“Walk a Mile in My Shoes” LD Simulation Workshop Linda Barbetta – Executive Director
“Imagine going to work and not being able to do your job. Now imagine that you can't leave your job. Imagine having to do that every day. This is what life is like for children with learning disabilities.“ -- Dr. David UrionDirector, Neurology and Learning Disabilities Program, Children's Hospital, Boston
The Learning Process A person with a learning disability has difficulty taking in, remembering, or expressing information. INFORMATION Taking in information MEMORY Understanding, Processing and Filing it to Memory EXPRESSION Withdrawing information and using it in the outside world
Facts about Learning Disabilities • Neurobiological disorder – very misunderstood because of “invisibility” • Average to above average intellectual ability • Affects all areas of life, not just education • You do not out grow it. • 10% of Canadians have an LD Over 3 million people in Canada have a learning disability – that’s a lot of vulnerable kids!
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES (LD) • For those with LD who are working, the average income is $14,000/year, whereas, in the general population the average income per year is $23,000. • 43% of the LD population live at or below the poverty line; in the general population those who live below the poverty line represent 18%. • 48% of the LD population are out of the work force or unemployed, whereas, only 26% of the general population is out of the work force or unemployed. • Up to 60% of adolescents in treatment for substance abuse have identified LD (Source: Hazelden Foundation, Minnesota, 1992).
More Stats… • 35% of students with LD drop out of high school -twice the rate of their non LD peers (Source: National Longitudinal Transition Study, Wagner, 1991 ). • 62% of students with LD were unemployed one year after graduating from high school (Source: National Longitudinal Transition Study, Wagner, 1991 ). • 50% of females with LD were single mothers within three to five years after leaving school (Source: N. L. T. Study, Wagner, 1991). • 10%-12% of adolescents with LD become involved with the criminal justice system compared to 2.5% of the general population (Source: Ontario government, 1986).
“Walk a Mile in My Shoes” Workshop Workshop adapted from: The Learning Disabilities Association-Vancouver 3292 E Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V5M 1Z8
The following presentation is designed to foster a better understanding of Learning Disabilities. It is not intended as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or advice.
Reading Disabilities - Dyslexia • Now class, we’re all going to read a short story. Many of you will be given the opportunity to participate. DO NOT READ AHEAD! JUST FOLLOW ALONG. • If you’ve done your homework this should be relatively easy. To ensure success, I’ll give you some tips.
Dysgraphia and Far Point Copying Please turn to the next page in your workbook.
Writing and Printing DifficultiesUse your non-dominant hand to perform the following tasksCopy the designs you see below with your neatest and quickest skill
Areas of difficulties: Problems copying notes from the board, overhead, or other sources May lose their place after looking away or being distracted Helpful Strategies: Provide a copy of the lesson/lecture notes ahead of time Place horizontal and/or vertical lines across sections of the blackboard, overhead, etc. to help give reference points Write blackboard information as two columns on the board – ensures you don’t have to erase information as quickly Have fewer visual distractions on blackboard or on overhead Provide a highlighter or ruler for student to use while following along Far Point Copying Difficulty Difficulty in holding a visual image in your head and then reproducing it.
Areas of difficulties: Forming letters/numbers Copying figures that require a series of hand movements. Struggles to write on a straight line Difficulty holding a pencil Improper spacing of letters within words or words within sentences Helpful Strategies: Give notes for a lecture or lesson to the student ahead of time to follow along with Give students “cloze” activities instead of writing out entire sets of notes Let student use a laptop to write Give shorter assignments (quality vs. quantity) Allow additional time for written work Be a scribe for the student (let them tell you their answers/ideas for tests or assignments orally) DYSGRAPHIA Difficulty in with eye-hand associations and so are unable to write efficiently.
Areas of Difficulty: Breaking words down into individual sounds or blending sounds together to read quickly and accurately Reading fluency – reading skills are slow and effortful Mix up letters and sounds like b,p,q,d, reading “dog” as “god” Differentiating spaces between words and punctuation Following a line of type Reading comprehension – focus of energy is on decoding, not understanding what is being read Helpful Strategies: Use pictures to supplement written material Keep reading material short & simple Help kids preview material that needs to be read (explain new terms, highlight important concepts) Be patient and provide extra time for reading Allow students to listen to books as mp3s or on CD Give kids time to practice before they will read anything out loud Avoid singling kids out to read in front of class – use echo or choral reading DYSLEXIA Difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, and comprehending material
Written Example Text written by a 13 year old with dyslexia: he way I descride a bumby ride is like wothgan mowtsarts mowsek. eshe bumby rowd is like a song. Eshe bumb is the a note eche uncon at the sam time ste is. that was the mewstere to mowts mowsuk it was vare metereus and unperdekdable.So the nex time you drive down a bumby theak of mowtsart. Same text, read orally by the 13 year old and scribed: The way I describe a bumpy ride is like Wolfgang Mozart's music. Each bumpy road is like a song. Each bump in the road is a note. Each bump is uncontrolled at the same time it still is controlled. That was the magic to Mozart's music. It was very mysterious and unpredictable. So the next time you drive down a bumpy road think of Mozart.
Math Test We have been studying adding and subtracting this week, so this should be easy for you.
Areas of Difficulty: Following multi-step instructions Memory for information given orally Responding quickly to oral questions or directions – participating in class discussions Attending to a preferred message when there is background noise Discriminating between different word sounds (e.g bear & pair) *NOT hard of hearing or deafness- capable of hearing, difficulty processing what they hear Helpful Strategies: Speak more slowly Provide instructions and information in small chunks Simplify verbal directions Repeat verbal instructions to the student privately after a group lesson Provide written copies of oral information for student to refer to Give substantial time for students to answer oral questions Decrease environmental distractions and background noise Don’t assume child is unmotivated or lazy – consider they might not have had time to process your instructions or questions! Processing Deficits - Auditory
Thank you and Remember • There is no challenge as great as a little boy in school when he doesn’t want to be there… and no one as courageous as a teacher who wants to change his mind.