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Specific Learning Disabilities LD—Learns Differently! Dickey LaMoure Special Education Unit.

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Presentation on theme: "Specific Learning Disabilities LD—Learns Differently! Dickey LaMoure Special Education Unit."— Presentation transcript:

1 Specific Learning Disabilities LD—Learns Differently! Dickey LaMoure Special Education Unit

2 What is it? “Learning Disabilities” is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems – Achievement is significantly below the individual’s intellectual ability; – Individuals who are near average, average, or above average range in intelligence; – This may not be attributed to some other type of disability; – These individuals process information differently.

3 What is it? Skills that are most often affected: – reading, – writing, – listening, – speaking, – reasoning, and – math.

4 Facts As many as 1 out of every 5 people in the United States have a learning disability. Almost 3 million children, ages 6 – 21, have some form of a learning disability and receive special education in school.

5 Facts There is no “cure” for learning disabilities; They are life-long; Children with learning disabilities can be high achievers; Children can be taught ways to compensate for a learning disability.

6 How does it affect students? Demonstrated primarily in academic functioning; Students may also: Exhibit poor self-esteem; Experience feelings of frustration, anger, depression, anxiety, and worthlessness; Exhibit poor life-adjustment skills; Feel overwhelmed; Have to work harder to succeed; Receive more negative feedback regarding work; Need help with career development.

7 Signs of a Learning Disability There is no one sign; Often referred to as the “hidden disability”— individuals often thought of as lazy; Causes problems taking in information and processing information; Difficulty storing information (long or short-term memory); Difficulty producing information.

8 CAUTION!!!!!!!! Individuals with learning disabilities can be very different, because their learning problems can be very different: One has trouble reading and writing. Another has trouble understanding math. A third has trouble understanding what people are saying.

9 CAUTION!!!!!!!! Another learns well by listening; Another through the visual channel; And one may need all channels combined.

10 Tips for Teachers Learn as much as you can about the different types of LD; Use your special education personnel to assist you in locating information. Seize the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life—Find out about the student’s interests, strengths and weaknesses. Review the child’s file, evaluation records, etc.

11 Tips for Teachers Learn about the different testing adaptations; Teach organizational skills, study skills and learning strategies; Communicate with the special education teachers involved; Communicate with the parents.

12 Educational Approaches There are 2 basic approaches to educating learning disabled children: ABILITY TRAINING – instructional activities designed to remediate a child’s weakness in underlying basic abilities; SKILLS TRAINING – involves direct instruction of precisely defined skills, & many opportunities for practice and repetition.

13 Compensation Skills As students becomes older, it is necessary to teach coping skills and ways to compensate for the disability, so that continued learning can take place.

14 Instructional Strategies “What works” will be different for each student; Key in on the student’s strengths; Time, organization, instructional methods, or materials are based on unique needs (e.g. shortened assignments, more time, word banks, study guides, agenda planner) ; Do not continue to use methods that have not been successful in the past; Team will determine appropriate classroom setting for the student; Preview, pre-teach, review, re-teach information.

15 Classroom Adaptations/Modifications Use a variety of methods of presentation; Allow the student to demonstrate what he knows in ways that might not be “traditional”; Use visuals along with auditory input whenever possible; Some students also need manipulatives or kinesthetic input; Consider oral testing for some (reading or written language deficits) ; Consider quality of work vs. quantity.

16 Classroom Adaptations/Modifications Use color-coding and highlighting to draw attention; Reduce the amount of copying (written language deficits); Consider different test formats (e.g. multiple choice or matching) depending on the specific disability. Remember that you are looking for the BEST way for the student to demonstrate learning; Use techniques to assure that the student understands directions (repeating back to you, highlighting key words, etc.).

17 Classroom Adaptations/Modifications Be certain that homework is review or practice; Teach self-questioning techniques (e.g. “What two things do all sentences need?”) Be ready to change and adjust when things aren’t working. Communicate with other members of the IEP team to stay abreast of progress (what works, what doesn’t) ; the degree of frustration; AND amount of effort the student exhibits.

18 Parent Tips Don’t ASSUME – always check it out!! Praise your child when he does well Monitor behavior, effort, honesty, and work ethic— they are essential for success and are just as important to foster as are academic skills. Set aside a time and place for homework; Monitor homework; Study skills need to be developed – they don’t just HAPPEN! It MUST involve you … at least from the beginning. Learn about LD & your child’s strengths and weaknesses; Communicate with your child; Be your child’s advocate until he is old enough to be his own; Communicate with TEACHERS

19 Questions ???

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