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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Slow Learners Vs. Learning Disabled


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Oct 16, 2004 at 7:03:40 PM
Subject: Slow Learners Vs. Learning Disabled

How can you tell a slow learner from someone who has an ld? What characteristics are common among slow learners and which signs are likely to show up in people that have ld? What I am trying to say is how do you distinguish between the two and is it very evident?

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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Posted:Oct 16, 2004 10:03:43 PM

Maybe.

A slow learner is generally slow in all areas. A person with a learning disability is defined as having at least average (often above average) intelligence, and weaknesses in one or a few specific areas.

It is fairly easy to spot the bright dyslexic, who argues with you about the structure of black holes and the finiteness of the universe but has trouble reading about three little duckies.
It is more difficult and confusing to deal with the child who has extensive language difficulties, since both formal and informal judgements of intelligence are heavily language-biased. This is why there are experts and extensive testing sessions.

Even if a child scores as a slow learner, early intervention can make a difference, so please don't write the child off.

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des
Joined Jul 06, 2003
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Posted:Oct 16, 2004 10:05:08 PM

Well theoretically, a ld kid would have many relative areas of strength and areas of difficulty/disability, whereas the slow learner would be weak across the board. So you'd think boy this is simple, huh?

However, in real life it doesn't quite work like that as slow learners have areas of strength as well. In fact, some even are very gifted in a specific area. And many ld kids have so many deficits that it is difficult for them to learn in many areas. For example, a child with auditory processing problems that are severe enough may have trouble not just with reading, but with other areas as well, if they are presented mostly auditorially.

I think it is safe to say that the slow learner has *cognitive* problems regardless of presentation method, and that if given thru the child's modality strength that an ld child does not have such cognitive problems (generally), but then again a NLVD kid will necessarily have difficulty with nonverbal modes of cognition, so...

Very complex. IQ might help, but remember that it is just one guide-- doesn't mean everything.

Sure this does not help. :-)

--des

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macdorob
Joined Oct 08, 2004
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Posted:Oct 17, 2004 3:15:13 PM

I live in Ontario, Canada; here we do not hold a student back. If the student is ld or a slow learner they need to be held back to catch up. If you put them ahead them they will almost not complete the required the work. What does anyone else think? Agree or disagree?

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des
Joined Jul 06, 2003
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Posted:Oct 17, 2004 8:01:11 PM

My understanding is that retention (ie keeping a kid back a grade) is almost always negative for the kid and does NOT improve the kid's skills.
(I would suppose there would be some difference if the kid missed work due to illness or for very immature kids in Kindergarten, but generally it is negative).

One fo the problems is that kids do not necessarily get the remediation they need if they are held back-- in fact, most do not. My preference would be to keep the kids on track, but do LOTS of remediation as early as possible. In fact, I would be in favor of tracking the kids into intensive remediation very early on. I don't know how this goes in the research. But just holding them back, or putting them into a slow track with no approach, doesn't do anything.

--des

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Oct 19, 2004 7:33:50 PM
Subject:remediation

Remedation would work if the teacher had the resources. If the child is pushed in to the next grade and the teacher has 25-30 other children to teach and watch; it is hard to believe and expect that teacher to be able to provide the help needed. Most school boards will not spend the money for an Educational Assistant for every class where there is student who's a slow learner or LD.

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des
Joined Jul 06, 2003
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Posted:Oct 19, 2004 9:25:41 PM

True, remediation would work if you had the resources, OTOH, retention is not a substitute for remediation, is not effective if there are no services specific for the disability. You could keep a kid back 20 years, and if you don't teach him to read he will never learn to read.

--des

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 22, 2014
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Posted:Oct 23, 2004 11:42:56 AM
Subject:Home impact

I am looking from the side of someone who was kept back or in my day, FAILED. I look back and am thankful they did it. I also can look back and say yes I did have a very poor self image. But it was because of being held back. I was because my dad was not a supportive person. I believe that the low self esteem is caused mostly from the home experience. I had friends in school. In fact there were maybe 5 of us the kept back that year (1978/79). A couple of them became very good students. While other's dropped out. The good student was from a well off family. The drop outs were from poor houses.
Economics will impact the families reaction to a child being held back. My family was average. My father carried on the abusive language he had suffered.
These are my views and I know not everyone will share them. I classmate said that we needed to burn all birth certificates and base education on ability. But I know we need to test for disabilities more often and do it sooner.

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
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Posted:Oct 23, 2004 1:19:29 PM

Retention does work FOR SOME STUDENTS.

One of the most harmful practices among teachers is the imposing of their experiences on their students.

You say "if they had the resources" they could remediate. That is just as true for the teacher in the class the LD student could move forward to.

If a student really is on the same learning path, and the teaching methods fit the learning, then retention so that s/he can gain some confidence and have success can be very effective, *if* *if* if* the student doesn't already have a mindset for failure which retention nails the coffin lid on.

However, often, retention is no more than doing the same things that didn't work... AGAIN. More failure.

It's not an easy decision -- and there honestly isn't one answer that's "the" better one. If retention worked well for you, great! Sounds like you had folks who really understood you (or, my cynical voice says, got lucky). However, there are other students who look back and honestly appraise retention as a negative force. Each child needs to be treated as an individual, not as something to impose a policy on.

Yes, it makes life a lot more complicated; it's so easy to decide that One Thing is Better. An awful lot of our studetns are hurt by this :( Also, the habit of looking for The One Factor That Determines (in your case economics) is dangerous too. It lets you say "hey, I can't help that kiddo, he's from a poor home anyway. Not My Fault." Before you make grand conclusions based on the huge sample size of five, look for more information. On the other hand, perhaps the conclusion could lead one to look for ways to equalize the economic forces that keep the poor uneducated and on that slimy path away from independence...

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
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Posted:Oct 23, 2004 1:26:56 PM

And... to the original question... it's sometimes easy and sometimes hard. The "classic dyslexic" is the type that has these deep intellectual discussions but can't read or write. There are so many other flavors, though -- and then to utterly confound it all, the attitudes we develop and the work and thought habits we cultivate profoundly affect how smart we are. Folks with 90 IQ scores, who have nonetheless cultivated a problem-solving approach to academic situations, tend to be successful in situations one would assume were beyond them. Our schools, however, do an awful lot on a daily basis to prevent all but the ones pre-disposed (either culturally or intrinsically) to those behaviors from developing them. Everytime one of my students says "I can't do that, it has fractions" instead of "Okay, it has fractions, do I know what to do with fractions?" I try to undo the years of training...

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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