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Learning Disabilities

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Title: Learning Disabilities


1
Learning Disabilities
  • an Introduction
  • Presenters
  • Kristen OHare, Nipissing Student
  • Elaine Beckett-Albert, Nipissing Graduate
  • Mark Giddens, Adaptive Technology Technician
  • Mike Walker, Learning Strategist
  • Presented to Doug Bolgers PSYC3405 Psychology
    of Education class, February 2004

2
Presentation Outcomes
  • What is a Learning Disability?
  • Short video intro from Transitions to Post
    Secondary Learning
  • Definition from LDAO LDs from an IP perspective
  • Diagnosis and statistics
  • Describe living learning with learning
    disabilities
  • Student stories meet Elaine Kristen,
    university peers
  • Social, emotional and academic aspects of LDs
  • Tales from the trenches elementary school
  • Describe how YOU can help your students succeed
  • Remediation, modification and accommodation
  • Resources for understanding and student success
  • IT for IPs - brief review of technology for
    students w/LDS
  • The Big Three
  • Other Tools

3
LD definition from video
  • Transitions to Post Secondary Learning
  • developed by Howard Eaton Leslie Coull to help
    high school students
  • understand their LDs
  • prepare for the transition to college or
    university
  • self-advocate for themselves
  • note difference between a learning disability and
    an Attention Deficit Disorder or AD/HD

4
What is a Learning Disability?
  • A new definition from the LDAO
  • Learning Disability Association of Ontario

5
In brief "Learning Disabilities"
  • refers to a variety of disorders that affect the
    acquisition, retention, understanding,
    organization or use of verbal and/or non-verbal
    information.

6
These disorders
  • result from impairments in one or more
    psychological processes related to learning in
    combination with otherwise average abilities
    essential for thinking and reasoning.

7
These psychological processes could be
  • phonological processing
  • memory and attention
  • processing speed
  • language processing
  • perceptual-motor processing
  • visual-spatial processing
  • executive functions (e.g., planning, monitoring
    and metacognitive abilities)

8
Learning disabilities
  • range in severity and invariably interfere with
    the acquisition and use of one or more of the
    following important skills

9
These skills could be
  • oral language (e.g., listening, speaking,
    understanding)
  • reading (e.g., decoding, comprehension)
  • written language (e.g., spelling, written
    expression)
  • mathematics (e.g., computation, problem solving)
  • organizational skills
  • social perception
  • social interaction

10
What a LD is Not!
  • IT IS NOT
  • low intelligence/an intellectual disability
  • mental illness/emotional disturbance
  • autism
  • visual or auditory acuity problems
  • laziness/lack of motivation
  • a way to avoid other issues
  • a physical handicap
  • the result of a poor academic background

11
A Learning Disability is an Information
Processing Impairment
  • It is like having too many bridges out as well as
    too many overlapping pathways along the
    information highways of the brain.
  • Dale R. Jordan
  • U. of Arkansas

12
So how might an LD affect a Learner?
  • A Couple of Examples . . .

13
Cant you read this?
  • Myle arn in gdisa bi LI tyma kesit dif Ficu
    ltform eto re Adi tslo wsm edo wnwh eniha veto re
    AdmYte xtbo Ok sbu twhe nius Eboo kso Nta peo rco
    mpu Teri zedsc ree nrea Din gsof twa Reto lis
    tent Om yte xtbo ok sith elp sal Ot.
  • Visual/Phonological LD

14
Cant you see this?
  • Cant you see the Dalmatian?

15
Cant you see this?
  • Cant you see the Dalmatian?
  • Visual LD
  • visual ground figure

16
Cant you write this?
  • Copy this Ill time you put your hand up when
    youre done
  • Can you copy? Its not hard. Look, Im
    finished already!
  • Now, please copy this using your
    non-dominant hand!!
  • Grapho-motor LD
  • Also demonstrates role of Working Memory

17
Some Stats . . .
  • learning disabilities impact the lives of
    approximately 10 of the population
  • approximately 4 of Ontarios school aged
    population is formally identified with LDs
  • of Ontarios identified exceptional population
  • approx. 48 of elementary students are LD
  • approx. 54 of secondary students are LD
  • 25 to 30 of those with LDs may have AD/HD
  • 75 to 80 of those with AD/HD may have LDs

Sources Weber and Bennett, Special Education in
Ontario Schools, Fourth Edition and LDAC
National, Spring 2000
18
Diagnosis the Criteria
  • diagnosis must be made by a psychologist
  • based on a discrepancy between ability (as
    measured by IQ) and academic achievement and/or
    information processing
  • this discrepancy is assessed using standardized
    psychometric measures such as
  • WAIS WIAT
  • Weschler intelligence achievement tests
  • WJ-III
  • Woodcock-Johnson tests of cognitive abilities
    achievement

19
For you visual learners

a visual guide to diagnosis.
20
Traditional Aptitude vs. Achievement Average
Student
21
Traditional Aptitude vs. Achievement Student
with a LD
22
Aptitude, Achievement Info Processing Visual
(Dyslexia)
23
Aptitude, Achievement, Info Processing Auditory
(CAPD)
24
LDs in Elementary Secondary Education
  • Diagnosis is still important but under the
    Education Act Ministry of Education students
    may be Identified as
  • Exceptional Communication Learning
    Disability
  • allows for IEP (Individual Education Plan)
  • allows for special interventions
  • remediation
  • modification
  • accommodation

25
Transition to Post-Secondary
  • Identification of a learning disability for the
    purposes of services is NOT a diagnosis
  • No longer Education Act but Human Rights Code
    Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) so
    diagnosis is important
  • admissions
  • services accommodation
  • funding

26
Issues at Post-Secondary
  • Students at the post-secondary level MUST have a
    recent assessment with a valid diagnostic
    statement in order to get academic accommodation
  • Many of the students havent had an assessment or
    havent been assessed since grade 3, etc.
  • Proper assessment can make the difference between
    success and failure at post-secondary

27
Impact of Incomplete Documentation on Students
  • services/accommodation may be provided on and
    interim basis
  • students may not get personal access to the
    technology they need
  • stress on family students waiting for
    assessments
  • possibility of no diagnosis
  • all support will be withdrawn
  • students lose support on which they have become
    dependant

28
Nipissings LD Program
  • Enhanced Services Program (ESP)
  • Since September
  • screened 66 students for possible inclusion in
    program
  • had 33 students (re) assessed (5 more waiting)
  • Currently have 56 students
  • 16 returning, 30 first year (double cohort)
  • 47 undergrad, 9 education
  • 13 have additional disabilities to their LDs
  • 9 have co morbid AD/HD
  • 28 use alternate format reading materials

29
Living Learning with a LD
  • Meet Elaine Kristen

30
Social Emotional Aspects of a Learning
Disability
  • From Introducing Learning Disabilities to
    Postsecondary Educators
  • The Meighen Centre for Learning Assistance and
    Research, Mount Allison University

31
What does a Learning Disability feel like?
  • Ask someone who has one!

32
Possible Academic Problems
  • silent reading/reading aloud
  • writing/spelling
  • learning languages/math
  • expressing what is known and understood
  • having to re-do school work at home
  • having no time off since everything takes longer
  • dropping out

33
Possible Social/Emotional Problems
  • feeling dumb, stupid, embarrassed, frustrated,
    anxious, lonely, isolated
  • being called stupid, lazy being put down by
    teachers, friends, and even parents
  • feeling nobody understands
  • feeling need of help
  • fearing rejection failure
  • always having to cover up, act a role

34
Possible Career/Vocational Problems
  • lack of basic skills
  • lack of social skills
  • Its never cured, It never goes away
  • having to cover up
  • never feeling adequate
  • low expectations
  • jobs dont last

35
Tough Facts from LDAC
  • 35 of students identified with learning
    disabilities drop out of high school.
  • 50 of adolescent suicides had previously been
    diagnosed as having learning problems.
  • Volumes of research have shown that 30 to 70 of
    young offenders have experienced learning
    problems.

Statistics on Learning Disabilities. LDAC,
October 2001. Source Online http//www.ldac-taac
.ca/english/indepth/bkground/stats01.htm
36
Our Context as Teachers
  • Our Desire - we want all of our students to be
    able to master the Three Rs and to develop
    normally physically, mentally and emotionally.
  • The Reality approximately 9.4 of our
    elementary and secondary students are
    exceptional (MET, 1997).
  • The Result - many of our students will not read,
    write or perform other academic tasks
    efficiently, despite our best effort and intense
    remediation.

37
Consequently
  • In order for many of these exceptional students
    to be successful their
  • skills must be remediated and/or
  • learning either modified or accommodated
  • Remediation may be needed for the student to
  • overcome performance deficits (reading, writing,
    speech, motor)
  • consolidate skills for future learning
  • Modification may be needed for the student to
  • experience academic success
  • maintain motivation to learn
  • Accommodation may be needed for the student to
  • maintain grade level standards
  • broaden future learning opportunities

38
However
  • Modifications are not an option at the
    post-secondary level.
  • Nor are modifications eligible for high school
    credit.
  • Therefore, accommodation for severe disabilities
    may become more challenging and solutions, by
    necessity, more sophisticated.
  • Technology has provided many new tools which may
    be used to accommodate students with LDs.

39
Our Reality
  • Tales from the trenches

40
Adam (grade 4) reading disability (pre. board)
  • reading at grade 1 level, highly frustrated
    resistant to learning
  • resistant to resource, so accommodated in the
    classroom
  • up two levels, completed grade level work,
    independent research project, class leader
  • end of the year comment to John
  • now in Grade 5 back in resource, same phonics
    workbooks, etc. shut down
  • teachers, perhaps afraid of technology, but have
    also bought into the myth that if students learn
    differently, they wont make it in the real
    world

41
Eve (grade 4) gifted with a LD
  • worked very hard but no significant
    ability/achievement discrepancy so parents paid
    for assessment
  • performing just below grade level
  • works harder than all of her classmates
  • remediation every night thru Oxford LC
  • principal wont allow identification IEP
    monitoring
  • recently caught cheating in spelling in French
  • I wanted to get them right just once.
  • should she be allowed to experience success?
  • strategy Report Card accommodating her
    learning disability according to the
    psychological assessment

42
Ruth (grade 4) not yet diagnosed
  • problems with math
  • probably non-verbal LD problems with drawing,
    visual/spatial awareness, awkward, late reader
  • goes to Kumon Math every night
  • nightly math sheet (10 20 min) may take 2 hours
    with parents help
  • teacher warned not to rock the boat (not to ID)
  • so teacher removed classroom accommodation
    resulting failure allowed teacher to contact
    parents parents influential in community and
    parent council
  • letters flew testing has begun shook up
    resource team 5 kids will now benefit from 1st
    math program

43
What you can do . . .
  • How can a classroom/ resource teacher support a
    student with a learning disability?

44
Be a GREAT teacher
  • Use multi-modal teaching techniques, offer valid
    performance and evaluation alternatives, and
  • remember . . .

45
We Learn... William Glasser
  • 10 of what we read
  • 20 of what we hear
  • 30 of what we see
  • 50 of what we both see and hear
  • 70 of what is discussed with others
  • 80 of what we experience personally
  • 95 of what we teach someone else

46
Or Simply
  • Tell me and I will forget
  • Show me and I may remember
  • Involve me and I will understand
  • Ancient Chinese proverb

47
Teach Academic/Learning Skills Topics from
UNIV1011
  • How We Learn
  • Learning Styles
  • Time Management
  • Active Listening Notetaking
  • Active Reading
  • Writing Strategies
  • Critical Creative Thinking
  • Test Taking Evaluation
  • Attitude Motivation
  • Self-Determination Self-Advocacy
  • Teamwork Rapport
  • Energy Stress
  • Health Wellness

48
Test/Exam Accommodation
  • Common
  • extra time
  • spell checker
  • use of a computer
  • distraction-free environment
  • leniency towards spelling grammar
  • Less Common
  • reader
  • scribe
  • e-reader
  • voice dictation

49
Classroom/Lecture Accommodation
  • Common
  • tape recorder
  • note-sharer/taker
  • use of overheads/ visual organizer
  • Alpha-Smart/lap-top computer/Pocket PC
  • Less Common
  • FM system
  • wait time when called upon
  • lecture notes on reserve/on web
  • lecture outline in advance

50
Personal Study Accommodation
  • master notebook
  • organizer
  • talking spell checker
  • texts on tape
  • tape/digital recorder
  • computer
  • scanner
  • e-reader/e-texts
  • voice dictation
  • reduced course load
  • study buddy
  • study carrels
  • mentor
  • academic skills
  • peer tutor
  • professional tutor
  • technology training
  • learning strategy training based on LD assessment

51
What you can do . . .
  • Learn as much as you can about learning
    disabilities!

52
More about accommodating individual student
differences
  • PBS documentary, Misunderstood Minds
  • http//www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/intro.h
    tml
  • Check out the work of Dr. Mel Levine
  • His organizations website
  • www.allkindsofminds.org
  • A Mind at a Time, Chapter 1
  • http//www.allkindsofminds.org/bookExcerpts/aMinda
    tATime.aspx

53
More resources
  • more PBS videos
  • How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City
    Workshop by Richard Lavoie (2 copies in library)
  • understanding learning disabilities
  • shows us LDs from the perspective of learning
    disabled children
  • Last one Picked first one Picked on by Richard
    Lavoie
  • learning disabilities and social skills
  • Look What Youve Done! by Dr. Robert Brooks
  • learning disabilities and self-esteem

54
More Info. . .
  • On learning disabilities
  • www.schwablearning.org
  • www.ldonline.org
  • www.ldpride.net
  • www.ldao.on.ca
  • www.ldrc.ca
  • http//specialed.about.com/cs/learningdisabled
  • Activities to help understand processing deficits
  • http//www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/
  • Mikes Learning Resources site
  • www.nipissingu.ca/faculty/mikew/resource

55
Questions?
  • . . . lets look at some technology for students
    with LDs.

56
Technology for Students with Learning Disabilities
  • Tools to help accommodate for information
    processing deficits

Go
57
Universal Design for Learning (CAST description)
  • UDL shifts old assumptions about teaching and
    learning in four fundamental ways
  • Source online Center for Applied Special
    Technology (CAST) www.cast.org/udl/

58
UDL basic concepts (CAST)
  • Students with disabilities fall along a continuum
    of learner differences rather than constituting a
    separate category
  • Teacher adjustments for learner differences
    should occur for all students, not just those
    with disabilities

59
UDL basic concepts (CAST)
  • Curriculum materials should be varied and diverse
    including digital and online resources, rather
    than centering on a single textbook
  • Instead of remediating students so that they can
    learn from a set curriculum, curriculum should be
    made flexible to accommodate learner differences

60
For more about UDL see
  • CASTs Universal Design for Learning site
  • http//www.cast.org/udl/
  • Online textbook
  • Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age
    Universal Design for Learning. David H. Rose
    Anne Meyer ASCD, 2002
  • www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/

61
What Can Students with LDs Expect?
  • Typical accommodations available to students with
    learning disabilities at the post-secondary level

62
A brief overview . . .
  • What is a Learning Disability?
  • Ministry of Education definition

63
A learning disorder
  • evident in both academic and social situations
    that involves one or more of the processes
    necessary for the proper use of spoken language
    or the symbols of communication, and that is
    characterized by a condition that

64
  • a) is not primarily the result of
  • impairment of vision
  • impairment of hearing
  • physical disability
  • developmental disability
  • primary emotional disturbance
  • cultural difference and

65
  • b) results in a significant discrepancy between
    academic achievement and assessed intellectual
    ability, with deficits in one or more of the
    following
  • receptive language (listening, reading)
  • language processing (thinking, conceptualizing,
    integrating)
  • expressive language (talking, spelling, writing)
  • mathematical computations

66
  • c) may be associated with one or more conditions
    diagnosed as
  • a perceptual handicap
  • a brain injury
  • minimal brain dysfunction
  • dyslexia
  • developmental aphasia.

67
BSWD Bursary for Students With Disabilities
  • This year up to 10, 000
  • Tied to OSAP eligibility
  • For disability-related educational expenses
    assessments, computers assistive software,
    adaptive devices, tutoring, therapy, ergonomic
    devices, etc.
  • NOT for tuition, books, residence, etc.

68
Kristens Profile
  • Visual LD (dyslexia)

69
Mikes Profile
  • Auditory LD (CAPD)

70
Taras Profile
  • Non-Verbal LD

71
Non-verbal LD WAIS Profile
72
Verbal Scores WAIS III Profile
73
Non-Verbal Scores WAIS III Profile
74
Non-verbal LD Verbal IQ Profile area of strength
75
Non-verbal LD Performance IQ Profile area of
deficit
76
Kyles Profile
  • AD/HD LD

77
AD/HD LD WAIS-III Profile (Weschler Adult
Intelligence Scale)
78
Verbal Profile good Thinking Skills, poor
Memory Attention
79
Non-Verbal good Social, poor Attention
Visual/Motor Coordination
80
Difficulty with Attention/Memory/Decoding
Potential
81
A Simple Model of Information Processing
  • Attention
  • Sensory Input
  • Processing
  • Decoding
  • Memory - may include Storage and/or Retrieval
    processes
  • Encoding
  • Physical Output
  • Expression

82
Where can IP break down? Dr. Allyson G.
Harrison, Queens University
  • 1. Frontal lobe functioning deficits
  • - abstract and conceptual thinking
  • 2. Memory impairment
  • - Short term memory
  • - Working memory-mental blackboard dynamic
    process
  • - Long term memory
  • - Storage vs retrieval issues
  • 3. Sequencing deficits (visual or auditory)

83
Breakdown continues Dr. Allyson G. Harrison,
Queens University
  • 4. Speed of information processing
  • 5. Attention
  • - Selective (cannot choose/focus)
  • - Sustained (cannot maintain)
  • - Divided (cannot shift/hyperfocus)
  • 6. Narrow processing style - cant
    simultaneously attend to process multiple
    aspects of a stimulus field

84
Still breaking down Dr. Allyson G. Harrison,
Queens University
  • 7. Poor scanning resolution-miss relevant data
  • 8. Right hemisphere dysfunction good at details
    but not global picture. Gets lost in details,
    easily overloaded. Cant make sense of
    holistically presented information. Poor ability
    to interpret visual cues.
  • 9. Faulty output mechanism - interferes with
    demonstration of adequate information processing.
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