Just What Is a Learning Disability, Anyway?

Written by Sandy Gauvin


A learning disability is defined as a permanent problem that affects a person with average to above average intelligence, inrepparttar way that he/she receives, stores, and processes information.

There are many wrong ideas out there about learning disabilities.

1) A learning disability will go away in time.

Unfortunately, this is not true. The good news is, you can learn ways to get aroundrepparttar 109330 problem. For example, kids who have trouble taking notes in class, like Michele did, can recordrepparttar 109331 class on audiotape. Or, other students can make copies ofrepparttar 109332 notes they have taken for them. The teacher can makes copiesrepparttar 109333 notes they are lecturing from. Or, whenrepparttar 109334 notes are written down on an overhead transparency duringrepparttar 109335 lecture, they can be copied after class and given torepparttar 109336 student.

For children who have trouble reading, tapes of many ofrepparttar 109337 textbooks are made available throughrepparttar 109338 publishing companies. At one school where I taught, volunteers didrepparttar 109339 taping. We also used tapes that were recorded by a company called Recordings forrepparttar 109340 Blind.

2) A person with a learning disability has a low IQ.

Again, not true. In order for a person to have a learning disability, they have to have an average or better IQ. There are many people who, although they intelligent, just cannot learn as well as their IQ suggests they should. Iíve told my students for a long time that having a learning disability is really a compliment because it means that they are very smart! But, since a negative by-product of a learning disability is often low self-esteem, they didnít always believe me.

Remember:repparttar 109341 self-esteem issue is as important to deal with asrepparttar 109342 learning disability itself!

3)A person with a learning disability is just lazy.

There has to be a reason whyrepparttar 109343 person with LD doesnít learnrepparttar 109344 way he should. Perhaps his brain doesnít processrepparttar 109345 informationrepparttar 109346 right way. He may process information much slower than other people. Or he may not be able to process what he sees effectively. Some people canít process what they hear as well as what they see. Other people canít remember information unless itís repeated again and again, and some people have real trouble gettingrepparttar 109347 information out of that filing system they have in their brain.

Details, Details, Details

Written by Sandy Gauvin


I have a dear friend who, as our Consulting Resource Teacher, does much ofrepparttar special education testing in our school district. Recently, I asked her what information teachers can give to help her know exactly what to look for in each child she tests.

This is what she told me:

Most ofrepparttar 109329 teachers do a wonderful job withrepparttar 109330 referral forms. However, it is NOT helpful to me when a teacher writes, "... is below grade level in reading," or "... is not working up to his potential in math." This is too general. I like it when a teacher gives me specifics such as, "The child...

a. ...cannot follow more than a two-step direction." b. ... seems to know his sight words one day, but thenrepparttar 109331 next day, it's like he's never seen them before." c. ... is easily distracted." d. ... has a very short attention span, especially when it comes to his written work, but during show and tell or read-aloud, he's very attentive." e. ... seems to have a better visual than verbal memory." f. ... does not knowrepparttar 109332 letter names, but when givenrepparttar 109333 name and asked to point to them, he is able to do so (It could be numbers instead of letters). g. ... is well liked and has many friends (orrepparttar 109334 opposite)." h. ... functions best inrepparttar 109335 morning (or afternoon)." i. ... understands what he reads very well." j. ... contributes a great deal of information during class time."

The more detailrepparttar 109336 teacher can give merepparttar 109337 better.

a. Does he notice number and letter reversals, inversions, etc.? b. Can she follow print? c. Does he get mixed up when doing addition or subtraction on an unlined piece of paper? d. Does she rub her eyes, squint, turn her head to one side orrepparttar 109338 other?

This is all helpful information.

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