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CD7704 Specific Learning Difficulties

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Georgina Spry

on 24 September 2014

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Transcript of CD7704 Specific Learning Difficulties

Specific Learning Difficulties
GEorgina Spry
Todays Aims

We will have a go at investigating elements of neuro-diversity, neuro-science, basic brain anatomy and physiology with reference to SpLD.

and analysing theories of practice in relation to various SpLDs.

a wide variety of difficulties
Definition/ classifications
Criticisms and justifications of classification

Lets look at this from an international perspective
Some categories of Learning Disabilities – Specific Learning Difficulties

which has far too many and wide ranging definitions to even begin to discuss...

Sign and symptoms of Dyslexia
Sign and symptoms of Dysgraphia

Generally illegible writing
Inconsistencies in writing, e.g. mixtures of printing and cursive writing, upper and lower case, or irregular sizes, shapes, or slant of letters
Unfinished words or letters, omitted words
Inconsistent position of letters on the page with respect to lines and margins
Inconsistent spaces between words and letters
Cramped or unusual grip of the writing instrument, especially
holding the writing instrument very close to the paper, or
holding thumb over two fingers and writing from the wrist
Strange wrist, body, or paper position
Talking to self whilst writing, or carefully watching the hand that is writing
Slow or laboured copying or writing
Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech.
Difficulty organising thoughts on paper

Dysgraphia is a Greek word. The base word graph refers both to the hand’s function in writing and to the letters formed by the hand. The prefix dys indicates that there is impairment. Graph refers to producing letter forms by hand. The suffix ia refers to having a condition. Thus, dysgraphia is the condition of impaired letter writing by hand,

Dyspraxia affects movement and co-ordination. Like dyslexia, it is a specific learning difficulty, which means it only affects some skills and abilities, and is not linked to the general level of intelligence of the person who has it.

The cause may be that systems for processing information in the brain are not fully developed and messages not transmitted properly. Estimates put the number of children experiencing the condition at between two and 10 per cent of the population. Boys are four times more likely to be affected than girls.


Counting: Dyscalculic children can usually learn the sequence of counting words, but may have difficulty navigating back and forth, especially in twos and threes.

Calculations: Dyscalculic children find learning and recalling number facts difficult. They often lack confidence even when they produce the correct answer. They also fail to use rules and procedures to build on known facts. For example, they may know that 5+3=8, but not realise that, therefore, 3+5=8 or that 5+4=9.

Numbers with zeros: Dyscalculic children may find it difficult to grasp that the words ten, hundred and thousand have the same relationship to each other as the numerals 10, 100 and 1000.

Measures: Dyscalculic children often have difficulty with operations such as handling money or telling the time. They may also have problems with concepts such as speed (miles per hour) or temperature.

Direction/orientation: Dyscalculic children may have difficulty understanding spatial orientation (including left and right) causing difficulties in following directions or with map reading.

Sign and symptoms of
Sign and symptoms
of dysphasia
inability to comprehend language
inability to pronounce, not due
to muscle paralysis or weakness
inability to speak spontaneously
inability to form words
inability to name objects

Central Auditory Processing Disorder
A sensory disability related to processing sounds.

Sign and symptoms of Central Auditory Processing Disorder
have trouble paying attention to and
remembering information presented orally,
and may cope better with
visually acquired information
have problems carrying out multi-step directions
given orally; need to hear only one direction
at a timehave poor listening skills
need more time to process information
have low academic performance
have behavior problems
have language difficulties
have difficulty with reading,
comprehension, spelling,
and vocabulary

Visual Processing Disorder
A sensory disability related to processing images.
Some symptoms of Visual Processing Disorder
Mixing up letters (i.e. ‘d’ and ‘b’)
Mixing up words by changing letters around (i.e. ‘saw’ and ‘was’)
After reads a story they cannot always tell the detail what the story was about.
Skipping words, letters or paragraphs when reading.
Learner would get headaches
during and after reading
Causes and Risk Factors of LD
The causes for learning difficulty
are not well understood,
and sometimes there is
no apparent cause for
a learning difficulty. However,
some causes of learning disability

Learning difficulties often run in the family. Children with learning disabilities are likely to have parents or other relatives with similar difficulties.

Problems during pregnancy and birth
Learning disabilities can result from anomalies in the developing brain, illness or injury, fetal exposure to alcohol or drugs, low birth weight, oxygen deprivation, or by premature or prolonged labour.
Accidents after birth
Learning disabilities can also be caused by head injuries, malnutrition, or by toxic exposure
(such as alcohol, heavy metals or pesticides).

Brain Damage or Dysfunction
Some professionals believe that all children with learning disabilities suffer from some type of brain injury or dysfunction of the central nervous system.

Famous person with Learning Disability
whats going on??
have a look at the brain..
Brain Anatomy Prezi
see also Farrell 2012
appendix p. 286-290)

Fletcher et al (2003) as cited in Farrell (2012) suggests that that the notion of classifications 'imply deciding on upon a set of defining qualities or attributes. Then from a larger group, coherent and more homogenous smaller groups are differentiated according to the extent to which they relate to the defined qualities'.

The identification involves 'individuals being allocated to subgroups constituting the the classification. It represents the operationalizing of the definitions that arise from the classifications

social and individual perspectives and classification
negative or positive labelling
the challenge of delineating discorders and disabilities
classification, provision and evidence based practice?
Specific Learning Difficulties
the viewpoint differ as to what constitutes a Specific Leaning difficulty
Video recommended by the BDA
People who have dyspraxia generally have difficulties in some or all of the following areas:
■Dressing and eating skills
■Following instructions
■Organisation and short term memory
■Speaking and listening
■Holding pens/pencils and handwriting
■Social skills and friendships
The DfE defines dyscalculia as: ‘A condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.’

Symptoms of receptive dysphasia include:

Not understanding what people say.
Feeling as though people are speaking in a foreign language.
Not understanding long, complicated sentences, or forgetting part of what has been said.
Having difficulty understanding someone speaking to you when there are distractions or background noise.
Not understanding things that you read, or being able to read out loud.
Being able to write, but not to read back what has been written.
Symptoms of expressive dysphasia include:

Not being able to use words to speak at all.
Only being able to use single words or short sentences, but nothing longer, or missing out some words in a sentence.
Having difficulty with finding the right word to use, and having to take long pauses while speaking.
Answering "yes" but mean "no" or vice versa.
Knowing which word you want to say, but saying a different one.
Using words and sentences that do not make sense, including use of non-words, without realising that it does not make sense.
Being able to describe things but not think of their name.
Using the same few words in answer to everything (this can include swear words)
Getting stuck on certain words and repeating them a number of times.
Having trouble with reading, with words on the page not making sense
Having difficulties with writing.

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