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Barry W. Lavay chapter 11 Specific Learning Disabilities.

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1 Barry W. Lavay chapter 11 Specific Learning Disabilities

2 Chapter Outline Definitions Causes Incident rates Common characteristics General educational approaches Guidelines for teaching physical education and sport

3 What Is Learning Disability? A disorder with these primary characteristics: Problems with language and in mastering academic areas, particularly reading Can’t be caused by cultural differences, lack of educational opportunities, poverty, or other disabilities Inability to store, process, and produce information in the central nervous system Can’t be the result of other conditions but might coexist with other conditions, such as ADHD and DCD No other disability has proven to be more misunder- stood and caused more conflict and confusion.

4 Learning Disability Defined “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 might 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 include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of mental retardation; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage (IDEA amendment, 2001).

5 Unexpected Underachievement Educationally significant discrepancy exists between estimated intellectual potential and actual academic achievement. “Discrepancy” means a difference between ability and actual achievement and is sometimes referred to as unexpected underachievement. Individual has normal intelligence. Academic performance lags behind peers; does not perform at grade level Difficulty learning in traditional ways Summary Influences how individuals learn and not how well they learn (Kavale and Forness, 2000; Smith, 2001).

6 LD: The Hidden Disability No marked easily identifiable physical signs exist. Based on dysfunction to the CNS that is not visible. Difficulty with the following is a possible indication a learning problem exists: —Remembering newly learned information —Expressing thoughts orally or in writing —Understanding information presented —Following directions and routines —Moving from one activity to the next Summary LD cannot be cured or go away and can present lifelong challenges to children and their families

7 Individuals With Learning Disability and Accompanying Disabilities High prevalence of children with LD display accompanying characteristics: 1.Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or 2.Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) Children with ADHD and DCD are not recognized as distinct disability categories under IDEA; they do not qualify for special education services.

8 What Is ADHD? Children with ADHD are easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently shift from one incomplete activity to the next. Inattention occurs in academic, occupational, or social situations and is more difficult to observe than hyperactivity (APA, 2000). The condition is divided into three subtypes: 1.Combined type 2.Predominately inattentive type 3.Predominately hyperactive–impulsive type

9 What Is DCD? An individual’s performance in daily activities is substantially below that expected of his or her age and IQ. The deficiency interferes with academic achievement activities of daily living. Motor deficiency can’t be caused by a general medical condition such as CP, MD, or PDD. If MR is present, the motor difficulties must be in excess of those associated alone with this disability (APA, 2000) Summary DCD is often operationalized as an individual being two standard deviations below age norms on a standardized motor test.

10 Suspected Causes of LD, ADHD, and DCD Complex, multidimensional, and the culmination of many problems LD: the most common theory is a neurological condition, such as the existence of CNS dysfunction in producing, processing, and storing information. ADHD: many believe it to be primarily an interaction of neurological, genetic, and psychosocial factors.

11 Incident Rates of LD, ADHD, and DCD Learning Disability (LD) 50%, or the largest special education category; 5%, or 2.9 million students. State-to-state and district-to-district statistics can vary, ranging from 1.7 to 5.8%. High percentage of children with LD, ranging from 25 to 50%, also display ADHD (Smith, 2001). Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) Affects 3 to 7% of school-age children, with estimates reported as high as 20% (APA, 2000). Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) Affects as many as 6% in school-age children 6 to 11 years (APA, 2000).

12 Characteristics Present Unique Challenges to LD, ADHD, and DCD A very heterogeneous group. Movement characteristics or behaviors exhibited vary from skilled movers to developmental delays. Exhibit a wide range of physical, cognitive, and social behaviors that affect movement. Common physical, cognitive, and social characteristics are described on page 195 Adapted Physical Education and Sport, Fourth Edition.

13 Physical Characteristics That Affect Movement A marked developmental delay Movements not performed in a smooth and efficient manner Skill sequencing difficulty An inability to control movements Inconsistency in skill performance

14 Cognitive Characteristics That Affect Movement Information-processing difficulties Difficulty completing tasks in allotted time Fails to pay attention to details Problems with persevering Language delays Perceptual and sensory delays Uneven academic achievement

15 Social Characteristics That Affect Movement Impulsive Hyperactive Easily distracted Short attention span Poor self-concept

16 General Educational Approaches Physical educators can support and collaborate effectively with other professionals to meet student needs. No universally supported approach but rather several that can include... 1.Multisensory 2.Behavior management 3.Multifaceted

17 Specific Recommendations for Physical Education and Sport Safety Medication Behavior management Ecological task analysis Perceptual motor development Inclusion Interdisciplinary teaching Relaxation Youth sport

18 Safety First and Foremost Consideration! Be aware of any potentially harmful activities; periodically check all facilities and equipment. Use developmentally appropriate equipment (age, body type, and skill level). Avoid unstructured physical activity designed to “blow off steam.” Allow time to motor plan; perform skills under control and at a slower rate. Identify students taking medication. Safeguard against physical and psychological harm. Design the program to promote cooperation and positive interaction among students.

19 Behavior Management Emphasize student success and provide a positive experience by organizing the environment with instructional strategies: Class structure: use consistent rules, routines, and clear transitions. Class organization: eliminate irrelevant stimuli; keep students active and on task. Teaching prompts or cues: keep directions simple, concrete; avoid providing too much information. Provide positive reinforcement and feedback for student’s efforts and for staying on task.

20 Ecological Task Analysis (ETA) The movement skill, form, and performance outcome are all the results of the dynamic interactions or constraints between the... 1.Task 2.Conditions or environmental situation 3.Performer Summary Be a careful observer of movement and be able to task analyze skills.

21 Inclusion Into General Physical Education The majority of students with LD, ADHD, and DCD are taught in a general physical education class with peers without disabilities. Peer tutor programs Reciprocal teaching

22 Learning Through Movement or Interdisciplinary Teaching An educational process with two or more subject areas integrated to enhance learning in each subject area. Movement activities taught in physical education can be integrated into other subject areas throughout the school curriculum (Cone, Werner, Cone, and Woods, 1998). Helps in learning abstract concepts. Movement promotes active rather than passive involvement in learning. Movement is a natural medium for learning. Movement can be used to stimulate expression and communication. Learning is being reinforced in a fun and meaningful way. Helps to foster collaboration among professionals.

23 Relaxation A socially appropriate way to control emotions when upset or to handle stressful situations. Use when students lose focus, become too excited, or encounter a stressful situation. End class with relaxation in the form of a cool-down or closure activity. Methods used in physical education can include progressive relaxation, yoga, tai chi, static stretching, imagery, or impulse control games.

24 Youth Sport Students with LD can experience the same benefits as their peers without disabilities. Find a developmental age-appropriate sport the student enjoys. An individual sport such as dance, karate, tennis, or swimming might be a better selection than a team sport. Proper coach selection is critical. Parents can assist the coach by providing such information as the child’s... 1.Unique behaviors and strategies for overcoming them 2.Unique medical considerations 3.Reinforcements that motivate 4.Learning strategies that work best

25 Important Questions to Ask To enhance instruction, physical educators can ask the following questions (Craft, 2000): What are the student’s strengths and needs? How does this student best learn? How can I as the teacher change the environment and the task to help this student learn? What approaches and programs are already in place for this student at school and at home? What support systems will I need, and how will I work to get them? How can I collaborate with others to ensure this student’s success?

26 Helpful Organizations With Web Sites Children with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHADD) Web site: Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD) Web site: Division on Learning Disabilities (DLD) within the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Web site: (see also


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