There may be more learning-disabled students in your math class than you realize.
If you have learners who read numbers backwards, have trouble telling time, confuse part whole relationships, have difficulty keeping score in a game, and have difficulty remembering math facts, concepts, rules, formulas, sequences, and procedures, they may be learning disabled.
According to the National Adult Literacy and Learning Disabilities Center, "it is estimated that 50 percent to 80 percent of students in Adult Basic Education and literacy programs are affected by learning disabilities," (1995, p. The implications of such a staggering statistic for the adult basic education (ABE) teacher are worth further investigation.
The term learning disabilities is often misused and applied to students who learn in different ways.
Some people think of learning disabilities as something of short duration that can be cured with help.
In fact, a learning disability is a lifelong condition that affects every aspect of one's daily activities.
Although many definitions of the term exist, the Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities' definition, as accepted by the National Adult Literacy and Learning Disabilities Center, will be used as a framework in this article."Learning disabilities is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities, or of social skills.
These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction.
A learning disability may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions such as sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotional disturbance.
It may occur along with socioenvironmental influences such as cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction, or psychogenic factors, or with attention deficit disorder, all of which may cause learning problems, but a learning disability is not the direct result of those conditions or influences." (pp.
1-2).· Make new learning meaningful by relating practice of subskills to the performance of the whole task, and by relating what the student has learned about mathematical relationships to what the student will learn next.
Dyscalculia-which is defined as a mathematics disability resulting from neurological dysfunction-can be as complex and damaging as a reading disability, which tends to be more routinely diagnosed.
According to The Math Page web site, being classified with dyscalculia means having: "intellectual functioning that falls within or above the normal range and a significant discrepancy between his/her age and math skills (usually two years or more).
To be diagnosed with dyscalculia, it is important to make sure that math deficits are not related to issues like inadequate instruction, cultural differences, mental retardation, physical illness, or problems with vision and hearing." It is not as commonly diagnosed as dyslexia in school because of the lack of any strict or measurable criteria.