Thursday, April 25, 2013

Learning Disabilities

What is a learning disability?
-A learning disability is a neurological disorder.
-A Learning disability affects the brain's ability to receive, process, store, respond to, and communicate information.
-LDs are actually a group of disorders, not a single disorder.
-A Learning disability is any one of a heterogeneous set of learning problems that can affect the acquisition and the use of listening, speaking, writing, reading, mathematical and reasoning skills.
-Learning disabilities are common, affecting between 4% to 6% of school age children.

What causes a learning disability?
--The exact cause of a learning disability is unknown. However it is thought it could be caused by heredity, problems during pregnancy and/or birth, and incidents after birth.

Heredity factors:
--Thought to be caused by family environment

Problems during pregnancy and delivery:
--Umbilical cord being wrapped around the neck cutting off oxygen
--Mother's immune system attacking the fetus as if it were an infection
--Mother smoking can cause low birth weight which is linked to learning disabilities
--Mother's alcohol consumptions mutates developing neurons
--Mother's drug consumption can cause problems in neuron receptors

Incidents after birth
--Serious illness
--Head injuries
--Poor nutrition
--Exposure to toxins can affect the growth of new brain cells and neurons

Signs that may indicate a learning disability
  • Speaks later than most children
  • Pronunciation problems
  • Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes
  • Extremely restless and easily distracted
  • Trouble interacting with peers
  • Difficulty following directions or routines
  • Fine motor skills slow to develop
--Grades K-4

  • Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
  • Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
  • Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+, -, x, /, =)
  • Slow to remember facts
  • Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
  • Impulsive, difficulty planning
  • Unstable pencil grip
  • Trouble learning about time
  • Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents
--Grades 5-8
  • Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)
  • Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other spelling strategies
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Trouble with word problems
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip
  • Avoids writing assignments
  • Slow or poor recall of facts
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Trouble understanding body language and facial expressions
--High School Students and Adults
  • Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing
  • Avoids reading and writing tasks
  • Trouble summarizing
  • Trouble with open-ended questions on tests
  • Weak memory skills
  • Difficulty adjusting to new settings
  • Works slowly
  • Poor grasp of abstract concepts
  • Either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much
  • Misreads information
Types of Learning disabilities
--Spoken language-listening and speaking
--Written language-reading, writing, and spelling
--Arithmetic-calculation and concepts
--Reasoning-organization and integration of ideas and thoughts

Signs that do not indicate a learning disability:
  • Although the following may contribute to an already present disability, or facilitate a new difficulty, they are not the cause of a learning disability.
    • A learning disability does not include problems that result primarily from mental retardation, or emotional disturbance
    • A learning disability does not include problems primarily due to auditory, visual or motor disabilities
    • A learning disability does not include problems that result from economic, cultural or environmental difficulties


No comments:

Post a Comment