CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

Learning disabilities (LDs) are disorders that are intrinsic to the individual and make some area(s) of learning difficult. No one definition of LD is uniformly accepted. However, most states assess the difficulty as LD when there is a discrepancy between the child's ability to learn and what has actually been learned; when there is a need for special assistance to learn in some area(s); and when other causes for difficulties in learning have been excluded. For example, LDs are not due to mental retardation, not due to sensory impairment (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell), and not CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES due to behavioral disorders, autism, or communication disorders. They may, however, exist concurrently with other conditions of exceptionality; for example, LD plus behavior disorder, or LD plus physical impairment. Some famous individuals have had both an LD and special gifts and talents; for example, Thomas Edison, August Rodin, George Patton, Woodrow Wilson, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Winston Churchill.

Learning disabilities are found three times more frequently in males than in females. They can occur at any age, although the vast majority of LDs are diagnosed in early elementary school. LDs are the most common exceptional condition for which special education services CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES are provided. The enrolment of LD students in special programs almost doubled between 1980 and 1990. This is, in part, due to improved assessment procedures. It also reflects more stringent criteria for diagnosing mental re­tardation, more acceptability of the diagnosis of learning disabled, and more special services provided for LD preschoolers and LD adolescents in transition-to-adulthood programs.

The causes of learning disabilities are unknown. They are presumed to be due to some localized and minimal area(s) of central nervous system dysfunction, or to some biochemical disturbance(s) affecting small area(s) of the brain, or to CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES some environmental factor(s).

There are many types of learning disabilities. Two broad categories of LD are (1) developmental learning disabilities, and (2) academic learning disabilities. Developmen­tal LDs affect the prerequisite skills that a child needs to learn (attention, memory, perception, perceptual-motor feedback, listening, comprehension, oral expression). Ac­ademic LDs are usually not obvious until a child enters school. They affect the ability to perform specific skills (reading, spelling, handwriting, arithmetic calculation, arithmetic reasoning). Deficiencies in reading and spelling are more common than in mathematics. All students with LDs have significant area(s) where they fail to CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES learn despite adequate overall intelligence. Their level of academic achievement gets progressively worse as their grade level increases unless they get special help.

Children may have only one type of LD, or may have two or more LDs in any possible combination. Some students are very motivated to learn despite the LD; other students give up easily when asked to achieve any challenging task. Some highly motivated students appear to be resisting efforts to teach them because of the nature of their LD. It is not surprising that persons faced with the task of assessing or explaining LDs, or teaching CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES LD students, are often confused about what to say or do.

Learning disabilities and difficulties due to mental retardation, or sensory impairments, or behavioral disorders, or autism, or communication disorders, are difficult to differentiate. Assessment is fraught with ticklish problems. Mislabelling is common. Assessment usually combines the use of a standardized test of intelligence plus several achievement tests. The achievement tests may be process tests, norm-referenced tests, criterion-referenced tests, informal inventories, informal observations, or formal daily measurements of some specific skill(s). Multiple, frequent, direct assessments of the specific problematic skill(s) are recommended, but they are time-consuming CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES, expensive, and may be inconvenient for students, parents, teachers, and assessors.

Attention deficit (often referred to as hyperactivity) and dyslexia (difficulty in reading) are fairly common LDs. They are more readily comprehended and accepted by the lay public. However, because these terms are more readily accepted as labels, they have become "umbrella" terms. They are often misused to cover a multitude of conditions that are neither attention deficit disorders nor reading disorders. In order for each child with an LD to receive an appropriate individualized education program (IEP) and special services tailored to his or her specific needs CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES, each child should have a thorough assessment of the unique area(s) in which he or she is having difficulty learning. An easy label such as attention deficit or dyslexia may suggest an easy program such as drug therapy or dyslexic reading remediation. There are no easy fixes for LDs. Each child's IEP should be based on his or her genuine area(s) of difficulty and meet his or her unique needs.

No one way of teaching has been demonstrated to be the best way to assist all children with iearning disabilities. Children with developmental LDs CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES (attention, memory, perception, perceptual-motor feedback, listening, comprehension, oral expression) benefit from early intervention in a preschool with special LD services. The central nervous system has more plasticity (ability to change) in infancy and early childhood. The earlier intervention begins the less difficulty the child will have later. However, it is hard to assess LDs, even developmental disabilities, very early in life. Children with academic LDs (reading, spelling, handwriting, mathematics) are seldom assessed until first or second grade. They need annually updated lEPs to meet their constantly changing needs and the types of instructional remediation most suited to their specific performance deficits CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES.



The first article in this unit, "Enabling the Learning Disabled," answers questions about reaching, teaching, and meeting the special needs of LD students who are in regular education classrooms. It includes a definition of LDs and a check-list of signs of LD that may alert a teacher to request an LD assessment for a student. The second article gives a comprehensive review of an attention deficit disorder. It details the problems of assessment and the possibility of incorrect labelling, and it suggests many behavioral ways in which teachers can make their classrooms more appropriate for students with CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES attention deficit LDs. It also discusses the use of drug therapy for attention disorders with possible effects and side effects. In the third article, James Ysseldyke and his colleagues discuss the usefulness of assessing the instructional environments of both school and home when developing an effective IER A table summarizes the components that are desirable in both the school and the home for valuable learning to take place. Selection four of this unit outlines many ways to adapt textbooks in order to enhance the instructional contexts of students with LDs.

Упр. 3.Письменно ответьте на следующие вопросы:

1. Are CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES learning disabilities intrinsic to the individual? 2. Which definition of LD is uniformly accepted? 3. What other condition of exceptionality may LDs exist concurrently with? 4. Who are LDs found more frequently in: males or females? 5. At what age can LDs occur? 6. When did the enrolment of LD students in special programs double? 7. Did assessment procedures improve? 8. What reflects more stringent criteria for diagnosing mental retardation? 9. Are the causes of learning disabilities known? What are they presumed to be due to? 10. What are the two broad categories of learning disabilities? 11. When do academic learning disabilities become obvious? 12. What abilities do academic learning disabilities CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES affect? 13. How many LDs may children have? 14. Why do highly motivated students appear to be resisting efforts to teach them? 15. Why are persons faced with the task of teaching LD students often confused about what to say or do? 16. Are LDs difficult to differentiate? Is assessment fraught with ticklish problems? 17. What tests does assessment usually combine? 18. What are fairly common LDs? 19. What should each child’s IEP (individualized education program) be based on? 20. Has any way of teaching been demonstrated to be the best way to assist all children with learning disabilities? 21. When does the central nervous system CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES have more plasticity (ability to change)? 22. When can developmental disabilities and academic disabilities be assessed?

Упр. 4. Согласитесь или не согласитесь со следующими утверждениями. Если не согласны, дайте правильный ответ:

1. LDs are not due to mental retardation, not due to sensory impairment. 2. Some famous individuals have had both an LD and special gifts and talents. 3. Learning disabilities are found three times more frequently in females than in males. 4. The causes of learning disabilities are known, aren’t they? 5. There are 6 types of learning disabilities. 6. Children may have only one type of learning disabilities. 7. Some highly motivated students appear to be resisting efforts CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES to teach them because of their LD. 8. Attention deficit and dyslexia are fairly common LDs. 9. An easy label such as attention deficit or dyslexia may suggest an easy program such as drug therapy of dyslexic reading remediation.

ЧАСТЬ II

LESSON 1

Степени сравнения прилагательных и наречий


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Документ CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES