Common Learning Disabilities in the Classroom. 1/20/2011 Lea Howell School Psychologist LCUSD and Foothill SELPA

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1 Common Learning Disabilities in the Classroom 1/20/2011 Lea Howell School Psychologist LCUSD and Foothill SELPA

2 Why might a child be having educational difficulties? Needs Special Education Services -Has a disability that adversely affects academic performance -Student s performance cannot most likely be addressed through additional services in conjunction with interventions within the general program Other Factors that may impact learning (but alone are not reasons for Special Education) -Student has limited English proficiency -Lack of instruction -Student is a slow learner -Poor attendance -Low motivation -Environmental or economic disadvantage -Student s performance can be best addressed through interventions within the general education program

3 Areas of Special Education Eligibility Traumatic Brain Injury Hard of Hearing Deaf Visual Impairment Deaf-Blind Multiple Disabilities Orthopedic Impairment Speech/Language Impairment- communication disorder in the area of expressive or receptive language, stuttering, impaired articulation, and/or fluency difficulties

4 Areas of Special Education Eligibility (Cont.) Intellectual Disability (no longer called Mental Retardation) The student has significantly below average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, which adversely affect educational performance.

5 Areas of Special Education Eligibility (Cont.) Emotional Disturbance- Student exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects the child s educational performance 1. An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors 2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers or adults 3. Inappropriate types of feelings or behaviors under normal circumstances 4. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems

6 Areas of Special Education Eligibility (Cont.) Autistic-like Behaviors A pupil exhibits any combination of the following behaviors, including but not limited to: An inability to use oral language for appropriate communication. A history of extreme withdrawal or relating to people inappropriately and continued impairment in social interaction from infancy through early childhood. An obsession to maintain sameness. Extreme preoccupation with objects or inappropriate use of objects or both. Extreme resistance to controls. Displays peculiar motoric mannerisms and motility patterns. Self-stimulating, ritualistic behavior.

7 Areas of Special Education Eligibility (Cont.) Other Health Impairment A pupil has limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and adversely affects a pupil s educational performance

8 Areas of Special Education Eligibility (Cont.) Specific Learning Disability 1. Student exhibits a has a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement in one or more of the academic areas (math calculation, math reasoning, reading comprehension, basic reading skills, written expression, listening comprehension, or oral expression) 2. This is due to a processing disorder in attention, visual processing, auditory processing, sensory motor skills, conceptualization, or expression 3. This is not primarily a result of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage or limited English proficiency

9 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Has been estimated that between 3-5% of children have ADHD Primary characteristics are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity Many children have these symptoms, but at a low level. Diagnosis requires a degree that is inappropriate for the child s age Three subtypes- predominately hyperactiveimpulsive, predominately inattentive, or combined

10 Building Academic Success for Children with ADHD Behavior management techniques- clear expectations and immediate feedback, positive reinforcement (praise for appropriate behaviors), redirection to task, response cost systems, self-monitoring systems, providing breaks, assigning helper tasks Instructional strategies- previewing the lesson, using direct instruction, connecting with prior knowledge and personal experience, checking for understanding, preparing for transitions, providing organization systems (planners, binders)

11 Signals of Possible Autistic Spectrum Disorder 1. Communication Impairments in language development, especially comprehension, unusual use of language, poor response to name, deficient nonverbal communication 2. Social impairments Limitation in, or lack of imitation, lack of interest of other children or odd approaches to other children, minimal recognition or responsiveness to other people's feelings, limited variety of imaginative play or pretence, failure to initiate simple play with others or participate in early social games; preference for solitary play activities 3. Impairments of interests, activities, and other behaviors Over-sensitivity to sound or touch, obsession with sameness or inability to cope with change, repetitive play with toys (for example, lining up objects)

12 Instructional Accommodations for Children with Autism repetition of instruction rephrasing questions redirection to activities modeling of tasks positive reinforcement visual cues for behavior modification and transitions visual learning strategies assignments broken down to smaller tasks time allotment for movement picture schedules models reward system specific to child s needs

13 Learning Disabilities Neurological disorders that can make it difficult to acquire certain academic and social skills Affects brains ability to receive, store, and respond to information Has to do with perception, the process of recognizing and interpreting information Most children have difficulty with learning and behavior from time to time.but a consistent problem in mastery of academics may indicate an underlying learning disability Most common areas of difficulty involved with a learning difficulty are visual and auditory perception

14 Visual Processing Deficits Affects how visual information is interpreted, or processed by the brain Common areas of difficulty: Spatial relations, visual discrimination, visual closure, object recognition, whole/part relationships, visual-motor integration School implications: (specifically reading and math), ability to perceive words and numbers as separate units, confusion of similarly shaped letters, ability to gain information from pictures, ability to consistently recognize letters, numbers, symbols, words, or pictures

15 Interventions for Visual Processing Deficits Enlarged print for books, worksheets, or other materials Reduce visual stimuli- using a window by cutting a rectangle out of an index card or folding paper into parts Divide worksheets into distinct sections Darken lines on paper for writing Highlight information while reading Provide auditory input as much as possible

16 Auditory Processing Deficits Affects the ability to analyze or make sense of information taken in through the ears Affects how information is interpreted, or processed by the brain Common areas of difficulty: phonological awareness, auditory discrimination, auditory memory, auditory sequencing, auditory blending

17 Interventions for Auditory Processing Deficits Supplement oral instructions with written or visual cues Simplify verbal directions, slow the rate of speech, minimize distractions Use games to build awareness- rhyming games, songs, sorting games to build auditory memory Provide written or visual handouts to supplement oral instruction

18 General Categories for Accommodations Presentation- provide audiotape, provide large print, reduce the number of items on a page, provide designated reader/notetaker, present instructions orally/written Response- allow for verbal response, allow answers to be dictated to a scribe, use of tape recorder, allow responses via computer Timing- Allow frequent breaks or extended time for test

19 General Categories for Accommodations (cont.) Setting- provide preferential seating, provide special lighting or acoustics, provide a space with minimal distractions, administer test in a small group setting, administer test in private room Test Scheduling- administer over several sessions, allow subtests in different order, administer at a specific time of day Other- special test preparation, provide ontask/focusing prompts

20 What are Way to Service Children with Disabilities in School? IEP (Individualized Education Plan) 504 Plan ISP- Private School (must meet eligibility criteria)

21 Questions? Thank you for your time and participation! Lea Howell

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