Intellectual, Developmental and Learning Disabilities
What I learned about students with intellectual, learning and developmental disabilities and how I will accommodate these types of learners in my future classroom.
What is an Intellectual Disability?
Intellectual Disability is defined as a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behavior, which covers a range of everyday social and practical skills.These limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child.This disability originates before the age of 18.
This disability can be caused by numerous factors, such as genetic conditions, problems during pregnancy, problems during birth, disease, and malnutrition.
- Intellectual disability is the most common developmental disability.
- Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have an intellectual disability.
- More than 545,000 children (ages 6-21) have some level of intellectual disability and receive special education services in public school under this category in IDEA, the nation’s special education law.
- 1 in every 10 children who need special education have some form of intellectual disability.
What is development disability?
Developmental disabilities are severe, long-term problems. They may be physical, such as blindness. They may affect mental ability, such as learning disorders. Or the problem can be both physical and mental, such as Down syndrome. The problems are usually life-long, and can affect everyday living.
This disability can be caused by genetic or chromosome abnormalities (down syndrome), exposure to alcohol or other substances during pregnancy (fetal alcohol syndrome) and pre-term birth.
- Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 15%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have a one or more developmental disabilities
- Children who have a sibling are at a higher risk of also having an autism spectrum disorder.
- Prevalence of autism increased 289.5% in last 12 years.
- Males have a higher prevalence of ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, stuttering/stammering and other developmental disabilities.
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a neurological disorder. In simple terms, a learning disability results from a difference in the way a person's brain is "wired." Children with learning disabilities are as smart or smarter than their peers. But they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.
Common learning disabilities include dyslexia, dyscalculia (difficulty solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts) and auditory or visual processing disorder.
- 15% of the U.S. population has some type of learning disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.
- Difficulty with basic reading and language skills are the most common learning disabilities. As many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems.
- Learning disabilities often run in families.
Tips for Teachers
Some tips for teaching students with disabilities
- Learn as much as you can about the different types of learning disabilities. The internet is full of resources, or talk with other teachers who have experience a
- Find out and emphasize what the student's strengths and interests are.
- Give the student positive feedback and lots of opportunities for practice.
- Talk to specialists in your school (e.g., special education teacher) about methods for teaching this student.
- breaking tasks into smaller steps, and giving directions verbally and in writing;
- giving the student more time to finish schoolwork or take tests
- Work with the student's parents to create an educational plan tailored to meet the student's needs.
- Teach organizational skills, study skills, and learning strategies. These help all students but are particularly helpful to those with learning disabilities.