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An overview of Disabilities, common characteristics, and helpful hints From: Johns, B & Crowley, EP (2005).Students with Disabilities and General Education:

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Presentation on theme: "An overview of Disabilities, common characteristics, and helpful hints From: Johns, B & Crowley, EP (2005).Students with Disabilities and General Education:"— Presentation transcript:

1 An overview of Disabilities, common characteristics, and helpful hints From: Johns, B & Crowley, EP (2005).Students with Disabilities and General Education: A desktop Reference for School Personnel. Horsham, PA: LRP Publications. Chapter 7.

2 IDEA definition of “specific learning disability: A disorder in one or more basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations.

3 Learning disabilities include  Perceptual disabilities  Brain injury  Minimal brain dysfunction  Dyslexia  Developmental aphasia

4 Learning disabilities do not include:  Visual  Hearing  Motor disabilities  Mental retardation  Emotional disturbance  Environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage

5 Learning disabilities are not  Synonymous with low achievers  Mild disabilities, and they are life- long  Fixable and short term

6 Some characteristics of children with learning disabilities  Student learns a skill in a different way or at a different pace  Student has difficulty processing information in particular ways  Student has difficulty storing information either short term or long term  Student has difficulty in the perception of information (letter or number reversal)  Student has difficulty perceiving social situations (sees them differently)

7 What a teacher can do for students with learning disabilities  Learn about the child and the learning disability  Use multiple learning styles and multiple forms of communicating instructions  Avoid lengthy directions  Use strategies to help students remember  Break down tasks into smaller steps  Provide additional time for schoolwork and tests  Allow the student with reading problems to use textbooks on tape or similar devices  Allow the student with listening difficulties to borrow notes or use a tape recorder  Allow the student with writing difficulties to use a computer with spell check, grammar checks, or speech recognition  Teach organizational and study skills

8 Speech or language disability defined:  Communication disorder, like stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment or voice impairment

9 Characteristics of speech or language disability  Mispronouncing syllables or whole words  Voice disorder, including abnormal pits, loudness or voice quality  Fluency disorder, pauses, hesitations, repetitions  Stutter  Reluctance to speak

10 What the teacher can do for speech and language disorders  Work closely with speech therapist  Minimize the pressure to perform verbally and reduce student’s anxiety  Use nonverbal listening skills such as eye contact and facial expressions  Let the student finish talking  Don’t finish the student’s sentences  Do not allow other students to make fun of the student  Provide positive feedback for all communication efforts

11 Emotional disturbance defined  Inability to learn or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships that can not be explained otherwise  Inappropriate behavior or feelings under normal circumstances  Mood of unhappiness or depression  Develops physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems  Schizophrenia  Does not apply to students who are maladjusted, unless they have an emotional disturbance.

12 What the teacher can do for students with Emotional disturbances  Provide positive recognition for appropriate behavior  Set clear limits so student knows what is expected  Provide posted rules/expectations and teach the student what they mean and provide reminders  Follow the student’s behavioral intervention plan (IEP)  Develop a non-verbal cueing system to assist the student  Provide assigned seating  Start each day new…don’t hold grudges

13 Autism defined  Developmental disability that affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction before age 3.

14 Characteristics of students with autism  Student may have a range in degree of intellectual functioning and any adverse effect on educational performance  Significant communication/language/ interpersonal skill deficits interpersonal skill deficits  Self stimulate (rocking, hitting self)  Inappropriate emotions  Becomes upset with routine or environmental changes  Becomes frustrated when over-stimulated

15 What the teacher can do for students with autism  Prepare the child for change in environment or routine  Avoid too much stimulation and a high noise level  Break down directions into very small steps  Provide multiple opportunities for appropriate repetitive movements

16 Other Health impairments defined Having limited strength, vitality or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia

17 Characteristics of students with other health impairments:  Difficulty staying on task or paying attention to important aspect for a long period of time  Impulsive  Need to move around frequently  Easily distracted  Problems breathing  Easily infected  Energetic  Difficulty paying attention when not feeling well

18 What the teacher can do for students with other health impairments  Provide many opportunities for movement  Keep lecture and written activities short  Use visuals during teaching centered activities  Provide fidgets (ball, paperclip)  Provide positive reinforcement  Provide organizers away from desk for items student is not currently using  Use timers  Use highlighters to color code instructions and key parts of assignments

19 What the teacher can do regarding other health impairments  Learn about the health disability  Follow physician’s instructions regarding level of activity  Work with school dietician regarding dietary restrictions  Watch for changes in behavior or unusual lethargy

20 Mental retardation defined  Sub-average general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive behavior

21 Characteristics of students with mental retardation  Student learns at a slower rate  Student will have difficulty grasping abstract concepts  Student may not remember directions he or she is given

22 What the teacher can do for students with mental retardation  Provide new information at a slower rate  Provide concrete directions  Repeat directions as much as possible  Provide reinforcement for rote material learned

23 Traumatic brain injury  An acquired injury caused by physical force resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment

24 Characteristics of students with traumatic brain injury  Reduced stamina  Seizures/headaches  Hearing/vision problems  Easily confused  Mood swings and problems with social skills

25 What the teacher can do for students with traumatic brain injuries  Talk with administrator/parent to find the extent of the injury  Avoid an unstructured daily routine  Keep directions simple and concrete  Plan ahead for specific activities  Be clear on rules and review them frequently  Document any unusual circumstances of changes in behavior

26 Hearing impairment defined  Impairment of hearing severe enough to adversely affect a child’s educational performance, whether permanent or fluctuating

27 Characteristics of a student who is hearing impaired  Uses gestures  Hearing aides  Sign language  May write on paper or refuse to write on paper if feels inadequate  Isolation due to communication barriers  Unintentional noises

28 What the teacher can do for a student who is hearing impaired  Minimize background noise  Face the student when giving instruction  Use an overhead or power point so you can face the class while instructing  Teacher’s mouth should be fully visible when speaking  Stand in areas without bright backlighting  Maximize visual and tactile access  Use advance organizers

29 Deafness defined  Hearing impairment so severe that student can not process linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification

30 Characteristics of deafness  Student may talk very loudly  Student may feel isolated due to communication barriers  Student may use gestures  Student may use an interpreter

31 What the teacher can do for a student who is deaf  Address the child, not the interpreter  Increase wait time during lecture  Meet regularly with the interpreter to assess the communication services  Learn a few signs for vocabulary frequently used in the classroom

32 Visual impairment defined  Includes blindness, but can include partial or complete blindness  Some visual impairments may be corrected with glasses

33 What the teacher can do for students with visual impairments  Provide extra time to complete a task  Provide verbal descriptions  Help implement an IEP team decision to provide services necessary  Provide assistance in the student’s orientation to the classroom and around the building  Talk about where things are  Don’t lead the student; teacher hand at student’s elbow may be enough  Remind sighted students/adults to identify themselves by name  Describe objects when referring to them  Don’t leave student standing or waiting along in an open space  Do not move things in classroom without notifying student

34 Deaf-blindness defined  Hearing and visual impairments  Cause communication and other developmental/educational needs

35 Characteristics of students with deaf-blindness  Demonstrates serious impairments and growing diversity of impairments  Significant medical complications  Self-stimulating behaviors (rocking)  Easily aroused (frustration, self-abusive, aggressive, withdrawn)  Lack of responsiveness  Own interests and signaling methods  Vulnerable to stress

36 What the teacher can do for students who are deaf-blind  Teach systematically what non- impaired students learn  Increase the length of time to master daily classroom objectives  Establish sensitivity and awareness  Mutual attention  Respond to student’s signals  Keep classroom emotions positive

37 Orthopedic impairment defined  Clubfoot, absence of an appendage  Polio-myelitis, bone tuberculosis  Cerebral palsy, amputations, fractures or burns

38 Characteristics of students with orthopedic impairments  Unable to coordinate body movement  Muscles may weaken and degenerate  Nerve control and lack of feeling  Painful movement

39 What the teacher can do for students with orthopedic impairments  Avoid barriers in the classroom  Plan accommodations ahead of time  Provide extra time for movement and transitions  Treat student with respect  Provide assistance as needed  Monitor safety and health  Meet with building administrator regarding specific medical emergency plan

40 Multiple disabilities defined  Combination of disabilities  Teacher should try to find out as much as possible about the multiple disabilities

41 General words of advice  Stay informed of changes –Changes in medication –Behavioral changes –Academic changes  Talk with parents and let them know of any academic or behavioral changes in their student in response to any changes in medication

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