A learning disability is a condition in which a student has a dysfunction in processing information typically found in language-based activities, resulting in interference with learning. According to IDEA, a student must meet specific criteria in order to be identified as having specific learning. In this paper I will identify if the student has a learning disability, state which criteria according to IDEA specifically qualifies the student as having a learning disability, and what assessments could be used to also determine whether the student has a learning disability.
As stated in the case study, Alex has just transitioned to a new elementary school, and she feel as though the work seems much harder than her old school. The first thing I would have to determine is that Alex’s difficulties are not a result of her transition, but a true learning disability. “The IDEA definition of a learning disability includes the provision that the disability cannot be the result of other factors, including environmental factors (ex. an unsatisfactory home or school situation), poor teaching, poverty and poor school attendance (Friend 2014 p.134)”. I would need to obtain data from the previous school on the student in order to have something to compare with the test results I retrieve. With both pieces of data I will be able to determine patterns of strengths and weaknesses that the student has.
Another step I could take to make sure that the student has a true learning disability is to question the previous teachers and the students’ parents. Some questions I could ask the teacher’s include: “What classroom setting was the student educated?”, “Did you notice any problems in the student’s academic performance?”, “Were there steps taken, in terms of intervention, when the problems were noticed?”, “Did the student improve from intervention or did further assessments have to be given?”, “What were the results of these assessments and what further steps were taken to ensure the student’s success?”. Some questions I could ask the parents include: “Have you noticed any difficulties in your child’s academic performance?”, “Were there programs or services implemented for your child at the previous school?” “Have you noticed any difference in your child’s behavior since they have transitioned to the new school?”, “Are there any previous disabilities your child has that I should know about?”. These questions and more will help me better to understand the child’s background and what I can do to help her better succeed. Also by asking the teachers and parents for their data and advice helps me not have to start at square one and help the student receive the programs and services she needs quicker.
After I have gathered previous data from the old school, I can now collect my own data. One way I could collect my own data is by using informal assessments. There are three types of classroom assessments, usually considered informal, these include: curriculum-based...