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Overview of Learning Disabilities and Related Mild Disabilities Learning Disabilities and Related Mild Disabilities: Characteristics and Current Directions.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of Learning Disabilities and Related Mild Disabilities Learning Disabilities and Related Mild Disabilities: Characteristics and Current Directions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview of Learning Disabilities and Related Mild Disabilities Learning Disabilities and Related Mild Disabilities: Characteristics and Current Directions Kimberly Atias, Nancy Schaefer, Theresa Yurkanin July 13, 2010

2 GUESS WHO This performer always had trouble in public school and didn’t realize that she had a learning disability until her daughter Chastity was diagnosed with the same disability. This famous comedian, actress and social activist, has starred in various movies over the last 20 years from Sister Act to Good Fences. This person did not discover that she had a learning disability until she was an adult. Since being diagnosed she has been a strong advocate for people with disabilities. This individual who works for 20/20 has struggled with stuttering for most of his life, yet has become one of the most successful reporters in broadcast journalism today. For this actor nothing is impossible for starring in major box office smashes to directing. Additionally this actor suffered from dyslexia while in school, he was "a functional illiterate" when he graduated from high school. Although he excelled in sports and bravado, this actor recently was married for the third time and is the proud poppa of a new baby girl.

3 Laws for Individuals with Special Needs ● First law passed - Education for all Handicapped Children Act (Public Law ) passed in 1975 ● Followed by the Federal Law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA in 2004

4 Types of Certification and Education Programs ● Categorical Programs- to prepare and certify Special Educators and to implement in the education system ● Cross-Categorical (Non-categorical) Programs

5 Mild Disabilities Categories ● Learning Disabilities ● Mental retardation ● Each category has ranges from mild, moderate to severe ● Most states require cross categorical programs ● Emotional/ Behavioral disturbances ● Other Disabilities

6 The Definition of Learning Disability ● The individual has: ● A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes - auditory, visual perception, oral language and thinking ● Difficulty in learning, specifically in speaking, writing, listening, reading (word recognitions skills and comprehension) and mathematics (calculation and reasoning) ● The problem is not primarily due to other causes such as visual or hearing impairments, motor impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance; or economic, environmental or cultural disadvantages.

7 The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) – 1997 ● Their definition of learning disabilities adds to the IDEA definition: ● Related to central nervous system dysfunction and have a biological basis ● Can occur along with other disabilities and conditions ● The problem is within the individual and is due to factors within the person and not by external factors such as educational system or environment.

8 The Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities (ICLD) – 1988 ● Adds “a deficit in social skills” to IDEA’s definition

9 Common Elements of LD Definitions ● Central nervous system dysfunction ● Cognitive processing differences ● Difficulty in academic and learning task ● Discrepancy between potential and achievement ● Exclusion of other causes

10 Terminology Used by Professionals/ Organizations of Learning Disabilities (not recognized by IDEA) ● Learning Differences ● Mel Levine (2002, 2003) ● Learning Difficulties ● Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation ● Learning Disorders ● American Psychiatric Association (2004)

11 Gifted and Talented Children with Learning Disabilities ● Exhibit spontaneity, inquisitiveness, imagination, boundless enthusiasm, and emotionality ● These traits can also be seen with children with learning disabilities. ● These traits can also be seen with children with learning disabilities.erences

12 Characteristics of Learning Disabilities ● Gender Differences ● Characteristics at Different Stages ● Preschool ● Elementary ● Secondary ● Adult ● Cross-Cultural Nature ● Prevalence

13 Mental Retardation ● Definition ● ● Adaptive Behavior ● Characteristics ● Levels

14 Characteristics of Learning Disabilities ● Characteristics ● Emotional ● Behavioral ● Prevalence

15 Other Disabilities

16 Impact of the Law and Court Cases NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND (2001) ● Challenging Academic Standards ● Measurement of Reading and Math Proficiency ● Educational Parity ● Statewide Accountability (AYP)

17 Impact of the Law and Court Cases INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT (2004) ● Civil Rights Legislation ● Introduction of Critical Components of Special Education ● Individualized Education Program (IEP) ● Procedural Safeguards ● Least Restrictive Environment ● Continuum of Alternative Placements ● Parental Involvement

18 Impact of the Law and Court Cases SECTION 504 of REHABILITATION ACT (1973) ● Accommodations for Federal Funds ● AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (1990) ● Protection of people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace ● CASE LAW ● Decisions handed down by federal and state courts that impact the way future situations and court cases are handled

19 History of the Field of Learning Disabilities Foundation Early Brain Research Transition Clinical Study of the Child Integration Implementation in the Schools New Directions Integration of New Concepts 1800 – – –

20 Foundation ● Early Brain Research (1800 – 1930) ● Prior to a field of learning disabilities ● Research phase of brain function and disorders

21 Transition ● Clinical study of the child (1930 – 1960) ● Assessment tools were being developed ● Terminology used to describe learning issues: ● Brain-injured child ● Minimal brain dysfunction ● Learning Disabilities (came last)

22 Integration ● Implementation in the Schools (1960 – 1980) ● Programs developed ● Professional development and training ● Learning environments evolved ● Self contained ● Resource level ● Programming at secondary level ● New assessment and teaching tools made available

23 New Directions ● Where do we go from here?

24 Current Issues and Directions ● More Inclusive Placements ● Requires collaborative effort of all professionals involved ● Response to Intervention (RTI) ● Prevention model ● Statewide Standards ● NCATE ● High-Stakes Testing ● Assessment of state standards ● Includes all students

25 Current Issues and Directions ● English Language Learners (ELL) ● Learning disabilities coupled with lack of English proficiency ● Cultural and Liguistic Diversity ● Background coupled with learning disabilities ● Rapidly growing, culturally changing school population

26 Current Issues and Directions ● Assistive Technology ● Assistive Technology Act of 2004 – Any item, piece of equipment, or system that us used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities ● Universal Design for Learning ● Alternatives to make learning accessible and appropriate for all


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