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Learning Disabilities, Essay Example

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Definition:  This umbrella term refers to a variety of specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, central auditory processing disorders, and visual motor deficits.  Such disabilities impact on the basic psychological processes used to speak, understand, write, or perform mathematical calculations.  The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) refers to learning disabilities as a “specific learning disability” which falls into one of thirteen categories under IDEA (Heward, 2008).

Causes:  The causes for learning disabilities are unclear and can stem from or be exacerbated by a number of factors, including genetics, socioeconomic conditions, accidents and trauma, and brain anomalies (Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2011).

Prevalence:  The Learning Disabilities Association of America (2011) reports that 4-6% of school-aged children in the United States have a learning disability, making it likely that every teacher will encounter this issue in the classroom at some point in their career.

 Classroom Accommodations:  It is a requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that all students with identified disabilities receive an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to address their different learning styles and needs and ensure that they live up to their full potential.  The following modifications and accommodations may be helpful when developing a student’s IEP.

Classroom Environment:

  • overhead/outline for desk work
  • seating to reduce distractions
  • frequent breaks

Teacher Presentation/Strategies:

  • increased one-to-one contact
  • visual demonstrations

Materials:

  • supplemental aids/study sheets
  • taped/highlighted textbooks
  • visual or multisensory materials

Assessments:

  • allow extended time for test-taking
  • administer a test in several sessions
  • provide special test preparation

(Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2011)

References

Heward, W.L. (2008). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education. 9th ed. New   York, NY: Prentice Hall.

Learning Disabilities Association of America. (2011). Retrieved from  http://www.ldanatl.org/index.cfm

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