LEARNING DISABILITY (Grades 1–12: Code 54)

"Learning Disabilities" refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency.
Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning. These include, but are not limited to: language processing; phonological processing; visual spatial processing; processing speed; memory and attention; and executive functions (e.g., planning and decision-making).
Learning disabilities range in severity and may interfere with the acquisition and use of one or more of the following:
oral language (e.g., listening, speaking, understanding) reading (e.g. decoding, phonetic knowledge, word recognition, comprehension) written language (e.g., spelling and written expression) mathematics (e.g., computation, problem solving).
Learning disabilities may also involve difficulties with organizational skills, social perception, social interaction and perspective taking. Learning disabilities are lifelong. The way in which they are expressed may vary over an individual's lifetime, depending on the interaction between the demands of the environment and the individual's strengths and needs. Learning disabilities are suggested by unexpected academic under-achievement or achievement which is maintained only by unusually high levels of effort and support.
Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors or injury that alters brain functioning in a manner which affects one or more processes related to learning. These disorders are not due primarily to hearing and/or vision problems, socio- economic factors, cultural or linguistic differences, lack of motivation or ineffective teaching, although these factors may further complicate the challenges faced by individuals with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities may co-exist with various conditions including attentional, behavioural and emotional disorders, sensory impairments or other medical conditions.
For success, individuals with learning disabilities require early identification and timely specialized assessments and interventions involving home, school, community and workplace settings. The interventions need to be appropriate for each individual's learning disability subtype and, at a minimum, include the provision of:
specific skill instruction
compensatory strategies
self-advocacy skills.

Learning Disability Resources

Graphic Organizers

He Doesn't Understand- comprehension for children with autism.

When your student experiences difficulty with organizing...
• use graphic organizers.
• use semantic mapping.
• use planners and calendars.
• teach time management skills.
• post sequence of events.
• teach use of folders, notebooks.
• teach how to clean desk, locker.
• use assignment sheets.
• connect previous learning to new information.
• use multiple means of learning the same material (visual, auditory, tactile). • have students set personal goals.
• use flow charts.
• use multiple intelligences.
• use peer tutors.
• use cooperative learning.
• provide cues.

When your student experiences difficulty with retaining and retrieving information...
• use multi-modalities (visual, auditory, tactile) to teach the same concept.
• teach vocabulary in context.
• use cues, prompts.
• use graphic organizers.
• use frequent repetition of key points.
• break down instructional units into smaller steps.
• show relationships among concepts through graphs, outlines, and webbing. • highlight important information.
• use color coding to show concepts and relationships.
• use peer tutors.
• teach mnemonics as a memory tool.
• teach visual imagery.
• use rhythm, music, and movement.
• use lists.
• use matrix to organize information.
• use pictographs.

When your student experiences difficulty with representing new learning in assessment....
• use of variety of authentic assessments.
• teach test taking strategies.
• teach the format of an upcoming test.
• allow adequate time.
• allow paper-pencil tests to be taken in a different space.
• allow a variety of ways to respond, i.e., orally, pictorial, tape record, etc.
• establish criteria and expectations prior to instruction.
• give choices.
• assess learning over time.
• use rubrics.
• use self-assessment.

When your student experiences difficulty with understanding new concepts...
  • pre-teach new concepts.
  • identify priority learning.
  • provide adequate time.
  • provide meaningful practice, review, repetition.

When your student experiences difficulty with attending...
• use preferential seating.
• use proximity to measure on task behavior.
• build-in opportunities for movement within a lesson.
• use self-monitoring strategies.
• provide a structure for organization.
• help the student set and monitor personal goals.
• provide alternative work area.
• decrease distractions.
• use active learning to increase opportunities for student participation.
• provide opportunities to change tasks or activities more frequently.
• have small, frequent tasks.
• provide reminder cues or prompts.
• use private signal to cue appropriate behavior for more difficult times.
• teach skills of independence, i.e., paying attention.
• provide definite purpose and expectations especially during unstructured activities.
• prepare the learner for changes in routine.
• use computer.
• use graphic organizers.
• reduce assignment length.