Learning Disabilities (LD)
A learning disability is a neurological disorder which results in a difference in the way an individuals brain is "wired." Students with learning disabilities may have difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information. There are five common types of learning disabilities:
- Dyslexia – A language based disability where the student will have trouble understanding written words/numbers. This is many times referred to as a reading disability.
- Dyscalculia – A math based disability where individuals have difficulty solving arithmetic problems and grasping mathematical concepts.
- Dysgraphia – A writing disability where students find it difficult to form letters or write within a defined space.
- Auditory and Visual Processing Disorder – A sensory disability where students have difficulty understanding written or spoken language.
- Non-verbal Learning Disability – A disability that impacts a student’s ability to use visual-spacial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic processing functions.
Suggested Modifications and Accommodations
- Whenever possible, start each lecture with a summary of material to be covered, or provide a written outline. If you use broad margins and triple-space, students will be able to take notes directly onto the outline: an aid to organization. At the conclusion of each lecture, review major points.
- Provide guided notes for students to use during lecture. The guided system provides students with a clear outline or map of the lecture but leaves “blank” spaces for key concepts, facts, and definitions to be written in.
- Avoid making assignments orally, since students with LD may miss them. Always write assignments on the chalkboard, or (even better) pass them out in written form
- Provide prompt, explicit feedback, both written and oral.
- Provide test-sites that have reduced distractions; and when students are taking tests with extended test-time, do not ask them to move from one test-site to another.
- Whenever possible, allow students ample processing time for student to formulate a questions or responses.
- If the use of a calculator or word processer does not take away from the material being taught, these technologies should be available for students.
- Incorporate components of Universal Design for Instruction into your teaching. Learn more about UDI »