RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS
TEACHERS: LOOKING FOR RESOURCES TO HELP YOUR STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES? HERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT MAY HELP:
Since almost five percent of all students in our nation’s public schools are classified as having specific learning disabilities (SLD), every teacher can expect to find students with learning disabilities in the classroom. Success for these students requires a focus on individual achievement, individual progress, and individual learning. Despite obstacles, recent research tells us that we can teach these students how to learn. We can put them into a position to compete!
Students who qualify for the learning disabilities classification are entitled to a formal plan that describes how the school will support your child’s educational needs. Learn how these statements—called the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan—are developed and monitored.
NEW TO LEARNING DISABILITIES?: START HERE
If you suspect a student in your classroom has a learning disability it is important to know how to accommodate their needs and differentiate instruction. It can be a daunting and complicated task. But don’t despair. LDAU is here to help you understand learning disabilities and lead you and your student to the right support systems.
Students with learning disabilities begin school expecting to learn and be successful. If your student is having difficulty in school, she may learn differently from other kids. Teachers are often the first to notice that “something doesn’t seem right.”
WHAT IS A LEARNING DISABILITY?
According to IDEA a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) is a “disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia.” “SLD” does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of intellectual disability; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage (34 CFR §300.8 (c)(10).
MANAGING SCHOOL TO SCHOOL TRANSITIONS
Each year as the snow begins to melt many students begin planning to move on to a different level in the school system; elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school. Each of these transitions includes changes in expectations (about school, student behavior, and parent involvement) that may add to the everyday stress of students with a Specific Learning Disability(SLD) and their families. Parents may be concerned about how to stay involved in a larger school, how to communicate with multiple teachers, how their child will cope with in more structured environment, or how they will “fit in” in the new school. Following are some concerns that have been identified by these students and families and some strategies that may alleviate those concerns.
MULTISENSORY TEACHING FOR DYSLEXIA
Multisensory teaching is one important aspect of instruction for dyslexic students that is used by clinically trained teachers. Effective instruction for students with dyslexia is also explicit, direct, cumulative, intensive, and focused on the structure of language. Multisensory learning involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language. Links are consistently made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell.
Executive functioning represents a child’s ability to self-regulate and direct his or her actions with skills like organization, planning, attention,initiation, self-awareness, self-monitoring, inhibition, problem solving and working memory.
BOOKS FOR CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
Books by, about, and for children with learning disabilities offer elementary-aged kids valuable stories and guidance written especially for them. For individuals without LD, these books raise awareness about learning disabilities by sharing the experiences of a fictional character with learning disabilities. For children with learning disabilities, it shows them how fictional kids their age can be heroic and encourages them to draw on their unique talents and strengths.
Check out the following books, a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, when you want to give your child something special to read. So, read a children’s book and share it with a child you know.