Learning about Disabilities

Developmental, Intellectual, and Learning Disabilities

Developmental Disabilities-

This form of disability relates to the level of intellectual function that a person has. Generally, a developmental disorder will manifest by the time they are 22. Typically, they will score 70 or below on an IQ test, and it affects their intellectual function and ability to adapt their behavior. If it can be found that the individual's disorder is due to physical or sensory impairment, or a mental illness, then they are NOT considered to have a developmental disability. Common developmental disabilities include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and Downs syndrome.

Intellectual Disabilities-

Intellectual disabilities are characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviors. This disability begins before the age of 18. Intellectual function is one's ability to reason, understand, and problem solve. Generally, an IQ test of someone with an intellectual learning disability will be between 70 and 75. With adaptive behaviors, things such ask social, conceptual, and practical skills are affected. These include reading, writing, understanding the spoken language, how you interact with others, understanding and obeying rules and laws, housekeeping, safety, and other daily routines.

Learning Disabilities-

Learning disabilities effect how people learn. For someone with a learning disability, the way they take in the information around them can be different that others. The signals from the brain that process the information get jumbled basically. Because of this, a person with learning disabilities needs to find ways in which they can process the information and learn. We as teachers are vital in this process due to our ability to teach the same information in different ways, whether it be visually, audibly, or tactically. Considering that 2.4 million students are diagnosed with a learning disability, and even more go un-diagnosed, it is essential we teach our lessons in a variety of ways. We will undoubtedly have students with learning disabilities, some of which include dyslexia, dyscalculia, and visual perception. Other related disorders we will face are ADHD, executive functioning, and memory issues. Because we are with the students in a learning environment, it is important that we are aware of the signs and do our best to help those students as much as we can. Early detection can make all the difference for one of these children.

What we can do....

We as teachers...

One of the best things we can do as educators is to utilize our resources to help those in our class who have learning disabilities. We need to be vigilant, observant, and adaptive. I myself intend to utilize a variety of ways to teach, such as verbal, visual, and even tactile. When we are observing our students, we can see ways in which they are able to understand the material we teach. We can conference with them. I will do this and make sure they know I am there to help. I also will research a variety of different disabilities so that I am prepared with a basic knowledge of their struggles and know how I can become a better teacher for THEM.
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