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Chapter 9

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Ernie Mac Kinnon

[ CHAPTER NINE ] ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND RELATED MILD DISABILITIES ADOLESCENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND RELATED MILD DISABILITIES Characteristics of Adolescence  Marked by conf’g feelings abt: 1.) freedom and (i) vs. security and (d) 2.) rapid phys changes - must dvlp new self-image and learn to cope w/ diff phys appearance + new psych/bio drives 3.) dvlp’g sexuality 4.) peer pressure - when values of friends differ from those of parents, family confrontation & conf’ may result 5.) self-consciousness - can lead to feelings of inferiority and w/drawal Characteristics of Adolescents With Learning Disabilities  Cultural and linguistic diversity: - some families will not acknowledge any failure/disability and refuse to seek help - some expected to take on many family responsibilities (TF) have less time for schoolwork - testing demands particularly challenging for ELL students  Passive learning: - in response to many failure-producing exp’s, dvlp attitude of learned helplessness - instead of trying to solve a problem, passive learners tend to wait until teacher directs them and tells them what to do  Poor self-concept: - aar of years of failure and frustration - often, emotional problems dvlp from lack of successful exp’s  Social and beh’al problems: - characteristics of social ineptitude lead to difficulty making and keeping friends  Attentional difficulties: - given longer periods of concentration needed for studying and listening in class, difficulty w/ attention can seriously impede progress  Lack of motivation: - by 2 ary school, many have exp’d failure and begin to doubt intellectual abilities - leads to low persistence level - attribution theory suggests even when they do have successes, they dN believe they were responsible - (TF), even success dN bring much satisfaction or raise confidence level SPECIAL ISSUES AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL (MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL) Challenges for Adolescents With Learning Disabilities and Related Mild Disabilities  Severe deficits in basic academic skills (i.e. reading, spelling, math)  Generalized failure and below-avg performance in content-area courses (i.e. sci, soc studies, health)  Deficient work-related skills (i.e. listening well in class, taking notes, studying for & taking tests)  Passive academic involvement and pervasive lack of motivation  Inadequate interpersonal skills  Difficulty w/ executive f’n and self-determination Educational Settings in Middle School and High School  Inclusion mvmt growing Inclusion at the Secondary Level  Face several obstacles in providing inclusion programs, including: 1. Complex content-area curriculum 2. Large gap btwn student skill levels and classroom demands 3. Content-area 2 ary school teachers not trained to meet needs of SWLD 4. Standards-based, high-stakes testing mvmt Effective Inclusion Practices for Secondary Teachers  Necessary to establish partnerships btwn content-area teachers—HS teachers tht specialize in content area—and sp’ edu teachers Performance Standards and High-Stakes Testing  Performance standards = standards tht all students are expected to meet  High-stakes testing = state-wide assessment tests; many critical decisions based on test results  IDEA-2004 outlines several req’mts for including SWD in state-wide/district-wide assessments: - IEP must include plan tht details how student will be assessed and what accommodations are needed  Goal for standards-based testing: desire to improve teaching and learning so tht all students can demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills needed to participate in global economy of today & future  Assessment only part of picture; most critical piece is providing all students w/ chance to learn Content-Area Secondary Teachers  Many not prepared to work w/ SWD, (TF) important sp’ educators work w/ them to help dvlp sensitivity to needs of SWD and to provide subject-matter teachers w/ strategies for teaching those students TRANSITION LEGISLATION FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS  Transition = change in status from behaving 1ly as student to assuming emerging adult roles  Research shows tht adolescents receive inadequate transition planning - need training in self-advocacy b/c they are expected to take i↑’ly more responsibility for own decisions and lives  IDEA-2004 req’s: 1. Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, edu, employment, and, where appropriate, living skills 2. Transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist student in reaching those goals; and 3. Beginning not later than 1yr before student reaches age of majority under state law, statement tht student has been informed of student’s rights under this title, if any, tht will transfer to student on reaching age of majority  Law req’s individualized transition plan (ITP) be written for SWD, beginning at age 16, as part of IEP Content of the Transition Plan 1. Current levels of performance 2. Interests and aptitude 3. Post-school goals 4. Transition activities 5. Designate responsible persons (responsible for cont’n of transition after student’s HS yrs) 6. Review (and revised as necessary) Developing Transition Plans Goals:  Competitive employment: - vocational educators need to be integral part of transition team to help identify areas of interest, explore occupations and to gain at least basic knowledge w/in various fields  Vocational training and apprenticeship programs  Post-secondary and college attendance: - meeting this goal req’s carefully laid out transition plans tht include significant encouragement toward college  Supported employment: - bridge from school to work - transition educators seek potential employers to hire sp’ edu students - in some cases, job coach works at employment site, supervising and helping student over inevitable rough spots APPROACHES TO TEACHING ADOLESCENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES AND RELATED MILD DISABILITIES Features of Effective Secondary Programs  Intensive instruction in reading and mathematics  Instruction in survival skills, including: 1.) strategies to help students stay out of trouble in school 2.) skills to help students acq beh’al patterns tht will make teachers consider them in +ve light 3.) study and test-taking skills Curriculum Models for Serving Adolescents With Learning Disabilities and Mild Disabilities at the Secondary Level  Basic
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