Learning Disabilities in the Classroom
Students with learning disabilities can be taught effective learning strategies that will help them adjust to mainstream classroom activities and prepare them for life as adults. Children who start school with difficulty in receiving and organizing information, remembering and expressing themselves need to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Otherwise they fall behind and this has a tragic snowball effect leading to behavioral and emotional problems. A child who is trying to learn becomes more and more frustrated in the face of repeated failure, leading to low self-esteem and bad behavior which greatly affect their social interactions.
Learning disabilities affect one in ten children to varying degrees and with early recognition and professional intervention, special education and therapy can be accessed by aware teachers and parents. There are many types of learning disabilities such as dyslexia (inability to read), aphasia and apraxia ( speech disorders) visual and audio difficulties, all affecting a child's study skills, oral, reading and math skills and in turn their social skills.
A teacher should never assess a student's abilities based on their IQ or test scores as many disabilities are masked by a normal IQ and good general comprehension. The specific nature of the child's disability should be identified and understood with the help of a special education professional who will help establish the child's Individualized Education Program. Teamwork is essential as teacher, parents and specialists work together and encourage the child to find the best strategies for living with learning disabilities and maximizing the student's learning potential.
Children with learning disabilities are required by US law to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum. Fortunately educational technology today makes it easier for teachers to integrate into the classroom students who are learning at a different pace. Increasingly teachers may access excellent online resources with lesson plans and resources adapted for children with disabilities as well as innovative teaching materials, activities and worksheets. The use of computers in the classroom with specialized technology and software can help the student set individual self-paced goals.
The individualized educational program (IEP) for a student with learning disabilities should be ambitious and include planning for college beyond high school if appropriate. Many colleges and universities offer well-defined and specialized accommodation with students with special needs and the student should be encouraged to work towards realization of those long-term goals. The goals will require continual monitoring and adjustment throughout the high school program as the student's postsecondary and career choices become defined.
Above all, constant collaboration and support for the student at home, in school and in the community will lead to the learning disabled child becoming a culturally competent and happy member of society.
More Information On Learning Disabilities
- Deaf Children with Learning Disabilities
- Dyslexia 'Nessy ' the online learning system
- LD OnLine
- LD Pride Online
- Learning Disabilities Information
- Math Learning Disabilities- By Kate Garnett,Ph.D.
- Twice Gifted
- What Is a Learning Disability?