learning disabilities with an emphasis on math learning disabilities

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  • Learning Disabilities With an emphasis on math learning disabilities
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  • oA single definition for learning disabilities has not been universally agreed upon. oLearning disabilities are generally defined to cause significant difficulties in the acquiring and using listening, reading, speaking, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. http://www.disease-picture.com/wp- content/uploads/2010/11/27/learning-disabilities- articlesem.jpg Learning disabilities are not caused by poor vision, poor hearing, mental retardation, physical handicaps, emotional disturbance, or cultural disadvantage. However, Learning disabilities can occur along with these disorders in some people. What is a Learning Disability?
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  • Common Characteristic difficulty reading, writing, spelling, and/or using mathematical concepts in contrast with average to superior skills in other areas. poor handwriting trouble listening to a lecture and taking notes easily distracted by noise or visual stimulation - unable to pay attention trouble understanding and following directions confuses/reverses some letters ('b' and 'd', etc.) or words ('was' and 'saw', etc.) and numbers ('41' to '14) omits or adds words when reading repeatedly forgets things, loses things confuses left and right, gets lost often late for class, cannot sense time
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  • Identification Three criteria must be met to receive a learning disability diagnosis: Severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and academic achievement Difficulties are not the result of another known condition A need for special education services
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  • How Common are Learning Disabilities? The diagnosis of learning disabilities has risen dramatically since the passage of IDEA. They make up over half of all students receiving special education services. It is generally accepted that 5% of student population has a learning disability. Some believe this number could be higher as research indicates that 6% of students have difficulty with mathematics that cannot be explained by low intelligence or socio-economic status. http://www.synergeahealth.com/wp- content/uploads/Learning-Disabilities-300x300.jpg
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  • Math Learning Disability Dyscalculia Dyscalculia is a broad term for severe difficulties in math. It includes all types of math problems ranging from inability to understand the meaning of numbers to inability to apply math principles to solve problems. Amongst other things, students with dyscalculia can exhibit difficulties with: 1. Memorizing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. 2. Organizing objects in a logical way (by size or shape) 3. Using measurement or telling time 4. Checking work for accuracy or finding alternative ways to solve a problem http://art-canyon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/einstein-do-not-worry.jpg
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  • Reading Summary #1 Helping Students with Mathematical Disabilities to Succeed by Elizabeth Wadlington and Patrick L. Wadlington Dyscalculia is is believed to be as prevalent as reading disabilities; however, it is much less diagnosed. Three mains subtypes are: difficulty retrieving arithmetic facts, difficulty applying mathematical procedures, and difficulty working spatially with place value, columns, or geometry. Dyscalculia is difficult to diagnose because of different subtypes of mathematical disabilities and because a learning disability may not be the only cause of mathematical difficulties. Other factors that lower mathematical ability include difficulty with the language of mathematics, math anxiety, lack of motivation, or poor prior instruction that leads to lack of needed prior knowledge. Strategies that have been shown to work: Students do not usually struggle with all areas of mathematics, give positive reinforcement when they succeed. Teach the big picture. Then break down into smaller steps. Cover main ideas thoroughly rather than many ideas briefly Skills should become automatic before students can move on Teachers should model vocabulary and have students give their own examples Numbers and mathematical symbols should be practiced and posted just like the alphabet
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  • References Fuchs, Lynn S. & Owen, Rhoda L. (2002). Mathematical Problem-Solving Strategy Instruction for Third Grade Students with Learning Disabilities. Remedial and Special Education. 23(5) 268-278. Cawley, John F. & Parmar, Rene S. (2003). Mathematics Assessment for Students with Mild Disabilities:Framework and Practice. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal 1(1) 20-26. Cawley, John F., Parmar, Rene S., Lucas-Fusco, Lynn M., Kilian, Joy D., & Foley, Teresa E. (2007). Place Value and Mathematics for Students with Mild Disabilities: Data and Suggested Practices. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal 5(1) 21-39. Heward, William L. (2009) Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education (9th ed). Upper Saddle river, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.


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