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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Learning Disabilities

Learning DisabilitiesAccording to the National Joint Committee for Learning Disabilities (NJCLD), "Learning Disability" is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to Central Nervous System Dysfunction. Even though a learning disability may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (e.g. sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotional disturbance) or environmental influences (e.g. cultural differences, insufficient/inappropriate instruction, psychogenic factors) it is not the direct result of those conditions or influences.”The term ‘learning disability’ does not mean that the person has a low or high intelligence power. Nor is the person unable to learn things. Its just so that the individual has some processing problem in the body. This processing problem may either be in the eye, ear or any other part. It does not allow the entity to live a normal life like others. Usually an IQ test can prove the abilities of an individual. Anyone with an IQ level of less than 70 are considered as having mental retardation or a mental deficiency. The affected people do have the capacity to learn things like a normal human being but because of the disorder in them, they cease to reach the normal level.For an individual with a learning disability the messages to the brain become jumbled. This makes it difficult for them to learn in one or more of the academic areas; however, they can learn and become successful. You must be surprised to know that individuals like Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Beethoven, Louis Pasteur, Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Nelson Rockefeller and many others had an learning disability. They yearned to learn and they did and excelled in what they wanted to learn but in a different way.To know more about learning disabilities read on…· Characteristics of an affected individual· Causes· Learning disabilities that exist.· Education is an affected person’s life· Remedial measure· Is Schooling okay for such kids· Problems associated with such kids· Management of the same Characteristics of an affected individualThe learning capacity of a person affected with LD is quiet obvious. He is either slow in learning and understanding things or the development process in his body is really slow when compared to a normal human being. There are chances that a person having LD may have a physical disability. But not necessary that all physically handicapped people have a Learning disability. Sometimes we cannot detect the learning disability around us. We sometimes feel that the person is alazy and undisciplined to follow what you have to say. In real they are having a learning disability. Some of the most common characteristics that are obvious in an affected person are as followsShort attention span/easily distractedBad memory power/easily forgets thingsDifficulty following directionsPoor reasoning abilityInability to set realistic goalsPoor reading ability (e.g., adds, omits, skips words when reading)Difficulty distinguishing between p, g, b, d, and qReads "on" for "no", "was" for "saw", etc.Difficulty with concepts left-right, above-below, up-down, yesterday-tomorrow, in-out, etc.Difficulty telling timeDifficulty writingPoor eye-hand coordinationClumsy/accident proneDisorganized/loses thingsQuick tempered/easily irritatedImpulsiveGets caught up in detailsChildish and bossy behaviorNeeds constant recognitionOne must note that’s all people with a learning disability need not show all the characteristics mentioned above. Likewise, a person showing any or many of these characteristics is not necessarily a person with a learning disability.Learning disabilities that existDyslexia, perhaps the most commonly known, is primarily used to describe difficulty with language processing and its impact on reading, writing, and spelling.Dysgraphia involves difficulty with writing. Problems might be seen in the actual motor patterns used in writing. Also characteristic are difficulties with spelling and the formulation of written composition.Dyscalculia involves difficulty with math skills and impacts math computation. Memory of math facts, concepts of time, money, and musical concepts can also be impacted.Dyspraxia (Apraxia) is a difficulty with motor planning, and impacts upon a person's ability to coordinate appropriate body movements.Auditory Discrimination is a key component of efficient language use, and is necessary to "break the code" for reading. It involves being able to perceive the differences between speech sounds, and to sequence these sounds into meaningful words.Visual Perception is critical to the reading and writing processes as it addresses the ability to notice important details and assign meaning to what is seen.Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD/ADHD) may co-occur with learning disabilities (incidence estimates vary). Features can include: marked over-activity, distractibility, and/or impulsivity which in turn can interfere with an individual's availability to benefit from instructionCauses of Learning DisabilityAccording to many research groups, the learning disability is a result of some complication during a pregnancy or during child birth or immediately after the baby is born. But these research results are abstract. There is no single definite reason as to why someone has a learning disability. There are many factors that result in a disability. It is estimated that more number of males are affected than females with learning disability. They may or may not be hereditary. Of the researches done till date, about 200 reasons have been identified and many more still under the researchers nose. They can be categorized as follows.During the birth of a baby it is very important that there is enough supply of oxygen to the baby’s brain. Lack of which may result in complications later on leading to a LD. A premature birth may also be one of the reasons. Like wise, a very fast birth or a very slow birth can also trigger the disability.It can also be a genetic factor. The genes inherited from the parents may reflect a Rh blood incompatibility. Disability like Down’s syndrome is totally an error in the metabolism.If the pregnant mother has experienced any mal-nutrition or had complications like German measles, radiations or tumors the baby might be affected.Not only before birth but children affected with severe chicken pox, whooping cough, high fevers etc can also be victims.The environment also play a vital role in the development of a brain.Malnutrition and very little opportunity for intellectual stimulation might affect the development.

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