Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities

There are many forms of disabilities that face mankind at different levels and at different ages. There are some disabilities that are primarily found in young kids, and there are also others that spread over all the human race regardless of the age, level of profession, or even biological composition of an individual. This case study seeks to discuss learning disabilities as one of many challenges that face mankind.

There is no definite reference to a single learning disability. This is because there are several classifications of learning disabilities that face mankind (Brownell, 2010). These classifications include different levels at which mankind is unable to learn in a typical manner. These forms of disability can be caused by one or several unknown factors. As a result, the terminology learning disabilities is used to refer to diverse learning problems in an academic perspective. This is for example; speech skills, language, and other academic challenges. The most common types of academic disabilities are; dyscalculia (mathematics disability), dyslexia (reading disabilities) and dysgraphia also known as writing disabilities (Henly, 2006).  The types of these disorders are known, but the factor causing these disorders causing the brain the inability to receive and process data remains a mystery. Therefore, it can be said that there is no known cause of learning disabilities. There are also communication disabilities that affect the hinder communication.

This inability can manifest itself in two different ways in an individual. For starters, the disorder can make an individual be significantly slow in receiving and processing information than a normal individual unaffected by the disorder (Bluestein, 2008). On the other hand, the disorder can also make an individual be able to learn and process specific information much quicker than a normal individual unaffected by the disease. Most of the times, the disorder is a significant challenge to affected individuals especially the ones taught conventionally, or if entrusted with a task to figure things out individually. However, in the cases where an individual processes information quicker than a normal human being, it leads to giftedness of some kind. As a result, that is why we see some students being exceptionally good in some subjects like mathematics and fail miserably in others subjects like language, and vice versa (Williams, 2009). This also means that such a student will definitely be interested in the subject they understand better than the rest.

Learning disabilities have been associated with other disorders such as the Asperger syndrome. The Asperger disorder is believed to involve alarming delays on skill developments in children, more so when it comes to the most basic ones. This disorder is believed to hinder growth of skills more in three essential categories. The syndrome is believed to involve delays in communication, ability to socialize with others freely and also the ability to use one’s imagination.

As a result of these learning disabilities’, I feel that the best curriculum for such is students would only be inclusive teaching. In a classroom setup, there are different students who are of different character, qualities and understanding levels (Williams, 2009). Therefore, a teacher needs sound professional teaching skills. All teachers are faced by different scenarios in class since they are the parental figure in a classroom setup. For example, they are faced by students with different understanding levels as well as good and bad characters. As a result, they are forced to come up with procedures, and policies that promote an emotionally safe environment for all students to learn (Bluestein, 2008). These policies and procedures are in put in place to promote; self-esteem, self-management, self-efficiency, motivation and also encourage engagement. This is more so for students with special needs or ones with poor understanding capabilities. If we were to relate this context with Ms Smith’s class, we can see that she deals with students of different capabilities on a daily basis. As a good teacher, she has identified the students in her class who struggle at different levels.

Therefore, as a teacher, she is supposed to come up with a plan that incorporates all of her students without letting any of them be disadvantaged just because they have poor understanding (Wade, 2000). At the same time, Ms Smith has a needy student by the name of Jimmy, who struggles with performance, discipline and even relating with other students in her class. From the above context, we understand that there is a professional who comes in once a week a special education teacher to provide support for the disabled students in Ms Smith’s class. We also learn that other than Jimmy, there are other students who suffer from different disabilities in the same class. For instance, there are two students who suffer from autism, two other students with learning disability and Jimmy who suffers from an emotional disability.

Looking at the above scenario, no one can dispute that Ms Smith needs to come up with a plan to handle all of her students professionally without any of them feeling disadvantaged by their disabilities. Besides, that is the whole idea behind inclusive settings in school (Brownell, 2012). In fact, professionals define Inclusive education as a philosophy and an educational approach that provides every student, whether disabled or nondisabled, with equal and undisputable opportunities in a community for social and academic development (Wade, 2000). In education, the main goal of inclusion is to guarantee that all every students within such a setup gains access to information, knowledge and all the skills that may prepare him/her to contribute to the wider American society (Henley, 2006). This is by arming them with skills that would enable them to maneuver in the American job market as well as other ventures in the world. There are people who confuse inclusive education to mainstreaming, but the two are not similar whatsoever (Korb, 2012). Mainstreaming involves separating students with special needs from the rest in a schools setup and taking them through an education system that deals solely with their educational needs. This means that these students would be confined solely, and isolated from the learning environment of other normal students.

In such a system, the confined students would not be well prepared to what awaits them in the world communities as well as the job markets since their skills, education and information would be confined to solitude (Wade, 2012). Therefore, the inclusive education system is supposed to ensure that never happens, and that every student is properly armed with the skills, information and academic skills that would help them face the world with much ease. Therefore, teachers in the inclusive system, like Ms Smith is entrusted with offering appropriate and yet individualized support to all the students including the disabled ones. This is without taking them through stigmatization which comes with isolation (Wade, 2012). Therefore, in the case of Jimmy and all the other challenged students in Ms Smith’s class, separating them is not a solution and neither is ignoring them. Teachers cannot just decide to ignore students who are giving them challenges in their careers. In fact, misbehavior is inevitable in children while growing up; what matters are the mannerisms in which a teacher handles misbehavior of his/her students (Williams, 2009). When it comes to disabled children like Jimmy, a teacher’s task of dealing with misbehavior becomes even more challenging.

Therefore, a teacher needs to adopt a strategy that would help them preach discipline to all students including the disabled ones without compromising their ethical and profession duty in the same (Vitto, 2003). From the above context, Jimmy is a troubled students and he always finds himself in the wrong side of the school rules and regulations. He misbehaves in class and even has had multiple referrals in a period of just a year. Therefore, we can say that Jimmy is troubled emotionally, a factor that is interfering with his performance in class. Jimmy even has a problem of reading a comprehension fluently. In this scenario, I think what this student needs is undisputed attention. The most significant element in providing support to all the disabled students is attention (Brownell, 2012). Jimmy needs attention and guidance in what he does on a daily basis in class. The first thing that Ms Smith needs to achieve in her class is develop a good relationship with all the students in her class. This means that she should show interest in what every students in her class likes even during weekends and off-class so that the students can become free with her. This is more so with the disabled students who may feel left out if the teacher only concentrated with those who are quick to raise their hands and answer questions in class (Brownell, 2010). For instance, I feel that if Ms Smith showed interest in Jimmy’s work and encouraged him to do better even when he wrongs a question, then he would develop more interest in class work and a little more in misbehavior.

Research shows that the best strategy of getting students to develop interest in class work or something they do not like is by using what they like doing (Henley, 2006). That is; finding out what motivates them and using it to make them like what they dislike. I believe that in as much as Jimmy likes misbehaving, there is a lesson he likes more than the others. That is the subject that Ms Smith and the professional teacher for needy students who comes in once a week should use to develop his interest for good character, and academic performance. I feel that what Jimmy lacks is motivation, either intrinsic or extrinsic. As a result, I feel that if Jimmy (who represents students with learning disabilities) can be motivated to liking something he does not like by using what he likes. The same case goes for children gifted in one area and not the other. This is because, these gifted students need general skills in their lifetime to handle different tasks that may not fall under what they are gifted in.


Bluestein, J. (2008). The win-win classroom: A fresh and positive look at classroom management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Brownell, M. T. (2012). Inclusive instruction: Evidence-based practices for teaching students with disabilities. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Henley, M. (2006). Classroom management: A proactive approach. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

Korb, R. (2012). Motivating defiant and disruptive students to learn: Positive classroom management strategies. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.

Vitto, J. M. (2003). Relationship-driven classroom management: Strategies that promote student motivation. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.

Wade, S. E. (2000). Inclusive education: A casebook and readings for prospective and practicing teachers. Mahwah, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates

Williams, K. C. (2009). Elementary classroom management: A student-centered approach to leading and learning. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.


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