Running head: Learning disabilities
Grand Canyon University SPE 526
February 22, 2012
Individuals who have a learning disability, communication disorder, or are giftedness may have a rough time in the classroom setting. It is the job of the teacher to understand these disabilities or disorders by gaining knowledge of their characteristics and their causes so that they can adjust the students’ curriculum to better help the student achieve success. It takes time and effort from the teacher in order to adjust the classroom environment to better suit the students’ needs. The severity of the disability in a child varies among one another and some students need more help than others.
This paper is going to discuss the definitions, characteristics, and causes of learning disability, communication disorders, and giftedness. Learning disability, communication disorder, and giftedness can all be linked together. These disabilities and disorders can go hand and hand when diagnosing an individual. The most common category in the special educational program is learning disability (Heward, 2009). Along with discussing these disabilities and disorders, this paper will also take a look at the prevalence among them. Although there may be some similarities among these disabilities and disorders, they widely vary between individuals.
Learning disabilities (LD) are neurological disorders that can make it difficult to obtain academic and social skills (“What are learning disabilities?” 2009). Learning disabilities are more than just having difficulties learning, it is a neurological disorder that affects the brains ability to receive, process, sustain, and respond to information (“What are learning disabilities?” 2009). Learning disabilities are very intricate disorders. They vary among individuals in their expression and impact. These are a group or varying disorders that have an extreme negative impact on the way an individual learns. They affect an individual’s ability to speak, listen, think, read, write, and spell (“What are learning disabilities?” 2009). According to the IDEA, a learning disability is defined as a disorder in 1 or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, which disorder may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematics (Heward, 2009).
Learning disabilities are associated with problems in listening, reasoning, memory, attention, focusing, and the perception and processing of visual or auditory information (Heward, 2009). These processing difficulties are the cause of the characteristics that individuals with learning disabilities experience. The characteristics include: reading problems, deficits in written language, low math skills, poor social skills, hyperactivity, attention deficits, behavior problems, and low self-efficacy (Heward, 2009). The most common characteristic of a student with a learning disability is difficulty with reading (Heward, 2009). The most popular reading disability is known as dyslexia. Dyslexia is a disorder where an individual does not have the ability to attain the language skills of reading, writing, and spelling.
Many causes of learning disability have been proposed but the etiology of a learning disability is unknown (Heward, 2009). However, there are likely to be different causes. The suspected causes are brain damage, heredity, biochemical imbalances, and environmental factors (Heward, 2009). Learning disabilities make up the largest of all special education categories (Heward, 2009). These disabilities are a lifelong challenge. Learning disabilities will never go away as there are no causes for them but that does not mean they have to stop an individual from achieving success (“What are learning disorders?”...
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