Learning Disabilities: Learning disabilities usually affect the learners’ capability to recognize and understand language that is written or spoken, it can relate to direct attention or subjects like sciences or even mathematics (Kemp, Smith, & Segal. (2012)).
Dyslexia: it is described as a learning disability whereby one has problems or difficulties in reading.
Characteristics & Causes: There exists several forms of dyslexia and they can either be caused by hormonal development or a brain trauma, and it has been associated with chromosome number 6 (Logsdon (2012)
Teaching Strategies: one of the best strategies is by using multi-sensory to assist students learn how to utilize their other senses such as sight and hearing (auditory sensation) to help in their understanding. Examples: trouble writing or pronouncing words backwards
Dysgraphia: it’s a learning disability where a student has complexity in writing or the intellectual activity of understanding and integrating information.
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Characteristics & Causes: it is caused by the dysfunction of the brains core systems. Some characteristics can include be short of kinetics’ skills and bad handwriting.
Teaching Strategies: the best strategy is to encourage suitable grip, and also by use of experimental learning by use of auditory and visual clues like hand movements, etc.
Examples: difficulty spelling, writing, and organizing thoughts.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD): it is described as a learning disability where one has problem in hearing differences between different sounds (WITH AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDERS (n.d.)).
Characteristics & Causes: this disorder is brought about by recurring Otitis Media. Some of its characteristics include being easily perplexed by instructions, over talkative, problem in remembering things in progression heard, and complexity focusing on assignment. |
Teaching Strategies: include the use of visual information, limiting the quantity of information given during instruction, and seating the student nearest to the teacher (Harmon, 1997).
Examples: Trouble understanding language and reading.
Visual Processing Disorder: this disorder involves one having a complication in interpreting what is seen.
Characteristics & Causes: characteristics include reversing words and skipping small words or letters when reading etc.
Teaching Strategies: include using highlighters to mark important information, bold print when reading, employing a ruler as a reading guide, and giving out assignments in bits.
Examples: Trouble reading graphs, pictures, maps, math questions, as well as reading in general.
Communication Disorders: these disorders include problems related to language, auditory processing, and speech.
Articulation Disorders: its type of a disorder where an individual has problem in articulating speech sounds.
Characteristics & Causes: one of the distinguishing features is delayed response of the palate where a student may sound tongue tied and pronounce words wrongly like “been” can sound like “ven”
Teaching Strategies: By encouraging verbal communication with the pupils, creating a calm organized learning atmosphere, use of proper pronunciation of all letters, and making assignment instructions understandable.
Examples: Mispronunciation of letters and words where words with “S” assume the sound of the words with “B”, etc.
Fluency Disorders: whereby an individual has problem with the flow of verbal communication characterized by rhythm and repetition.
Characteristics & Causes: characterized by repetitions, hesitations, or prolongations of words, phrases, syllables, and sounds.
Teaching Strategies: assisting students to study proper speech sounds production, and employ speech therapist.
Examples: speaking fast, absolute block of talking, regular repetition, cluttering words, and stuttering.
Phonological Disorders: a communication disorder where there are difficulties in making sound combinations.
Characteristics & Causes: are distinguished by failure to employ verbal communication sounds that are suitable for the student’s dialect and age.
Teaching Strategies: By introducing information in diverse ways, offering students extra time to finish assignments, peer tutoring, and making allowances for students to record lectures
Examples: Consonant removal of words.
Students with communication disorders or learning disabilities are affected by numerous challenges in and out of the learning atmosphere. For instance, many of them spend a considerate amount of their daytime with speech-language therapist, so as to learn methods on how to enhance their understanding of information in class. Language and speech therapists work directly with children, adults and even infants who suffer from various types of communication, language and speech problems. Therapists evaluate the clients' requirements prior to developing person’s treatment programs so as to facilitate each patient to get better as to a great extent as possible. These therapists typically work as a component of a multidisciplinary panel, together with other health professionals such as occupational therapists, doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, and nurses. They may also act as a go-between with professionals in social services and education sector (Gregory, AGCAS, 2010).
The majority of first time tutors and teachers work extremely hard to give every student a quality education and in the scenarios where students with learning disorders are involved it becomes more challenging. Therefore the teachers have to bear in mind that even if a student has a learning disability; he/she is capable intellectually as the rest of the students. Thus it’s very important for the teachers and especially the first timers familiarize with their pupils diverse disabilities so that they are able to enhance their students’ successes. An additional way in which first time teachers can assist their learners is by working in conjunction with the speech therapist to ensure that the accurate strategies are being employed.
In situations which involve students with a language disorder, it is advisable to exploit the whole problem so that the student learns in the least constrained learning environment. Through an interview with a speech therapist from the local school district, she conversantly educated all observers to employ strategies like ensuring that the students are seated near the teacher as possible for easy and quick address of their problems in without disclosure of their condition and also introducing class work in bits to students with disabilities like that of dyslexia. She also stressed the point of not revealing the students disability in class and ensure that at all times the students are comfortable and are not stressed as stress could make them shut down. Moreover the therapist also revealed the importance of encouraging student participation in class mainly to those with language disabilities as this improves their fluency skills and in situations of severe language disabilities the teachers should try pairing them together as when around their peers they tend to try harder.
To enhance the work the therapist has put in with students in the classroom, the therapist encouraged the teachers to put into practice what the students had learned in class by re-enforcing the methods and techniques being worked on by the student, and working with the student one on one if likely. Also the teacher should always listen to the students as if they are of age they will definitely share what they have learned and by dong this will even make them work harder so as to prove themselves. She again pointed out the importance of employing visual supplements like pictures and visual equipments which help in boosting the students’ interest.
Thereafter an interview with the parents who their children have learning disorders proved to be much informational. The student suffered from complex disabilities where in such a situation she required extra care and accommodation. Her parents narrated how she suffered from physical impairment and communication/learning disorders. Therefore it was medically proven that the student has to seat as closest as possible to the teacher and away from windows and doors as she was easily distracted. Her parents shared their thoughts about their daughter’s teachers and revealed a discontent on one of the teachers Mr. T who had not employed the required strategies to ensure that their daughter pass in end year exams and didn’t also show compassion to the student.
The parents stressed on the importance of their daughter being taken care of by the teachers in an appropriate manner and she is treated like any other human being or rather student and not a student ID number. They also highlighted the significance of having open communication with the teachers at all times as this would facilitate handling issues more appropriately.
It’s widely known that disability is not inability therefore teachers should treat all students equally despite their abilities. Every teacher has to put in practice all the teaching strategies for different students with disabilities as this would greatly assist in helping the students attain academic success and their full potential.
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