The Craig School: 10 Tower Hill Rd | Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046 | Phone 973.334.1295 | Fax 973.334.1299 | Email

Learning Disabilities FAQ

 

    1. What are the common types of Learning Disabilities?
    2. Why is my child struggling with learning to read?
    3. Will my child grow out of his learning disability?
    4. Why don’t the programs work in my current school?
    5. When I ask my child what he is picturing when he reads, he says “I don’t picture anything.”
    6. My child gets 100% on his weekly spelling test yet never spells the words correctly when he’s writing paragraphs. Why?
    7. Why can my child read the word correctly on the page and then the next page have to sound it out again?

 

  1. What are the common types of Learning Disabilities?

Common Types of Learning Disabilities

Dyslexia

Difficulty reading

Problems reading, writing, spelling, speaking

Dyscalculia Difficulty with math Problems doing math problems, understanding time, using money
Dysgraphia Difficulty with writing Problems with handwriting, spelling, organizing ideas
Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder) Difficulty with fine motor skills Problems with hand–eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity
Dysphasia/Aphasia Difficulty with language Problems understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension
Auditory Processing Disorder Difficulty hearing differences between sounds Problems with reading, comprehension, language
Visual Processing Disorder Difficulty interpreting visual information Problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures

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2. Why is my child struggling with learning to read?

  • A child who shows significant language delays or difficulties maybe considered at risk.
  • Children who have had early onset learning issues, i.e. chronic ear infections, may be at risk.
  • Children who struggle with rhyming, are slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds, unable to recall the right word, slow to add new vocabulary words, unable to follow multi-step directions are at risk. In order to have reading success these prerequisites must be in place. If children who are struggling with reading get effective phonological training in kindergarten and first grade, they will have significantly fewer problems learning to read at grade levels than do children who are not indentified or helped until third grade.

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3. Will my child grow out of his learning disability?

  • Very important to remember that no one ever grows out of a learning disability but if given the appropriate tools, will be successful, giving the appearance of “growing out” of it.
  • The tools necessary require direct instructions. It cannot be assumed that the child will pick them up incidentally; otherwise he would have already.

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4. Why don’t the programs work in my current school?

  • Fractured programs that are not integrated through the curriculum or school day.
  • The intensity of the program is not there
    “We use a little bit of this and a little bit of that”.
    “It’s Orton-like”.
    “He has Wilson Reading 1/2 hour a day” are common scenarios.
  • The programs were not designed to match the learner. Testing should drive the IEP which should drive the PROGRAM. Instead the child gets what the school has as far as program no matter what the need is.

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5. When I ask my child what he is picturing when he reads, he says “I don’t picture anything.”

  • Students are wedded so much to the print and decoding the word that no more energy is left to make the picture. These students need strategies not only to improve word attack but reading fluency. Until they develop a reading rhythm or prosody they will be unable to make “the picture.”
  • Students with weak receptive and / or expressive language skills have very vague pictures and need to be taught how to make a more vivid movie – how to “visualize".

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6. My child gets 100% on his weekly spelling test yet never spells the words correctly when he’s writing paragraphs. Why?

  • Most spelling lists are based on rote visual memory. With enough practice the student can hold on to the image similar to a crash course of study but that image is only held in memory for the short term. A child cannot spell better than he reads; reading and spelling should be linked. The more meaningful and connected you can make the image, the greater chance of retention.

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7. Why can my child read the word correctly on the page and then the next page have to sound it out again?

  • Visual memory weakness – the word is not sticking. A traditional learner would need to see the word at least 12 times for it to be a part of their automatic response.
  • The struggling reader needs to be exposed to the word as many times as possible. There needs to be automaticity and fluency in order for the word to become a part of the child’s lexicon.

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