Father Henry Carr CSS - Ms. Lofranco - GLE101 & GLE201

We are all in this TOGETHER!

We are all in this class because we learn in a different way. Some of us have Learning Disabilities, some of us have Mild Intellectual Disorders, some of us have Language Impairments, some of us have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and some of us have Autism. These learning differences affect the brain's ability to receive, process, store, respond to and communicate information.

People with differences in learning are of average or above-average intelligence but still struggle with skills that impact their performance in school, at home, in the community and in the workplace. Learning differences are lifelong, and the sooner they are understood, the sooner you can help yourself overcome these challenges!

Animal School

Important Stuff!

We will be talking about a lot of important information in this unit. It is important that WHAT IS SAID IN CLASS, STAYS IN CLASS! This can be a sensitive subject and in order to get the most out of the unit you need to keep an open mind, try your best, and participate.

YOU are responsible for the information they are going to learn. By learning the most about your learning difference, you will gain the skills to be a great self-advocate.

Take some time write now to review & sign our class Confidentiality Agreement.

Next Up: Tally Activity!


What Affects Our Performance In School?

Home life

...or any person who would insult us like this guy:
X Factor 2009 Simon Cowell best insults (HQ)

All of these things can = STRESS!

What is STRESS?

Stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by our response to pressure from the outside world. Common stress reactions include tension, irritability, inability to concentrate and a variety of physical symptoms that include headache and fast heartbeat.

It is almost impossible to live without some stress. Most of us wouldn't want to, because it gives life come spice and excitement. But if stress gets out of control, it may harm your health, your relationships and your enjoyment of life.

What are the signs of STRESS?

Stress can cause both mental and physical symptoms. The effects of stress are different for different people. Review the lists below and identify which symptoms commonly affect you.

Mental Symptoms of Stress
  • Tension
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Feeling excessively tired
  • Trouble sleeping

Physical Symptoms of Stress
  • Dry mouth
  • Pounding heart
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Upset stomach
  • Sweaty palms

Take a minute and briefly write down some current stressors in your life


  • Is stress negative? Are all of the examples you listed examples of negative stress?
  • Are any of these stressors good? What is an example of good stress?
  • What type of stress take over your life? are you going to deal with all of that?!

1. In order to tackle the stress in your life, you must look at the things that influence your stress tolerance level.

Your support network:
A strong network of supportive friends and family members is an enormous buffer against life's stressors. On the flip side, the more lonely and isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.

Do you have a support network? If so, why are they? If not, how can you build one?

Your sense of control: If you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, it is easier to take stress in stride. People who are vulnerable to stress tend to feel like things are out of their control.

Do you have a sense of control? How can you work on this aspect of your personality?

Your attitude and outlook: You are less vulnerable to stress if you have an optimistic attitude. Optimistic people tend to embrace challenges, have a strong sense of humor, accept that challenge is a part of life and believe in a higher power or purpose.

Do you have a positive outlook? Why or why not? Can you change this is necessary?

Your ability to deal with your emotions: You're extremely vulnerable to stress if you don't know how to calm and soothe yourself when you are feeling sad, angry or afraid. The ability to bring your emotions into balance helps you bounce back from adversity.

Do you have the ability to deal with your emotions? What do you need to work on?

Your knowledge and preparation: The more you know about a stressful situation, including how long it will last and what to expect, the easier it is to cope. For example, if you go into surgery with a realistic picture of what is expected post-op, a painful recovery will be less traumatic then if you were expecting to bounce back immediately.

Do you go into situations with knowledge or are you often finding yourself stressed out with the outcome?

2. Dealing with Stressful Situations: The Four A's

Change the Situation
1. Avoid the stressor
2. Alter the stressor

Change your Reaction
3. Adapt to the stressor
4. Accept the stressor

3. Here are healthy ways to relax and recharge. Which ones do you do?
  • Go for a walk
  • Spend time outside
  • Call a good friend
  • Workout
  • Write a journal
  • Take a bath
  • Light scented candles
  • Have a warm cup of tea
  • Play with a pet
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Watch a comedy

Remember: Keep A Positive Mindset!

Teaching Positive Thinking

Here Comes The Inspiration...

There are many famous and not so famous people in the world with different types of disabilities. You will be responsible for research a famous person with a disability.

There are 3 parts of this assignment:
1. Written Report
2. Visual of Your Choice
3. Presentation

Written Report (20 Marks)
You will be expected to write a 2 page typed report about the disability that this famous person has or had and how it affected their life and career. During your research focus on the following questions:
  • Who is the person you chose and why? Mini-biography.
  • Why is this person famous?
  • When did they discover they had a disability?
  • What is the disability?
  • How did their disability affect their life and career?
You will be graded on the content of the information, how you organized your ideas, grammar and sentence structure.

Visual of Your Choice (10 Marks)

You will be expected to present your findings visually. You can choose to make a PowerPoint, Prezi, Smore, BitStrip, Powtoon or use your creativity in another computer program pending teacher approval. Along with the most important information about the person and their disability, you should include pictures or videos as well.

You will be graded on the content of the information, how you organized your ideas and creativity.

Presentation (20 Marks)

You will be expected to present your information to the class in a very creative manner (approximately 8 minutes long).

You will be graded on your knowledge of the information, how you involve the class, the timing of your presentation, voice, posture and eye contact.

Below is some help to get you started:

What is an IEP?

IEP stands for Individual Education Plan. The IEP is a written legal document that describes the education plan for a student with a disability. Among other things, your IEP talks about: your disability, what skills you need to learn, what you will do in school this year, what services your school will provide and where your learning will take place.

Students with learning differences need an IEP because it is the law. The Education Act requires each student who receives special education service to have an IEP written just for him or her.

The IEP also helps your teachers meet your needs. It also helps you plan educational goals for yourself. That is why it is called an IEP because it is an individual education plan.

What is the Purpose of an IEP?

The purpose of an IEP is to make sure that you, your family and school staff knows what your educational program will be this year.

The IEP is developed during an IEP meeting. Lots of people will help write your IEP. Some are required by law to come to the meeting: at least one of your regular education teachers and at least one of your special education teachers. Others, such as you and your parents, must be invited to take part in the meeting.

These meeting occur at least once a year. This means you can attend at least one IEP meeting each year. However, you, your parents or the school can ask for more IEP meetings if any of you think it is necessary to take another look at your IEP or to make changes. The meetings can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Why Should I Participate in the IEP Meeting?

It is your educational program that everyone will be discussing in the meeting. Your opinions are an important part of this discussion.

Do not be a puppet! Take a look at the picture. Who would you rather be, the puppet or the puppeteer? All of us want to be the puppeteer. Right now, you are puppets in the IEP process and this unit will assist you in taking over and becoming the puppeteer.

There are 5 basic steps:
  1. Talk to your parents and to your teachers.
  2. Take a look at last year's IEP.
  3. Think about your strengths and needs in school.
  4. Write your goals for this school year.
  5. Practice what you want to say in the meeting.

Sections of the IEP

By law, your IEP must include certain information about you. This information is usually organized into the sections listed below. Your new IEP will have these sections or information.

  1. Personal Information: your name, date of birth, gender, school, principal, student number and grade.
  2. Student Profile: your learning disability, date of the most recent meeting and placement decision.
  3. Assessment Data: a list of medical, psychological and behavioural tests you have had.
  4. Student's Strengths & Needs
  5. Accommodations: a list of things that will help your needs.
  6. Goals for the year, broken down into short-term objectives or benchmarks: annual goals and short term objectives.
  7. The modifications you will have in your classes and when you take the OSSLT, or an explanation of why you will not be taking this test.
  8. When and where the school will start providing services to you, how often the services will be provided and how long the services are expected to last.

So, are disabilities really disabilities or a difference in the way we learn?

Disabilities OR Differences?

What exactly is a disability?

A person with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental/brain problem that has a large and long-term bad effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities such as reading, behaviour, speech, mobility, hearing, spelling, memory and math are a few examples.

LD: Learning Disability

People with learning disabilities have average to above average intelligence. They have problems in a wide range of learning and or social difficulties: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, organization and time-management.

The brain processes information differently.

Students with learning disabilities might be just as smart as the person they sit next to in class, but their grades in certain areas are not as good. This is not because they are dumb, lazy or anything else bad. They just learn differently.
It is like when you go on a road trip and you get stuck in traffic. It takes you a lot longer to get where you are going but eventually, you get there.

Are all students with LD alike?

No. But many students with LD experience very similar processing and learning difficulties and all students with LD get frustrated in school.

Will LD ever go away?

A true learning disability will never go away. But, with understanding and effort you can learn to use your many strengths to make up for your needs. You may be able to strengthen your needs so that your LD will not be as severe.

Types of LD:

  • Dyslexia: reading disability
  • Dysgraphia: writing disability
  • Dyscalcula: math disability

  • Birth trauma: sometimes before or during the birth process babies lose blood, oxygen or get chemicals into their blood. When a baby's brain is given certain kinds of chemicals or does not get enough blood or oxygen, permanent brain damage can occur.
  • Heredity: LD tends to run in families. A parent who has difficulty processing information may pass this along genetically. This seems to be the most common cause.
  • Lead poisoning: when young children eat, drink or breathe anything that contains lead (old paints, car exhaust, etc.), brain damage and a learning disability can develop.
  • Accident: if a person experiences a head injury, brain damage can occur which leads to a learning disability.


  • Difficulty focusing on a specific task.
  • May becoming distracted within minutes.
  • May also cause difficulties with staying organized, keeping track of time, completing tasks and making errors.

  • Difficulty controlling behaviour.
  • In constant motion: squirming in their chair, fiddling, bouncing their leg up and down.

  • Difficulty controlling impulses.
  • Do not stop and think before they act.
  • Say and do whatever comes to their mind without thinking of the consequences.
  • Might say something inappropriate and regret it later.
  • May have difficulty waiting for their turn in line.


  • Problems with social interaction, communication, development or restrictive and repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests and activities.
  • Diagnosed normally before age 3.
  • Characteristics often associated with autism are repetitive activities, resistance to change or change in daily routines, unusual responses to sensory experiences, lack of social skills and communication problems.



Check Out Your Own IEP & Set Some SMART Goals!

Disability Research

Self-advocacy can begin once you are fully aware of what your learning disability is. Self-advocacy is the best kind of advocacy because it puts YOU in charge! There's no waiting for someone else to change the situation. Self-advocates make the changes for themselves.

  1. What is your disability? (3 marks)
  2. What is the definition of your disability? (3 marks)
  3. Explain this in your own words. (6 marks)
  4. What are 3 ways this disability affects you according to your research? (6 marks)
  5. How does the disability affect the way you learn and perform at school. List 2 ways. (4 marks)
  6. What are some things that can be done to help you? A. You B. Parents C. Teachers (4 marks)
  7. How might this disability affect your future? A. College B. Job C. Socially (6 marks)
  8. List 2 unique facts about this disability. (4 marks)
  9. Do you need to practice things to help you in order to improve on your disability? Why or why not? (4 marks)

10 Steps To Self-Advocacy!

Self-Advocacy is the ability to communicate or negotiate for your own interests, desires, needs and rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions.

Step 1: Accept your disability
  • You are NOT dumb or stupid.
  • Being able to admit to yourself that you have trouble with certain parts of learning is very important.

Step 2: Admit your disability to others
  • This doesn't mean making an announcement to the school or telling everyone you see.
  • Important people to tell are: close friends, parents, teachers and employers.
  • It is hard to do this until you have accepted your disability and feel comfortable talking about it.

Step 3: Understand your learning style
  • There are many different learning styles and combinations.
  • Visual, Audio, Kinesthetic, etc.
  • If you don't know how you learn best, you can't ask for accommodations that would help you most.

Step 4: Find out what "other issues" might get in the way of being an advocate for yourself
  • Self-esteem, peer pressure, embarrassment, problems communicating your needs, attention problems, shyness.

Step 5: Know what you need
  • Only YOU know what YOU need to help you learn best.
  • What will help you most? What will help you least?

Step 6: Start thinking about your needs in each class
  • Don't wait to talk to the teacher about what you need, do it right away and continue doing it through the year as things come up or change.
  • BEFORE tests or big projects remind your teacher and ask for your modifications or accommodations.

Step 7: Know your rights and responsibilities
  • You have legal rights to a good education and rights to certain things that may help you.
  • Know your rights so you can stick up for yourself and get what you need.

Step 8: Be willing to compromise
  • Not all teachers will be willing to give you all accommodations.
  • Be flexible, but also don't give in to something if you know you can't succeed.
  • Make a deal with the teacher and follow through.

Step 9: Know where to go for support

  • When you have problems getting what you need who do you go to?

Step 10: Plan for the future

  • A lot of times it is about one day at a time, one assignment at a time, but it is important to think of the future.
  • What do YOU want? Don't limit your options just because you have difficulties in certain areas.
  • Set goals for yourself and your future.
  • Start planning for ways you can reach those goals.



Having a disability or being in special education can often times lead to situations where you may feel hurt, uncomfortable, angry or frustrated.

With a partner, choose one of the difficult situations below and role play how you would handle it.

Situation 1:
Me teacher won't give me enough time to think when he/she asks me a question and then yells at me for not paying attention.

Situation 2:
I need to have someone tell me what the questions mean on a test but I hate having to write tests in the resource room.

Situation 3:
Someone in the hallway told me that I am "stupid" because I work in the resource room.

Situation 4:
My teacher keeps giving me assignments and I haven't had time to finish them all. I have so many assignments and now I don't know which one to start.

Situation 5:
My mid-term mark is a lot lower than I thought it was.

*IEP Survey*