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- What are learning disabilities?
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- Learning Disability Essay
Too, I proceed from the idea that whatever behaviors or ability levels I encounter are squarely owned by the individual whose name is on the class roster. I do not find myself wondering whether it might be a function of illness, chemical imbalance, learning difference, cognitive deficiency, or mental condition.
While I may speculate about underlying issues, the pool of possible explanations I draw from is qualitatively different. Or, at the very least, provide some practical advice for working with him, while at the same time absolving me of responsibility for the outcome.
And so in some ways I wish that I had not made that call. I did not want confirmation that the work I had asked him to do was beyond his abilities. I did not want to know that he was, most likely, unable to average his grades or grasp their significance. I did not want to hear that he was a senior and scheduled to graduate in December. I did not want to listen to her say ,"The only thing I can tell you is that you should hold him to the same standards as his peers.
Meeting Jacob has prompted me to reconsider my roles as an educator and the functions and purposes of higher education generally. His situation and, by extension, mine, raise a number of difficult questions. But when it comes to putting them down here, in print, I find myself struggling for words.
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Instead, I am afraid of using the wrong term or saying the wrong thing. I am aware of the need to tread carefully. And that is, I think, part of the trouble. It's rare that a week goes by without my engaging in a conversation with a colleague or reading an article about the issues of student preparedness and ability.
These discussions are commonplace and we have developed the necessary vocabularies and frameworks for having them. This holds even when we bring in such thorny matters as race, ethnicity, class, and gender.
We can and do talk about how changes in the student body affect our experiences and policies in the classroom and how these, in turn, are reshaping postsecondary education. But we seldom mention one of the fastest-growing groups on campus: students with disabilities. The Americans With Disabilities Act and its amendments have allowed men and women with physical, psychological, and emotional impairments to participate in higher education in a way that previous generations could not.
Campuses that receive public funds must maintain a Section compliance office, which is charged with meeting the needs of those who have documented disabilities and require support services. It goes without saying that the developments of the last two decades have affected students, instructors, individual campuses and the institution of higher education. And so long as it goes without saying, we are kept from addressing the benefits and challenges — both practical and philosophical — these create.
Over the last 14 weeks I have had the chance to experience these firsthand. In the process of thinking through how best to balance my obligations to Jacob with those I have to my other students, my discipline, and my vocation, I have formulated, imprecisely and in halting language, a number of questions related to teaching students with impairments and, more broadly, the changing nature of postsecondary learning. Engaging with the issues raised by the increased presence and visibility of students with disabilities, no matter how messy or uncomfortable, is something that we — instructors, administrators, advisers, students, and parents — can no longer afford to avoid.
And, once we get beyond our squeamishness, we may find that the dialogue surrounding these seemingly particular concerns can shed light on other issues related to equality, diversity, and the meaning of education. I still do not know what I should have done for Jacob. I only know what I have done, what I will do, and how I explain these to myself. I have continued to mark each of his papers and exams according to the guidelines I have set for the class as a whole, though I make a point to find something positive, no matter how small, to say about his work.
A few days from now, I will do the same with his final. And even though holding him to expectations I know that he cannot meet seems like a form of cruelty, I justify this, to myself, with terms like "fairness" and "honesty. Like Jacob, I was placed in an impossible situation.
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And, like him, I did the best that I could with what I was given. Here I am reminded of another quote, this one from the lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke: "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions. Be the first to know. Get our free daily newsletter.
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What are learning disabilities?
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Google Tag Manager. Advertise About Contact Subscribe. Print This. By Anonymous. January 23, What responsibilities do we, as instructors, have to our students? Are we differently obligated to individuals based on what we know about their particular aptitudes and personal circumstances?
Should instructors be allowed to participate in determining what adjustments a disabled student should receive? How do we define "reasonable accommodations"? In cases where instructors are required to make special provisions or alterations to our courses, are we entitled to ask why these are necessary? Do formal diagnostic categories and special designations facilitate or hinder our appreciation of human diversity?http://leondumoulin.nl/language/speech/8605-modeling-dynamic-climate.php
Learning Difficulties Essay Examples | Kibin
How does one separate an individual from his or her disability? Is it possible to hold a student to "the same expectations as his peers" while, at the same time, making substantive modifications and adjustments to grading structures and assignments? How can admissions criteria and course expectations be modified so that we remove barriers to learning for those who are qualified, while simultaneously maintaining academic rigor? How do we define equality of access? How is this related to equality of expectations? What does it mean to say that a student is prepared — intellectually, socially, and physically — for college?
Should there be some minimum standard and, if so, what metrics will be used to determine qualification? Is it realistic, or even desirable, to make the attainment of a college degree a requirement for full membership and recognition in society? The most common form of verbal learning disability is dyslexia, which results in trouble recognizing or processing letters and the sounds they make.
A common myth about dyslexia is that it causes people to reverse letters and numbers or to see them backwards, but those reversals are actually a normal part of language development, and are just as common in children without dyslexia. Dyslexia used to be blamed on everything from laziness to innate stupidity to poor vision, but it is now fairly widely acknowledged to be a neurological problem with a probable genetic cause, as it clearly runs in families.
This is supported by PET scan studies see Brain Imaging Techniques that have shown that different parts of the brain are active when people with dyslexia read compared to people without dyslexia.
Learning Disability Essay
Dyslexia is not the only kind of verbal learning disability. Whereas dyslexia is a disorder that primarily affects ability to read, dysgraphia refers to learning disabilities that primarily affect writing ability. Like dyslexia, dysgraphia is now widely acknowledged to be a neurological disorder with a probable genetic component. Within that category, mathematical learning disabilities are often referred to as dyscalcula.
Dyscalcula involves problems with learning fundamentals of math and one or more of the basic numerical skills. This may involve a variety of neurological underpinnings because mathematical skills depend on both the obvious accurate visual processing and motor skills and the not so obvious memory, language comprehension, planning skills.
This occurs because a learning disability can easily have an adverse effect on both the achievement measures and the intelligence tests to which they are to be compared. Consider children with a nonverbal learning disability. There is no reason to expect that such children would consistently perform well on the nonverbal portions of the IQ test, yet if they perform poorly both on those and on the nonverbal measures of the achievement test, they will be judged not to have a learning disability by virtue of having performed poorly on both. It is the result of meetings by the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities NJCLD , made up of representatives from eight national organizations interested in learning disabilities.
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