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Chapter 11 Specific Learning Disabilities


C H A P T E R 11 Specific Learning Disabilities Barry W. Lavay Chapter 11 Specific Learning Disabilities – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 11 Specific Learning Disabilities

Chapter 11 Specific Learning Disabilities
Specific Learning Disabilities
Barry W. Lavay
Chapter Outline
  • Definitions
  • Causes
  • Incident rates
  • Common characteristics
  • General educational approaches
  • Guidelines for teaching physical education and

Assisting Calvin in PE
  • Read the scenario of Calvin at the start of
    chapter 11.
  • Identify behaviors and list key challenges that
    Calvin faces in Mr. Santos class.
  • Based on these challenges, list and discuss
    teaching methods and programming strategies that
    Mr. Santos can use to help Calvin have a positive
    PE experience.

What Is Learning Disability?
  • A disorder with these primary characteristics
  • Problems with written language and in mastering
    academic areas, particularly reading
  • Cant be caused by cultural differences, lack of
    educational opportunities, poverty, or other
  • Inability to store, process, and produce
    information in the central nervous system
  • Cant be the result of other conditions but might
    coexist with other conditions, such as ADHD and

Learning Disability Defined
  • Specific learning disability means a disorder
    in one or more of the basic psychological
    processes involved in understanding or in using
    language, spoken or written, that might manifest
    itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think,
    speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical
    calculations. The term includes such conditions
    as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal
    brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental
    aphasia. The term does not include a learning
    problem that is primarily the result of visual,
    hearing, or motor disabilities of mental
    retardation or of environmental, cultural, or
    economic disadvantage. (IDEA, 2004)

Unexpected Underachievement
  • Educationally significant discrepancy exists
    between measured intellectual potential and
    actual academic achievement.
  • Discrepancy means a difference between ability
    and actual achievement and is sometimes referred
    to as unexpected underachievement.
  • Individual has normal intelligence (IQ).
  • (continued)

Unexpected Underachievement (continued)
  • Academic performance lags behind peers does not
    perform at grade level.
  • Difficulty learning in traditional ways.
  • Summary Influences how individuals learn and not
    how well they learn.
  • (Kavale Forness, 2000 Smith, 2007)

Learning Disability The Hidden Disability
  • No easily identifiable physical signs exist.
  • Based on dysfunction to the CNS that is not
  • (continued)

Learning Disability The Hidden Disability
  • Difficulty with the following is a possible
    indication of a learning problem
  • Remembering newly learned information
  • Expressing thoughts orally or in writing
  • Understanding information presented
  • Following directions and routines
  • Moving from one activity to the next
  • Summary Learning disabilities cannot be cured or
    go away and can present lifelong challenges to
    children and their families.

Individuals With Learning Disability and
Coexisting Disabilities
  • Many children with LD display comorbidity,
    meaning the disability coexists with other
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Developmental coordination disorder (DCD)
  • ADHD and DCD alone are not recognized as distinct
    disability categories under IDEA they do not
    qualify for special education services.

What Is ADHD?
  • Children with ADHD are easily distracted by
    irrelevant stimuli and frequently shift from one
    incomplete activity to the next. Inattention
    occurs in academic, occupational, or social
    situations and is more difficult to observe than
    hyperactivity (APA, 2000).
  • The condition is divided into three subtypes
  • Combined type
  • Predominantly inattentive type
  • Predominantly hyperactiveimpulsive type

What Is DCD?
  • An individuals performance in daily activities
    is substantially below that expected of age and
  • The motor deficiency interferes with academic
    achievement activities of daily living.
  • Motor deficiency cant be caused by a general
    medical condition such as CP, MD, or PDD.
  • If mental retardation is present, the motor
    difficulties must be in excess of those
    associated alone with this disability (APA,
  • Summary DCD is often operationalized as an
    individual being two standard deviations below
    age norms on a standardized motor test.

Suspected Causes of LD, ADHD, and DCD
  • Complex, multidimensional, and the culmination of
    many problems
  • LD The most common theory is that it is a
    neurological condition, such as the existence of
    CNS dysfunction in producing, processing, and
    storing information.
  • ADHD Many believe it to be primarily an
    interaction of neurological, genetic, and
    psychosocial factors (CHAAD, 2008).

Incidence of LD, ADHD, and DCD
  • Learning disability (LD)
  • Affects 40-50, or the largest special education
    category 5, or 2.9 million students.
  • State-to-state and district-to-district
    statistics can vary, ranging from 1.7 to 5.8.
  • High percentage of children with LD, ranging from
    25 to 50, also display ADHD (CHADD, 2008).
  • (continued)

Incidence of LD, ADHD, and DCD (continued)
  • Attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
  • Affects 3 to 7 of school-aged children, with
    estimates reported as high as 20 (APA, 2000).
  • Developmental coordination disorder (DCD)
  • Affects as many as 6 of children aged 6 to 11
    years (APA, 2000).

Teaching Physical Education to Children With a
Specific LD, ADHD, or DCD
Characteristics Presenting Unique Challenges to
  • Heterogeneous group.
  • Movement characteristics or behaviors vary from
    skilled movers to developmental delays.
  • Exhibit a wide range of physical, cognitive, and
    social behaviors that affect movement.
  • Common physical, cognitive, and social
    characteristics are described on page 222.

Unique Behaviors and Programming
  • Consider the wide spectrum of behaviors for
    individuals with LD, ADHD, and DCD with
    implications for teaching.
  • For example, ask yourself the following
  • What are the students strengths, and how does
    this individual learn best?
  • Why does the student have difficulty performing
    certain skills, and what can I do to help?
  • How would you teach based on these behaviors?

Physical Characteristics That Affect Movement
  • Marked developmental delay
  • Difficulty with motor planning
  • Skill sequencing difficulty
  • Spatial difficulties
  • Extraneous movements not performed in a smooth
    and efficient manner
  • Inability to control movements
  • Inconsistency in skill performance

Cognitive Characteristics That Affect Movement
  • Information-processing difficulties
  • Perceptual and sensory difficulties
  • Language and thinking delays
  • Uneven academic achievement
  • Difficulty completing and solving tasks in
    allotted time
  • Failure to pay attention to details

Social Characteristics That Affect Movement
  • Poor self-concept
  • Impulsiveacting before thinking
  • Hyperactive
  • Easily distracted
  • Short attention span
  • Easily frustrated

General Educational Approaches
  • Physical educators can support and collaborate
    effectively with other professionals to meet
    student needs.
  • No universally supported approach but rather
    several that can include these
  • Multisensory
  • Behavior management
  • Multifaceted

Specific Recommendations for Physical Education
and Sport
  • Safety
  • Medication
  • Behavior management
  • Ecological task analysis
  • Perceptualmotor development
  • Inclusion
  • Learning through movement
  • Relaxation
  • Youth sport

Safety First and Foremost
  • Be aware of any potentially harmful activities
    periodically check all facilities and equipment.
  • Use developmentally appropriate equipment (age,
    body type, and skill level).
  • Avoid unstructured physical activity designed to
    blow off steam.
  • (continued)

Safety First and Foremost (continued)
  • Allow time to motor plan perform skills under
    control and at a slower rate.
  • Identify students taking medication.
  • Safeguard against physical and psychological
  • Design the program to promote cooperation and
    positive interaction among students.

  • Identification
  • Schedule
  • Type, dosage, and side effects
  • Rebound effect
  • Drug holidays
  • See also medication sidebar in the text (page

Behavior Management
  • Emphasize student success and provide a positive
    experience by organizing the environment with
    instructional strategies.
  • Class structure Use consistent rules, routines,
    and clear transitions.
  • Class organization Eliminate irrelevant stimuli
    keep students active and on task.
  • Teaching prompts or cues Keep directions simple
    avoid providing too much information.
  • Give positive feedback for students efforts and
    for staying on task.

Ecological Task Analysis (ETA)
  • The movement skill, form, and performance
  • outcome are all the results of the dynamic
  • interactions or constraints among the
  • task,
  • conditions or environmental situation, and
  • performer.
  • Summary Be a careful observer of movement and be
    able to task analyze skills.

  • The majority of students with LD, ADHD, and DCD
    are taught in a general physical education class
    with peers without disabilities.
  • Peer-tutor programs
  • Reciprocal teaching

Learning Through Movement or Interdisciplinary
  • Movement activities taught in physical education
    can be integrated into other subject areas
    throughout the school curriculum (Cone, Werner,
    Cone, Woods, 1998).
  • Helps in learning abstract concepts.
  • Movement promotes active rather than passive
    involvement in learning.
  • Movement is a natural medium for kinesthetic
  • Movement can be used to stimulate expression and
  • Learning is reinforced in a fun and meaningful
  • Helps to foster collaboration among

  • Socially appropriate way to control emotions when
    upset or to handle stressful situations.
  • Use when students lose focus, become too excited,
    or encounter a stressful situation.
  • End class with relaxation in the form of a
    cool-down or closure activity.
  • Methods used in physical education can include
    progressive relaxation, yoga, tai chi, static
    stretching, imagery, or impulse-control games.

Youth Sport
  • Students with learning disabilities can
    experience the same benefits as their peers
    without disabilities.
  • Find a developmentally age-appropriate sport the
    student enjoys.
  • An individual sport such as dance, karate,
    tennis, or swimming might be a better selection
    than a team sport.
  • Proper coach selection is critical.
  • Parents can assist the coach by providing such
    information as the childs
  • unique behaviors and strategies for overcoming
  • unique medical considerations,
  • reinforcements that motivate, and
  • learning strategies that work best.

Important Questions to Ask
  • To enhance instruction, physical educators can
    ask the following questions
  • What are the students strengths and needs?
  • How does this student best learn?
  • How can I as the teacher change the environment
    and the task to help this student learn?
  • What approaches and programs are already in place
    for this student at school and at home?
  • What support systems will I need, and how will I
    work to get them?
  • How can I collaborate with others to ensure this
    students success?

Helpful Organizations
  • Children and Adults with Attention
    Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
  • Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD)
  • Division on Learning Disabilities (DLD) within
    the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) see also