include learning problems which are due primarily to visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, to mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or environmental disadvantage. (Kirk, 1988)
12 Emergence of Behavioral Perspective Concentration on specific measurable behaviors rather than cognitive processesArgued that instruction in special education classes should concentrate on specific skills that students would utilize in their everyday worldSpecific academic skills that form the school curriculum should be the basis for assessment and remediationInstituted criterion reference testing
13 Expansion PhasePassage of Pl in 1975: special ed. classes were established nationwide.With the vague definition of LD, the school-aged population skyrocketed from 2% to 3.8% in 1983 to 5% in 1990’sToday, 50% of students with disabilities are identified as LD
14 Federal Definition (IDEA ‘97) The term “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, which disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. Such term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Such term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
15 National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities Learning disabilities is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical disabilities.These disorders are intrinsic to the individual, presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction, and may occur across the life span. Problems in self-regulatory behaviors, social perception, and social interaction may exist with learning disabilities but do not by themselves constitute a learning disabilities.
16 National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities Although learning disabilities may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (for example, sensory impairment, mental retardation, serious emotional disturbance) or with extrinsic influences (such as cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction), they are not the result of those conditions or influences.
17 Metacognition TheoryTorgesen: suggests children with LD do not or cannot develop the type of task-planning and task-execution strategies to complete school work. Children need to think about and plan out their thinkingStudents were unengaged or inactive in learningIncluded emotional and personality factors-low conceptsHigh external control (grades and success was based on chance or the whim of the teacherDeshler: learning strategies for secondary school students using acronyms and specific plans for particular learning situations
18 Retrenchment PhaseDefinition problems and over-identification problems, plus movement toward inclusion questioned the field of special ed.Controversy on whether inclusion can address the specific needs of students with LDInclusion may reduce the stigma associated with special education
19 Emerging Theoretical Views Constructivism: learners construct knowledge based on background information and connections between ideas, facts and concepts. “Holistic” thought conceptualizing of the whole rather than task-analysis.Multiple Intelligences: IQ is multifaceted, various abilities in various areas (linguistic, logico-mathematical, musical-rhythmic, visual-spacial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal)Brain-Compatible Learning: MRI and PET scans have increased our understanding on how learning takes place. Additional phases of memory (short-term is refined to working memory). Suggestions to teachers: provide verbal practice, “wait time” (10-20 sec.) for a response
20 Revitalization PhaseBush appointed a Commission on Excellence in Special Education in 2001 concerned with retrenchment phaseRecommended simplifying the assessment procedures for special educationCollapsing the current 13 disabilities into 3 broad categoriesSensory dis. – visual, hearing imp. deaf/blindPhysical/neurological dis. – multiple disabilities, autism, traumatic brain injury, and other health imp.Developmental dis.- learning dis., speech/language, emotional disturbance, and mild MR
21 Basic Psychological Processes Memory (short and long term)Auditory, visual, haptic discriminationSequencingAttentionOrganizationPsychomotor skills/visual motor integrationConceptualization/reasoning skillsSocial perception
23 Criticisms of the Discrepancy Method Problems with IQ testsIntelligence of students with LD may be underestimated; high correlation with achievement measuresFailure to discriminate between groups of poor readersDifficulty in identifying students in the early grades
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