CATEGORIES OF L.D.
After completing this section, you should be able to:
describe five categories of learning disabilities,
describe the learning process,
identify accommodations which would be appropriate relating to each category,
recognize and apply appropriate strategies to case studies.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Based on information obtained to date in this course, can you group some of the particular learning disabilities into categories? Did you notice any reference to categories during your readings for your literature review, or while viewing the video? As you read the following lectures, it is important for you to relate the information to your previous knowledge and learning, and to begin to add examples of your own to the information given. In this way, the information becomes meaningful and useful.
Now that you have gained background knowledge and experience in relation to terminology, you will be ready to learn one way that Learning Disabilities can be categorized (the way in which disabilities are categorized varies dependent on the source), and begin to apply these learnings to the use of appropriate teaching methods and strategies.
Part A - Categories of L.D.
As discussed in Section Two, there is NO universally accepted method of classifying or categorizing learning disabilities. For the purposes of this course, and for your future reference, it is helpful to choose a simple method of categorization, in order to begin to look at strategies and modifications to assist the learner with learning disabilities. (We will not be attempting to label every type of learning disability.
Target Literacy, published by the L.D.A.C., refers to five categories of L.D. This lecture is based on an adaptation of information provided in Target Literacy, which would be an excellent resource for further reading. These major categories are:
Each of these categories of learning disabilities can be divided into sub-categories as well.
This term does NOT refer literally to vision. A person who has perfect vision can have visual learning disabilities. Visual problems may include:
Impaired visual perception and discrimination - difficulty making visual stimuli meaningful. Visual perception goes beyond what a person sees, and reflects analysis of the visual input, including all the parts and the way these parts are interrelated. Examples include difficulty in seeing differences in the general configuration of similar objects, such as letters (b,d), words (sam, saw), and everyday objects such as houses, signs, faces. •
Poor visual memory - difficulty in recalling dominant features even when the object has been viewed many times (a familiar word such as ‘the’ may not be readily recognized). We rely on our visual memory throughout much of our day, such as when we use familiar landmarks to travel from one place to another, when we copy a word or symbol, and when we socialize. •
Poor visual sequential memory - difficulty recalling a sequence of items presented visually. This can create problems in copying patterns or arranging blocks in a series. •
Figure-ground discrimination problems - difficulty in focusing on the foreground amongst all the background stimuli. For example, it may be difficult to pick out the traffic light or stop sign on a busy street. Two good examples of figure-ground discrimination problems are given on the video “How Difficult Can This Be?” by Richard Lavoie. Looking at the picture of the cow, it is difficult to pick out the cow’s face within the overall pattern until the overlay is placed on the picture to outline the ears, eyes and face. When looking at the classic picture ‘Vanity’, most people initially see the skull, but once we are...
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