Working with Students who have Learning Disabilities
Over the past 10 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities. I need to be aware of how to help those students who have learning disabilities and teach to the best of my ability. I also need to be supportive and understand not every student learns in the same way which is why it is important for me to be flexible in my own style of instruction. I need to be knowledgeable and patient, caring and kind, as I work with all of my students, regardless of ability. Some students are aware of other students who have special accommodations or extra time on tests. One way I will make it easier for students to understand why another student is allowed additional time taking a final would be to explain that being fair does not mean everyone gets exactly the same. Being fair means everyone gets what he or she needs. Since there will be a team of professionals involved with any student who has a disability, I will be working as a team player in the best interest of the child. I look forward to working with a team of personnel such as counselors, parents, special education teachers, medical professionals, social workers, and anyone else involved in supporting the student’s Individual Education Plan (otherwise commonly known as an IEP).
The first thing I researched was different learning disabilities. I was shocked at how many there were, the broad spectrum some are categorized under and the severity of others. Some common diagnosed disabilities today are Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), autism, emotional or behavioral disorders and developmental disorders, just to name a few. Other disabilities include communication disorders, low-incidence, multiple and severe disabilities. Physical disabilities, (i.e. traumatic brain injury) other health impairments and blindness or low vision are other disabilities. Of course this list does not encompass all of the disorders some students struggle with but thy Since students’ level of ability varies within all learning styles, evaluations, assessments, tests, and journals are all important ways to keep track of students’ progress. Documentation is another vital piece in creating and maintaining a concise and productive IEP, which is considered a legal document (Hallahan, Kauffman, Paige 218).
Recently, one of the most common disabilities seen today in students is ADHD. Two aspects of effective ways of working with students with ADHD are: teacher direction, classroom structure, functional behavioral assessment and contingency-based-self management. Visual aids, reducing stimuli irrelevant to teaching and proximity to the teacher are all ways in which teachers can help those with ADHD be more productive in the classroom. Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is another tool teachers can use to deal with behavioral problems. Some issues with ADHD...