Thursday, December 10, 2009

Module for class 2

Based on articles #1 and #2:

  1. What are the social and mental implications for children with learning disabilities?

Learning disabilities can lead to emotional distress, low academic self-concept, anxiety, depression, attempts to cope, sadness, ineffective social behavior, physical complaints, acting out and so on. Teachers can help learning disabled students in a number of ways by trying several different strategies to address the student’s negative feelings about himself or herself. One way teachers can do this is by catering to different learning styles, for example, using multisensory methods and concrete representations. To eliminate stress and anxiety, teachers can take the time to talk with a student about his/her frustrations. They can also praise a child’s efforts, arrange for activities that boost self-confidence, involve the child with other children in group activities, and help to build their social skills by role playing.

  1. Think back to when you were in school. What strategies do you remember teachers using (academic or behavioral). Think about how a child with a Learning Disability would respond to these strategies. Explain and comment.

When I was in school, some behavioral strategies teachers used were verbal warnings, loss of privileges, redirection, reprimands, timeout, etc. I do not think a child with a learning disability would respond well to these at all. I do think verbal warnings are okay to use along with verbal redirection, but as a teacher, you have to be understanding/patient when working with these children. Some things they don’t understand right away, and that is when you need to explain it to them in a different way so they get what you’re asking of them. They go through so many ups and downs, sometimes you just need to slow down and put yourself in their shoes for a moment.

  1. How will you refine your practices to address the social needs of students with disabilities?

Social skills, I feel, are very important and it is something teachers need to address. We need to show/model ways in which it is socially acceptable to approach others, how to seek attention properly, follow directions, making and keeping friends, and how to deal with anxiety. Ways in which teachers can refine their practices are to remove obstacles to learning (close door, keep distractions to a minimum), use re-enforcers, and identify and specifically define the target behaviors to be taught.

Based on Article #3:

  1. How has the evolution of medical technology changed the way we look at disabilities?

I think the evolution of medical technology has definitely changed the way we look at disabilities. We now have an increased understanding of typical reading development and what happens when children and adults encounter difficulties in reading. We can now focus on targeting interventions that will better help children and adults to overcome reading failure. Understanding the genetic and environmental causes of reading failure will help lead to better and earlier diagnoses of reading problems.

2. What implications will this new outlook have on teaching and mandated legislation?

There are several implications that this new outlook will have on teaching and mandated legislation. With increased understanding of the brain regions and patterns of activity involved in typical reading and in reading failure, teachers and clinicians can develop better interventions that improve reading skills. I think that teachers will refine their practices and increased improvement of reading skills will be seen in children and adolescents.

Based on Article #4 and #5:

  1. The disproportionate representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse children in special education is a significant issue in education. After reviewing the article:

    1. List some of the issues surrounding this topic?

i. Existing inconsistencies in current referral and assessment practices

ii. Confusions in the areas of research about students requiring special education support who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

iii. Inconsistencies in the application of definitions of and criteria for LD

iv. Research community had not reached a consensus on the preferred method for measuring the extent of disproportionality.

v. One of the issues with the use of Relative Risk Ratios (as well as other methods of calculation) is that there is not a single, recognized approach for determining when disproportionality is large enough to be important.

vi. A problem with all methods of calculating disproportionality is that they yield unstable figures in small districts and districts with a small number of students in any race/ethnicity category.

vii. A further complication is that legal opinion prevents defining disproportionality, itself, as a problem and, more specifically, disallows using any index of disproportionality as the means of setting goals and tracking progress in placement rates.

viii. Unequal opportunities for many students of color because of the consequences of structural poverty and the discriminatory treatment of students of color in the general education system) as well as the referral, assessment, and identification process for special education.

    1. Discuss how legislation has attempted to ameliorate this problem

i. Through the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the ethnic representation of students in special education at the state and local educational level has been monitored every two years. Where overrepresentation exists, OCR has required many systems to implement corrective plans to reduce that disproportionality.

ii. The 1997 amendments to IDEA (P. L. 105-17) also added the requirement that states collect data for the purpose of monitoring and reducing disproportionality (Section 674).

    1. Describe the problem as you see it

i. There is a huge over identification/overrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse children in special education. Students are being mislabeled, and because of this, there are increased drop-out rates and issues that still need to be resolved.

    1. Make a suggestion…What is the solution as you see it?

i. Data needs to be collected and analyzed so that decisions can be made about individuals, classrooms, schools, districts, and states.

ii. Monitoring of disproportionality should not be based solely on a head count and instead should include a focus on differences in outcomes experienced by various groups

iii. A good RTI system

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