Supporting Children with Learning Disabilities
John K. McNamara
This Journal is pertaining to the most effective way to support children with learning disabilities, and how to best identify those who are at risk for being learning disable. Early intervention is by far the best course of action, but the model that is in place for early detection has been very problematic. Reasons being is that the current model compares IQ scores with achievement scores. And a Childs IQ score is only a slight estimate of their general cognitive functions and not a measure of their learning potential. Another issue that arises with the model in place is that a child can’t formally be classified as learning disabled until they’re in the 3rd or 4th grade. And then the child must show a 2 year discrepancy in learning. Basically they have to be a 4th grader with a 2nd grade reading level before they can be diagnosed as learning disabled. And by that time it’s usually far too late because there’s a 2-3 year lag. Between 70-80% of students with learning disabilities have to do with reading, and once they fall behind, they never catch up. The best course of action would be to better prepare new teachers entering the field of education how to informally assess if children are reading below grade level. It is very important for children that are at risk to be identified early in their elementary years. The National Research Council (NRS) has found that early intervention will in most cases reduce the amount of children that would eventually be diagnosed with learning disabilities. And it will reduce the number of children that will later need some sort of remedial assistance.
I feel that there has to be a better system in place to help identify children who are at risk for being learning disabled at an early age. And give them the assistance needed to help them get back on level before they enter into Jr. High...
References: McNamara, John, K (2010).
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