There was so much information on learning disabilities, we could not possibly fit it all in one episode. In episode two we continue the discussion on learning disabilities and understanding the various forms, symptoms, and methods of intervention to help students.
Show notes: Epsidoes One & Two -Learning Disabilities
Learning Disability Origin
- Samuel Kirk – A key psychologist in the study of learning disability. Coined the term Learning Disability.
- The study of learning disability began with multiple cases of children displaying similar symptoms to an adult who suffered a stroke but no indication of brain trauma.
- Defining learning disability a constant controversial debate. The definition haschanged multiple times over the years
Eight key components that remained consistent in various learning disability definitions:
- Subaverage Achievement
- Psychological processing problems
- Exclusion of disabling condition
- Life Span problem
- Social relation issues
- Exclusion of disabling conditions
Learning Disability defined according to the Learning Disability Association of Canada:
A number of disorders which affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or the use of nonverbal or verbal communication. Included but not limited: language processing, phonological processing, visual-spatial processing, processing speed, memory and attention and executive functions. Key areas: oral language, reading, written language and mathematics
Learning Disability defined in a more simple context
Everyday people commute to work or school. Everyone will take a different route to get to their destination. If one day there is construction on that regular route you will have to take a detour to get to work or school. Regardless of the route, you take you will still get to your destination. You will just have to find a new way, it may take a bit longer but you will get there.
Learning disabled individuals, learn differently their brain literally processes information in a different way. They are still able to learn but how they process information may be at a different rate or form compared to a non-learning disabled individual.
FACTS, FIGURES, AND MYTHS
- Figures. Canadian statistics. 1- 10 Canadians or 3.3 million / stats Canada - children with a disability in Canada or 3.2 % children with LD / 1 child per school bus.
- Dropout rates, unemployment rates, and crime
- Myth: Can’t learn certain topics Fact: Have the ability to learn
- Myth: unintelligent. Fact: Average or above average intelligence
- Myth: Grow out of it Fact: lifelong condition
- Myth: all the same Fact: different severity
- Myth: cannot go to post-secondary Fact: Fully able to achieve higher education
Helping Students to Succeed.
Three pillars: Building Independence, Metacognition and learning and Support Team
- Elementary: Self- Esteem and Confidence- “learned helplessness”
- Middle School: metacognition and creativity- Operating from a mindset of abundance
- Secondary: Critical thinking and Advocacy Skills - Speaking up and using your voice
- Post-Secondary: Independence - Live your life your way
- Inclusive education a form of education where exceptional students who receive accommodations and support within the general classroom setting. Can include: coteaching, collaboration, consultation, assistants from paraprofessionals etc.
- Assistive Technology – Not a replacement of skills but to help support students.
Symptoms and Causes
- Many reasons that cause learning disability: hereditary, problems during birth
- Learning Disabilities become more prevalent during the elementary school age. Detected and diagnosed early can help implement an early intervention for student success.
- There is a discrepancy or gap kind of unusual
Various kinds of learning disability
- Effect the major components of learning
- Reading - Dyslexia is a common learning disability that impacts reading. Not all learning disabilities that are connected to reading is dyslexia.
- Phonology, decoding, fluency, comprehension
- Writing -letter formation and fluency. Its laborious, roughs strokes wide spaces
- Math -cognitive development, arithmetic performance
- Language- phonology, syntax (sentence structure), morphology, semantics ( a branch of linguistics referring to the meaning), pragmatics, metalinguistic, receptive language (difficulties understanding oral language and listening), expressive language.
- Executive functioning - memory, staying on task, intention
- Gifted and has a learning disability
- Prevent them from not reaching their full potential I.e can get a B in class but their LD is preventing them from achieving an A
- ADHD / ADD
- not a learning disability but a behaviour issue that still impedes on a student's learning
Diagnosis- The process for diagnosing a learning disability is a journey. It usually starts with a teacher or parent/ guardian suspecting there may be an issue and refers the student to a special education teacher for further assessment.
- Informal evaluation or test by special education teacher
- Observation of student
- Interviews: parents, teachers, and students
- Referral for a psychological test.
- It has to be a psycho assessment - testing various cognitive functioning process.
- Duration of test can vary in length from 4 hrs - 2 days.
- After the test is complete the psychologist will complete a report which will conclude with the diagnosis.
- The report is review by the IEP team and an IEP is created for the student
- Individual Education Plan (IEP) - IEPs are the most common term used but in some provinces, it is referred to as an IPP (Individual Program Plan). The documents serve the same purpose. Outline the learning strengths of the student, their challenges, how and where accommodations will be provided and goals to work towards for the school year.
- Working towards helping the student
- Informal evaluation or test by special education teacher