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LEARNING DISABILIT

Y
A condition that produces a gap
between someone's ability and his or
her performance.

Learning disabilities can affect a


persons ability in the areas of :

Listening
Speaking
Reading
Writing
Spelling
Reasoning
Mathematics

Types of Learning Disabilities

Dyslexia
Dyscalculia
Dysgraphia
Dyspraxia
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder

DYSLEXIA
the name for specific learning disabilities in reading.
often characterized by difficulties with accurate word
recognition, decoding and spelling.
may cause problems with reading comprehension and
slow down vocabulary growth.
may result in poor reading fluency and reading out loud.
neurological and often genetic.
not the result of poor instruction.
with the proper support, almost all people with dyslexia
can become good readers and writers.

Dyslexia: Warning Signs by Age


Young Children
Trouble with :

School-Age Children
Trouble with :

Recognizing letters,
matching letters to sounds Mastering the rules of
and blending sounds into
spelling
speech
Pronouncing words, for
example saying mawn
lower instead of lawn
mower

Remembering facts and


numbers

Young Adult
Trouble with :
Reading at the expected
level
Understanding non-literal
language, such as idioms,
jokes, or proverbs

Learning and correctly


using new vocabulary
words

Handwriting or with
gripping a pencil

Learning the alphabet,


numbers, and days of the
week or similar common
word sequences

Learning and
understanding new skills;
instead, relying heavily on
memorization

Rhyming

Reading and spelling, such


as reversing letters (d, b)
Trouble summarizing a
or moving letters around
story
(left, felt)
Following a sequence of
directions
Trouble with word

Reading aloud

Organizing and managing


time

Learning a foreign
language
Memorizing

How is Dyslexia treated?


Expose your child to early oral reading, writing,
drawing, and practice to encourage development of
print knowledge, basic letter formation, recognition
skills and linguistic awareness (the relationship
between sound and meaning).
Have your child practice reading different kinds of
texts. This includes books, magazines, ads and
comics.
Include multi-sensory, structured language instruction.
Practice using sight, sound and touch when
introducing new ideas.
Seek modifications in the classroom. This might
include extra time to complete assignments, help with
note taking, oral testing and other means of
assessment.
Use books on tape and assistive technology. Examples

DYSCALCULIA
Refers to a wide range of lifelong learning disabilities involving math.
There is no single type of math disability.

Two major areas of weakness can contribute to math learning


disabilities:
Visual-spatial difficulties, which result in a person having trouble processing

what the eye sees


Language processing difficulties, which result in a person having trouble

processing and making sense of what the ear hears

Dyscalculia: Warning Signs by Age


Young Children

School-Age Children

Young Adult

Trouble with :

Trouble with :

Trouble with :

Difficulty learning to
count
Trouble recognizing
printed numbers

Trouble learning math


facts (addition,
subtraction,
multiplication, division)

Difficulty estimating
costs like groceries
bills

Difficulty tying together


the idea of a number (4)
and how it exists in the
world (4 horses, 4 cars,
4 children)

Difficulty developing
math problem-solving
skills

Difficulty learning math


concepts beyond the
basic math facts

Poor memory for


numbers

Poor long term memory


for math functions

Poor ability to budget or


balance a checkbook

Trouble organizing things


in a logical way - putting
Not familiar with math
round objects in one
vocabulary
place and square ones in
another
Difficulty measuring
things

Trouble with concepts of


time, such as sticking to
a schedule or
approximating time
Trouble with mental
math
Difficulty finding
different approaches to
one problem

How is Dyscalculia
identified?
Below are some of the areas that may be
addressed:
Ability with basic math skills like counting,
adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing
Ability to predict appropriate procedures based
on understanding patternsknowing when to
add, subtract, multiply, divide or do more
advanced computations
Ability to organize objects in a logical way
Ability to measuretelling time, using money
Ability to estimate number quantities
Ability to self-check work and find alternate
ways to solve problems.

How is Dyscalculia treated?


Helping a student identify his/her strengths and
weaknesses is the first step to getting help.
Following identification, parents, teachers and
other educators can work together to establish
strategies that will help the student learn math
more effectively. Help outside the classroom lets
a student and tutor focus specifically on the
difficulties that student is having, taking pressure
off moving to new topics too quickly. Repeated
reinforcement
and
specific
practice
of
straightforward ideas can make understanding
easier.

How is Dyscalculia treated?


Other strategies for inside and outside the
classroom include:
Use graph paper for students who have difficulty
organizing ideas on paper.
Work on finding different ways to approach
math facts; i.e., instead of just memorizing the
multiplication tables, explain that 8 x 2 = 16, so
if 16 is doubled, 8 x 4 must = 32.
Practice estimating as a way to begin solving
math problems.
Introduce new skills beginning with concrete
examples and later moving to more abstract
applications.
For language difficulties, explain ideas and
problems clearly and encourage students to ask

DYSGRAPHIA
A learning disability that affects writing, which
requires a complex set of motor and information
processing skills. Dysgraphia makes the act of
writing difficult. It can lead to problems with
spelling,poor handwritingand putting thoughts
on paper. People with dysgraphia can have
trouble organizing letters, numbers and words on
a line or page. This can result partly from:
Visual-spatial difficulties: trouble processing
what the eye sees

Language processing difficulty: trouble


processing and making sense of what the ear

Dysgraphia: Warning Signs by Age


Young Children
Trouble with :

Tight, awkward pencil


grip and body
position

School-Age Children

Young Adult

Trouble with :

Trouble with :

Illegible handwriting

Trouble organizing
thoughts on paper

Avoiding writing or
drawing tasks

Trouble keeping track


Mixture of cursive and
of thoughts already
print writing
written down

Trouble forming letter


shapes
Inconsistent spacing
between letters or
words

Difficulty with syntax


Saying words out loud
structure and
while writing
grammar

Concentrating so hard
Poor understanding of on writing that
uppercase and
comprehension of
lowercase letters
what's written is
missed
Inability to write or
draw in a line or
within margins

Trouble thinking of
words to write

Large gap between


written ideas and
understanding
demonstrated
through speech

How is Dysgraphia treated?


There are many ways to help a person with
dysgraphia achieve success. Generally strategies
fall into three main categories:
Accommodations: providing alternatives to
written expression
Modifications: changing expectations or tasks to
minimize or avoid the area of weakness
Remediation: providing instruction for improving
handwriting and writing skills

Here are examples of how to teach individuals with


dysgraphia to overcome some of their difficulties with
written expression.

Early Writers

Be patient and positive, encourage practice and praise effort.


Becoming a good writer takes time and practice.
Use paper with raised lines for a sensory guide to staying within
the lines.
Try different pens and pencils to find one thats most comfortable.
Practice writing letters and numbers in the air with big arm
movements to improve motor memory of these important shapes.
Also practice letters and numbers with smaller hand or finger
motions.
Encourage proper grip, posture and paper positioning for writing.
Its important to reinforce this early as its difficult for students to
unlearn bad habits later on.
Use multi-sensory techniques for learning letters, shapes and
numbers. For example, speaking through motor sequences, such
as b is big stick down, circle away from my body.
Introduce a word processor on a computer early; however do not
eliminate handwriting for the child. While typing can make it
easier to write by alleviating the frustration of forming letters,

Here are examples of how to teach individuals with


dysgraphia to overcome some of their difficulties with
written expression.

Young Students

Allow use of print or cursivewhichever is more


comfortable.
Use large graph paper for math calculation to keep columns
and rows organized.
Allow extra time for writing assignments.
Begin writing assignments creatively with drawing, or
speaking ideas into a tape recorder.
Alternate focus of writing assignmentsput the emphasis
on some for neatness and spelling, others for grammar or
organization of ideas.
Explicitly teach different types of writingexpository and
personal essays, short stories, poems, etc.
Do not judge timed assignments on neatness and spelling.
Have students proofread work after a delayits easier to
see mistakes after a break.

Here are examples of how to teach individuals with


dysgraphia to overcome some of their difficulties with
written expression.

Young Students

Help students create a checklist for editing workspelling,


neatness, grammar, syntax, clear progression of ideas, etc.
Encourage use of a spell checkerspeaking spell checkers
are available for handwritten work.
Reduce amount of copying; instead, focus on writing
original answers and ideas.
Have student complete tasks in small steps instead of all at
once.
Find alternative means of assessing knowledge, such as
oral reports or visual projects.

Here are examples of how to teach individuals with


dysgraphia to overcome some of their difficulties with
written expression.

Teenagers and Adults

Provide tape recorders to supplement note taking and to


prepare for writing assignments.
Create a step-by-step plan that breaks writing assignments
into small tasks (see below).
When organizing writing projects, create a list of keywords
that will be useful.
Provide clear, constructive feedback on the quality of work,
explaining both the strengths and weaknesses of the
project, commenting on the structure as well as the
information that is included.
Use assistive technology such as voice-activated software if
the mechanical aspects of writing remain a major hurdle.

DYSPARAXIA
Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill
development. People withdyspraxia have trouble
planning and completing fine motor tasks. This
can vary from simple motor tasks such as waving
goodbye to more complex tasks like brushing
teeth.

Dyspraxia By Category
Category

May Cause Troubles With

Ideomotor
Dyspraxia

Completing single-step motor tasks such as combing hair


and waving goodbye.

Ideational
Dyspraxia

Multi-step tasks like brushing teeth, making a bed,


putting clothes on in order, as well as buttoning and
buckling

Oromotor
Dyspraxia

Coordinating the muscle movements needed to


pronounce words

Constructional
Dyspraxia

Establishing spatial relationships, for instance, being able


to accurately position or move objects from one place to
another

Dysparaxia: Warning Signs by Age


Young Children

School-Age Children

Young Adult

Trouble with :

Trouble with :

Trouble with :

Learning to walk, jump,


hop, skip and throw or
catch a ball

Speech control
Poor pencil grip and
letter formation and slow volume, pitch,
handwriting
articulation

Pronouncing words and


being understood

Doing activities that


require fine motor skills,
like holding a pencil,
buttoning, cutting with
scissors

Writing and typing

Establishing left- or
right- handedness

Playing sports, riding a


bike and other activities
requiring coordination

Over- or undersensitivity to light,


touch, space, taste,
or smells

Bumping into things

Sensing direction

Personal grooming
and other self-help
activities

Moving the eyes


instead, moving the
whole head

Speaking at a normal
rate or in way that can
be easily understood

Cooking or other
household chores

Being sensitive to touch


such as being irritated

Making social

How is Dysparaxia treated?


There is no cure for dyspraxia. However, early
identification and intervention can greatly help.
Depending upon the severity of the disability,
work with occupational, speech and physical
therapists can improve a person's ability to
function and succeed independently.

ADHD
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is
a group of chronic disorders that begin in
childhood and sometimes last into adult life.
Problems generally associated with ADHD include
inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
They can affect nearly every aspect of life.
Children and adults with ADHD often struggle
with low self-esteem, troubled personal
relationships and poor performance in school or
at work.

In most children diagnosed with ADHD, signs and


symptoms appear between 4 and 6 years of age,
although they sometimes may occur even earlier.
They include the following:

Inattention

Often fails to pay close attention to details or makes


careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities
Often has trouble sustaining attention during tasks or play
Often doesn't seem to listen when spoken to directly
Often doesn't follow through on instructions and fails to
finish schoolwork, chores or other tasks
Often has difficulty organizing tasks or activities
Often avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental
effort, such as schoolwork or homework
Often loses things needed for tasks or activities, such as
books, pencils, toys or tools
Is often easily distracted
Is often forgetful

Hyperactivity-impulsive behavior

Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat


Often leaves seat in the classroom or in other situations
where remaining seated is expected
Often runs or climbs excessively when it's not appropriate,
or, if an adolescent might constantly feel restless
Often has difficulty playing quietly
Is often "on the go" or acts as if "driven by a motor"
Often talks excessively
Often blurts out the answers before questions have been
completely asked
Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn
Often interrupts or intrudes on others by butting into
conversations or games
Attention span often depends on the level of interest in a
particular activity. Most teenagers can listen to music or
talk to their friends for hours but may be a lot less focused
about homework.

Furthermore, symptoms may be different in boys and girls.

Boys are more likely to be hyperactive,


Girls tend to be inattentive. In addition, girls who have
trouble paying attention often daydream, but inattentive
boys are more likely to play or fiddle aimlessly. Boys
also tend to be less compliant with teachers and other
adults, so their behavior is often more conspicuous.

At the same time, children diagnosed with ADHD may have


some things in common.

They tend to be especially sensitive to stimuli such as


sights, sounds and touch, for instance. And when
overstimulated, they can quickly get out of control,
becoming giddy and sometimes aggressive or even
physically or verbally abusive.
Children with the inattentive form of ADHD may seem to
drift away into their own thoughts or lose track of what's
going on around them.

Symptoms of ADHD in Adults


ADHD always begins in childhood, but it may persist into adult
life.
The core symptoms of :
distractibility
hyperactivity
Impulsive behavior are the same for adults as for
children, but they often manifest differently and far
more subtly in adults.
Hyperactivity, in particular, is generally less overt in
adults. Children may race around madly; adults are
more likely to be restless and to have trouble relaxing.
On the other hand, problems with organization and
concentration often increase as people get older and their
lives become more complicated and demanding.
Adults diagnosed with ADHD often say that their biggest
frustration is their inability to focus and to prioritize, leading
not only to missed deadlines but also to forgotten meetings
and social engagements

How is ADHD treated?


THERAPY

Psychotherapy. This allows older children and adults with


ADHD to talk about issues that bother them, explore
negative behavioral patterns and learn ways to deal with
their symptoms.

Behavior therapy. This type of therapy helps teachers


and parents learn strategies (contingency management
procedures) for dealing with children's behavior. These
strategies may include token reward systems and timeouts.
Behavior modification using contingency management
techniques has proved especially beneficial for people with
ADHD.

Family therapy. Family therapy can help parents and


siblings deal with the stress of living with a child who has
ADHD.

Social skills training. This can help children learn


appropriate social behaviors.

How is ADHD treated?

Support groups. Support groups can offer adults and


children with ADHD and their parents a network of social
support, information and education.

Parenting skills training. This can help parents develop


ways to understand and guide their child's behavior.

The best results usually occur when a team approach is


used, with teachers, parents, and therapists or physicians
working together. You can help by making every effort to
work with your child's teachers and by referring them to
reliable sources of information to support their efforts in the
classroom.

How is ADHD treated?


MEDICATIONS

Drugs known as psychostimulants are the most commonly


prescribed medications for treating ADHD in children and
adults. Sometimes antidepressants may also be used
especially for adults and for children who don't respond to
stimulants or who are depressed or have other problems.

Although scientists don't understand exactly why these


drugs work, stimulants appear to boost and balance levels
of the brain chemicals dopamine, which is associated with
activity, and serotonin, which is associated with a sense of
well-being. Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), the primary
medication used to treat ADHD, seems to increase levels of
dopamine in the brain by blocking the activity of dopamine
transporters, which remove dopamine after it has been
released.