INFORMATION ABOUT LEARNING DISABILITIES
IDEA'S Definition of a "Specific Learning Disability"
Specific Learning Disability-(i) General, Specific Learning Disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processess involved in understanding or using langage, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
(ii) Disorders not included: Specific Learning Disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
WHAT IS A LEARNING DISABILITY:
Learning Disability is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems.
The skills most often affected are reading, writing, speaking, listening, reasoning, and math.
Other terms to describe a 'Learning Disability' include:
*dyslexia- which refers to difficulties in reading;
*dysgraphia- which refers to difficulties in writing; and
*dyscalcula- which refers to difficulties in math.
HOW COMMON ARE LEARNING DISABILITIES?:
Almost 1 million children (betwen the ages of 6-21) have some form of a learning disability: as many as 1 out of every 5 people in the United States has a learning disability.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A LEARNING DISABILITY?:
When a child has a Learning Disability, he or she:
*may have trouble learning the alphabet, rhyming words, or connecting letters to their sounds.
*may make any mistakes when reading aloud and repeat and pause often,
*may not understand what he or she is reading,
*may have real trouble with spelling,
*may have very messy handwriting or hold a pencil awkwardly,
*may struggle to express ideas in writing,
*may learn language late or have a limited vocabulary,
*may may have trouble remembering the sounds that letters make or hearing slight differences between words,
*may may trouble understanding jokes, comic strips, or sarcasm,
*may have trouble following directions,
*may mispronounce words or use a wrong word that sound similar,
*may have trouble organizing what he or she wants to say or not be able to think of the word he or she needs for writing or conversation,
*may not follow the social conversation such as taking turns or may stand too close to the listener,
*may confuse math symbols and misread numbers,
*may not be able retell a story in order (what happened first, second, or third), or
*may not know where to begin a task or how to go on from there.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
*Learn about LD.
*Praise your child when he or she does well.
*Find out ways your child learns best and help your child learn through his or her areas of strength.
*Let your child help with household chores. Keep instructions simple and break down tasks into smaller steps.
*Make homework a priority and help your child be successful at school.
*Pay attention to your child's mental health. Be open to counseling and help your child deal
with frustrations at school and develop appropriate social skills.
*Talk with other Parents whose children have LD.
*Meet with School personnel to help develop an appropriate IEP that addresses your child's needs.
*Establish a positive working relationship with your child's teacher through regular communication.