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High Incidence Disabilities

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High Incidence Disabilities & Learning Needs Characteristics & Strategies

Complete the chart below. Be sure to fully address each section. Bulleting is appropriate in this activity.

| Definition(in your own words) | Identification Procedures | Characteristics(address academic, cognitive, social, emotional & behavioral as appropriate) | Ideas, strategies, suggestions for working with students in the classroom | Learning Disabilities | This is a disorder in which students are unable to perform the basic processes in understanding subjects such as language arts, math, etc. Sometimes it affects one or many areas. | * Unexpected underachievement in one or more academic areas * Severe discrepancy between expected achievement (standard test of intelligence) level and actual achievement (standard achievement test). * After unexpected achievement is documented, the exclusion clause is applied to student identification. | * Academic achievement is significantly below grade level. * Cognitive skill deficits related to memory, attention, impulsivity and or meta-cognition. * Possibly also diagnosed with ADHD. * Possible social deficits and difficulty getting along with others. * Motivational problems. | Provide clear and concise directions; adapt the curriculum to the student’s appropriate skill level; provide close supervision for the student; resource room may be a good accommodation. | Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder | Students are unable to constantly pay attention to lectures and are highly active sometimes leading to impulsive behavior. | * Criteria from the DSM-IV are used to identify students with ADHD. * There should be a collection of evidence and data regarding the symptoms * The pediatrician should obtain information from the child’s teacher or other school professionals. * An evaluation of coexisting conditions should be performed. * Other diagnosis tests should be conducted. | * Students have severe difficulty focusing on one thing at a time and often become overwhelmed. They cannot concentrate and are forgetful. * Students are hyperactive and at times blurt out answers, cause disruptions in class and interfere with others’ learning. * Students are unable to plan steps towards completing a task or self monitor. * Because these students have disruptive behaviors other students tend to react negatively to the behaviors. * Students with ADHD have a hard time learning because they cannot concentrate, or listen for information consistently, therefore, they are likely to experience difficulty with academics. | * Preferential seating * Tools to let their fidgeting out through a good channel * Teaching students about good choices. * Provide them with a timer for certain assignments * Use a checklist for tasks. * Provide clear, step by step directions. | Intellectual Disabilities | Students with Intellectual Disabilities have significant limitations in both intellectual and adaptive behavior. This is a disability that develops before the age of 18. This disability prevents the student from performing in school at the level other students are able to and usually have an IQ of 70 or lower. | * Some children may be identified at a very early age due to physical characteristics attributable to Down syndrome or Cerebral Palsy. * The child’s pediatrician may identify developmental milestones being missed and agencies or physicians begin more evaluations. * Many more children are identified during school years; the school will develop an RTI before beginning any special education identification process. Formal psychological evaluation can be used to determine IQ scores after which further accommodations can be made. | * Low academic achievement in all areas. * General weaknesses in basic learning abilities such as attention, memory, problem solving and skill generalization. * Weak social skills and challenging behaviors. * Deficits in daily living skills. | * Assess the child’s ability and skill level. * Teach the student skills that are transferrable to adulthood. * Allow other students from General Education to surround the student with the ID as they are good role models for certain behaviors. * Reinforce good behaviors and praise the student for goal achievement. * Use resources that are appealing to the student, for example Ipads and other tools. | Emotional & Behavioral Disorders | Students with Emotional and Behavioral disorders are those who cannot control their emotions or behaviors on a regular basis which impedes their learning. These students may include schizophrenic children and excludes those who are socially maladapted. These children are usually able to demonstrate regular behavior but we cannot know how long it will last until there is another episode of emotional or behavioral disturbance. | * Students are identified through a three step process which includes screening, identification and direct assessment of targeted behaviors. * Screening checks if the student displays a more broad set of behavior patterns suggesting risk for EBD. * Two types of assessment are the most widely used: behaviorally based rating scales and personality-oriented methods. | * Students with EBD are mainly characterized by externalizing behavior problems and internalizing behavior problems. * Externalizing behavior problems are overt instances of defiance and disruption and internalizing behavior problems is characterized by social withdrawal, anxiety disorders and depression. * Students with EBD tend to have IQ scores in the low average range. * Students with EBD have consistently and significantly lower social skills than peers with and without disabilities. | * Since these students need a lot more social skills to be taught than other groups I would focus on creating good relationships with the other students and appropriate behavior modeling and reinforcement. * Providing the students feedback and providing them with real life examples where the skills being taught can become useful. | Autism Spectrum Disorders | Students with ASD could have one of five conditions: Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s, Rett, Childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder. These students have pervasive, lifelong difficulties in social interaction and deficiencies in communication as well as rigid interests and behavior. | * Identification of students with ASD requires measurement of functioning across many disciplines including: pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry, speech language and education. * Students are first screened for the disability as early as possible. * Children with results suggesting that ASD may be present are referred for more intensive testing. | * Students with AD may display limitations in language both expressive and receptive, difficulties in social reciprocity including: eye contact, discomfort in the company of others and sometimes a dislike for others’ touch. * They have repetitive, stereotypical and ritualistic behaviors. * Most students with ASD have an IQ below 70, however, some students with ASK are able to acquire academic skills with little difficulty depending on their functional level. | * Students with ASD may display many different levels of skill. I would assess all of my students to see where they are. If they are high functioning I would try to include as much of the general education curriculum into my classroom as possible. * Students with lower functioning levels I would try to focus on behavior management and social skills. I would try to teach them in circles so they are able to observe the other student’s behaviors. * I would also really like to do co-teaching if that is possible for the grade level of the students. | Speech & Language Impairments | Students with speech disorders are those who have trouble with verbal transmission of messages and those with language disorders have trouble formulating and understanding spoken messages. They are in many cases able to be in the general education classroom and just receive assistance from a speech pathologist regularly. In many cases the impairment goes away as the child progresses in school and in age. | * Speech and Language pathologists assess students in order to evaluate language, speech, cognition, voice, fluency, hearing, feeding, and swallowing. * The SLP reviews existing records to gather relevant information about the child. * Interview the students, parents, caregivers and teachers to acquire information about the student’s communication history. * Conduct a systematic observation to assess key skills and abilities such as paying attention, understanding abstract concepts, answering questions, etc. | * Students with speech disorders are not usually academically impacted. They still show grade level learning abilities. Although they may experience a more limited vocabulary, grammar skills and inconsistent skills across language domains. * In cases the student may become withdrawn from his peers as a result of low communication skills which may turn into attention seeking behaviors if not addressed properly. | * I would start the process required for the student to receive assistance from the SLP if that has not been started. * I would try to determine if there are other students with SLI’s and group them together to work in a circle together to more closely assist them with their needs. * |
Source: Inclusion, Effective Practices for All Students. McLeskey, Rosenberg, Westling. 2013.

Chapter 3 Pause and Reflect

1. I think the rapid growth of inclusive programs has caused problems with developing high quality programs because not all teachers have received the appropriate training and they have not been shown a good model. I think more teachers would be high quality if everyone could receive more extensive training and instead of implementing it school district wide if they could start with pilot programs that teachers could come and observe so that they could have a model to follow and be encouraged by observing the difference inclusion makes in the life of a child with a learning disability. Teachers must also be more aware of the many different types and levels of learning disabilities so that they can better adapt their teaching to those specific needs. 2. The area that I wish I would have performed better in was music and choir; I just was unable to understand the concept of reading music and counting octaves and all that. In the beginning I was very stubborn and I wanted to do it no matter what, however, in time, I realized that my ability to do well in this area was probably never going to increase as I thought it was a “gift” and I just did not have it. I think many children can relate to this feeling because at first they do want to try and be successful but after trying so hard and seeing that everyone else can do it with much more ease or maybe even a “natural”, then it is discouraging and they quit and stop trying and caring. Chapter 4 Pause and Reflect

1. I do know someone with ADHD characteristics, this person has been told he is ADHD but has never officially been diagnosed. He is unable to focus for long periods of time or he may think he is focused but really there are multiple things going on at all times. Studying for him is a complete different thing than what I do while I study. He is distracted and has to have the TV on at the same time and the computer and everything in his reach. If the lectures were boring in college he just did not attend the class because he knew he would be unable to successfully sit there so, he would just study on his own or with a group, or tutor and pass the tests. His intellectual ability is not really affected by ADHD or maybe he tries that much harder than the rest of us. He needs to continually be challenged in order to stay focused. I think it is good for students like this to be in a general education setting so that they can see how other students do in the same setting. I also think it is very important for these students to receive one on one attention so, the teacher in the GenEd setting may have to create small circles to address this situation or seek assistance from the resource room if available. 2. I think for students with ADHD it is very important to engage them in rule creation in the classroom. It is also very important that they are provided with scenarios of what is acceptable vs. what is not. As a teacher one way of attempting to address behaviors that may arise from ADHD are to keep the student close in an assigned seat, to provide the student with a “job” for which they are responsible to complete and monitor, providing them with a checklist so that they are able to track their own work. These skills will hopefully create a more successful environment for the student and he/she will be able to increase his/her attention span.

Chapter 5 Pause and Reflect 1. Students with Intellectual Disorders benefit more from receiving early intervention because you can start teaching them the skills they need earlier and start building on them sooner. If these students do not receive early intervention they will fall even further behind and the delay will just become greater and greater. Early intervention stimulates them so that they continue to learn through later years and it introduces them to a school setting in which they are safe and accepted rather than waiting until later years and introducing them to the process at that time. Fine motor skills may be very beneficial during early intervention as well as some language skills so that the students are able to at least let their teachers and caregivers know what it is they need, it teaches them to communicate more effectively. Also, behavior interventions at an early age help prevent escalation of the behaviors in later years. 2. I think the most important skills for students with mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities to learn are to be as self sufficient as possible. These individuals should be taught a useful means of communication, they should be taught basic skills in order to obtain a job (no matter what type of job), they should be able to fix themselves a sandwich and identify places in their community such as the grocery store, a bus stop, etc.

Chapter 6 Pause and Reflect 1. I think most educators are afraid of students with EBD. We are unfamiliar with how we should address these behaviors and what the appropriate responses and reactions to them are. I think we even encourage each other to continue to be afraid and to refuse to see that these children are just like any other child with special needs and they need to be educated too and there is a successful way of teaching them. I think these apprehensions are valid to an extent. We are not exposed to these individuals as much as we should or we refuse to see that maybe they are a lot closer to “regular” students than we imagine. I think if the teachers are not trained appropriately these apprehensions are valid because they do not know how to handle this type of disability. I think the actions that teachers can take to minimize these concerns are to go observe teachers who are successful in this area and to see the progress those students have made. Immersion of teachers into these settings could be a great tool. 2. No, I do not agree with that belief. I think many teachers “think they know” what an EBD looks like when they can’t handle a student’s emotions. I think in many instances even students in general education have emotional breakdowns caused in many instances by outside factors such as parents’ divorce, malnutrition, aggressive behaviors observed in their home, coping skills they develop, many things that are not EBD related. I think the advantage of using teacher judgment is that they spend a lot of time with the student so they are able to observe them the most, however, the disadvantages are that teachers have not received specialized training to make such a judgment.
Chapter 7 Pause and Reflect 1. I know a child with Asperger’s, he is a very nice child, who also performs very well in school. He does not do well in social settings because he appears to be overwhelmed and wants to be left alone. He does not enjoy being questioned by people and he does not like to be hugged much. I am able to have a small conversation with him but it has to be about something he is interested in and feels like telling me about. 2. I do not think that we are in the midst of an ASD epidemic. I think these disorders were not diagnosed in the past because the medical field, the psychological and psychiatric fields were not aware of these disorders. I think many people in the past were probably misdiagnosed and they should have been truly categorized under the ASD spectrum instead. We need to look at patterns of diagnostics in the past and see if there was a “trend” in the past and maybe re-evaluate those people and see where they are now. The media has created great awareness of ASD, therefore, more people are having their children evaluated and are more aware of the characteristics.
Chapter 8 Pause and Reflect 1. I think stuttering and other speech impediments of that sort are very detrimental to students especially in their teenage years. Their classmates are cruel and they mock and make fun of them. I think these students are in many cases good students who would rather just be quiet in class and do their best without participating in class and they kind of fall through the cracks. They may become social outcasts or could start showing some rebellious behaviors to get other type of attention. I think as a teacher I would have to create an environment that provides a safe feeling to all students as well as talking to the student individually and maybe giving them a cue when I want to ask them a question so that they can better prepare their reaction or answer. 2. If I had no vision, hearing or both I think I would be a recluse. This may cause a deep state of depression and I would feel like I don’t belong because everyone else I am around has the ability to do all the things I cannot. I would not be able to have experiences that relate to that of my peers and we would not really have many things in common.

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