Research Paper SPED 463

CSUF Summer 2016


Characteristics of Learning Disabilities have “higher rates of being absent from school, with lower grade point averages, higher course failure rates, and feelings of low self worth.” (Lerner, p. 250) The problems faced by some adolescents with learning disabilities are:

  • Severe deficits in basic academic skills, such as reading, spelling, language, math.
  • Below average performance in content area courses, such as science, social studies, health.
  • Deficient work related skills, such as listening well in class, taking notes, and studying for and taking tests.
  • Passive academic involvement and a pervasive lack of motivation
  • Inadequate interpersonal skills
  • Difficulty with executive function and self determination” (Lerner, p. 254)

“Educators, parents, and others have struggled for decades to find the best ways to teach and support students with disabilities. Students with disabilities can achieve at high levels if they receive specialized instruction tailored to their unique needs, supports that build on their strengths and mitigate their challenges, and an environment that is engaging and sparks their desire to learn. Personalized learning systems can help educators provide these things when implemented appropriately.” (http://www.ncld.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Personalized-Learning.WebReady.pdf (5/30//2016)

“Personalized learning systems represent a major shift in the role educators perform in the classroom each day. Educators must design and facilitate student learning while responding quickly to ever-changing student needs. To succeed, all educators will need more training and ongoing support to help them address the needs of students with disabilities, including those with significant cognitive disabilities, and professional development must acknowledge and address this need. Specifically, professional development and targeted support should focus on two areas that are important for students with disabilities in the context of personalized learning: executive functioning and use of technology. Focus area: Executive functioning Executive functioning includes skills related to impulse control, emotional control, flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, task initiation, and organization.” http://www.ncld.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Personalized-Learning.WebReady.pdf (p.11, 5/30/2016)


 •“Educators must incorporate universal design for learning (UDL) into instruction for all students. • School leaders must implement a comprehensive system to monitor student pace and make instructional modifications based on data to keep all students, including students with disabilities, on track. Implementing systems such as a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) and using “teacher pacing” are two ways that schools can ensure all students remain on track. • School leaders and educators must have a deep understanding of what content students need to know and then adapt or modify the content accordingly in order to properly educate and support students with significant cognitive disabilities. • As school leaders are implementing competency-based education which relies on new assessment systems, these assessments must be valid, reliable and comparable, and designed with students with disability.    http://www.ncld.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Personalized-Learning.WebReady.pdf (p.14, 5/30/2016)

English Language Learners With A  Learning Disabilities

According to  (Echevarria, p. 1), “English learners constitute the fastest growing part of the school population.”  and (Guillaume, p.59) “Our responsibilities as educators is to embrace our students and their differences while we encourage each to flourish in a strong community.”

Common characteristics of students with learning disability who is an EL according to  (Echevarria, p. 21) Withdrawn behavior, memory difficulty, bizarre behavior, poor motor abilities, aggressive behavior, poor perceptual abilities, attention problems, poor language abilities, hyperactivity, poor academic performance, low motivation, their writing may be illegible, with extremely poor spelling.” 

    Strategies for teaching English Learners who have a Learning Disability is according to (Echevarria p.45-11) use “Sheltered Instruction – a means for making grade level content, such as science, social studies, and math more accessible for English Learners, while also promoting English development and to use Modeling, hands on manipulative, Realia, pictures, technology, demonstration, multimedia, timelines, graphic depiction, bulletin boards, and maps.  According to (Guilllaume, p.59-79) “Use positive, strength based approaches, treat students as individuals, plan for all students with universal design, differentiate instruction, use varied student groupings, grouping decisions, mix it up with student groups, accommodate and modify, use assistive technology, use response to intervention, use shelter english instruction, use vocab cards, challenge gifted and advanced learners, foster gender equity and create safe spaces.”

Strategies And Interventions For Students With Learning Disability

Click to access PL-RoadmapForEducators.Fin_.pdf

1. Caring and trusted relationship with the teacher

2.  Looking at what students interest are, what their passions are, and helping them explore those areas in the world.

3.  Targeted support. 

4.  Flexible environments and the use of technology

5.  Real world connection.  Getting students to do something outside of the classroom through internships or other ways.

     Einstein said “I never teach my students I only provide the environment for them to survive.”

“Students’ learning experiences – what they learn, and how, when, and where they learn it – are tailored to their individual needs, skills, and interests, and enable them to take ownership of their learning. Although where, when, and how they learn might vary according to their needs, students also develop deep connections to each other, their teachers and other adults.” http://www.ncld.org//Personalized-Learning.WebReady.pdf (p.3, 5/30/2015)

     Must have multi tiered level of supports.  Help the students become advocates for their own learning.  Help the student learn how to advocate for themselves, to give them confidence, and to help them practice advocating for themselves., approaching the teacher, approaching their future employer.  

     “Personalized learning imagines a classroom where all students receive a customized learning experience that enables them to thrive. To achieve this, the existing framework in schools must become more flexible in certain areas so that personalized learning systems can truly enhance the learning experience of all students.

  1.   Students learn at their own pace with structure and support in challenging areas. Learning aligns with interests, needs and skills, and takes place in an engaging environment where students gain a better understanding of their strengths. 
  2. Personalized learning can come in many forms. 
  3. Some ways it might be described include:

 • Competency-based education 

• Personal learning path 

• Project-based learning 

• Digital learning

 • Flexible learning environments

 • Blended or online learning” ( http://www.ncld.org/RoadmapForSystemChange.pdf  p.1, 5/30/2016)

Important to scaffold the learning.

Strategies For Improving Self Esteem (Lerner, p. 173)

  • Build rapport with the student
  • Provide students with tasks at which the students will be successful
  • Provide positive feedback and rewards for student successes
  • Find the student’s area of interest or hobbies and try to build lessons on these interests
  • Show enthusiasm with the student’s successes
  • Make learning fun and enjoyable
  • Find way to visually show that the student is learning by using charts or graphs
  • Use an approach to help students understand themselves and their problems
  • Engage students in activities where they can share their feelings.
  • Use art, dance, music and other creative media 

Teaching Test Taking Tips For Students with Learning Disabilities (Lerner, p.258)

  • Get enough sleep and try to remain calm
  • Look over the entire test and read the directions carefully
  • Read each question carefully and note key words and phrases
  • Read each question all the way through.  Do not read into the question what is not there.
  • If you are unsure about a question, reread it and try to eliminate one or two of the answers.
  • Budge the time allotted for the test and do not waste time by getting stuck on one question.
  • Take all authorized breaks. Also, periodically take a few breaks by stopping for a moment, shutting your eyes, and taking some deep breaths.
  • Have a sheet of scrap paper to help track lines of print.
  • Allow time at the end to look over the test and make sure that you did not skip any questions.

Teaching Learning Strategies  (Lerner, p.270)

  • Use background knowledge – students get more from instruction using their own background knowledge
  • Monitor progress – successful learners monitor their own progress
  • Teach generalization – adapting skills and knowledge to a situation
  • Create active learners – effective learners  generate questions, make summaries, determine the direction of the lesson.
  • Enhance self-concept – positive attitude and student’s self concept
  • Use memory strategies – Use effective memory strategies
  • Use interactive learning – Interacting with other students is important
  • Develop questions – Questioning helps comprehension.

What students with a learning Disability have to say

  • Every young adult is different and therefore different types of individual instruction is beneficial in the student’s overall classroom instruction experience.
  • Self Confidence matters a lot.  Building up a student who is shy, or unsure of their academic success with encouraging, positive, learning environment will ensure the success of each student who has a Learning Disability.
  • Upbringing matters.  Students who come from a low poverty home, have less life experience and are in survival mode and dependent on government services that do not always come through.  Dealing with the government in many instances is not a positive experience, yet, when the student can achieve success on their own, and their own family, without government supports, lend to a happier, more well rounded student, who will feel confident in their academic and life abilities.  Sometimes government support help a family to rebalance their life and get on their feet, through directing the family to attend school, learn a new skill, which leads to a new mindset of positive thinking. Having positive thinking and values of an I can do it, approach, really help in boosting the self esteem of the student.
  • Negative messages hurt.  Yes, negative messages, in any form, and to any person, regardless, whether the person is a high school student or an adult, do hurt.  Sometimes ruminating on the negative message is even more hurtful. However, the student can be taught effective ways in which toss the negative message out, and not internalize the negative message into self, which in the long run, will help the student in their overall plan for life.  I always wanted to be a High School Art Teacher, and did achieve this, but while I was going through my Art Teaching Credential Program, one of the classes, we had to build 3 sculptures. I did not know a thing about sculptures, but I plodded ahead and created a particular sculpture of found plastic, that turned and moved.  While I stepped away from my setup for the final exam, I overheard another student talking about my art, “what is that? It’s so childlike.” I did internalize that message a bit, but when the instructor, gave me an A for the class, because I had accomplished 3 out 3 sculptures, this boosted my self esteem and the other Art students negative message did not affect me than.
  • Earlier recognition is important.
  • Speaking up counts.
  • Mentoring helps.
  • Community connections make a difference.

     Individuals with learning and attention issues (LAI) are just as smart as their peers. Many describe them as out-of-the-box thinkers who approach challenges in unexpected ways and who, with access to the right kinds of accommodations and supports, use effective and often highly creative strategies for learning and solving problems. In fact, a number of today’s most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs—individuals like Richard Branson, Charles Schwab and Tommy Hilfiger—have shared their LAI status and have spoken openly about the ways that their struggles with LAI have contributed to their success. Research studies and personal accounts in the popular press during the past two decades have documented that many young adults with LAI have made successful transitions into adult life, are thriving socially, emotionally and educationally, and are satisfied in their careers. (http://www.ncld.org/Voices-Executive-Summary.pdf  5/30/2015)

• Young adults with learning and attention issues (LAI) are more likely to struggle in high school and during their transition from high school than their peers without LAI. • Even those who are getting support report that they struggle with reading, writing, math, attention and social and emotional issues.

 • Most pronounced are differences in reported self-confidence; young adults with LAI are four times more likely to struggle with confidence than their non-LAI peers.

 • Interestingly, evidence suggests that high school may be a low point for students with LAI; in our study, students with LAI reported on par or even better satisfaction with their job or postsecondary environments than students without LAI, which may suggest that high school was so difficult that the “real world” offers a reprieve. • (http://www.ncld.org/Voices-Executive-Summary.pdf  5/30/2015)

“DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Parts 200 and 299 RIN 1810-AB27 [Docket ID ED-2016-OESE-0032] Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, As Amended By the Every Student Succeeds Act–Accountability and State Plans AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. SUMMARY: The Secretary proposes to amend the regulations implementing programs under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to implement changes to the ESEA by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) enacted on December 10, 2015. The Secretary also proposes to update the current ESEA general regulations to include requirements for the submission of State plans under ESEA programs, including optional consolidated State.”  NPRMAccountabilitystateplans52016.pdf Department of Education as entered Federal Register 5/31/2016.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk8qesnsdec  A You Tube video from LD.org (downloaded May 30, 2016) 

http://www.ncld.org (5/30/2016)  

Echevarria, Jana & Graves, Anne, 2011

     Sheltered Content Instruction, Teaching English Learners with Diverse

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:Kat: K. M. M.Ed

Author, Artist, Philosopher.

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