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diagnosed reading disabilities and math


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Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 4
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Posted Apr 05, 2011 at 4:17:50 PM
Subject: diagnosed reading disabilities and math

I am a regular education high school math teacher. If a student has a diagnosed reading disability, does that automatically determine that a student needs special education services in the math classroom? I have been researching and have found that not all reading disabled students also have difficulties with math. From what I have read thus far, visual perception diagnoses do create math difficulties. My students are recieving LD services in the math classroom although there are no specified math disabilities or math goals in the IEPs. I am desperately trying to find a balance between what a student CAN do and what I CAN do to help them be successful. If a student has a reading disability and all specially designed instruction are reading based and/or behavioral based, do I have to comply with instuction such as: retesting or fixing up tests for students who get below a 70%? Are there students who have JUST a reading disablity who can be successful in the regular education math classroom without services? How do I determine if a student is recieving too many services within the regular education classroom? How can I balance holding the child accountable as well as providing them the services that they require? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 266

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Posted:Apr 05, 2011 11:41:08 PM

Welcome to LDonline, What does the student's IEP stipulate? If a student has a reading disability, having to read word problems could impact the student's ability to decode the problem and impact their math score when reading is the real issue. if this is the case, text to speech could accommodate for that issue. Each student with a reading disability has their own profile. Some may also have problems with math and some do not. If short term memory is involved, math could be impacted. if reading is being impaired by a processing problem, it also could have implications for math. Was the student evaluated for dyscalculia?

These resources might be of value:

http://www.ldonline.org/indepth/math

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/topic.aspx?tid=05

http://rtinetwork.org/learn/why/rtiandmat

http://www.dyscalculia.org/dyscalculia/math-dyslexia

Best Wishes.


[Modified by: dhfl143 on April 05, 2011 11:47 PM]

[Modified by: dhfl143 on April 06, 2011 12:26 AM]

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tammy65
Joined Apr 05, 2011
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Posted:Apr 06, 2011 9:07:27 AM

For one particular student, he was labeled ADHD with a disability in written expression. His needs as written in the IEP are to: improve reading comprehension, math reasoning, spelling and grammar, and work independently at completing assignments, editing and proofreading his written material. As for the goals: he will answer factual and inferential comprehension questions,follow school rules, and maitain a notebook folder for each class. SDI: allow to turn in work 1-3 days late, extra practice, break down units of learning, LS teacher will provide folder, fix up tests with a 69% or lower (with teacher discretion). In his intial ER from 8 yrs ago, I did not find anything about math. I cannot find his re-evals. I understand that some math concepts especially algebra may be difficult for students with reading disabilities. However, does it mean they need daily SDI in order to be successful during math class or would it be intermittant depending on the concept taught? If there are no math goals or SDI (as in this particular case) do tests have to be modified?
In my 15 yrs. teaching, I have never had a student with dycalculia. Currently, I have students with specified reading disabilites, some of whom do have math goals (improving reasoning skills and/or computational skills) and SDIs (extra practice).
My main concern is this: I have students that do not have a diagnosed math disability (from a psychologist) and yet they are recieving one-on-one help on tests and/or modified tests. I am being told that if a student has a disability in reading, that automatically qualifies them for math help. Most of my LS students are not independent learners and are recieving extraordinary help to the point of step by step with no student accountibility. I honestly feel that some of my students are recieving services that they are not justified to recieve.

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 266

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Posted:Apr 09, 2011 6:21:36 PM

Have you spoken with your LEA about your concerns? Who is telling you that if a student qualifies for reading that they automatically qualify for math? Are you seeing progress for these students? Dyscalculia often goes undiagnosed. By some conservative estimates, it has been suggested that 4% of the population may have dyscalculia.

What do you mean by fix up tests that score under 69%? You say you feel some of your students are receiving services that are not justified. The goal of scaffolded instruction is to provide step be step instruction in the hopes of providing specific instruction you meet each student at their need and help them gain an understanding so that at some point the student can gain the knowledge that will eventually enable him or her to become a more independent learner.
[Modified by: dhfl143 on April 09, 2011 06:22 PM]

[Modified by: dhfl143 on April 09, 2011 06:37 PM]

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tammy65
Joined Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 4

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Posted:Apr 11, 2011 4:09:06 PM

I have tried talking with everyone in our school. The rule of thumb here is that if a student is reading disabled, then the student qualifies for services in all subjects, regardless if IEP goals are written. It is also the trend, that if a student in an emotional support student, then they too are eligible for services in all academic areas. I do see some students progress but I am seeing too many who are not. Many seem to be recieving so much help that they are not able or willing to do work independently. I truly believe in learning disabilities. However, I think students who possess them need to learn how to "adjust" to them instead of always recieving step by step help. I use the analogy that a person who has only one arm needs to find ways to be successful and function as two armed people do. A one armed person can do almost anything a two armed person can do, they just need to do some things differently. I feel that is what a learning disability is. A LD person can do what non-LD students do, just differently. LD's are not an excuse. In fact, a LD person should be working more diligently.
When I say students are allowed to fix up tests it means: Students who fail a test are allowed to go back and correct errors. Then the two tests are averaged together. So for multiple choice tests which are already adapted by crossing out one wrong answer, the student is allowed to go back and change their answers.

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geodob2
Joined Jun 12, 2009
Posts: 41

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Posted:Apr 12, 2011 6:20:46 AM

Tammy, this story just gets worse and worse and rings alarm bells!
Where as I read it, I just think of this as a School Admin solution to 'those' students with an LD.
with a one size fits all approach. Which might not actually help each student, but on paper it looks like each student is getting help with everything. As a strategy to avoid an Individual EP.
But the greater concern, is the damage it does, with not helping a student to understand and develop their own way of learning.
Where a student with no math difficulty, would no doubt come to believe that they have a difficulty?
When in fact, math might be their area strength?
Just as students with math difficulties, often have very strong reading/writing abilities.

I can see them telling the parents, that they are providing LD Services for 'all subjects'. Which would probably sound good to many parents? To convince them that an IEP isn't necessary?
Just don't tell the parents, that the good test results, are because their child could go back and change the boxes that they ticked. Until they tick most of the correct answer boxes.
But the real issue, is what happens to these students after they finish high school?
Where the idea of being an independent learner, would be something that they never learned how to become?
School is not so much about learning, but with learning how to learn.

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tammy65
Joined Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 4

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Posted:Apr 12, 2011 8:18:32 AM

I liked your comment that math may be a strength of students. How would we know if students are over serviced? I am very concerned about my students. It is their future that I worry about. IEP's are to be individualized but all our IEPs look the same. I feel my students are not given the proper services that allow them to "learn" and "function". My superintendent is ademant that all students with any learning/emotional disability should be serviced in ALL subjects. I am going to continue my quest to help my students appropriately. I am paasionate about helping my students grow to be the best they can be.

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 266

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Posted:Apr 12, 2011 11:26:33 PM

Is your school using any Cirriculum Based Measurements that are aligned with the cirricullum being used?

Take a looke at these examples and see if they would be beneficial to help you present facts:

http://www.rtinetwork.org/essential/assessment/prrogress/validated-forms-progressmonitoring

http://www.rti4success.org/index.php?id=1172&Itemid=150&option=com_content&task=view#cbmMath

Best wishes on helping students to achieve their full potential.

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