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Learning Disabilties Essay, Research Paper

“I’m just starting my sophomore year in

college…. I first knew I had a learning disability when I was in first

grade. A learning disability is like any other disability, but in this

case it’s the learning process that is disturbed. There is something that’s

stopping me from learning in the average way. I know it’s not that I can’t

learn. I can, but I learn differently and it’s often much harder for me….

This in turn means that I have difficulty with reading and spelling, and

also with remembering what I hear” (Wren 3).

Like Cory, almost 20% of children, of the

total school population, suffer from different types of learning disabilities.

There are an even larger number of students that go undetected with L.D.s.

Most of these, undetected students are male (Maniet 11). This might explain

the unbelievable number of famous males that have succeeded in their professional

careers, while suffering from their disabilities.

Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Albert

Einstein, da Vinci, Beethoven, and Tom Cruise are only a few of the well

known males who have dealt with a learning disability. These famous males

had problems in the areas in spelling, grammar, and math (Maniet 20). Students

without learning disabilities face problems like these, but these areas

become increasingly difficult when you have trouble interrupting such everyday

subjects. Since, a majority of these men were alive before a time when

learning disabilities were a documented problem, most of them flunked out

of school or had to repeat grades (Maniet).

Like, a building without handicap entrances,

school is a major hurdle for a student with a L.D. (Levine 210). School

can also bring on some social problems that go along with a learning disability.

Words like stupid and retard are thrown around groups of classmates, but

to a special student, these words can be damaging and very hurtful. Kids

need to be taught that words like these need to be ignored. This is especially

true in L.D. children (Levine 210). What most L.D. students and their parents

don’t know about themselves is that most L.D. students have have average

or above average intelligence (Maniet 15). There is a block aid that is

blocking that vast information.

In the same area of social acceptance,

there is the problem of discrimination, because most people think that

a disability is more visual, like being in a wheelchair. People think that

these students will be a strain on their time. Fellow students and teachers

sometime think that L.D. students are not paying attention or hyperactive,

think that they are slow, and think that they get special attention (Maniet

49). Children often feel frustrated and embarrassed and this makes a student

feel like giving up. Giving up is an easy thing to do, but for a L.D. student

giving up is made easier when a student feels worthless.

Parent’s sometime feel broken hearted because

their children feel worthless. Parents feel that it is their fault that

their child has this problem. In some instances, it is thought that this

gene can be passed from the parents, but it can also be the result of an

early childhood illness (Levine 4). It really is uncertain what really

causes a learning disability. What some people do not understand is that

a learning disability can not be fixed. Like everything else in life, it

is something that you learn to deal with and it is the L.D. teacher’s job

to teach this lesson.

An L.D. teacher must have a deep understanding

of what it takes for a student to grasp a concept. Mainstreaming is one

of the most practiced types of educating disabled kids. This means that

the students spend most of their day in regular classes and only a few

hours in a

special education classes (Lerner 132).

Skills that are needed to succeed in the general education classes are

taught during this time. These classes can be much like a strategy time

to figure out of that specific student’s way of learning best.

Learning disability teachers spend much

of their time trying to help their students adapt to what are called the

“normal” classes. What would it be like if a “normal” student tried to

learn like a L.D. student does (Maniet 182)?

1. Write your name on a piece of paper,

using your best handwriting. Now write it again, but this time, move your

left foot on the floor in a counter-clockwise as you write. Compare the

handwriting.

2. Try reading this:

YraM dah a elttil bmal

Sti eceelf sa etihw sa wons

DnA yreve erehw that yraM tnew

EhT bmal sae erus ot og.

(It’s hard to read when you can’t ell

when one word ends or begins like these words do.)

(Maniet 182)

330


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