Presentation on theme: "What is a learning disability? A learning disability occurs when the brain does not work correctly. This difficulty can create processing issues involving."— Presentation transcript:
What is a learning disability? A learning disability occurs when the brain does not work correctly. This difficulty can create processing issues involving reading, writing, visual perception, math, social skills, hyper-activity, and attention (Smith, 2004, p98). In spite of this disability, children have average to high intelligences.
PROCESSING There are several theories as to why learning disabilities occur. They do not take into consideration the scientific research on the brains processing of information. However, they do have valid ideas, and points that could help parents and teachers while considering curriculum planning and placement.
Causes and physiological differences of LD and their impact on learning. Learning disabilities are caused by neurological differences in the way children's brains are made and function. The result of this is inefficient processing of information that will affect a child's learning. (Smith, 2004, p. 54) Each child's learning patterns are different due to different combinations of information processing strengths and weaknesses. In order for children to learn normally, it is important that there is the presence of adequate attention processing. Learning disabilities can be caused by brain injury, prenatal errors in brain development, heredity, or biochemical irregularities and can affect development of student's abilities in different areas. (Smith, 2004, p. 91) Biochemical irregularities in the brain can be responsible for attention difficulties and hyperactive/hypoactive behavior in some students. Different parts of the brain specialize and complex learning depends on activation of different parts of the brain. During infancy, learning potential can be reduced by low blood sugar, low thyroid levels, and high body calcium when untreated. Most children with learning disabilities have difficulties in learning when they are distracted because it takes so much effort to stop tending to what has caught their attention. Children with learning disabilities exceed their efforts to stay on task and process information due to weaknesses in the brain waves that represent attention. Children with learning disabilities have slower responses than normal. (Smith, 2004, p. 65) Children with learning disabilities usually have less coordination than their peers. Learning disabilities are physiological, but the environment can play an important part in a student's learning potential. (Smith, 2004, p. 92)
How characteristics of curricula and environment contribute to LD There are environmental factors that can cause learning disorders in children that are normal and also alter the weaknesses that are already present. Malnutrition can cause damage to the brain during the first six months of life which will result in learning problems and a lower IQ. (Smith, 2004, p. 112) A loss in stimulation, such as poor attendance, can affect brain maturation and learning. It is important that the language and culture of all children are accommodated and used as sources of learning. Reading, graduating, and encouraging children to learn are important in their education and gaining employment. (Smith, 2004, p. 117) Children with learning disabilities have the tendency to be depressed when others are not which can result in less energy being put into their learning. (Smith, 2004, p. 118) Environmental toxins such as drugs, cigarette smoking, and chemicals can expose children before and after birth to learning disabilities. Allergies will aggravate learning disabilities, but they will not cause them. (Smith, 2004, p. 120) It is important that teachers and parents are flexible in making changes to the environment at home, school, and curriculum in order to encourage learning.
Two Theories First, is the idea of maturation lags. Theorist contend that students with learning disabilities develop in stages similar to their peers, but at a slower rate. The ideal intervention is teaching students at their learning level instead of at grade level. This idea is considered best practices for students with learning disabilities that are working below their peers. The other theory states the problem is not learning issues, but the students’ cognitive (learning) style, and those styles are not compatible to how lessons are presented in class. There are two types of learning styles. Students with the impulsive style tend to see the whole picture or concept. They have issues with focusing on details. Therefore, they rush through class work before even receiving instructions, and have a hard time staying focused. The reflective learner processes all the information and remains focused on the details; this hinders their ability to understand the main point (Smith, 2004, p 105). Lessons should be taught in different formats to help students of either style of learning.