Students with Learning Disabilities

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  • 0:03 What Is a Learning Disability?
  • 1:03 Common Types of…
  • 4:24 Dealing With Learning…
  • 5:42 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Working with students who have learning disabilities requires a unique awareness along with special accommodations. This lesson explores the issues faced by learning disabled students.

What Is a Learning Disability?

Take a moment to think about the things you have learned today. Perhaps you were updated on local events by watching the news or reading a website. Or maybe you learned a new route to work that will save you a few minutes in your commute. How did you learn these things? Watching? Listening? Reading?

We all learn things in different ways and some people have unique challenges when it comes to learning. When someone is not able to learn effectively or as quickly as others in their age group, they may have a learning disability or learning disorder. Over two million of America's students have a learning disability. In people with learning disabilities, the brain works differently and may cause issues with information processing, memory, attention span, coordination, and social skills.

Now that we understand what a learning disability is, let's take a closer look at a few of the most common types of learning disorders among students and see some examples.

Common Types of Learning Disorders

First, we will take a look at disorders related to auditory processing. This learning disability makes it difficult for students to correctly identify and process sounds. For example, Jimmy's teacher likes to recite the weekly spelling words to the class. Jimmy just can't seem to write out the words he hears his teacher say. He knows the words when he sees them, but gets confused when he hears them. He also gets very distracted by all of the other noises in the classroom and struggles to determine where sounds are coming from. He gets frustrated and withdraws in class.

It sounds as if Jimmy has a problem with auditory processing. Students like Jimmy usually do better when things are demonstrated visually rather than just explained orally. Auditory processing disorders can also include difficulty with understanding language altogether.

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