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Introduction to Special Education: Making a Difference 6th Edition

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1 Introduction to Special Education: Making a Difference 6th Edition
Chapter 5 Learning Disabilities This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; any rental lease, or lending of the program. Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

2 Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon
Focus Questions What are the key features of most definitions of learning disabilities? Why is there a call for a new definition, and how might it be different? Why is it correct to consider learning disabilities a lifelong condition? What are some learning characteristics that contribute to these students’ poor academic performance? How might the array of services be re-conceptualized for students with learning disabilities? Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

3 Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon
Challenge Question What constitutes an appropriate education for these students, and in what setting should it be provided? Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

4 Thinking About Dilemmas to Solve
Think about whether: This disability area should be discontinued and replaced with a “high incidence” category combining all mild disabilities The size of the category should be limited The operational definition should become more restrictive Research findings are leading to effective practices for unique sets of learners Learning disabilities range from mild to severe cases Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

5 Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon
History of the Field 1919 Kurt Goldstein worked with young men from WWI Alfred Strauss and Heinz Werner worked at Wayne County Training Center in Michigan with pupils thought to be brain injured During the 1920s and 1930s, Samuel Orton, a neurology specialist, developed theories and remedial reading techniques for children he called “dyslexic” Laura Lehtinen developed systematic and direct teaching methods similar to the methods used today Sam Kirk and colleagues published the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA) which was used to identify students with disabilities “Learning Disabilities” coined by Professor Sam Kirk in 1963 Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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History of the Field In the 1960s, Marianne Frostig developed materials designed to improve students’ visual perceptual performance In the 1970s, the field of learning disabilities debated the best way to remediate student’s academic deficits Process/product debate In 1974, Don Hammill and Steve Larsen showed that perceptual approaches were seldom effective in teaching academic skills, but direct instruction techniques do make a difference Many fads and invalidated practices have been proposed for solving a learning disability including: Teaching students to crawl again, regardless of age Special diets Removing florescent lighting Plants placed on desks These fads were promoted by the media, but had little scientific evidence to support their claims Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

7 Learning Disabilities Defined
IDEA v. NJCLD Federal definition is older and has a medical orientation The NJCLD definition allows for co-existing disabilities The NJCLD definition acknowledges problems many individuals have with social skills Two definitions US Department of Education’s IDEA National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

8 Need for a New Definition?
Neither definition directly stated the defining characteristic of LD: unexpected underachievement Great dissatisfaction existed with definitions of LD because of: The great inconsistency in the percentage of students in this category The concern of this category’s size IDEA 2004 addresses this by stating that a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement is not required to determine eligibility for a learning disability. If a student is unresponsive to research-validated instructional interventions, then the classification of learning disability may be appropriate Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

9 Learning Disabilities Defined
Reading Students identified with LD have much lower reading abilities than students who are low achievers Reading is the most common reason for referrals to special education Reading/learning disabilities cause pervasive academic problems Math Fifty percent of students with LD have disabilities with math (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2001) Students with a math disability have trouble retrieving information from long-term memory Students need graphic representations and real-world examples to help them solve problems Learning disabilities often co-exist with ADHD Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

10 Identifying Learning Disabilities
Discrepancy formulas are used to determine whether a student’s gap between achievement and potential is significant and accounts for the student’s learning failures Two tests are needed IQ Standardized Achievement Test Use of discrepancy formulas provide objectivity in the identification process Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

11 Criticisms of Discrepancy Formulas
IQ tests are not reliable and are unfair to many groups of children Results have little utility in planning a student’s educational program The process is not helpful in determining which interventions might be successful Outcomes do not relate to performance in the classroom, general education curriculum, or on statewide assessments Children must fail before they qualify for needed services Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

12 Characteristics of Learning Disabilities
Unexpected underachievement Lack of motivation or poor attribution Attention deficits Inability to generalize Faulty information processing Insufficient problem solving strategies (Rivera & Smith, 1997) Students with LD may also develop learned helplessness and be inactive in the learning process Poor language and/or cognitive development Immature social skills Disorganization Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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Locus of Control Students with LD have a greater reliance on external factors for accomplishment which interferes with their motivation Motivation is the inner drive that causes individuals to be energized and directed Attributions are the self-explanations about the reasons for one’s success or failure External Internal Lack of Effort Increased Persistence Lack of Ability Pessimism High Ability Positive Effort Ease of Task Luck Success Failure Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

14 Processing Information
Educators can help when they: Repeat important information Organize content systematically Provide students with relevant information Anchor examples to their experiences Associate content with familiar information Teach students to use thinking skills such as classifying, associating, and sequencing Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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Social Skills About 25% of students with LD are typical or above average in social skills This area affects most of the student’s life Many students with LD are naïve and unable to accurately judge other people’s intentions (Donahue, 1997) To improve social skills Students must be assessed Intervention must be implemented Intervention includes: Structured and explicit social skills instruction such as modeling, coaching, practice and specific feedback Peer tutoring, reinforcement, and contingencies that reward the entire class Can help with generalization of new skills Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

16 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD is estimated to affect 10–20% of the school-age population in U.S. Students with ADHD can be served at school through: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act “Other health impairments” category EBD or LD category Interventions include medical, behavioral techniques, direct and systematic instruction, and providing a highly structured environment Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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18 Causes and prevention of Learning Disabilities
Little is actually known about the causes of LD Some students may have proven brain damage Some experts are studying the interactive relationship between several genes that may be involved in reading disabilities (Wood & Grigorento, 2001) There may be neurological problems in the area of the brain associated with sounds and symbols (Gilger, 2001) There is also a strong relationship between low socio-economic status (SES) and learning disabilities Many factors associated with poverty could be contributing to LD such as: Little access to health care Lack of supportive environment Teachers need to recognize the uncertainty about the causes of LD and keep their expectations high for students Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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Assessments Curriculum based measurement (CBM) Uses direct and frequent measurements of students’ performance Sensitive to students’ learning patterns and growth Provides useful feedback to teachers about the effectiveness of their instruction Use of comprehensive informal assessments to determine: Patterns of errors Levels of performance Descriptions of specific skills Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

20 Replacing the Current Identification Process
Pre-referral concept Students receive special assistance before an actual referral is made Interventions such as tutoring, peer tutoring, extra attention, and modified textbooks would be tried first Interventions would become more intensive based on the child’s response to instruction Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

21 Early Childhood and Elementary Education
First Steps on the Ladder to Literacy (Jenkins & O’Conner, 2002) Phonological Awareness Letter-Sound Correspondence Decoding Sight Word Recognition Fluency Comprehension Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

22 Elementary Through High School
Educational outcomes improve when students are taught: With proven procedures Skills of concern directly Strategies to organize, comprehend, and remember complex information Educators must become good consumers Only use scientifically validated interventions Monitor the intervention directly and consistently Keys To Effective Instruction Directly teach the subject or skill Use drill, repetition, practice, and review Work in small active groups Break learning units into small segments Use strategy instruction Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

23 Elementary Through High School
Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) by Lynn and Doug Fuchs Reading Comprehension Teacher led questioning Restatement of passage read Skill-based instruction Story mapping Learning strategies approach for middle and high school students by Don Deshler and Jean Shumaker Highly structured materials Advanced organizers Mnemonics Built-in systems of direct evaluation Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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Use of Technology Technology can: Augment an individual’s strengths Compensate for effects of disabilities Provide alternative modes of performing tasks Assistive technology can reduce barriers Software exists that: Helps students take notes and create graphic organizers Recognizes and reads text to students Word processors help spelling, definitions, and grammar Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

25 Transition to Adulthood
For many people with LD, postsecondary education is not an option 63% graduate with a standard diploma 27% drop out of high school In 1978 only 3% of first-year college students reported having a disability Today, 6% of all undergraduates report that they do – 30% report this as a learning disability (Greenberg, 2000; National Center for Educational Statistics, 2000) About one-third of college students with disabilities complete a bachelor’s degree compared to half of students without a disability Support and accommodations are more available to students Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

26 Transition to Adulthood
Students with disabilities: Tend to achieve success if from wealthier families May have directional problems May have time management problems May feel socially isolated Earn less money than their co-workers May have insecurities and negative self-concepts due to their difficulty in school Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

27 Collaboration for Inclusion
Most students with LD spend most of their time in general education classes Many parents fear that options are disappearing Percentage of students served in resource rooms is declining Size of these classes is increasing to levels that sometimes exceed general education class-size maximums (Moody, Vaughn, Hughes, & Fischer, 2000) Percentage of Resource Rooms Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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True Collaboration Communication is open and ongoing Participation is voluntary Parity exists in the relationship Goals are shared Evaluation of student performance is continual Decision making is done as a team Resources are pooled Trust and respect are the basis of the partnership Planning time is scheduled Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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Challenge Question What constitutes an appropriate education for these students and in what setting should it be provided? An appropriate education includes: Access to the general education curriculum Instruction using validated practices Necessary accommodations Graduated levels of services increasing in intensity and individualization Considerations in the determination of setting includes: Intensity of services and supports required General education curriculum Student’s academic, social, and behavioral needs Student’s preference Copyright © 2007 Allyn & Bacon

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