About SLDs Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) are quite common among children. By definition, these refer to disorders in the basic psychological and mental processes of an individual that affect his or her ability to understand or use written or spoken language (Minnesota Department of Education, 2013). In another definition, specific learning disability is a term used to describe different types of learning problems. Oftentimes, learning disabilities cause individuals, especially children, to experience trouble in learning and utilizing certain skills. Most of these skills are basic, such as writing, speaking, reading, reasoning, listening, and solving math problems (Center for Parent Information and Resources, 2013). In some cases, a specific learning disability may also manifest itself through certain conditions, including perceptual difficulties, dyslexia, brain dysfunction, injury, as well as developmental aphasia (Minnesota Department of Education, 2013). It is sometimes evident that a person suffers from a specific learning disability as there is an “unexplained” gap in the person’s expected level of achievement and the person’s actual performance (The National Center for Learning Disabilities Inc., 2013). For example, when a child is expected to know how to read and write properly by age 10 and he is unable to do so, then the possible reason for this could be a specific learning disability. Nevertheless, the child’s inability to write and read well may depend on the severity of the learning disability a child suffers from. SLDs may range from a mild to severe stage, and it is possible for a child to have several learning disabilities at the same time (The National Center for Learning Disabilities Inc., 2013). For instance, a child that has attention-deficit & hyperactivity disorder or ADHD may also suffer from dyslexia, which hinders the child from reading fluently and understanding written text despite having normal intelligence levels (The National Center for Learning Disabilities Inc., 2013). There are also other cases wherein the SLDs present in a child remain undiagnosed, making it difficult for the parents and the teachers to understand what actually causes reading and spelling problems in the child (The National Center for Learning Disabilities Inc., 2013). In this research, one specific learning disability known as “dyslexia,” which is experienced by 5% of the children around the world, will be discussed in detail.
Overview of the SLD: Dyslexia
In a nutshell, dyslexia is the term that is commonly used to refer to the specific learning disabilities among children when it comes to reading fluently and comprehending written text. Often, dyslexia is characterized by the child’s inability or difficulty in recognizing accurate words, spelling words, and decoding or understanding meaning from certain texts (The National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2013). Dyslexia often causes problems with the reading comprehension of the child sufferer and ultimately slows down the child’s growth in vocabulary. Among the manifestations of dyslexia include the child’s poor fluency in reading both silently and out loud. There are some studies which point out that dyslexia is genetically inherited and neurological. It is neither a result of the poor intelligence levels of a child nor of a teacher’s poor instruction. Fortunately, there are available solutions to the problem of dyslexia which can turn a child suffering from dyslexia into fluent writers and readers (The National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2013). Educational support plays a critical role in curing cases of dyslexia and helping dyslexic individuals improve their reading, writing, and comprehension skills (Brunswick, 2012). There are also numerous techniques and aids that can help manage the downsides of dyslexia. It has been proven scientifically that removing anxiety and stress may improve the reading and comprehension levels of individuals suffering from dyslexia (Miles, 2004). In many cases, interventions made on dyslexia cases are geared towards addressing orthographic and visual language issues as well as training in oral phonological (Brunswick, 2012). There is also evidence of the effectiveness of the use of specific fonts to provide assistance to the children suffering from dyslexia. It is very important to implement dyslexia intervention as early as possible to reduce the long-term effects of dyslexia on the sufferer (Brunswick, 2012).
Bryan is an 8-year-old student experiencing dyslexic difficulties. He continues to struggle in his academic performance as it is difficult for him to construct “CVC” words. He also has problems in his working memory, making him forget the most important tasks and assignments he needs to fulfill for his class. Bryan also struggles in his long-term memory, making it difficult to recall some words and concepts. While Bryan can solve math problems better than any of his classmates, he often fails to read, write, and understand texts in his books. It is important to implement effective intervention techniques to address Bryan’s dyslexic issues and difficulties.
It is proposed that first, Bryan must undergo a support program intended to address his weaker areas in reading texts. This program must be designed to “go back to the basics” of a teaching process focused on improving the memory (both visual and auditory) of Bryan. In addition, the program must develop a “sight word” store and must focus on enabling Bryan to improve and master his alphabetic knowledge. The second strategy is that Bryan must be exposed to a more effective teaching methodology to help him overcome his dyslexic difficulties. For example, he must undergo training intended to improve/increase his phonological awareness. The focus of the teaching content must be on decoding phonology and the word level work. This must also include activities that would encourage Bryan to progress and read more difficult texts. Lastly, Bryan must be honed in comprehension, and the focus of the teaching content must be on increasing his comprehension levels while reading specific texts. The third suggested strategy or intervention to address Bryan’s dyslexic difficulties is the adoption of the so-called “Active Literacy Kit,” which is designed to help increase the reading fluency of Bryan by making use of timed tasks. Some exercises may include recital of the alphabet, sequencing the alphabet cards (without names, only pictures), picture and sound alphabet sequences, and matching the lowercase letters to the “no name” alphabet cards.
One Chosen Strategy
The chosen strategy that will be presented to the students is the third one, which is the Active Literacy Kit. This is specifically designed to help Bryan improve his reading fluency and comprehension, which are the key areas where he extremely suffers. By making little progressions in the way Bryan reads and comprehends written texts, it would become possible for him to overcome this learning disability in the long run.
Brunswick, N. (2012). Supporting dyslexic adults in higher education and the workplace. John Wiley & Sons.
Center for Parent Information and Resources (2013). Disabilities. https://www.parentcenterhub.org/disability-landing/
Miles, T. (2004). Dyslexia and stress. Whurr.
Minnesota Department of Education. (2013). Specific learning disabilities. http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/SpecEdClass/DisabCateg/SpecLearnDisab/
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (2013). What is dyslexia? http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/what-is-dyslexia