Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding and using language, spoken and written and that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. This term includes such condition such
as perceptual disabilities, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia.
Features of learning disabled child
Child does not achieve commensurate with his age and ability in one or more of the areas:
- Oral expression
- Listening comprehension
- Written expression
- Basic reading skills
- Reading comprehension
- Mathematical calculation
- Mathematical reasoning
- Poor short term memory
- Inattentive in class
- Performs poorly on timed tests.
Who is a learning disabled child?
There are many children who do not do well in school, many children who have difficulty in learning, but not all are learning disabled:
- The learning disabled child is not mentally retarded
- The learning disabled child is not physically impaired
- The learning disabled child is not emotionally disturbed
- The learning disabled child is not culturally disadvantaged
Identification of learning disabled
Identification of learning disabled requires the elimination of other causes of the learning problem, e.g. mental retardation, emotional disturbance and cultural deprivation.
Identification consists of following steps:
- Informal assessment by the teacher observed performance deficit, whether learning problem is due to his /her weakness in a particular ability. These “abilities” are usually classified as perceptual – motor, sensory, or psycholinguistic disorders.
- Direct daily measurement means observing, and recording every day, the child’s performance on the specific skill that is being taught.
- Using criterion – referenced test where child’s score is compared to a predetermined criteria or mastery level.
- Norm referenced tests are designed so that one child’s score can be compared with other children of his age who have taken the test.
- Interdisciplinary approach – in this approach, number of professional, including neurologist, psychologist, speech therapist, teacher etc are involved. This strategy is rarely used in India for three main reasons:
- It is very costly
- Educational decisions are not made by educators
- Emphasis is on specifying the weakness or their causes, which are hypothetical.
Educational approaches for learning disabled
Most learning disabilities specialists believed in a diagnostic prescriptive approach, where the results of diagnosis (assessment) lead directly to a prescription (plan) for teaching.
Ability training – educational remediation involves testing the child to determine his abilities, and then prescribing instructional activities designed to premeditate those disabilities.
Role of the teacher for special child of learning disability:
To bring them at a level with a normal child, teacher should provide them help in areas of their disability. We as a teacher should adopt suitable teaching strategies to support their learning.
We should not criticize these kinds of students. Teacher should diagnose their problematic areas and then organize extra classes to solve their problems.