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learning disability (LD) refers to a group of disorders that

affect a broad range of academic and functional skills

including the ability to
reason and
organize information
Types of Learning Disabilities
 Central Auditory Processing
 Dyslexia Disorder
A language and reading disability Difficulty processing and
remembering language-related
 Dyscalculia tasks
Problems with arithmetic and math
concepts  Non-Verbal Learning Disorders
 Dysgraphia Trouble with nonverbal cues, e.g.,
A writing disorder resulting in body language; poor coordination,
 Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration  Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor
Disorder) Deficit
Problems with motor coordination Reverses letters; cannot copy

 Language Disorders
Trouble understanding spoken
language; poor reading
Suspected Etiologies of Learning Disabilities

NO real causes

Might be caused by:
Types of assessment:
 Informal assessment
 Formal psycho educational assessment

Learning disabilities
Testing for learning disabilities usually involves three primary
types of assessment:
• Testing of intellectual or cognitive potential;

• Testing of information processing or sensory motor abilities

that are indicative of a learning disability;

• Assessment of current educational achievement.

• such as classroom assessments,

• systematic observation,

• file review and interviews

• These are as important as administering formal instruments to determine levels
of academic skill .

• For development and identity of strengths and weaknesses in learning


• Because it is so important to intervene as early as possible, teachers should not

wait for formal assessment to occur before they put strategies in place.
• Assessment to identify a learning disability should integrate information
from a number of sources, including the

• family,
• teachers,
• counsellors (if involved),
• learning assistance or other records,
• and any relevant medical reports

• Once a student has been referred for a formal assessment, a teacher or

principal will need to obtain parent permission and assist the student
and their parents in understanding what will occur during the formal
assessment process.
Formal assessment
• It is done by psychologists

• It involves the usage of different instruments(tools)

• psycho-educational assessments reveal difficulties in the areas of

• perceptual and information processing,

• language and auditory processing,

• attention and other areas of executive function,

• motor abilities and/or social skills as well as reading, written language,

or mathematics,
Tests for Dyslexia
o Expressive One-Word Picture
Vocabulary Test

o Receptive One-Word Picture

Vocabulary Test oWoodcock Reading Mastery Test
o Clinical Evaluation of Language oGray Oral Reading Test

o (Subtests of) Woodcock Johnson oComprehensive Test of Phonological

Psycho educational Battery—III Processing

o (Subtests of) Wechsler Individual oTest of Word Reading Efficiency

Achievement Test
o Wechsler Objective Reading Dimension oRapid Automat zed Naming Tasks
o Wechsler Objective Numerical oPeabody Individual Achievement
Dimension (1996), Test

oTest of Early Reading Ability

Tests for Dysgraphia

• Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure


• Berry Buktenica Developmental

Test of Visual Motor Integration

• Test Of Written Language-III

Tests for dyscalculia
• (Subtests of) Woodcock Johnson
Psychoeducational Battery—III

• Wide Range Achievement Test

• Key Math Diagnostic Assessment

• Test of Mathematical Abilities

• (Subtests of) Wechsler Individual

Achievement Test
Assessment of reading:
oIdentification of alphabets and knowing the sounds of letters in the early years

oWords in isolation i.e. analysis of the kind of difficulties present while reading a
word including decoding strategies, these could include substitution, omission or
addition of consonants or vowels,.

oReading for meaning from a sentence or passage.

o Fluency in reading i.e the child reading the text in a word by word, phrase by phrase
manner with pauses that do not contribute to the meaning of the text.

oDoes the child ignore punctuation while reading

o Understanding written directions

o Middle school and high school students should be assessed for reading rate.
Assessment of writing
•Proper pencil grip
•Ability to retrieve alphabets representing sounds

•The formation and legibility of letters or numbers

•A mixture of print and cursive the appearance of upper case in the

middle of a word should also be noted.

•Spelling as part of comprehension or essay writing,


•Use of vocabulary and synonyms in a piece of free writing,

•Ability to present ideas in an understandable sequence,

•Ability to plan and organize a written text for a particular audience or purpose

• Organization of writing and the mechanics of writing a paragraph or essay.

•Speed of writing
Assessment of mathematical skills
•The ability to recall basic math facts, procedures, rules, or formulas
•Ability to maintain precision during mathematical work

•Ability to sequence and carry out successfully multiple steps

•Understanding of the final goal of the math problem
•Ability to identify salient aspects of a mathematical situation, particularly in word
problems or other problem solving situations where some information is not relevant
•Ability to remember and understand the vocabulary and language of math

•Ability to know when irrelevant information is included or when information is given

out of sequence
•Ability to explain and communicate about math, including asking and answering
•Ability to read texts to direct own learning
•Ability to remember assigned values or definitions in specific problems
Educational Considerations
According to IDEA
25 – 40% OF LD Are on government
43% of LD - living at or below the assistance programs
poverty level

1 out of every 5 people in the SLD Have increased 22% Over 48% of those with LD are
U.S. has a learning disability. past 25 YEARS unemployed.

3 million children (ages 6 10% - 15% of the school-age

through 21) population. With ADHD OR
According to(The National Center for Learning Disabilities)


o The number of school-age children with learning disabilities has declined by 14%
during the last decade.

o 2.5 million public school students – about 5% of all students in public schools –
were identified as having learning disabilities in 2009;

o Graduated students with LD (64%) Than a decade ago (52%) .

o dropping out of school (22%) than in 1999 (40%).

o Only 10% of students with learning disabilities enrolled in a 4-year college within
2 years of leaving high school.

o Males comprise almost two-thirds of school age students with LD who receive
special education services;
o The cost of educating a student with LD is 1.6 times the
expenditure for a general education student

o In 2008, 62% of students with LD spent 80% or more of their in-

school time in general education classrooms

o The high school dropout rate among students with LD was 22%in
2008, down from 40% in 1999;

o Students with LD go on to postsecondary at lower rates than their

non-disabled peers;

o In 2005, 55% of adults with LD were employed compared to 76%

of those without LD
Facts of Learning Disabilities
Persons with learning disabilities are not “lazy” or “dumb.”
• In fact, they usually have average or above average intelligence. Often
they fall within the range or “gifted.” Their brains just process information

• Attention disorders, such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and

learning disabilities often occur at the same time, but they’re not the

• Children with dyslexia use “almost five times as much brain area as other
children while doing a simple language task” (Silverstein et al., 2001, p. 22

• Learning disabilities are not the same as autism, hearing or visual

impairment, physical disabilities, or emotional disorders.
• Learning disabilities aren’t caused by lack of educational opportunities,
such as frequent changes of schools, poor school attendance, or lack of
instruction in basic skills.

• A learning disability is not a disease, so there is no cure, but there are

ways to overcome the challenges it poses through identification and

• Because many people with dyslexia are right-brained thinkers, they may
be more artistic and creative, becoming poets, actors, inventors, and

• Dyslexia does not mean that the person sees words “backwards

 Students with learning disabilities may suffer from

emotional problems/depression, and/or low
self-esteem. This may cause students to withdraw
from social interaction.

 These same students may turn to drugs or alcohol for relief

from feelings of low self-worth.

 As many as 35% of students with learning disorders,

drop out of High School (Girod, 2001, p. 31).

 “Teenagers with dyslexia …[are] more likely to…think about

and to attempt suicide than other young people their age” (Landau, 2004,).
Technology and Individuals with Learning Disabilities

• The use of technology has been a great benefit to people with

disabilities including those with learning disabilities.

• Students with learning disabilities are increasingly making use

of technology to assist them in achieving academic success
including word processing, the internet, videodiscs, CD-ROMS,
and hypermedia.
 For writing assignments, students with LD should be allowed to use
a computer (if available) so that they can get spelling support
through the spell check program.

 Students with dyslexia may find that writing assignments are more
easily completed on a computer.

 Consider trying computer software, like Kurzweil 3000, which

reads textbooks and other materials to students.
Teachers may:
 Allow students to use calculators during Math, when the goal is
concept attainment (and not automaticity of math facts)
 Allow students to tape record lectures and/or tape notes for students.
 Allow students who cannot speak clearly to use a speech synthesizer

 Allow for alternate forms of assessment by allowing students to
demonstrate learning through such things as portfolios, slide
presentations, photographic essays, or taped interviews.


• Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

• Americans with Disabilities Act

• Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

• Provides free and appropriate public education in the
least restrictive environment
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
• A host of issues will be examined in the next IDEA
reauthorization process.

• Organizations representing the interests of the LD

population will need to be solidly united behind a set of

• principles and recommendations so as to show a face of

unquestionable unity to policymakers.
Section 508 and 504 - Rehabilitation Act of 1973

• No individual with disability should be denied or rejected from school

participation and from receiving programs

• Section 508- concentrates on accessibility of assistive technology to

learning disability children.

• A revised version of Section 508 was approved in August, 1998 which

makes strong recommendations for web accessibility

• Only covers federal agencies or state agencies that receive Tech Act
Americans with Disabilities Act

The 2008 Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act made

significant changes to

Section 504, providing expanded coverage for students with

disabilities not in need of

specially designed instruction as well as those with serious health


Widespread understanding of new rights and responsibilities by

both school officials
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
• Involve threats to students with disabilities. Most prevalent among these
is the perception that students receiving special education are
persistently low performing and should not be Expected to perform at
grade level.

• The accountability framework of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – the

current version of ESEA –

• has provided substantial improvements for students w/ LD in terms of

access to the general

• curriculum at their enrolled grade level and accountability for proficiency

on state assessments.

• NCLD has led the way in documenting these advancements with

groundbreaking reports.