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Learning Disabilities (PSYC 3710) ALL Chapter Summaries (1-14)

Course Code
PSYC 3710
Carol Anne Hendry

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Learning Disabilities Chapter
Chapter 1: Learning Disabilities and Related Disabilities: Characteristics and
Current Directions
Learning disabilities and related other disabilities are conditions that impede learning for
many children, adolescents and adults
Learning Disabilities:
oA disorder in one or more of the basic processes involved in understanding
spoken/written language
It may show up as a problem in listening, thinking, speaking, reading,
writing or spelling, or in a person’s ability to do math, despite at least
average intelligence
oIt does not include learning problems as a result of visual, hearing or physical
handicaps, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or of environmental,
cultural, or economic disadvantage
Individuals with learning disabilities encounter difficulty in one or more of 7 areas
1) Receptive language
2) Expressive language
3) Basic reading skill
4) Reading comprehension
5) Written expression
6) Mathematic calculations
7) Mathematic reasoning
Mild disabilities: a grouping of students with different disabilities for instruction, such
1) Learning disabilities
2) Mild intellectual disabilities
3) Emotional disturbances
4) Other disabilities
Mild/Moderate disabilities: a term that includes both students with mild and moderate
1.1 Recent Changes in Special Education
Some recent changes that have occurred in special education include:
oThe term “intellectual disabilities” replaces the term “mental retardation”
Intellectual disabilities: is characterized by significant limitations both in
intellectual functioning and in adaptive behaviour as expressed in
conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills; it originates before age 18
“Mental retardation” has been used for over 50 years, but has taken on a
negative connation
oThe percentage of children identified with learning disabilities has decreased

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In 2000, 4.4% of the population of 6-21 year olds were identified with learning disabilities
In 2012, this percentage decreased to 4%
oThe category of “Other Health Impaired” (OHI) has increased
This includes children with ADHD, which has increased significantly, thus increasing the OHI
1% of the general population is identified with OHI
oThe number of children identified with “Autism” has increased significantly
This is due in part to the expanded designation of autism to include “autism spectrum disorder”
In 2000, 1% of the population had this disorder, which increased to 3% in
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 1 in
50 American children have autism spectrum disorder
Over the next few years, schools are working on implementing the common core standard
oThis standard provides universally designed procedures to ensure that students
with disabilities have access to the standards
oThey are designed to result in uniform expectations and are sequential
oThere is a strong emphasis within the common core on
Critical thinking skills
Collaborative work
Text complexity
Career preparation
The Common Core Standards
oWas created by teachers, parents and community leaders
oIt communicates what is expected of students at each grade level
oIt focuses on the core conceptual understandings and procedures and give students
the opportunity to master them
Common Learning and Behavioural Characteristics of Students with Related other Disabilities
Characteristic Description
Disorders of attention Does not focus when a lesson is presented
Short attention span
Easily distracted
Poor concentration
May display hyperactivity
Poor motor abilities Difficulty with gross motor abilities and fine motor
Exhibits general awkwardness and clumsiness
processing differences
Problems with processing/interpreting auditory/visual
Poor cognitive strategies
for learning
Does not know how to go about the task of learning and
Lacks organizational skills

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Passive learning style
Oral language
Underlying language disorders
Problems with language development, listening, speaking and
Reading difficulties Problems in learning decode words, basic word-recognition
skills, or reading comprehension
Writing difficulties Performs poorly in tasks requiring written expression,
spelling and handwriting
Mathematics difficulties Difficulty with quantitative thinking, arithmetic, time, space,
and calculation facts
Poor social skills Does not know how to act and talk in social situations
Difficulty with establishing satisfying relationships and
The following section will review the major categories of special education
Intellectual Disabilities
In September 24, 2010, Congress passed “Rosa’s Law,” which changes the term mental
retardation to intellectual disabilities in all laws that refer to individuals with disabilities
This also created a revision in the definition of mental retardation, which blends together
limitations in intelligence and in adaptive behaviour
oAdaptive behaviour: refers to practical skills, such as self-care skills,
independent skills or social skills
Levels of Intellectual Disabilities
Levels of intellectual disabilities used to be based on IQ scores and were defined with the
terms mild, moderate, severe or profound
Now, there are 4 new levels of intellectual disabilities, that are based on the level of
support that students need
Levels of Support Needed by Students with Intellectual Disabilities
1. Intermittent Support Support provided as needed, and not at all times
For mild intellectual disabilities
2. Limited Support Support provided on a regular basis for a short period of time
For moderate intellectual disabilities
3. Extensive Support Support provided on an ongoing and regular basis
For severe intellectual disabilities
4. Pervasive Support Support consists of constant high-intensity help across
environments and involves more staff members
For profound intellectual disabilities
Prevalence of Intellectual Disabilities
87% of students with intellectual disabilities were considered mild
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