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LD Sorting Fact from Fiction

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Welcome, this Podcast Series is brought to you by the Student Success Collaborative. The Student Success Collaborative is made of City Year, One Global Economy, Silicon Valley Education Foundation, Teachers Without Borders and the National Center for Learning Disabilities. The Students Success Collaborative and this Podcast Series are funded by the Cisco Systems Foundation My name is Karen Golembeski, I'm the Assistant Director of Education Programs at the National Center for Learning Disabilities. This podcast is part of a three part series on the basics of Learning Disabilities, with questions provided by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and Teachers Without Borders networks of educators across the country. Our guest today is my colleague Dr. Sheldon Horowitz, Dr. Horowitz is Director of LD Resources and Essential Information at the National Center for Learning Disabilities and He is essentially our In house expert on LD. Today's podcast is on the topic of Learning Disabilities Sorting Facts from Fiction. Welcome Dr. Horowitz. Even when learning disabilities make up 50% of the students receiving special education services in the United States, many myths about learning disabilities still exist. Would you sort some of the facts from fiction for us? Dr. Horowitz: Sure. I'll be happy to speak about some of the mythologies, some of the misunderstandings about learning disabilities. It's true that almost half of all children who receive any kind of special education services in the United States are classified as having specific learning disabilities and it is pretty remarkable that there is still so much confusion about what LD is and is not. As recently as 2010, there was a retro poll survey done where we learnt that individuals, parents, educators and others, still confuse learning disabilities with other disorders including mental retardation, below average intellectual functioning, they even confuse LD with sensory impairments, such as blindness and deafness. And attribute learning disabilities to laziness, lack of motivation nothing could be farther from the truth. Learning disabilities are, in the words of renown researchers “Islands of weakness in a sea of strengths“ One of the graduating high school seniors of Learning Disabilities who is this year an Ann and Loretta Ford scholarship winner whose essay you can read on our LD.org website describes a brain as a computer... with a glitch. Still able to process information, still able to get the job done, but in ways that are different and often unexpected. I've heard students linking their learning disabilities, their struggles of learning to driving a car with a missing gear on the transition. or figuring out how to get somewhere with street signs that are confusing or the rules of the road change depending upon where they are, where things change from one block to the next. I listened to a one young student telling me about his learning disability, He said that: “learning disabilities are what I have, and not what I am“. So the hidden message here is that learning disabilities is not a prescription to failure. bur rather a hurdle or a set of challenges that once understood by the person, by his parents, by individuals, teachers at the school, can be work around with targeted instruction meaningful accommodations, high expectations and a network of support. I've often heard your advice those with learning disabilities to become successful and comfortable with talking about their learning disabilities. and what they need from others to be successful. Why is so important to let people know about your learning disability? Dr. Horowitz: It's a very good question. If you have to look around the room and just try to pick out someone who used to have learning disabilities, What would you be looking for? Would it be someone who is left handed?, Someone wearing glasses?, Someone who you knew avoided doing math? or someone who wasn't a particular habit reader?, The truth is that there isn't a short fired list of characteristics that typified everybody with learning disabilities and LD manifest itself differently in different people. it's not necessarily something that you notice unless the person with the learning disability is doing something right there reading or spelling or math or some kind of tasks that would demonstrate the constant trouble that they have that model the particular areas of weakness. People wouldn't know about the presence of learning disabilities necessarily unless it was mentioned, and it could easily be mistaken for a reluctance to read or a poor math learning ability, or spelling errors or note taking problems, that would reflected not of the LD, but that would be translated improperly as laziness or even a lack of effort. During the school years, the school is responsible for seeking out students with LD, and making sure that they have the instruction and support they need to succeed. However once a student is graduating from High School and move on to college or to the work place, the responsibility to disclose the presence of a learning disability and ask for help lies completely with the individual. This is a very important distinction and there is more information about when to share the presence of a learning disability, to whom you might share, how is best done, this is at the LD.org website. Over the years I'm sure you've gathered some tips, for teaching students with learning disabilities and worked with parents and teachers motivated and positive as they progress through school Would you share some of those top tips with us? Motivation and Perseverance is really, really important, Some of the very most interesting research that we have about learning disabilities helping us understand what seems to make the most difference over time, comes from some work that was done in an area called success attributes. More than income level, more than parenting style, even more than overall intelligence, researchers have identified certain characteristics and behaviors, and you know what the number one item is? The number one item is that success attribute literature, is self awareness, a person's understanding of the nature of their specific challenges and what he or she needs to be successful. Successful individuals with LD don't give up! They anticipate the help that they need, and they find ways to get it. In school, at the job, at home and in the community. And they learn to be confident and outspoken self advocates. First, when they are in school, attending those decision making meetings, those IEP meetings, Even as early as middle school, as they get older, they love the mantra “No decision is made about me, without me“ They are part of the process, they develop a vocabulary, they know how to contribute to meaningful discussions about what they need to be successful. And clearly it takes a strong and well informed group of adults, specifically parents, and educators, working in close partnership with each other, to make all of this happen. But research tells us, that is well worth the effort. Karen: Thank You. Before our final question today, we have several questions about strategies, for how to build comprehensive, permanent success in school and at home, So, aside from staying positive and motivated, how do you recommend people build their confidence and promote success in school? One of the things that I would suggest, that parents, educators and individuals with learning disabilities think about in terms of promoting success is to look at assistant technologies, these can be enormously helpful, and today we have many more options to choose from than never before. We have calculators, we have screen reading software, we have cameras that take digital images to print and convert into audio files, for people who struggle with reading, we have portable scanning devices, that are as small as a size of a pen, that reads text aloud and then save it for download to a computer later on, we have software that captures natural speech that imports it into a word processing program, this is just a few of the kind of technologies that are leveling the playing field for students with LD. But not everything we do, and not all of these kinds of activities and opportunities that promote success need to be High Tech. Students with LD tell us, that the most important strategies for success are often High Touch. As oppose to High Tech, Meaning that honest, face to face problem solving with teachers and parents, and students is critical for success. Thats it!. Here are a few things not to do: Don't call upon a child with dislexia, a specific LD in reading, to read aloud in front of the class, unless, of course, you know that they will be successful. Don't assume that a child with learning disabilities doesn't want to visit a library and take out books just because they are struggling with reading. And don't assume that the child with LD hasn't mastered an understanding of course content because they did poorly on test or paper exams. Instead, find ways to INCLUDE students with LD in activities that demonstrate what they do know, and help them and others, to see that learning disabilities while very real, are not in any way a prescription for failure. Karen: Dr. Horowitz, Thank You so much for your time today. And thank you all of you for participating in this podcast, please do visit the other podcasts in these series, focus on LD basics as well as Things you've always wanted to know about Learning Disabilities Thank You.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: SSC
Director: SSC
Views: 73
Posted by: deya_castilleja on Apr 18, 2011

LD Sorting Fact from Fiction Podcast SSC

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