Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Reasoning and Logic in Learning Disabilities

In learning disabilities, problems with reasoning and logic would include problems with the ability to reason, prioritize, and plan. A child who has trouble with reasoning and logic skills may have issues related to problem solving, working with abstractions, or interpreting information. These problems would be related to higher level executive functions, which in turn are thought to be associated with subcortical white matter deficits, which will be explained more below. According to Learning Rx; “reasoning and logic skills bring about and compare options and eventualities. These skills enable you to plan and strategize, which is essential to learning.”

The two main types of reasoning affected in learning disabilities are:                  
·         Abstract Reasoning
·         Spatial Reasoning

Abstract Reasoning

Abstract reasoning is the ability to solve problems and analyze information on a complex level. Some skills that would be involved are:
·         Forming theories about the nature of objects, ideas, processes, and problem solving.

·         Understanding subjects on a more abstract level, rather than a concrete level, through analysis and evaluation.

·         The ability to apply knowledge in problem solving using theory, metaphor, or a complex analogy.

·         Understanding relationships between verbal and non – verbal ideas.

Problems with Abstract Reasoning
·         Problems are usually visual and do not involve social ideas.
·         It is normally assessed as part of intelligence testing.

Why is Abstract Reasoning important?
·         It is essential to learning.
·         It allows individuals to apply what they learn in more complex ways, rather than only concretely.

How would children with an Abstract Reasoning Learning Disability benefit from treatment?
·         Direct instruction in problem – solving skills
·         Speech therapy – these children need to learn to use language, understand, and solve problems.

Spatial Reasoning

Spatial reasoning is the ability for someone to position and orient themselves in everyday environments. Some skills involved in spatial reasoning would include:
·         Riding a bike
·         Catching a ball
·         Kicking a ball

Problems with Spatial Reasoning:
·         Math deficits
·         Spelling deficits
·         Physical factors
o   These children are usually awkward and may lack coordination to ride a bike and catch or kick a ball.
o   Their handwriting skills are poor.
o   These physical factors will be mastered by other kids their age while the child with spatial reasoning difficulties is still having trouble with them.
·         You will see problems when a routine that they are used to changes.
o   They have a hard time adjusting to new situations.

These individuals may seem to lack common sense or be naïve to others.

Anxiety and depression may arise the older they get because of the social problems they have.

Their self – esteem is very low because of their disabilities.

Why is Spatial Reasoning important?
·         It is important for generating and conceptualizing solutions to multi – step problems in everyday life. Individuals need to be able to think something through, and then do it. They need to be able to “reason out” what they need or want to do, and then do it.

How would children with a Spatial Reasoning Learning Disability benefit from treatment?
·         Academically, these children are very good readers but are better with literal comprehension rather than interpretive comprehension.
·         They are good with a routine that they can stick to, as long as the routine doesn’t change.
·         Handwriting should improve the older the individual gets.
·         The tactual performance test will probably be administered if there is thought to be a spatial reasoning problem.


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