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  • Overview of Learning Disabilities and Related Mild DisabilitiesLearning Disabilities and Related Mild Disabilities:Characteristics and Current Directions

    Kimberly Atias, Nancy Schaefer, Theresa YurkaninJuly 13, 2010

  • GUESS WHOThis performer always had trouble in public school and didnt realize that she had a learning disability until her daughter Chastity was diagnosed with the same disability.This famous comedian, actress and social activist, has starred in various movies over the last 20 years from Sister Act to Good Fences. This person did not discover that she had a learning disability until she was an adult. Since being diagnosed she has been a strong advocate for people with disabilities.This individual who works for 20/20 has struggled with stuttering for most of his life, yet has become one of the most successful reporters in broadcast journalism today.For this actor nothing is impossible for starring in major box office smashes to directing. Additionally this actor suffered from dyslexia while in school, he was "a functional illiterate" when he graduated from high school. Although he excelled in sports and bravado, this actor recently was married for the third time and is the proud poppa of a new baby girl.

  • Laws for Individuals with Special NeedsFirst law passed - Education for all Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) passed in 1975

    Followed by the Federal Law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA in 2004

  • Types of Certification and Education ProgramsCategorical Programs- to prepare and certify Special Educators and to implement in the education system

    Cross-Categorical (Non-categorical) Programs

  • Mild Disabilities CategoriesLearning Disabilities

    Mental retardationEach category has ranges from mild, moderate to severeMost states require cross categorical programs

    Emotional/ Behavioral disturbances

    Other Disabilities

  • The Definition of Learning DisabilityThe individual has:A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes - auditory, visual perception, oral language and thinking

    Difficulty in learning, specifically in speaking, writing, listening, reading (word recognitions skills and comprehension) and mathematics (calculation and reasoning)

    The problem is not primarily due to other causes such as visual or hearing impairments, motor impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance; or economic, environmental or cultural disadvantages.

  • The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) 1997Their definition of learning disabilities adds to the IDEA definition:Related to central nervous system dysfunction and have a biological basis

    Can occur along with other disabilities and conditions

    The problem is within the individual and is due to factors within the person and not by external factors such as educational system or environment.

  • The Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities (ICLD) 1988Adds a deficit in social skills to IDEAs definition

  • Common Elements of LD DefinitionsCentral nervous system dysfunction

    Cognitive processing differences

    Difficulty in academic and learning task

    Discrepancy between potential and achievement

    Exclusion of other causes

  • Terminology Used by Professionals/ Organizations of Learning Disabilities (not recognized by IDEA)Learning DifferencesMel Levine (2002, 2003)

    Learning DifficultiesCharles and Helen Schwab Foundation

    Learning DisordersAmerican Psychiatric Association (2004)

  • Gifted and Talented Children with Learning DisabilitiesExhibit spontaneity, inquisitiveness, imagination, boundless enthusiasm, and emotionalityThese traits can also be seen with children with learning disabilities.

    These traits can also be seen with children with learning disabilities.erences

  • Characteristics of Learning DisabilitiesGender Differences

    Characteristics at Different StagesPreschool ElementarySecondaryAdult

    Cross-Cultural Nature


  • Mental RetardationDefinition Adaptive Behavior



  • Characteristics of Learning DisabilitiesCharacteristics Emotional Behavioral


  • Other Disabilities

  • Impact of the Law and Court CasesNO CHILD LEFT BEHIND (2001)

    Challenging Academic Standards Measurement of Reading and Math Proficiency Educational Parity Statewide Accountability (AYP)

  • Impact of the Law and Court CasesINDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT (2004)Civil Rights Legislation

    Introduction of Critical Components of Special EducationIndividualized Education Program (IEP) Procedural Safeguards Least Restrictive EnvironmentContinuum of Alternative PlacementsParental Involvement

  • Impact of the Law and Court CasesSECTION 504 of REHABILITATION ACT (1973)Accommodations for Federal Funds

    AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (1990)Protection of people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace

    CASE LAWDecisions handed down by federal and state courts that impact the way future situations and court cases are handled

  • History of the Field of Learning DisabilitiesFoundationEarly Brain ResearchTransitionClinical Study of the ChildIntegrationImplementation in the SchoolsNew DirectionsIntegration of New Concepts 1800 1930 1930 1960 1960 1980 1980 -

  • Foundation

    Early Brain Research (1800 1930)

    Prior to a field of learning disabilities

    Research phase of brain function and disorders

  • Transition

    Clinical study of the child (1930 1960)

    Assessment tools were being developed

    Terminology used to describe learning issues:Brain-injured childMinimal brain dysfunctionLearning Disabilities (came last)

  • Integration

    Implementation in the Schools (1960 1980)Programs developedProfessional development and trainingLearning environments evolvedSelf containedResource levelProgramming at secondary levelNew assessment and teaching tools made available

  • New Directions

    Where do we go from here?

  • Current Issues and Directions

    More Inclusive PlacementsRequires collaborative effort of all professionals involvedResponse to Intervention (RTI)Prevention modelStatewide StandardsNCATEHigh-Stakes TestingAssessment of state standardsIncludes all students

  • Current Issues and Directions

    English Language Learners (ELL)Learning disabilities coupled with lack of English proficiencyCultural and Liguistic DiversityBackground coupled with learning disabilitiesRapidly growing, culturally changing school population

  • Current Issues and DirectionsAssistive TechnologyAssistive Technology Act of 2004Any item, piece of equipment, or system that us used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilitiesUniversal Design for LearningAlternatives to make learning accessible and appropriate for all


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