LEARNING DISORDERS

Specific teaching interventions

Parents are often worried and even scared when their child is diagnosed with a learning disorder. But, as science develops there are dozens of strategies to help these kids through.

Also, learning disorders are not caused by a lack of intelligence or desire to learn. With applying proper teaching methods and educational tools these disorders can be subsidized. Thus, individuals with LD can master all the skills they initially had problems with. They often benefit from small class management modifications to the adapted instructions that take their disability into account. PATIENCE while tutoring has a crucial and most important role!

Individuals with mild or moderate learning disabilities might benefit from untimed tests, oral examinations, or other alternatives to written assignments like video presentations. Also, they can hugely benefit from having extra time to practice specific skills or attend ONE TO ONE TUTORING:

  • Dyslexia- difficulty with reading

  • Dysgraphia- difficulty with writing

  • Dyscalculia- difficulty with mathematics

Learning disorders are classified as specific learning disorders because they are not caused by another personality disorder condition like intellectual disorder or a global development delay Also they don't stem from environmental causes such as failure to educate them on writing, reading, or doing math.

Learning disorders are usually diagnosed during the school-age years when children's skills can be clearly evaluated.

SYMPTOMS

Dyslexia impacts both oral and written communication throughout a child's life.

SYMPTOMS

People diagnosed with dyslexia show problems with:

  • Identifying letters and words

  • Substituting one small sight word for another: a, he, the, was, etc.

  • Slow, inaccurate, and arduous reading(It becomes more apparent when a person with dyslexia is reading aloud.)

  • Hesitation, word guessing, strange intonation or expression while pronouncing words

  • Misunderstanding the right sequence of events.

  • Spelling - a person omits or add letters by mistake.

Difficulties with reading result in difficulties with understanding the content they've just read. There is no deeper meaning for comprehension. Drawing conclusions or retelling the content is almost impossible

 

Dysgraphia also impacts both oral and written communication throughout a person's life.

SYMPTOMS

Despite the appropriate time and attention given the task, they have problems with:

  • Poor spelling

  • Illegible handwriting (which doesn't necessarily imply problems with other fine motor skills like lacing, threading or playing dough)

  • Difficulty with grammar

  • Often confuse longhand writing with printed letters

  • Misusing upper and lowercase, print and cursive letters

  • Strange wrist, body or paper position

  • Difficulties with pre-visualizing letter formation

  • Unfinished or omitted words and letters

All these symptoms result in slow and labored writing causing them extreme fatigue. Also, they find it enormously difficult to put thoughts down on paper or thinking and writing simultaneously. As a result, their writing lacks transparency and cohesion.

 

Dyscalculia is best described as having problems with understanding basic math concepts.

SYMPTOMS

They have great difficulties with:

  • Understanding numbers- either their magnitude or relationship with one another. (Typical dyscalculia example: 5*6= x, x= 56 )

  • Number sense - understanding of how numbers work, numerical values, and how to compare or estimate quantities on a number line.

  • Understanding fractions, as well as basic math operations patterns

  • Putting language to math process is very hard to implement

  • Making a change or handling money

  • Mathematical reasoning. It is a hard pattern to follow since the basic understanding of math is hard to master.

  • Manipulating numbers or solving math problems is very hard for them, almost impossible

  • Inability to read graphs and charts.

As a result, they struggle to memorize math facts- formulas, equations, text assignments. Since they don't understand the logic underlying the steps involved in math operations they have to rely on rote memorization i.e. learning through repetition. All these difficulties cause long-term problems with math operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

CAUSE

Genetics

  • It's common to find that people with learning disorders have parents or other relatives with similar difficulties.

Neurological factors

  • A typical brain organization with differences in cells or in brain development because of metabolic disorders such as maternal diabetes or thyroid disease.

Environmental factors

  • Problems during pregnancy and birth: illness or injury during or before birth, low birth weight, lack of oxygen

  • Substance use during pregnancy

  • Premature or prolonged labor

  • Head injuries, malnutrition, and exposure to toxic substances

ADVICE

  • Patience and true understanding while tutoring them

  • Texts printed in large fonts

  • Use Audio-books

  • Books with large print and spaces between lines

  • Copy of lecture notes

  • Alternative forms for written assignments report (video/ auditory presentation)

  • Multi-sensory teaching methods

  • Computer use for in-class written tests

  • Encourage students to use logic rather than rote memory

  • Break teaching material in smaller units

  • Oral instead of written exams

  • Use CD player for lectures

  • Wide- ruled paper (intended for those with larger handwriting)

  • Certain pencil grip

  • Use of word processor

  • Providing written assignments alternatives (video or audio reports)

  • Using specially designed writing aids

  • Providing notes so as to reduce the amount of writing

  • Playing math-based games

  • Using physical objects associated with real work, like using buttons instead of numbers

  • Using manipulative's such as blocks or flashcards (This strategy particularly helps to develop a more intuitive feel for numbers.)

  • Utilizing diagrams and draw math concepts

  • Providing colored pencils to differentiate problems

  • Using mnemonic (a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something) so as to better understand the steps of math problems

  • Drawing pictures of math problems

  • Use rhythm and music to teach math facts setting steps to a beat

  • Allowing additional time for drill and practice

  • ADVICE WHEN PLAN TO VISIT PSYCHOLOGIST

  • Prior to visiting Psychologist parents should watch for the following problems that their child may have encountered:

  • Understanding and following instructions.

  • Recalling what someone just told him or her.

  • Mastering reading, spelling, writing, and/or math skills

  • Distinguishing right from left;

  • Identifying words or a tendency to confuse letters, words, or numbers; (for example, confusing 35 with 53, "t" with "p," or "on" with "no").

  • Coordination in walking, sports, or fine motor activities

  • Losing or misplacing homework, schoolbooks, and other school items

  • Understanding the concept of time (days, months, years)

  • These kids can benefit greatly from Inspiration (graphic organizers), Naturally Speaking, and other speech-to-text or text-to-speech software. Audible Whispersync is also very useful. One can listen and follow along - take notes - highlight - blow up the font size - all the things that make it a more visual learning experience. With dyslexia - any visual cues that can be given in learning are really important. So, with these tech accommodations, they are able to access the GenEd curriculum. Not only does it boost their academic life but self-confidence too, which is the core of each success.