students with learning disabilities
Boy uses virtual reality for wheelchair mobility
Dr. Saleh AL-Abdulkareem
Chapter one “Definitions” 2
1-1: Lack of Specific Identification Criteria: 2
1-2: What are learning disabilities? 2
1-3: Important Definitions of Learning Disabilities 3
1-3-1: The definition of: The 1977 U.S. Office of Education: 3
1-3-2: The definition of: The Learning Disabilities Association of America 3
1-3-3: The definition of: The Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities 4
1-3-4: The definition of: The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities 4
1-3-5: The definition of: Rehabilitation Services Administration 4
1-3-6: The definition of: The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) 5
1-4: International confused: 5
1-5: International view: 5
1-5-1: Definition from India: 5
1-5-2: The WHO Manual gives the following definitions: 5
1-5-3: the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 6
1-5-4: Helander definitions 6
1-5-5:The Ministry of Welfare, Government of India 7
1-5-6: the new Law in India. 7
1-6: The definition of disability: 8
1-6-1: United Nations: 8
1-6-2: The United States: 9
1-6-3: Australia: 9
1-6-4: The British Government: 9
1-6-5: Finally, disable people: 9
1-7: What are some common signs of learning disabilities? 10
1-8: Checklist of characteristics that may point to a learning disability 10
1-8-1: Checklist for young students: 10
1-8-2: Checklist for schools stages: 11
1-8-3: Other checklist: 13
1-8-4: NCLD checklist: 13
1-9: Researches founds: 14
1-10: Glossary of educational terms relate to learning disabilities: 15
1-11: Glossary of Testing Terms relate to learning disabilities: 20
1-12: Conclusions of chapter one: 22
Chapter two: Extent of learning disability: 23
2-1: Results of absence of clear definition for learning disability: 23
2-2: Extent of disability in the United States: 23
2-3: Extent of disability in Saudi Arabia: 24
2-4: Extent of disability in Egypt: 24
2-5: Extent of disability in India: 24
2-6 Conclusion of chapter two: 27
Chapter three: Educational issues 28
1-3: Understanding the issue: 28
3-2: General Tips for Parents 28
Here we have NLCD suggestion: 28
3-3: Effective Parent-Teacher Partnerships 29
Important points about Parent-Teacher Partnerships: 30
3-4: Do students with learning disabilities need special curriculum? 30
3-5: Educational programs for disable students: 31
3-5-1: The University of Kansas‟ model: 31
3-5-2: 504 Classroom Accommodation plans: 33
3-6: Inclusion, or separate schools? 34
3-6-1: Separate schools “special schools”: 35
3-6-2: Inclusion: 35
Strategies for successful inclusion: 35
Chapter four: Disable students’ abilities 37
4-1: Changing our view: 37
4-2: Building self – esteem: 37
4-2-1: General Tips for Building Self-Esteem: 37
4-2-2: Promoting Confidence: 39
4-3: Examples of disable students‟ abilities: 40
4-3-1: Examples from Saudi and Arab Gulf countries: 40
1. A man from my hometown: 40
2. Efforts of special education department in ministry of education in Saudi: 41
3. “Sesame Street” Arabic edition: 41
In our daily life we may face people with learning disabilities in every minute, those
might be in our houses or some of our relatives. Last summer I was in my country, one of my
relatives told me this thing about his 5 years son:
“My son can recognize his brother and his youngest sister, but he
confused about his three old sisters, he knows their names well, as a set
of three names, but he cannot point to each one and mention her name,
instead he used to use some signs to mention each one. The one who
has glasses, the one with long hair and the one with short hair. He is
active boy with strong personality and until now he has no problem in
his kindergarten class.”
We cannot ignore the facts about learning disabilities and its effects on students‟
current life and their future. Besides students‟ rights to learn as others, those students are the
base of new generations will take the chance to lead the society in the future. As it in diseases,
illnesses, disasters and other things in life, early diagnosis and appropriate intervention and
support are vital for the individual with learning disabilities. Without early and adequate
identification and intervention, learning disabilities can lead to serious consequences for the
individual and for society including loss of self- esteem and, consequently, school dropout,
young delinquency, illiteracy and other critical problems. This may lead to massive lose of
From our observe in our life we can see that learning disabilities often estimated in
families, it is a lifelong condition, which can be manifested in different ways during the
school years and throughout the life span. Individuals with learning disabilities, however, can
compensate for their difficulties with appropriate intervention, support and accommodations.
Attention deficits and hyperactivity sometimes co-occur with learning disabilities, but not
always. We need to do our best to see the problem clearly, and then we can work to solve it.
Learning disabilities are not the same in all people. Each individual is unique, and
manifestations of learning disabilities vary tremendously “15-20% of the U.S. population
have some form of learning disability, according to estimates derived from the latest research
conducted through the National Institutes of Health on reading disabilities.”
Finally, learning disabilities have distinct characteristics and should not be confused
with the following handicaps: mental retardation, autism, deafness, blindness and behavioral
disorders. The problem occurs when people mix these kinds with learning disabilities and deal
with kids who have learning disabilities as handicapped.
The most important thing in any field might be understands the concepts of this field;
otherwise the efforts will be separate then the results reflect researchers‟ opinions instead of
having a strong base can any one build new structure on it to share others in the final building.
Learning disabilities as other concepts in education and humanities have numerous of
concepts and thoughts. People may agree on some of these definitions of concepts and may
not, but the worst is having no definitions.
1-1: Lack of Specific Identification Criteria:
“At present, the field continues to construct and use vague and ambiguous definitions
that rely heavily on the exclusion of alternative diagnoses, such as the IDEA definition. An
important part of the definition of LD is its exclusions: learning disabilities cannot be
attributed primarily to mental retardation, emotional disturbance, cultural difference, or
disadvantage. Thus, the concept of LD focuses on the notion of a discrepancy between a
child's academic achievement and his or her apparent capacity to learn”. (Lyon)
Probably the most significant and persistent problem in the field is the lack of a
precise definition and a theoretically based classification system that would allow:
1) The identification of different types of learning disabilities.
2) A means of recognizing distinctions and interrelationships between types of learning
disabilities and other learning disorders such as mental retardation, attention deficit disorder,
speech and language difficulties, and general academic underachievement.
3) Making benchmarks that can be use in building up new strategies of pedagogy and
1-2: What are learning disabilities?
According to (NCLD), the term "learning disability" was coined in 1962 to describe
individuals of at least average intelligence who seem capable of school success, but who have
unexplained difficulty in acquiring basic academic skills. Since then experts have grappled
with developing a definition that is educationally and clinically useful, but also embraces the
wide range of characteristics found in those with learning disabilities. In 1975, with the
passage of the Education for all Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), which
mandated free and appropriate public education for students with handicapping conditions, a
legal definition was developed. Professionals continue to struggle to create a tighter definition
for this hidden handicap. They agree that individuals DO NOT have a learning disability
when the learning problems and/or school failures are due primarily to:
G. Reid Lyon said that approximately 5% of all public school students are identified as
having a learning disability. Learning disability is not a single disorder, but includes
disabilities in any of seven areas related to reading, language, and mathematics. These
separate types of learning disabilities frequently co-occur with one another and with social
skill deficits and emotional or behavioral disorders. Most of the available information
concerning learning disabilities relates to reading disabilities, and the majority of children
with learning disabilities have their primary deficits in basic reading skills.
Since our aim is focusing on “learning disability”, I‟ll take care of the definitions of
this term instead of the concept “disable”. From my search I found that the majority of
organizations and groups did not pay more attentions of having specific definition of learning
disability. They work under one or more of the standard definitions in the United States.
1-3: Important Definitions of Learning Disabilities
1-3-1: The definition of:
The 1977 U.S. Office of Education:
The term "specific learning disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic
psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written,
which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, speak, read, write, spell, or to do
mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain
injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not
include children who have learning disabilities which are primarily the result of visual,
hearing, or motor handicaps, or mental retardation, or emotional disturbance, or of
environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. (United States Office of Education.
(1977). Definition and criteria for defining students as learning disabled. Federal Register,
42:250, p. 65083. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.)
This definition is important because it is the basis for determining learning disabilities
among school age children.
1-3-2: The definition of:
The Learning Disabilities Association of America
Specific Learning Disabilities is a chronic condition of presumed neurological origin
which selectively interferes with the development, integration, and/or demonstration of verbal
and/or nonverbal abilities. Specific Learning Disabilities exist as a distinct handicapping
condition and varies in its manifestations and in degree of severity. Throughout life, the
condition can affect self esteem, education, vocation, socialization, and/or daily living
activities. (Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. (1986). ACLD Description:
Specific Learning Disabilities. ACLD Newsbriefs, Sept./Oct.(166), 15. Note: The Association
for Children with Learning Disabilities is now the Learning Disabilities Association of
The Learning Disabilities Association of America's definition reflects the views of one
of the largest advocacy groups for learning disabilities in the United States.
1-3-3: The definition of:
The Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities
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. Even though
a learning disability may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (e.g.,
sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotional disturbance), with
socioenvironmental influences (e.g., cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate
instruction, psychogenic factors), and especially attention deficit disorder, all of which may
cause learning problems, a learning disability is not the direct result of those conditions or
influences. (Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities. (1987). Learning disabilities: A
report to the U.S. Congress. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, p.222.)
This definition was acceptable to federal agencies on the committee, except for the US
Department of Education.
1-3-4: The definition of:
The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders
manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading,
writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual,
presumed to be due to central nervous system dsyfunction, and may occur across the life span.
Problems in self-regulatory behaviors, social perception, and social interaction may exist with
learning disabilities but do not by themselves constitute a learning disability. Although
learning disabilities may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (for
example, sensory impairment, mental retardation, serious emotional disturbance) or with
extrinsic influences (such as cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction),
they are not the result of those conditions or influences. (National Joint Committee on
Learning Disabilities. (1988). Collective perspectives on issues affecting learning disabilities:
Position papers and statements. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.)
The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities' more recent LD definition was
acceptable to most advocacy and professional organizations.
1-3-5: The definition of:
Rehabilitation Services Administration
A specific learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the central nervous system
processes involved in perceiving, understanding, and/or using concepts through verbal
(spoken or written) language or nonverbal means. This disorder manifests itself with a deficit
in one or more of the following areas: attention, reasoning, processing, memory,
communication, reading, writing, spelling, calculation, coordination, social competence, and
emotional maturity. (Rehabilitation Services Administration. (1985, January 24). Program
policy directive. Washington, DC: U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation
Services.) National Adult Literacy and Learning Disabilities Center
This definition is one of few attempts to formulate a definition that focuses on work.
1-3-6: The definition of:
The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH)
They describes learning disabilities as follows:
Learning Disabilities (LD) is a disorder that affects people's ability to either interpret what
they see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can
show up in many ways -- as specific difficulties with spoken and written language,
coordination, self-control, or attention. Such difficulties extend to schoolwork and can impede
learning to read or write, or to do math.
Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions that, in some cases, affect many parts of a
person's life: school or work, daily routines, family life, and sometimes even friendships and
play. In some people, many overlapping learning disabilities may be apparent. Other people
may have a single, isolated learning problem that has little impact on other areas of their lives.
1-4: International confused:
During my in search for definitions from countries around the world, I found
something strange! Non of these countries – in general- has its own definition of learning
disabilities, or at least non of them post it clearly in their web sites and resources. This
includes Australia, the U.K, Canada, Arab Gulf Countries, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and India.
The best of those who refer to the U.S. or United Nations definitions.
1-5: International view:
In other countries there are different view of this issue, most of it are based on the
definitions of disability it self, or the specific situation of learning disability. Defining
disability is difficult because there are dozens of definitions each with a purpose to it. These
range from the very narrow to the very broad, from the medical to the social, from the cultural
to the local, from the one intended to integrate them in society to the one for exclusion and
People are labeled as disabled or handicapped because they look different from the
rest of the society on account of their appearance, behavior or capacity to learn. This fact
seems to be international, regardless of the more or less acceptance of it.
1-5-1: Definition from India:
1-5-2: The WHO Manual gives the following definitions:
Impairment: An impairment is any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or
anatomical structure or function.
Disability: A disability is any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to
perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.
Handicap: A handicap is a disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from an impairment
or disability, that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal (depending on age,
sex and social and cultural factors) for that individual.
The ILO defines a disabled person as an individual whose prospects of securing, retaining
and advancing in suitable employment are substantially reduced as a result of a duly
recognised physical or mental impairment. (Baquer)
1-5-3: Another set of definitions has been provided for in the Rehabilitation
Council of India Act, 1992. These are as follows:
Hearing handicap means deafness with hearing impairment of 70 decibels and above in the
better ear or total loss of hearing in both ears.
Locomotor disability means a person‟s inability to execute distinctive activities associated
with moving, both himself and objects, from place to place, and such inability resulting from
affliction of either bones, joints, muscles or nerves.
Mental retardation means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a
person which is specially characterised by sub-normality of intelligence.
Visually handicapped means a person who suffers from any of the following conditions,
A. total absence of sight; or
B. visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (snellen) in the better eye with the
correcting lenses; or
C. limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of degree 20 or worse.
1-5-4: In his book, Ali Baquer from India gives us more definitions, he relates to
Helander that the simplest and maybe the initial definition of a disabled person appears to be
"A person who in his/her society is regarded as disabled, because of a difference in
appearances and/or behaviour."
In most instances, a disabled person has functional limitations and/or activity restrictions. A
„functional limitation‟ disability may be defined as „specific reductions in bodily functions
that are described at the level of the person‟.
„Activity restriction‟ disability may be defined as „specific reductions in daily activities that
are described at the level of the person‟.
Helander‟s definition: A disabled person is the one who in his or her society is regarded or
officially recognised as such, because of a difference in appearance and/or behaviour, in
combination with a functional limitation or an activity restriction.
In the definition given by the Planning Commission of India, a disabled person means a
person who is:
C. having orthopaedic disability; or
D. having neurological disorder;
E. mentally retarded
The definition includes „any person who is unable to ensure himself/herself, wholly or partly,
the necessities of a normal individual or social life including work, as a result of deficiency in
his/her physical or mental capability‟.
Blind: A person shall be deemed to be blind if he/she suffers from either of the following
A. total absence of sight;
B. limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degrees or worse.
Deaf: A person shall be deemed to be deaf if he/she has lost 60 decibels or more in the better
ear in the conversational range of frequencies.
Orthopaedic or Neurological Disorder: A person shall be deemed to be orthopaedically or
neurologically disabled if he/she is having disability of bones, joints or muscles leading to
substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or if he has any form of Cerebral palsy.
Mental Retardation: Mental retardation refers to sub-average general intellectual
functioning which originates during the development period.
1-5-5: In 1986, The Ministry of Welfare, Government of India issued orders
prescribing a standard set of definitions along with standard tests for the purposes of
certification of disability. These definitions (whose suitability in the light of new legal
safeguards must be carefully examined) were adopted and used. For major categories of
disability the definitions are as follows:
The blind are those who suffer from either of the following conditions :
A. total absence of sight;
B. visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (snellen) in the better eye with
C. limitation of the field of vision surrounding an angle of degree 20 or worse.
The locomotor handicapped are those who have restriction in the activity of arms, limbs or
other parts of the body on account of damage to the bones, muscles or nerves. Persons
suffering from more than 40 per cent disability would be entitled to facilities/concessions
provided by Central/State governments.
The deaf are those in whom the sense of hearing is non-functional for ordinary purposes in
life. They do not hear/understand sound at all even with amplified speech. The cases included
in this category will be those having hearing loss of more than 70 decibels in the better ear
(profound impairment) or total loss of hearing in both ears.
Mental retardation means subaverage general intellectual functioning associated with mal-
adaptive behaviour, occurring in the developmental period. Mental retardation is divisible into
the following four categories -
1. Mild retardation IQ - 50 - 70
2. Moderate retardation IQ - 35 - 49
3. Severe retardation IQ - 20 - 34
4. Profound retardation IQ under 20
1-5-6: In the new Law–Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, Protection of
Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, unless the context otherwise requires,
B. Low vision
C. Leprosy cured
D. Hearing impairment
E. Mental retardation
F. Mental illness
„Blindness‟ refers to a condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions,
A. total absence of sight; or
B. visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (snellen) in the better eye with
correcting lenses; or
C. limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degrees or worse.
„Cerebral Palsy‟ means a group of non-progressive conditions of a person characterised by
abnormal motor control posture resulting from brain insult or injuries occurring in the pre-
natal, peri- natal or infant period of development.
„Hearing impairment‟ means loss of sixty decibels or more in the better ear in the
conversational range of frequencies.
„Leprosy cured person‟ means any person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering
A. loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the
eye and eye-lid but with no manifest deformity;
B. manifest deformity and paresis but having sufficient mobility in their hands and
feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity ;
C. extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevents him from
undertaking any gainful occupation, and the expression „leprosy cured‟ shall be
„Locomotor disability‟ means disability of the bones, joints or muscles leading to substantial
restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy.
„Mental illness‟ means any mental disorder other than mental retardation.
„Mental retardation‟ means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a
person which is specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence.
„Person with disability‟ means a person suffering from not less than forty per cent of any
disability as certified by a medical authority.
„Person with low vision‟ means a person with impairment of visual functioning even after
treatment or standard refractive correction but who uses or is potentially capable of using
vision for the planning or execution of appropriate assistive device.
1-6: The definition of disability:
1-6-1: United Nations:
According to the Standard rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons
with Disabilities, United Nations, 1994 the term „disability‟ summarizes a great number of
different functional limitations occurring in any population in any country of the world.
People may be disabled by physical, intellectual or sensory impairment, medical conditions or
The term „handicap‟ means the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the life of the
community on an equal level with others. It describes the encounter between the persons with
a disability and the environment. The purpose of this term is to emphasize the focus on the
shortcomings in the environment and in many organized activities in society, e.g.,
information, communication and education, which prevent persons with disabilities from
participating on equal terms.
1-6-2: The United States:
Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (ADA) an classifies an individual as disabled
if his/her physical or mental impairment "substantially limits one or more of the major life
In the „Disability Discrimination Act, 1992‟ of Australia, „disability‟ in relation to a
person, means -
a. total or partial loss of the person‟s bodily or mental functions; or
b. total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
c. the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
d. the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
e. the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person‟s body; or
f. a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person
without the disorder or malfunction; or
g. a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person‟s thought processes, perception of
reality, emotions or judgement or that results in disturbed behavior and includes a
disability that :
A. presently exists; or
B. previously existed but no longer exists; or
C. may exist in the future; or
D. is imputed to a person.
1-6-4: The British Government:
According to the Disability Discrimination Act, 1995 of the British Government, a
person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment,
which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-
In order to apply durability test, the British Act uses three different terms: loss of
faculty, disability and disablement. These are meant to be separate concepts.
1-6-5: Finally, disable people:
In their web site, a group of disables people in England made this comments:
“We have learning difficulties.
In the past we used to be called labels like mentally handicapped, mentally retarded,
intellectually handicapped, or mentally subnormal.
We didn't like these labels as they kept us down. We choose to use 'learning difficulties'
ourselves. It is a label which doesn't hurt us as much as those above.
Jars should be labeled not people! “
As we see the focuses was on the disability itself instead of the learning disabilities.
This is common in other countries too; on the other hand some countries relate the definition
to United Nations or the U.S definition
1-7: What are some common signs of learning disabilities?
Parents are often the first to notice that "something doesn't seem right." If parents,
teachers, and other professionals discover a child's learning disability early and provide the
right kind of help, it can give the child a chance to develop skills needed to lead a successful
and productive life. “A recent National Institutes of Health study showed that 67% of young
students who were at risk for reading difficulties became average or above average readers
after receiving help in the early grades.” (www.ldonline.org/ccldinfo/index.html). If we as
teachers and parents are aware of the common signs of learning disabilities, we will be able to
recognize potential problems early.
In (Learning disabilities information, strategies & resources), a book published by The
Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (CCLD) in 1998, there is a checklist of
characteristics that may point to a learning disability. Most people will, from time to time, see
one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal, but if this happen for
long time or if it several characteristics, then this may give a sign that this person has learning
1-8: Checklist of characteristics that may point to a learning disability
1-8-1: Checklist for young students:
(Seldin, 1998) gives Checklist of characteristics of young learning disabled students
based on three areas:
Characteristics Related to General Functioning and Social-Emotional Development:
Immature emotionally and socially.
"Spacey": Look of disorientation.
Can't make choices.
Can't stay with an activity.
Knows rules but does not apply.
Labile emotions; excessive silliness;
catastrophic reactions; angry; shy or withdrawn.
Academic skills very slow in developing.
Strong discrepancies in skills and knowledge.
Socially off-base. Unaccepted by group.
Easily frustrated. Won't take risks.
Doesn't take pride in work or accept compliments.
Excessively rigid: cannot abide change.
Artistic. Sensitive. Mechanically inclined.
Non-verbal reasoning is highly developed.
Characteristics Related to Speech - Language Development:
Avoids talking or focuses mainly on adults.
Uses pat phrases to communicate.
Excellent vocabulary but poor production.
Hesitates constantly, uses filler words, stammers.
Makes off-topic comments? Raises hand but has no words.
Wants to tell but cannot retrieve words.
Tells stories in random order without references.
Mishears or doesn't hear.
Articulation weak with substitutions of sounds.
Uses incomplete sentences. Mumbles. Slurs.
Poor pragmatic: eye contact, turn-taking.
Loses focus in group activities.
Hypervigilant. Watches others to see what to do.
Word order or syllable order frequently mixed.
Cannot segment sounds in words, or blend them together to make words.
Characteristics Related to Sensory - Motor Development:
Avoids tasks. Coloring, drawing, cutting.
Excessively physical. Touching, pushing, wrestling.
Generally not upright. Leaning, lying, drooping.
Gets into trouble when he/she has free-time or space.
Bumps into things and people without awareness.
Avoids or is uncomfortable on play equipment.
Falls often and easily. Slides out of chairs.
Large and fine motor skills immature.
Can't blow nose or tie shoes.
Very disorganized. Can't get ready. Clean up.
Constantly losing things. Can't remember how to go, where to put things. What it's
Pencil grip awkward. Puzzles challenging.
Fussy eater. Messy eater.
Over or under reacts to stimuli. Treats a light touch as he/she does a punch. Frightened
by loud noises. Overwhelmed by strong smells and bright lights.
1-8-2: Checklist for schools stages:
Speaks later than most children
Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
Difficulty rhyming words
Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes
Extremely restless and easily distracted
Trouble interacting with peers
Difficulty following directions or routines
Fine motor skills slow to develop
Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions
(m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+, -, x, /, =)
Slow to remember facts
Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
Impulsive, difficulty planning
Unstable pencil grip
Trouble learning about time
Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents
Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)
Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other spelling strategies
Avoids reading aloud
Trouble with word problems
Difficulty with handwriting
Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip
Avoids writing compositions
Slow or poor recall of facts
Difficulty making friends
Trouble understanding body language and facial expressions
High School Students and Adults
Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single
piece of writing
Avoids reading and writing tasks
Trouble with open-ended questions on tests
Weak memory skills
Difficulty adjusting to new settings
Poor grasp of abstract concepts
Either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much
1-8-3: Other checklist:
NCLD gives a view of what criteria are used to decide whether or not a person has a
learning disability? They said:
Professionals, through interviews, observation and multi-disciplinary assessment,
determine if an individual meets the following criteria for having a learning disability:
Has an average or above average intelligence.
Exhibits unexpected discrepancy between potential and actual achievement.
Performs poorly because of difficulty in one or more of the following areas:
Listening, Speaking, Reading, Written expression, Mathematics, Reasoning.
1-8-4: Also NCLD gives a checklist Adapted from Melvin D. Levine, M.D., 1994.
What to look for: Some first signs of trouble of Learning Disabilities
Preschool Lower Grades Middle Grades Upper Grades
Weak grasp of
Delayed decoding Poor reading
Pronunciation problems. explanations. Foreign
abilities for reading. comprehension. Lack
Slow vocabulary growth. language problems.
Trouble following of verbal participation
Lack of interest in story Poor written
directions. Poor in class. Trouble with
telling. expression. Trouble
spelling word problems
Slow recall of facts.
Trouble studying for
Trouble learning numbers, Organizational Slow or poor recall of
tests. Weak cumulative
alphabet days of week, etc. problems. Slow math facts. Failure of
memory. Slow work
Poor memory for routines acquisition of new automatic recall.
skills. Poor spelling.
Trouble sitting still. Impulsivity, lack of Memory problems due
Extreme restlessness. Lack planning, Careless to weak attention.
ability to discern
of persistence at tasks. errors. Distractibility. Mental fatigue.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Trouble learning self-help
Fist-like or tight pencil
skills (eg. tying shoe Unstable pencil grip.
grip. Illegible, slow or Lessening relevance of
laces). Clumsiness. Trouble with letter
inconsistent writing. fine motor skills.
Reluctance to draw or formation.
Reluctance to write.
Trouble learning about
Trouble learning left from Poor learning Poor grasp of abstract
right (possible visual strategies. concepts. Failure to
spatial confusion). Trouble Disorganization in elaborate. Trouble
interacting (weak social time or space. Peer taking tests, multiple
grasp of math
skills). rejection. choice (eg. SAT's).
1-9: Researches founds:
Here some of the efforts in learning disabilities fields, based on the Research Domain,
Findings and Research Group:
Major Findings from Research Programs Supported by the
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Definition of Definitions that measure the discrepancy between IQ and
learning achievement do not adequately identify learning disabilities,
disabilities particularly in the area of basic reading skills.
Disabled readers with and without an IQ-achievement
discrepancy show similar information processing, genetic, and
Reading Bowman Gray
neurophysiological profiles. This indicates that the existence of
a discrepancy is not a valid indicator of disabilities in basic
Epidemiological studies indicate that as many females as males Bowman Gray
manifest dyslexia; however, schools identify three to four times Colorado
more boys than girls. Yale
Reading disabilities reflect a persistent deficit rather than a
developmental lag. Longitudinal studies show that, of those
children who are reading disabled in the third grade, approx.
74% continue to read significantly below grade level in the
Children with reading disability differ from one another and Yale
Reading from other readers along a continuous distribution. They do not Bowman Gray
Processes aggregate together to form a distinct "hump" separate from the Colorado
normal distribution. Ontario
The ability to read and comprehend depends upon rapid and Bowman Gray
Reading automatic recognition and decoding of single words. Slow and Colorado
Processes inaccurate decoding are the best predictors of deficits in reading Johns Hopkins
The ability to decode single words accurately and fluently is
Reading dependent upon the ability to segment words and syllables into
Processes phonemes. Deficits in phonological awareness reflect the core
deficit in dyslexia.
Reading The best predictor of reading ability from kindergarten and Yale
Processes first-grade performance is phoneme segmentation ability Florida
A precise classification of disorders of attention is not yet
Attention available; however, operational definitions are emerging. Yale
Major Findings from Research Programs Supported by the
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Approximately 15% of students with reading disability also
have a disorder of attention. Approximately 35% of students Bowman Gray
with disorders of attention also have reading disability. Yale
However, the two disorders are distinct and separable.
Disorders of attention exacerbate the severity of reading Bowman Gray
There is strong evidence for a genetic basis for reading
Genetics disabilities, with deficits in phonological awareness reflecting
the greatest degree of heritability
Regional blood studies indicate that deficient word recognition
Neurology skills are associated with less than normal activation in the Miami
occiptal and prefrontal regions of the cortex.
PET studies indicate that dyslexic adults have greater than
Neurology normal activation in the occipital and prefrontal regions of the Miami
Disabled readers do not readily acquire the alphabetic code
because of deficits in phonological processing. Thus, disabled
readers must be provided hightly structures programs that
explicitly teach application of phonological rules to print.
Longitudinal data indicate that systematic phonics instruction Bowman Gray
Intervention results in more favorable outcomes for disabled readers than Florida
does a context-emphasis (whole language) approach. Houston
1-10: Glossary of educational terms relate to learning disabilities:
Aphasia: A complete inability to use language to communicate effectively.
(This communication disorder is not the result of a physical impairment such as damage to the
vocal cords or larynx.) (See Dysphasia.)
Apraxia: Complete inability to make purposeful motor movements when there is no
paralysis. (See Dyspraxia.)
Associative Skills: The ability to relate a new concept or new material to previously mastered
material. For example: A child seeing the word “cat” must associate the letters that make up
this word with the furry animal that purrs.
Ataxia: An inability to coordinate muscles. (See Dystaxia.)
Auditory Discrimination: The ability to hear the difference between sounds. For example:
“pig” and “peg.”
Auditory Memory: Remembering what is heard. For example: A teacher tells the class to get
out their science books, turn to page 145 and do problems 1-6. The student is expected to
remember all three directions. If a child is unable to remember this information, he may have
auditory memory deficits.
Auditory Perception and Processing Skills: The ability to recognize and interpret things
that are heard. This term includes auditory discrimination, auditory memory, auditory
sequencing, and figure-ground discrimination
Auditory Sequencing: Remembering the proper sequence in which things are heard. For
example: 12435 and not 12345.
Behavior Modification: A technique used to change a child behavior by setting up a system
of positive rewards and/or negative consequences. The positive rewards might consist of food,
money, or tokens, while the negative consequences might consist of punishment or denial of
Blending: The ability to “sound out” and put together separate sounds that make up a word.
For example: A child would blend the “c” sound, and the “t” sound to form the word “cat”.
Closure: The act of bringing an experience or a concept to a conclusion. When everything is
stated and the child understands and has integrated the information into his store of
knowledge, then closure has been achieved. Some material (such as grammar or syntax) may
require months or even years before a child fully understands the concepts involved and is
able to achieve closure.
Convergence: The ability of both eyes to coordinate their movement and focus on an object
or a written word.
Decoding: The basic process of responding to auditory or visual symbols. An example of
decoding is reading words aloud; that is, using the knowledge of the sound that each letter
makes to figure out how to pronounce a word.
Differential Diagnosis: A relatively comprehensive testing procedure designed to pinpoint
areas of strength and weakness and, where possible to locate the exact cause of the child‟s
Directionality: Being aware there is a right and left side of the body and being able to relate
this internal awareness to external objects. Children with directionality problems will
frequently reverse letters and/or numbers (“b” for “d”) because they cannot perceive that the
letters are pointed to the right or to the left.
Discrimination Skills: Skills that help a person tell the difference between two or more
things. (See Auditory and Visual Discrimination.)
Dyslexia: Generally, a visual perception problem commonly characterized by letter and word
reversals (“p”/ “q” or “saw”/ “was”) Dyslexic children frequently have directionality
problems (right/left confusion) and visual tracking problems (difficulty seeing letters and
words accurately when reading). Sometimes the word “dyslexia” is used to describe a reading
Dysphasia: Difficulty in using language to communicate which is not the result of a physical
impairment such as damaged vocal cords or larynx.
For example: A child may have difficulty finding appropriate word to complete a sentence or
a thought even though the word is part of his everyday vocabulary. (Aphasia is more severe)
Dyspraxia: Great difficulty in making purposeful motor movements when there is no
paralysis. For example: A child playing hopscotch may remain poised on one square trying to
make his muscles work correctly in order to hop to the next square. Less severe than apraxia.
Dystaxia: Difficulty in coordinating muscles. The condition is less severe than ataxia.
Encoding: The process of writing or speaking by retrieving the written and spoken symbols
(or words) from memory and using those symbols to express oneself.
Far Point Deficits: Difficulty copying or reading something in the distance. For example:
Difficulty copying from the blackboard.
Figure-Ground Deficits: Difficulty in distinguishing a specific shape or sound from the
background. For example: A child may be unable to screen out distractions and background
noises when trying to listen to the teacher talking.
Fine-Motor: Referring to the specialized muscles in the hands. These muscles develop more
slowly tan the large skeletal muscles and are needed specifically for good handwriting.
Gross-Motor: Referring to the large skeletal muscles used for crawling, walking, lifting,
Hard Neurological Signs: Specific measurable deviations in brain functioning that usually
indicate organic brain damage. Hard signs are usually revealed by an EEG exam that is
performed by a neurologist.
Kinesthetic Techniques: Methods of teaching reading that involve movement of the fingers,
arms, or whole body. Children who are taught by this method receive input from the muscles
which is intended to reinforce the association of the visual symbol with its sound. For
example: A child learning the letter “b” might trace over a “b” with his fingers on sandpaper,
trace a giant “b” in the air, or form a “b” with his whole body.
Language disabilities: difficulty expressing oneself in either written or spoken form. For
example: A child who knows the answer to a question but has trouble finding the words to
express it may have language disability. (See Encoding.)
Laterality: Being aware of and being able to use both sides of the body.
Linguistic Approach: A teaching method that emphasizes learning to read whole words and
word families. For example: if the child can read “dog” then he should be able to read “log.”
Math Skills: The ability to use numbers effectively to solve problems. Math skills involve 1)
the ability to do basic computations (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing). 2) the ability
to apply those skills to every day situations (word problems). 3) the ability to understand the
mathematical concepts involved in the computations (adding mixed fractions).
Mental Retardation: A condition in which a child‟s IQ is determined to be below 70 and
where the child has deficits in adaptive behavior, motor coordination, communication, self-
help, and/or socialization skills.
Mid-Line: An imaginary vertical line which divides the right and left sides of the body. The
left half of the brain controls the right side of body, and the right half of the brain controls the
left half. Skipping, or drawing a line from the left side of a paper to the right side involves
crossing the mid-line. Difficulty crossing the mid-line (for example: difficulty coordinating
both sides of the body) can be a symptom of a perceptual or neurological problem.
Minimal Brain Dysfunction (M.B.D.): A medical term applied to children who show “soft”
neurological symptoms of perceptual deficiency but who show no organic evidence of brain
damage as measured by an EEG. (See Perceptual Dysfunction.)
Motor-Coordination: The ability to perform with dexterity tasks involving movement of the
body, such as walking or swimming. Specific components of coordination include: balance,
synchronized upper-lower movement, fine-motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and depth
Motor Planning: Thinking through movements that the body must make to perform a task
before attempting the action. An example of basic motor planning is a child thinking of how
to move his muscles in order to jump over a rope. More complex motor planning might
involve looking at a set of instructions for building something and then purposefully planning
how to move one‟s hands to follow directions.
Motor Skills: Skills which involve the coordinated movement of the body, such as jumping,
balancing, or drawing. (See Gross-Motor and Fine-Motor)
Near Point Deficits: Difficulty copying or reading something that is close at hand. For
example: Copying from a book on the desk.
Neurological Disorders: A condition resulting from damage to the brain or central nervous
system. The damage may be so slight that there are no observable symptoms or there may be
more serious damage that can be measured by neurological tests. (See Soft Neurological
Signs and Hard)
Neurological Impress Method: A reading method in which the teacher and student read out
loud simultaneously at in fairly rapid pace while the student follows the printed word with his
finger. The child has input from the printed page, and movement of his finger and the sound
of the two voices reading help him master the words.
Perceptual Decoding: See Decoding.
Perceptual Learning Disabilities: An inability to process sensory data efficiently resulting in
specific learning problems such as letter reversals, spelling problems, and reading
Perceptual-Motor Activities/Perceptual-Motor training: Activities designed to train the
child to process information coming from the senses efficiently and to make appropriate
responses to that sensory information. For example: A physical activity which requires
children to follow a series of command strains them to listen carefully to the directions and
remember what was said.
Perceptual Processing: The instantaneous sorting and analysis by the brain of sensory data
from the five senses and association of this data with past sensory experiences. For example:
A child sees a “b”, recognizes it, associates it with the letter “b” and says, “This is a „b.‟ ”
Phonics Approach: A method of teaching reading which emphasizes learning the sound of
each letter and then blending the sounds together to say words. To read “hen,” the child would
first say the sounds “h,” “e,” and “n,” then put them together to say “hen.”
Reading Comprehension: The ability to understand and remember what one has read.
Self-Concept: A person‟s view of himself. Children who have good self-concepts see
themselves as generally able to succeed in many areas. Children who have a poor self-concept
often perceive themselves as unpopular or inadequate.
Sensory Impairment: Physical damage to one of the sensory receptors (for example: the
eyes) resulting in partial or complete loss of the use of that sensory receptor. Blindness and
hearing loss are two examples of sensory impairments.
Sensory-Motor Integration/Sensory Integration Therapy: A procedure designed for
children with relatively severe perceptual problems, in which perceptual processing skills are
enhanced by means of activities and exercise which stress central nervous system
development. This procedure is usually implemented by trained occupational therapists.
Sight-Word Approach/Sight-Word Recognition: In reading, learning to recognize words
by memorization. There are many words, such as “thought,” which do not follow phonic rules
and which must be learned “by sigh.”
Soft Neurological Signs: Deficits in gross-motor and fine-motor coordination balance and
concentration which are associated with minimal brain dysfunction and perceptual learning
disabilities. “Soft signs” involves less severe neurological symptoms and can be distinguished
from “hard signs” which generally indicate a neurological disorder involving organic brain
Sound/Letter/Word Retrieval: In reading, the ability to remember a previously learned
sound, letter, or word.
Spatial Judgment/Spatial Concepts/Spatial Skills/Spatial Relationships: things The
awareness of one‟s body in space and its relationship to other things around it. Judging
distance, size, and location all involve spatial skills. A child may have difficulty with
prepositions (such as “above,” “next to,” 'and "behind”) because he has difficulty
understanding spatial concepts.
Tracking: See Visual Tracking.
Visual Decoding Skills: See Decoding.
Visual Discrimination: The ability to tell the difference between things one sees (for
example: differentiating “b” and “d”). Poor visual discrimination is frequently responsible for
poor reading skills.
Visual Memory: Remembering what one has seen. For example: A child with poor visual
memory who is shown a series of numbers will have difficulty repeating the numbers from
Visual-Motor Skills/Visual-Motor Integration: Skills that involve making a motor response
(speaking, writing, or moving) to a visual stimulus. A child copying or reading from the
blackboard or following written directions is using visual-motor skills.
Visual Perception/Visual Processing Skills: The ability to recognize and interpret the things
one sees. This includes figure-ground discrimination, visual discrimination, visual memory,
and visual sequencing. For example: Finding matching pictures or letters.
Visual Sequencing: Process of remembering and then placing what one has seen in the
correct order. For example: When copying the word “milk” from the board, a child with poor
visual sequencing skills might remember all the letters but put them in the wrong order and
Visual Tracking Problem: Difficult reading with precision the letters and words which make
up printed text. Typically, children with visual tracking problems will confuse “b” and “d” a
(static tracking problem) and/or will omit syllables, mispronounce words, and drop word
endings (a kinetic tracking problem). Children with visual tracking problems often lose their
place when reading and may skip words, phrases, or entire lines.
Word Attack Skills: Skills that help a child to pronounce and understand words that are read.
These skills primarily involve phonics, but also include recognizing context clues (how was
the word used in the sentence) and structural clues (prefixes, suffixes, syllables).
(Greene 1987, p 249-300)
1-11: Glossary of Testing Terms relate to learning disabilities:
Ability Test: A test designed to measure what a person can do.
Achievement Test: A test designed to measure how much a person has learned after
instruction in a specific content area. Generally, these tests are standardized and normed.
Aptitude: An ability, capacity, or talent in a particular area such as music or mathematics.
Aptitude is a specialized facility to learn or understand a particular skill.
Criterion-Referenced Test: A test, usually designed by a teacher or publisher, which
measures the student‟s mastery of a specific subject he has studied. The scores are not
standardized but can provide the teacher with useful information about what the child has and
has not learned.
Diagnostic Test: A test that pinpoints a student‟s strength and weaknesses. The results are
generally used in planning specific strategies designed to correct the weaknesses.
Grade Equivalent: A statistical ranking of a child‟s performance based on his raw score
which compares the child‟s performance level to the score which could be expected
statistically from an average child at that same year and month in school. This score is
expressed in terms of years and months, (9 months making up each school year). Example: a
score of 2.8 would mean that the student‟s score is the same as an average child in second
grade, eighth month.
Intelligence Quotient (IQ): An index designed to predict academic success. The IQ test
compares a person‟s intelligence (or learning potential) with that of others the same age. This
comparison yields a derived score called IQ. The score does not measure creativity, talent, or
motivation. Any IQ score between 85 and 115 is considered to be in the average range. A
score between 70 and 85 is low average, while 115 to 130 is high average. A score below 70
indicates possible mental retardation and a score above 130 indicates possible giftedness.
These scores may vary slightly depending on the IQ test that is administered and the scores
can be influenced by emotional, cultural, and perceptual factors.
Mastery Test: See Criterion-Referenced Test.
Mean Score: The mathematical average of all students‟ test scores in a particular test.
Mental Age: A score on a mental abilities test which ranks the performance level of a child in
relation to the score which could be expected statistically from a child at same age. The
mental age score is used distinguish between a child‟s chronological age and his actual
performance. Example: If a child‟s chronological age is 10-6 (10 years, 6 months) and his
mental age is 11-4, then his performance on the test is comparable to the average performance
of children whose chronological mental age 11 years, 4 months. The child‟s mental age would
thus be “above average.”
Norms: A frame of reference for a standardized test which shows the actual performance on
the test by pupils of specific ages and grades. Through the use of norms, the score of an
individual student can be compared to the scores of other students of a similar age or grade
across the country.
Percentile: A score which states a student‟s relative position within a defined group by
ranking all students who have taken a particular test.
Personality Test: A test that measures character traits and the way a person acts rather than
specific knowledge or intelligence.
Power Test: An untimed test with items usually arranged in order of difficulty that
determines a student‟s level of performance in a particular subject area.
Raw Score: The total number of correct answers on a test.
Readiness Test: A test that measures a student‟s maturity or mastery of prerequisite skills
which are needed before going on to a new content area. This kind of test is typically used in
preschool or kindergarten to determine whether the child is academically and developmentally
prepared to function effectively at the next academic level.
Reliability: How well a test consistently produces the same results.
Scaled Score: A ranking system, chosen by the publisher of the test, which is derived from
the raw scores obtained on that test. A different scale is established for each test. For example,
one test could have a scale from 1 to 19 while another might have a scale from 1 to 70. In
order to interpret a scaled score, you must know the mean score and the standard deviation for
Standard Deviation: A measure of how much one student‟s score varies from the mean score
of all the students taking the test.
Standard Score: A statistical ranking, with respect to the performance of a large sample of
students of the same age and/or grade level, of a child‟s performance on a standardized test,
based on the raw score he achieved on the test.
Standardized Test: A test that has specific and uniform instructions for administering timing
and scoring. It is given to large numbers of children at one time and statistically compares one
student‟s performance with that of a large sample of students of the same age and/or grade
level. norms established by standardization process are used by teachers and school
psychologists to determine a child‟s relative level of performance or achievement.
Stanine: A statistical ranking of a child‟s performance on a standardized test on a scale of 1
through 9. A mean score is 5 and any stanine score from 3 to 7 is generally considered to
reflect average performance. Frequently, the results on a standardized test will be given by
means of stanine score and a percentile score. The higher the stanine score, the higher the
percentile score will be.
Survey Test: Test which measures general achievement in an academic area .It is not as
comprehensive or specific as a criterion-referenced test.
Validity: The accuracy with which a test measures what it has been designed to measure.
(Greene 1987, p 301 – 303)
1-12: Conclusions of chapter one:
It is true that if we know the exact problem, we might be able to solve it. The problem
accrues when we don‟t know exactly our issue. Each one has own view of this issue based on
his interests and backgrounds.
From the previous concepts and understanding of disabilities and its relate of
education we can state some points as a conclusion of what could we get from the definitions
of learning disabilities.
Having the term “learning disabilities” makes little sense for scientific purposes,
clinical purposes, or school policy purposes. Instead, the field must grasp with the clear need
to address each type of learning disability individually to arrive at clear definitional
statements and a coherent understanding of etiology, developmental course, identification,
prevention, and treatment.
In the U.S there are few definitions of learning disability. These definitions are based
on educational organizations‟ interests, field or philosophy. Some of these definitions became
worldwide use. In the U.K, Australia, and some of Middle East countries there are educational
organizations and web sites refer to these definitions.
On the other hand, there are lots of educational ministries, organizations, associations
and web sites did not talk about the definition of learning disability. Some of them deal with it
as physical disability only.
Some countries deal with physical disability only because they are under developing
countries with low economic level, so they cannot spread their efforts to cover all learning
disabilities kinds. On the other hand, some countries do not have enough experts in learning
disability fields, or they just deal with this new issue, so it can be as new field in educators‟
In conclusion, the whole view of learning disabilities is new even in developing
countries. Except experts, the majority of people cannot imagine who learning disabilities are
Extent of learning disability
2-1: Results of absence of clear definition for learning disability:
Lyon, 1996 states that the real prevalence of learning disabilities is subject to much
dispute because of the lack of an agreed-upon definition of learning disabilities and objective
diagnostic criteria. Some have argued that the currently recognized 5% prevalence rate is
excessive and is based on vague definitions, leading to inaccurate identification.
On the other hand, research efforts to identify objective early indicators of learning
disabilities in basic reading skills have concluded that virtually all children scoring below the
25th percentile on standardized reading tests can meet the criteria for having a reading
disorder. While less is known about learning disabilities in written expression, researchers
estimate its true prevalence at between 8% and 15% of the school population. Research also
indicates that approximately 6% of the school population has difficulties in mathematics
which cannot be attributed to low intelligence, sensory deficits, or economic deprivation.
2-2: Extent of disability in the United States:
According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 1 in 6 children (17.5%)
will encounter a problem learning to read during the first three years in school. These
estimates are consistent with data from ongoing studies at the National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development (NICHD).
The U.S. Department of Education estimates indicates that 5% of school-aged children
in public schools currently receive special education services as students with learning
disabilities. These students comprised 51% of the entire identified special education
population. This percentage does not take into consideration the weakness.
Here we have a statistical extent of learning disabilities from U.D Department of Education.
2-3: Extent of disability in Saudi Arabia:
Serious Emotional Disturbance Speech/language
Mental Retardation Specific Learning Disability
In Saudi there are two kind of statistical studies, the first one is based on the old
definition of disability as handicapped, the second one is new way of dealing with learning
disabilities with strict definitions. These definitions are the ones that use in the United States,
but more strictly, so the statistical result may contain those who have not any kind of learning
Based on the first statistical studies:
According to D. Altoraiqee study, there are 493.605 handicapped, their percentage to
the total is 3.73 %. From these disabilities:
Physical disabilities: 33.6 % (male 55.8%, female 44.2 %)
Vision disabilities: 29.9 %. (male 58%, female 42 %)
Phonetically disabilities: 13.4 %. (male 61.5%, female 38.5 %)
Hearing disabilities: 10.7 %. (male 53.6%, female 46.4 %)
Mental disabilities: 9.8 % (male 60.2 %, female 39.8 %)
Psychological/sociological disabilities: 2.8 % ( male 53.4 %, female 46.6)
Based on the second statistical studies:
This study is based on students in schools only, from 6 to 17 years old. D. Albatal
estimates students with learning disabilities as 45 % of the total. In my opinion and based on
my experience in public school for ten years I can say that this percent is not true, especially
that the study is estimated but not coherent.
2-4: Extent of disability in Egypt:
Researches in Egypt show that percentage of disable people is 3.4%, that is mean
more than 2 million person have some kind of disabilities. But we need to keep in mind that
these numbers mentions major disabilities which is in general physical disabilities.
Researchers in Egypt give these numbers and kinds of disabilities the extent is based
on the 2 million people:
Mental disabilities: 73 %.
Physical disabilities: 14.5 %.
Vision/hearing disabilities: 12.5 %.
The researcher also mentions the limited income in Egypt that doesn‟t allowed the
country to extend the program to cover all those people, since the current efforts can cover
only 1.00 % of the total. According to the head of new strategy “general Hamadah” the new
programs try to increase these efforts to cover 50 % of the total in 20 years from now.
The painful situation does not encourage the country to focus on other kinds of
disabilities such as learning disabilities. So those can be classified as unknown.
2-5: Extent of disability in India:
Source of these numbers is (Prof. Ali Baque).
Estimates of the number of disabled vary a great deal, depending on the definitions,
the source, the methodology and the extent of use of scientific instruments in identifying and
measuring the degree of disability. It is estimated that the population with disability in India is
approximately over 90 million, of these 12 million are blind, 28.5 million are with low vision,
12 million are with speech and hearing defects, 6 million orthopaedically handicapped, 24
million mentally retarded, 7.5 million mentally ill, 1.1 million leprosy cured.
A comprehensive country-wide sample survey of persons with disabilities was
undertaken by National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in its 36th round in 1981 at the
request of the Ministry of Welfare which indicated that 1.8 per cent of the total population of
the country has physical and sensory disabilities. No survey on mentally retarded persons was
done at that time. However, surveys done by various research organizations indicate that
about 2 - 2.5 per cent of the total population of the country has mental retardation.
Another survey was conducted by NSSO in 1991 to estimate the magnitude of the persons
with disabilities in India. The survey indicated the following important findings :-
1. About 1.9 per cent of the total population of the country, i.e., 16.15 million persons
have physical or sensory disabilities which include visual, speech, hearing and
locomotor disabilities. There was thus a slight increase in disability over the previous
decade both in terms of absolute numbers and percentage.
2. In a separate survey of children (age 0-14 years) with delayed mental development, it
was found that 29 out of 1000 children in the rural areas had developmental delays
which are usually associated with mental retardation. Approximately 3 per cent of the
children between 0-14 years of age have developmental delays associated with mental
3. The prevalence rate for physical disability was observed to be significantly more
amongst males (22.77/1000) than females (16.94/1000).
4. As regards the State-wise distribution of physical disability, the States which have
higher prevalence rate, than the national average, were Andhra Pradesh (24.98/1000),
Himachal Pradesh (28.70/1000), Karnataka (21.31/1000), Madhya Pradesh (27/1000),
Orissa (23.06/1000), Punjab (29.36/1000) and Tamil Nadu (23.72/1000). The national
average is 19/1000.
5. The rate of prevalence of physical disability in urban population was 16.75/1000 as
compared to 19.75/1000 in rural areas.
6. About 12.3 per cent of the disabled people identified were multi-handicapped.
7. 9.14 and 6.77 per cent of the total estimated households respectively in rural and urban
India were reported to have at least one disabled person in the household. The average
household size in urban and rural sectors was 5.8 persons.
8. The incidence of physical disability (number born or otherwise rendered disabled) in
the rural areas of the country was on an average 90 persons per 1,00,000 population
during the past one year. The figure in respect of the urban areas was 83.
9. The incidence rate, as is the case with prevalence rate, is higher in the case of males
than females. There were significant inter-state variations. The rates among males
were 99 and 90 in rural and urban India respectively as against 81 and 75 among
females in rural and urban areas respectively.
10. Among the physically disabled 25 percent of the disabled people in the rural
areas and 20 percent in urban areas suffered from such severe disabilities that
they could not perform activities of self-care and daily living even with
Estimated number of disabled persons in the country, on the basis of the survey is as follows:
Table No. 1
Estimated Number of Disabled Persons in India - 1991
Type of Disability Rural Urban Total
Male Female Persons Male Female Persons (3)+(6)
(1) (2) (3) |(4) (5) (6)
Visual 1.539 1.796 3.335 0.308 0.362 0.670 4.005
(46.15) (53.85) (83.27) (45.97) (54.03) (16.73)
Hearing 1.409 1.164 2.573 0.339 0.330 0.669 3.242
(54.76) (45.24) (79.36) (50.67) (49.33) (20.64)
Speech 0.942 0.557 1.499 0.298 0.169 0.467 1.966
(62.84) (37.16) (76.25) (63.81) (36.19) (23.75)
Hearing and/or Speech 2.009 1.490 3.499 0.557 0.426 0.983 4.482
(57.42) (42.58) (78.07) (56.66) (43.34) (21.93)
Locomotor 4.396 2.411 6.807 1.370 0.762 2.132 8.939
(64.58) (35.42) (76.15) (64.26) (35.74) (23.85)
Physical (at least one of the above) 7.442 5.210 12.652 2.078 1.424 3.502 16.154
(58.82) (41.18) (78.32) (59.34) (40.66) (21.68)
1. Figures in brackets indicate percentages, and percentages shown in cols. (1) and (2), in
cols (3) and (6), and in cols. (4) and (5) add up to 100.
2. Figures of hearing, speech and hearing and/or speech disability excludes the age-group
below 5 years.
Source: Report No. 393. NSSO. A Report on Disabled Persons. 47th Round July - December
1991 & Report on Manpower Development. Rehabilitation Council of India, New Delhi,
The age-wise distribution per thousand disabled has been found to be as follows:
Table No. 2
Type of Disability
Age group (Years) Hearing Speech Locomotor Disability
Rur. Urb. Rur. Urb. Rur. Urb. Rur. Urb. Rur. Urb.
0-4 4 5 N.A. N.A. 47 47 27 30
5-14 24 21 85 80 262 261 224 223 150 165
15-59 255 304 387 377 539 513 487 503 425 458
60 and above 717 670 526 541 197 225 240 227 398 346
Rur = Rural
Urb = Urban
N.A. = Not Available
Source : Report No. 393 NSSO A Report on Disabled Persons 47th Round July - December -
Amongst the visually handicapped, nearly 70 per cent are in the age-group 60+ and less than
3 per cent are in the age group of 0-14. For speech disability, nearly 26 per cent are in 5-14
age group. Nearly 50 per cent of the locomotor disabled and the speech disabled are in the age
2-6 Conclusion of chapter two:
The causes of lacking of a clear definition of learning disability leads to unclear
situations about the extend of the student with learning disabilities in our schools.
Some countries deal with students with learning disability as handicapped students “or
students with physical disabilities” only. So their numbers show only those students. We can
see low extends in these countries because of this reason, the example is Egypt and India.
There are several reasons behind focussing only on handicapped students in these countries,
such as the difficulty of recognizing other students with learning disabilities, and the lack of
methods and experiences in this field. In some countries the low economy level made helping
those students over their abilities, so they rarely help normal students and handicapped only,
which every one can see it.
In other countries, the educational departments or organizations and other educational
interests want to cover every child who has learning disabilities of any kind, so their numbers
are huge comparing with other countries. We can see this in the U.S. extends.
As I found in the U.S there are more numbers because of the wide ranges that
definitions cover. In other countries the numbers are less because of the focus on a part of
learning disabilities, which is physical disabilities only, as it in India and Egypt. While in
other countries such as Saudi, they are struggling between the old understanding of learning
disabilities, which is equal with physical disabilities, and the new definitions that cover any
kind of learning disabilities. So the extend are vary based on the view of the researchers and
there are not completely agreement or official statistic about the extend.
1-3: Understanding the issue:
As we know that the key of dealing with anything is making sure that we the issue well.
In learning disabilities the key is keeping in our minds that the situation is not sickness can
treat by medicine. In the same time students with learning disabilities are not sick people, but
those students are different than other students. Our previous methods in education
sometimes fail to keep them in the same track as their peers are. We can make good ideas
when we think about the issue from this point of view.
If we think about the other side of the problem, which are our methods in education,
we can imagine who it might be our fail not those students fail. In education our efforts in
general focus on the old idea about students’ abilities, we deal with all students in the same
way, because we think that they are similar, having the same ability, and interest. The
problem might be in our educational system, or in the myth idea that all people can learn in
the same way.
At least we can understand that the problem fined in students’ difficulties to learn, as
we want, not in their minds or abilities. So, we need to focus on two things, discovering those
students among the class in effective ways, then finding other ways to teach them or help them
This work need from all dilemmas’ relates to work together, including parents,
teachers and schools, experts and the students them selves.
3-2: General Tips for Parents
Parents play pivotal roles in supporting school success and encouraging the
development of healthy and productive routines that promote independence both in the
classroom and in the home. NLCD suggests some steps for parents, to deal with their learning
Here we have NLCD suggestion:
1. Let your children help with household tasks.
Select activities that contribute to building skills and self-confidence.
Activities should be meaningful; children need to feel that their efforts are appreciated
by the entire family.
2. Keep instructions clear and simple.
Clarify language and demonstrate tasks as needed.
Provide verbal cues, if helpful.
3. Set routines.
Discuss desired outcomes and plan routines.
Plan for breaks in activities.
4. Minimize distractions.
Turn off the TV (or minimize watching during the school week).
Establish preferred places for work that are free of distractions.
5. Be patient and offer helpful reminders.
Forgetfulness is not intentional; reminders should be helpful (try not to pester).
Be sure that you have established attention (i.e., eye contact, stop other activities)
when offering explanations or reminders.
6. Reward efforts as well as work well done.
Positive feedback can be as simple as a smile or touch or as elaborate as a long-
awaited gift or prize; try both!
Feedback should be immediate, and efforts should be made to connect praise with
Praise, praise, praise!
7. Keep a sense of humor and maintain a positive outlook.
Keep expectations high but realistic.
8. Don't bribe with gifts and don't make promises that depend upon factors out of your
9. Read to your children and have them read to you.
Don't worry about occasional, mispronunciations; if reading is done for pleasure,
reading will become more pleasurable.
10. Keep the entire family in mind.
Don't let your child's needs become all consuming (parents and siblings are people
Help other family members to understand the nature of learning disabilities and its
consequences; find positive ways to involve siblings.
11. Be consistent.
Establish clear rules and be sure that every- one in the family understands them.
Be consistent with discipline and praise.
12. Don't be fooled.
Beware of claims that promise quick cures or miracle treatments; every child can
learn, but rates of progress will vary
Don't be swayed by unsubstantiated media reports; when in doubt, contact
professionals who can offer well-documented information or can speak about
13. Enjoy special times with friends.
Encourage children to join with peers in social or sporting activities.
Seek out other parents with whom you can share experiences and gain new
3-3: Effective Parent-Teacher Partnerships
Educational process and improvement cannot be done without co-worker between
home and schools. This fact will be clearer in learning disable students situations. All too
often, parents and teachers find themselves embroiled in disagreements about how best to
help children with special learning needs. Children are always winners when teachers and
parents work together effectively. This partnership will insure that problems can be addressed
quickly and that the needs of parents, school personnel, and students are reflected in any
As the majority of educators said, a wonderful first step in building this relationship is
the parent-teacher conference. Such a meeting, held at the beginning of the school semester,
can enable parents and teachers to overview hopes and expectations for the academic year and
to overcome potential barriers to communication. Equally important is to create a plan for
regular and ongoing contact that will insure that concerns are addressed before they turn into
Important points about Parent-Teacher Partnerships:
1. The key to any successful partnership is to establish a relationship of mutual respect
and appreciation. An occasional note, informal meeting, or conversation can go a long way
toward fostering a productive relationship.
2. By agreeing upon a system for regular and ongoing communication, parents and teachers
can best monitor progress and address unexpected needs in a timely manner. Parents and
teachers should agree upon a "best time" to meet or speak, or choose to communicate in
3. Parents are well advised to learn about the system within which teachers must do their job
and that sometimes compromises their ability to pay closer attention to students with
special needs. Parents are encouraged to ask how they can help teachers to overcome
obstacles and to promote positive change.
4. Teachers can help parents become active partners in supporting learning by sharing
information about class routines. Notifying parents about grading criteria, homework and
test schedules, projects, and class trips is very useful, as is establishing guidelines for
ways in which parents can help with checking work and studying.
5. Parents should inform teachers about possible factors at home that either pose obstacles to
learning or that might enhance the teacher's effective- ness in the classroom. Family
stressors and a student's participation in extra-curricular activities might impact upon
6. Teachers should inform parents about rules and regulations for the classroom as well as the
school community. Parents might be asked to provide feedback regarding behavioral
expectations and discipline guidelines at the onset of the school year.
7. Parents may not always be able to assess the workings of the classroom from homework
assignments and test grades. Teachers should provide parents with an overview of content
area instruction and teaching style. Parents should seek information about classroom
8. Parents are "experts" when it comes to their own children. By providing information to
teachers about past positive (and negative) school experiences, teachers can take
advantage of what is already known to be good practice with these children. Parents
should highlight activities that have been successful in increasing motivation and
improving performance. Mention situations that have caused frustration and resulted in
under- achievement or inappropriate behavior.
9. Just as students are unique learners, parents and teachers have unique characteristics and
styles of working with children.
10. Parents and teachers should remind each other that one way to promote success in school
is to insure that students feel "special" about their learning. Children should be praised for
even small successes. Efforts should be made to afford children opportunities to be
increasingly self-sufficient and to maintain high expectations for school success.
3-4: Do students with learning disabilities need special curriculum?
The answer of this question is simple, but we need to make sure that this answer is
made after a clear understanding of the issue. They need special methods not special
curriculum. But this dose not means the ignorance of their need in our textbooks and
classroom activities. We need to make sure that as much as we can that these activities are
suitable for disable students too. Otherwise we need to provide our textbooks with alternative
activities for those students.
3-5: Educational programs for disable students:
3-5-1: The University of Kansas’ model:
The University of Kansas has established a new suggested model to teach learning
disable students. This model was announced in ASCD Educational Update, as a new expert in
learning disability efforts. This model as follow:
Acquisition Strand (Reading Strategies)
The Word Identification Strategy teaches students a problem-solving procedure for quickly
attacking and decoding unknown words in reading materials allowing them to move on
quickly for the purpose of comprehending the passage.
The Paraphrasing Strategy directs students to read a limited section of material, ask
themselves the main idea and the details of the section, and put that information in their own
words. This strategy is designed to improve comprehension by focusing attention on the
important information of a passage and by stimulating active involvement with the passage.
The Self-Questioning Strategy aids reading comprehension by having students actively ask
questions about key pieces of information in a passage and then read to find the answers for
The Visual Imagery Strategy is designed to improve students' acquisition, storage, and recall
of prose material. Students improve reading comprehension by reading short passages and
visualizing the scene that is described, incorporating actors, action, and details.
The FIRST-Letter Mnemonic Strategy is designed to aid students in memorizing lists of
information by teaching them to design mnemonics or memorization aids and in finding and
making lists of crucial information.
The Paired Associates Strategy is designed to aid students in memorizing pairs or small
groups of information by using visual imagery, matching pertinent information with familiar
objects, coding important dates, and using a first-syllable technique.
Practicing the Storage Strand contains supplemental materials for teaching three of the
storage strand strategies that are part of the Learning Strategies Curriculum: the Paired
Associates Strategy, the FIRST-Letter Mnemonic Strategy, and the Vocabulary Strategy.
Materials have been designed so teachers can provide advanced practice activities for
students. These activities consist of short paragraphs for practicing each of the strategies
individually as well as sets of sentences and passages of different lengths for practicing the
three strategies in combination and for discriminating when each of the strategies is most
The Vocabulary Strategy helps students learn the meaning of new vocabulary words using
powerful memory-enhancement techniques. Strategy steps cue students to focus on the critical
elements of the concept; to use visual imagery, associations with prior knowledge, and key-
word mnemonic devices to create a study card; and to study the card to enhance
comprehension and recall of the concept.
Expression and Demonstration of Competence Strand
SLANT: A Strategy for Class Participation is a simple, easy-to-teach strategy designed to
help students participate in class discussions. Students learn how to use appropriate posture,
track the talker, activate their thinking, and contribute information.
Fundamentals in the Sentence Writing Strategy focuses on a program for teaching the
fundamental concepts and skills associated with writing simple sentences, starting with
concepts such as "subject," "verb," "infinitive," and "preposition." The program includes an
instructor's manual and a student materials volume.
Proficiency in the Sentence Writing Strategy is designed to teach students how to recognize
and generate four types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.
The program includes an instructor's manual and a student materials volume.
The Paragraph Writing Strategy is designed to teach students how to write well-organized,
complete paragraphs by outlining ideas, selecting a point-of-view and tense for the paragraph,
sequencing ideas, and checking their work. The program includes an instructor's manual and a
student materials volume.
The Error Monitoring Strategy is designed to teach students a process for detecting and
correcting errors in their writing and for producing a neater written product. Students are
taught to locate errors in paragraph organization, sentence structure, capitalization, overall
editing and appearance, punctuation, and spelling by asking themselves a series of questions.
Students correct their errors and rewrite the passage before submitting it to their teacher.
The Assignment Completion Strategy teaches students to monitor their assignments from
the time an assignment is given until it is completed and submitted to the teacher. Students
write down assignments; analyze the assignments; schedule various subtasks; complete the
subtasks and, ultimately, the entire task; and submit the completed assignment.
The Test-Taking Strategy is designed to be used by the student during a test. The student is
taught to allocate time and read instructions and questions carefully. A question is either
answered or abandoned for later consideration. The obviously wrong answers are eliminated
from the abandoned questions and a reasonable guess is made. The last step is to survey the
entire test for unanswered questions.
The InSPECT Strategy can be used by students to detect and correct spelling errors in their
documents by using a computerized spellchecker or a hand-held spelling device.
Cooperative Thinking Strategies
The SCORE Skills are social skills that are foundational to effective cooperative groups.
Students learn to share ideas, compliment others, offer help or encouragement, recommend
changes nicely, and exercise self-control.
The THINK Strategy is a strategy students use to solve problems together.
The LEARN Strategy is used by students to master information together.
The BUILD Strategy is designed for analyzing and resolving controversial issues within a
The Teamwork Strategy, building upon the skills introduced in the SCORE Skills manual,
provides a framework for organizing and completing complex projects in small groups.
Students learn to analyze an assignment and divide it into tasks, equitably assign tasks, offer
and request help to complete jobs, ask for and give feedback to group members, assemble
individual jobs into one product, and evaluate the process used to complete the project.
The Self-Advocacy Strategy is designed for students to use when preparing for and
participating in any type of conference, including education and transition planning
conferences (such as an IEP or ITP conference). Strategy steps provide students with a way of
getting organized before a conference and with effective communication techniques to use
during the conference.
Addition Facts 0 to 9
Subtraction Facts 0 to 9
Place Value: Discovering Tens & Ones
Addition Facts 10 to 18
Subtraction Facts 10 to 18
Multiplication Facts 0 to 81
Division Facts 0 to 81
These strategies are designed for any aged student who needs to learn basic math facts and
operations. Each manual is built upon the concrete-representational-abstract method of
instruction. Within this approach, understanding of mathematics is developed through the use
of concrete objects, representational drawings, and an easy-to-learn strategy that turns all
students into active problem solvers. Student problem-solving skills are developed through a
graduated sequence of word problems. Each book also features motivational games and a pair
of custom-designed "pig dice." These manuals are available individually or as a set. Extra
dice also are available.
Collaborative Problem Solving outlines the communication skills necessary for establishing
a cooperative relationship between two parties and then shows how to incorporate these skills
within a problem-solving process that can be used to structure meetings between professionals
or between professionals and parents or students. This is especially useful for professionals
who are consulting with teachers about problems they are having in their classrooms.
The Progress Program describes how teachers, administrators, and parents can work
together to use a Daily Report Card Program to control disruptive student behavior and
improve the academic and social performance of students who are at risk for failure. This
program is carefully sequenced to move from extrinsic control to student (intrinsic) control of
Surface Counseling details a set of relationship-building skills necessary for establishing a
trusting, cooperative relationship between an adult and a youth and a problem-solving strategy
that youths can learn to use by themselves. Includes study guide questions, model dialogues,
and role-play activities. Useful for any adult who has daily contact with children and
3-5-2: 504 Classroom Accommodation plans:
Blazer mentions this plan as a well-known way of teaching disable students in the U.S.
this plan contains three steps.
What is Section 504? Blazer answer this question as follow:
Over the past several years, educators have focused much effort on the role of
classroom accommodations in addressing the special needs of students with attentional
difficulties. Concerned parents were instrumental in getting the U.S. Department of Education
to issue a joint policy memorandum clarifying that Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, an anti-discrimination law, obliges public schools to provide accommodations to
students with attention deficit disorders (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders
(ADHD) (U.S. Department of Education, 1991) even if they do not qualify for special
services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Teacher Tips on Developing 504 Accommodation Plans
PHYSICAL INSTRUCTIONAL BEHAVIORAL
ACCOMMODATIONS ACCOMMODATIONS ACCOMMODATIONS
Provide Structured Environment:
· post schedules on board Repeat and Simplify Directions: Use Positive Reinforcement:
· post classroom rules · keep oral directions clear & simple · positive verbal or written feedback
· preferential seating (near teacher, · give examples · reward systems and incentives
between well-focused students, · ask child to repeat back directions · give tasks that can be completed
away from distractions) when possible · private signals
· organize workspace · make eye contact · role play situations
· use color codes · demonstrate · weekly individual time
· conference opportunities
Provide Private Work Space: Provide Directions in Written
· quiet area for study Form: Be Consistent:
· extra seat or table · on board · with rewards and consequences
· standing work station · on worksheet · with posted rules
· 'time out" spot · copied in assignment book by
student and initialed by teacher Promote Leadership & Account
Provide Leaming Centers: · assign jobs that can be performed
· reading corner Individualize Homework well
· listening center Assignments: · "Student of the Week/Month"
· hands-on area · reduce volume of work · provide responsibilities
· break long-term assignments into
manageable tasks Specific Goals & Reinforce w/
· allow specified extended time Incentives
without penalty for lateness · state tangible goals and timetable
· offer alternative assignments · reward system
· provide extra set of texts at home · incentives chart for work and
Use Technological Learning- · student contracts
· tape recorders Communicate w/ Parents, Teachers,
· record lectures and assignments etc.:
· computers · letters
· multi-sensory manipulatives · meetings
· phone calls
Modified Testing: · use school staff for support
· distraction-free area
· extended time
A Three-Step Process for Creating a Classroom in 504 model:
Step 1. Parent and Student Education, Collaboration, and Agreement.
Step 2. Teacher Input/Agreement.
Step 1. Parent Training for 504 Follow-up, Coordination, and Advocacy.
3-6: Inclusion, or separate schools?
Educators around the world have different opinions regarding who to teach learning
disable students. The different opinions was a result of answering these two questions:
Is it best to keep disabling students in separate schools?
Or is it best to engage them in other schools with normal students?
The first team is focus on the benefits of separate schools, where teachers can create
special environment that is helpful for them, because the need different ways and equipment.
Also this separation can ensure the achievement of the special goals in teaching those
The second team thinks that it is best to engage them in normal schools with other
students because they are not sick people, and we can deal with them in these schools in
different ways than their normal peers.
Each team has a logic view, but in general we can touch that the new educational
thoughts is towards “inclusion” schools. This fact can be seeing easily in educators‟ thoughts
in ASCD, NLCD and other associations‟ articles.
3-6-1: Separate schools “special schools”:
Some educators think that separate school for learning disable students are better
than inclusion schools for these reasons:
1. It is easy to gather disable students from the city in one or few schools in each city.
2. Since we have few schools in each city it is easy to provide these schools with fully
equipment that are necessary for those students.
3. If we choose to distribute this equipment on all of our schools then we cannot cover
all of our schools; also it will be expensive especially in poor countries.
4. It is easy to chose special teachers with special abilities and preparation for these
5. It is easy to employ experts in different fields of learning disabilities, to assist these
schools and work with the teachers. We need few only.
6. It will be easy for educators to study the improvement for each kid in these schools
and compare it with his/her peers.
7. For those kids, it is easy for them to engage in learning activities without hesitating or
shyness, because all the kids around them are the same.
8. It is not fare to compare those students in their educational learning and results with
When properly planned and implemented, inclusionary education enhances academic
opportunities for all students, those with and those without disabilities. In addition, it can
provide benefits to children beyond academic learning and can help prepare them to live and
work in a diverse world.
The successful inclusion of students with disabilities requires careful individualized planning
regarding services and supports. These may include assistive technology, peer preparation,
personal assistance services, paraprofessional sup- port, or social integration planning.
Strategies for successful inclusion:
1. Adopt a school-wide curriculum and make modifications for all children who need them.
2. Employ experiential, interactive educational methods that facilitate learning for all
3. Redeploy teaching and support personnel to meet the needs of the entire student population.
4. Engage all staff in working to ensure the success of all students.
5. Engage in collaborative planning with all of the stakeholders in the education of children
6. Be sure to address issues of transition and to include parents in every stage of the process.
7. Provide time for training, team-building, and planning so that staff and parents can work
together for changes that will benefit students.
8. To the extent possible, treat all students equally (for example, have all students begin
school on the same day).
9. Integrate students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers in educational programs as
early as possible.
10. With the provision of reasonable accommodations, include students with disabilities in all
system-wide assessments of educational performance and in public reporting of test
11. Identify and develop/acquire assistive technology for students in need, and make it
available for use at home and in school.
12. Prepare peers for the inclusion of students with disabilities; this may need to be done on
an individual basis.
13. Plan for the integration of support personnel in the classroom in ways that do not foster
dependence or segregation; to the extent possible, assign service providers to classrooms
or teachers, not to individual students.
14. Engage the families of students with disabilities in planning to facilitate the social
integration of their children inside and outside the classroom.
15. Teach students with disabilities to self-advocate for their needs and to make use of the
support services so they can achieve independence.
Disable students’ abilities
4-1: Changing our view:
In my country, there are some associations that take care of handicapped people. Some
of these associations used to use advertise in daily newspapers. These advertise ask people to
give charity to this association, so they can give it to handicapped people to draw a smile on
their faces. For sure that they mean physical handicapped who cannot work.
In the past this advertisement was something kind for me, since it is a call to help
disable people. Especially if the media represent this advertisement during special events like
Ramadan month, where people increase their charities. When people in my country see these
advertises, immediately they think about the handicapped person who cannot work, so he
need some money to cover life requirements. This sad image extent to cover every person
who have any kind of physical disability.
Later I discovered that I, as well as others, deal with our physical disable students, in
the same way. People have great sympathies towards them, but in the same time they deal
with them as a person who cannot do things as others do.
Now in my country, as it in Arab Gulf countries, there are two different points of view
regarding how to deal with disable people, including disable students. First team asks to pay
more attentions towards them, by discussing their problem in media as something separate
need special efforts. This team is trying also to fulfill their environment with the necessary
equipment. Regardless of how these discussions might be painful for them, because we are
seeking final goals that will help them.
The second team, asks to ignore mentioning the different between those students and
other students, because if we do so, in this case we are putting them in cages to feed them as
pets, will they can take care of them selves. In the same time we will increase the focus on the
disability itself and this will give a message that they are less than normal persons are.
I think that both teams are caching a part of the issue and ignoring the rest of it. We
should discuss the issue to improve people understanding about those students, not as less
than others, but as people with different abilities. In the same time we need to work hard to
insure that those students have suitable environment can be helpful for them to improve their
abilities. We need to focus on using new technology in this field.
The most important step to deal with our issue us building self-esteem for those
students so they can be proud of them selves and their abilities.
4-2: Building self – esteem:
Self-esteem is important for all people at all time. It is important for disable students
more than other people are, because they are in different situation and they are under pressure
from the society around them. Also the educational environment itself can be a challenge for
them, so they need from us, as parents and teachers, to help them in building up the pride first,
these steps can be as follow.
4-2-1: General Tips for Building Self-Esteem
Learning disabilities often result in experiences of repeated failure and frustration.
Cycles of unrewarded effort can erode self-confidence and result in low self-esteem. Parents
and professionals can assist by creating a positive mind-set, providing tools and strategies for
self-improvement, and fostering a caring and supportive environment.
1. Children should be helped to set realistic goals.
Parents and children should share a common set of expectations.
Be prepared to discuss goals and expectations freely, and be sure to leave
opportunities for review and change as needed.
2. Give children frequent, positive feedback.
Break activities into small steps.
Create lists of steps to guide longer tasks.
3. Show your appreciation.
A gesture or kind word reinforces helping behavior and good feelings.
All children need and deserve to be loved; be a good listener, empathize with failures,
acknowledge frustrations, and celebrate successes.
4. Constructive criticism works best.
Feedback from teachers and parents to children is of critical importance; feedback
should acknowledge good effort and address areas of suggested improvement. ("The
report is terrific. Your illustrations are wonderful; let's take another look at the
Judge the behavior ("you shouldn't break the toy") not the child ("you are bad").
5. Accentuate the positive.
Focusing on children's strengths will help to keep motivation levels high.
Helping children capitalize on special talents and interests will boost enthusiasm and
pride; nothing builds self-esteem like success.
6. Frustration is not all bad.
Allowing children to experience some frustration is critical to learning; don't come to
the rescue with a "quick fix"; help explore options and repair strategies.
7. Family matters.
Acknowledge children's important status in the family.
Children's self-worth can be greatly enhanced by being included in decision-making
("What color do you think we should paint that room?").
8. Common courtesy and manners are important.
Explain how to accept a compliment.
Encourage socially preferred language.
9. Promote self-advocacy.
Children can be effective self-advocates when they are able to communicate needs and
desires in a clear, concise manner.
Be positive about expectations and be a partner in problem-solving.
10. Encourage good social skills.
Acknowledge the need to recognize and appreciate the feelings of others.
Recognize and label facial expressions, body posture, and vocal cues.
Match expectations to reactions; misunderstandings are often easy to avoid when
people agree on what is acceptable behavior.
11. Expect that mistakes will happen.
Help children to appreciate that everyone makes mistakes; offer examples to decrease
feelings of disappointment.
Talk about errors and mishaps openly: be objective and consider the context.
Explain that trial and error are valuable parts of the learning process.
12. Encourage independence.
Encourage independence, particularly self-help skills and activities for daily living.
Encourage planning, risk-taking, and evaluation of consequences; start with small
decisions and provide feedback as an “interested observers”.
4-2-2: Promoting Confidence
Students with learning disabilities face special challenges, not only in the areas of
learning and skill mastery, but also in the areas of self-esteem and self-actualization. These
students are often prone to attribute their successes to luck or chance, and are quick to blame
others for poor grades or for incomplete work. The process of teaching these students to be
more aware of their limitations and more confident in their abilities extends throughout the
course of their educational careers, and is likely to open windows of opportunity in school, as
well as in the world of work.
Help students to clarify goals and strategies.
See that goals set are realistic and attainable.
Be prepared to evaluate outcomes.
Encourage students to own their successes.
Establish learning environments that are flexible and allow for spontaneity and
Reward good effort and perseverance, not just success.
Help students to learn from their frustrations:
Provide immediate feedback that is instructive and non-punitive.
Offer feedback that is both general and specific, and include information within the
Recognize individual differences:
Remember that no two people are alike, and each of us needs different amounts and
types of feedback to learn effectively.
Some people like to study in a quiet room; others prefer to listen to music; the "right"
way is the way that works best!
Be patient and understanding:
Offer praise, positive reinforcement and constructive feedback for self-correction.
Be respectful of the students' rights to privacy.
Be a good listener.
Maintain a sense of humor and don’t be afraid to show it:
Humor can be an effective tool to diffuse bad feelings and soften disappointment.
Real-life events are filled with "teachable moments"; use imagination and be creative.
Teach students the benefits of negotiation:
Help students to understand that teachers and parents are not mind-readers and that
being able to ask for help is a strength.
Encourage students to appreciate the power of conversation; at the same time
emphasize the importance of clarifying their needs before they turn to someone for
Don't overlook opportunities to teach about feelings during this process, and help them
to understand the benefits of compromise.
Be a good role model:
Think aloud when making decisions.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes and self- correct; repair strategies are wonderful
tools that are best taught in real-life situations.
Parents need to be partners with school personnel; positive communication between
parents, teachers, and other staff will give students "permission" to do their best.
Acknowledge students’ rights:
Children may not always be insightful thinkers, but they often have strong opinions
that drive their language and behavior; help them to understand feelings and clarify
Discuss problems and concerns objectively, and share issues with the school personnel
who can effect change.
Maintain high expectations:
Be sure that there is consensus among parents, children, and teachers about academic
and behavioral goals.
Special care should be taken to assure that expectations are age and developmentally
4-3: Examples of disable students’ abilities:
In each country and in any time we can fiend clear examples of how those students
have abilities to make success. They need to have the chance, and also they need to be trust
4-3-1: Examples from Saudi and Arab Gulf countries:
1. A man from my hometown:
Every one in my hometown remembers this person, even if he was in a nearby suburb.
He was a blind man with massive abilities. He knows each corner in the village and around it,
and he can be a good guide in the dessert for car drivers. In the past he find it a good way to
represent his abilities by telling what each house in the city are cooking for dinner only by
passing throw streets. They used to gather their head covers “a traditional custom” then he
return each cover to the right person using the smile of the cover. He can fix car engine and
irrigation pump, he takes to pieces these machines then he can find the problem and fix then
rebuild it again. He asks only that no one touch his staff while he is working. In the nearby of
the village there were a huge of the village there were a huge cavity with complex branches,
and during rain season this cavity is full of water. One day there was a kid swimming in this
water then he sinks, for the whole day the Civilian Defense “fire fitter” did not found the kid.
They ask our man to help them after they here from people that no one have the courage to
swim in this pool except hem. And he did, he found the died body within limit time because
he knows every place in this pool.
2. Efforts of special education department in ministry of education in Saudi:
The president of special education department in ministry of education in Saudi is D.
Alghanem; he is a blind person in the same time he has Ph.D. in education. This department
had a great expert in showing how disable students can do when they have the chance. One of
these experts was in “Algenaderiah” village, which is annual festival near Riyadh, the capital
city of Saudi. This festival is a huge exhibit in a real historical village contains corners
represent each region of Saudi. Also it contain places to show the development of each
ministry in Saudi. The visitors to this festival each year more than three million people from
inside and outside Saudi.
During festival‟s days people see stimulating of old life in Saudi by real people who
have the chance to life in this style, also visitors can ask questions to those experts people.
Physical disable students held the division of special education department in ministry of
education‟s corner, they show how they can read, write, learn and do anything they want
using different ways. They show people how to rite their names in Braille method, and how
blind person work as operator using his perfect memory, it was interesting for both of them,
the people and the students in the right place.
3. “Sesame Street” Arabic edition:
There is a local program in Arab gulf countries (Saudi, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates,
Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) stimulating the famous American program Sesame Street with
similar characters and different environment. The first edition of the program refers to more
than 20 years ago. Now there are a new edition from this program with paying more attentions
of disable students.
In one episode of this program, they show a group of kids setting around a small blind
girl in a park. The girl was reading for them an interesting story from her Braille book, kids
faces show how they feel that she can do best than them.
In other part of the program, they show a great paint exhibit, at the end they made
interviews with the artists, all of them handicapped kids.
I like these words, “What is disability – your frame of mind is the real disability". Let
us change our attitudes and help to change others. Make a commitment to end unfair and
unfounded prejudices. Open minds and doors to people with disabilities. Repeat in speeches,
writings and films three words: Disability, Equality, Liberty. Listen to disabled people. Serve
disabled people. Work with disabled people. Travel with disabled people. Shop with disabled
people. Have them as friends” D. Ali Baquer.
It is true that if we know the exact problem, we might be able to solve it. The problem
accrues when we don‟t know exactly our issue. Each one has own view of this issue based on
his interests and backgrounds. Having the term “learning disabilities” makes little sense for
scientific purposes, clinical purposes, or school policy purposes. Instead, the field must grasp
with the clear need to address each type of learning disability individually to arrive at clear
definitional statements and a coherent understanding of etiology, developmental course,
identification, prevention, and treatment.
In the U.S there are few definitions of learning disability. These definitions are based
on educational organizations‟ interests, field or philosophy. Some of these definitions became
worldwide use. In the U.K, Australia, and some of Middle East countries there are educational
organizations and web sites refer to these definitions. On the other hand, there are lots of
educational ministries, organizations, associations and web sites did not talk about the
definition of learning disability. Some of them deal with it as physical disability only. Some
countries deal with physical disability only because they are under developing countries with
low economic level, so they cannot spread their efforts to cover all learning disabilities kinds.
On the other hand, some countries do not have enough experts in learning disability fields, or
they just deal with this new issue, so it can be as new field in educators‟ interests.
The causes of lacking of a clear definition of learning disability leads to unclear
situations about the extend of the student with learning disabilities in our schools. Some
countries deal with students with learning disability as handicapped students “or students
with physical disabilities” only. So their numbers show only those students. We can see low
extends in these countries because of this reason, the example is Egypt and India. There are
several reasons behind focussing only on handicapped students in these countries, such as the
difficulty of recognizing other students with learning disabilities, and the lack of methods and
experiences in this field. In some countries the low economy level made helping those students
over their abilities, so they rarely help normal students and handicapped only, which every
one can see it.
In other countries, the educational departments or organizations and other
educational interests want to cover every child who has learning disabilities of any kind, so
their numbers are huge comparing with other countries. We can see this in the U.S. extends.
As I found in the U.S there are more numbers because of the wide ranges that definitions
cover. In other countries the numbers are less because of the focus on a part of learning
disabilities, which is physical disabilities only, as it in India and Egypt. While in other
countries such as Saudi, they are struggling between the old understanding of learning
disabilities, which is equal with physical disabilities, and the new definitions that cover any
kind of learning disabilities. So the extend are vary based on the view of the researchers and
there are not completely agreement or official statistic about the extend.
The current system of teacher education does not provide the common learning
experiences and skills that all teachers need, regardless of whether they are training to be
regular, special, or reading teachers. Courses in curriculum development and assessment must
teach the development of multi-level goals for different learners within a common curriculum.
Courses in methods and materials development must target different learning styles, and teach
strategies for adapting existing materials when variety is not possible.
The new technology can open up exciting avenues for the progress of disabled people
and those responsible for designing and manufacturing goods and equipment and planning
services must not forget the special needs of disabled people. Technology can help to fulfil
the various promises that educators have made. It will help to bring down barriers to fuller
participation of disabled people in all activities of the society. Technology would bring out
substantial number of disabled people from their miserable pit of isolation and extreme
dependence. By using new technology, disable student might be able to learn in one hour
more than what we expect that he could learn in one week.
In conclusion, the whole view of learning disabilities is new even in developing
countries. Except experts, the majority of people cannot imagine who learning disabilities are
The final word:
We have learning difficulties.
In the past we used to be called labels like mentally
handicapped, mentally retarded, intellectually handicapped, or
We didn't like these labels as they kept us down. We choose to
use 'learning difficulties' ourselves. It is a label, which doesn't
hurt us as much as those above.
Jars should be labeled not people!
___, “Attention Deficit Disorder: Adding Up the Facts.”, U.S Department of
Education, Washington, D.C., 1994.
___, “Attention Deficit Disorder: Beyond the Myth.”, U.S Department of Education,
Washington, D.C., 1994.
___, “Important Definitions of Learning disabilities” LD online.
___, “What are the Barriers to the Use of Advanced Telecommunications for Students
with Disabilities in Public Schools?”, National Center for Educational Statistics,
___,“Learning disabilities information, strategies & resources”, (book online).
Altoraiqee, M.,H., “Disability society: characters, extend and causes.” – Abstract at:
Baquer, A., and Sharma, A. “Disability :Challenges Vs Responses” -book online -
Blazer, B., “Developing 504 Classroom Accommodation Plans – A Collaborative
Systematic Parent-Student-Teacher Approach.”, Teaching Exceptional Children,
Vol. 32, No. 2, Nov/Dec 1999.
Epps, M., V., Nevile, P., K., and Ormsby, D., E., “Reading in Exceptionality and
Pedagogy.” Needham Highest, MA. 1998.
Greene, L., J., “Learning disabilities and your child – A Survival Handbook.” New
York, NY. 1987.
Ibraheem, A., “New technology for people with special needs in Egypt”. Alahram
newspaper, Vol. 41400, Year 124, 12 April 2000.
Lerner, J., W., “Critical Issues in Teaching Young Children with Learning
Disabilities.” LD online. http://www.ldonline.org
Lokerson, J., “Learning disabilities” LD online. http://www.ldonline.org
Lyon, G., R., “Learning Disabilities.” SPECIAL EDUCATION FOR
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, The Future of Children. Volume 6 - Number 1
- Spring 1996.
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). http://www.ncld.org
Seldin, N., “Characteristics of Young Learning Disabled Students.” LD online, 1998.
The Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (CCLD), 1998
Web sites resources
Suggested web sites about disabilities
Web Sites to Explore
For information on special education and links to other organizations,
The Council for Exceptional Children:
For information on technology access in early childhood special education,
The National Center for the Improvement of Practice (NCIP):
For information on barriers to accessing the World Wide Web,
The Alliance for Technology Access:
For information on the integration of software into the curriculum,
Clara Clutterbuck's (an Australian Special Ed teacher) home page:
For books on assistive technology,
The University of Kansas:
For information on assistive technology in the schools,
The University of Kentucky:
For more general information on resources for assistive technology and computer access,
The Trace Center home page:
To contact Dr. Behrmann and see the activities that he is involved in, visit
The Center for Human disAbilities at George Mason University:
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Mental Retardation Research Developmental Disabilities Center
University of California, Irvine
Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities Resources
(in alphabetical order by title)
The Web site of the American Association on Mental Retardation.
The home page of the American Association of University Affiliated Programs for Persons
with Developmental Disabilities.
ADA and Disability Information
A WWW page with links to other Web and Gopher sites dealing with the Americans with
Disabilities Act and disabilities in general.
ADA Information Center On-Line
A Web site of information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, made available by the
ADA Project. Located in Columbia, Missouri, the ADA Project is one of ten regional centers
funded by the National Institiute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a division of the
U.S. Department of Education. Their purpose is to provide technical assistance and training
concerning the ADA to businesses, institutions, agencies, and individuals. The project serves
the four state region of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska.
Adaptive Computing Technology Center
The University of Missouri Columbia, Department of Campus Computing, Adaptive
Computing Technology (ACT) Center's goal is to implement adaptive computing in a manner
which enhances integration of people with disabilities into the higher education environment.
AHRC New York City Web Site
This site provides valuable information, resources, and communication opportunities on the
Internet for persons with developmental disabilities, those who care for them, and the
professionals who work with them.
Allen, Shea & Associates
The general partnership of Allen, Shea & Associates is a technical assistance workgroup,
organized in March 1986, as a private, for-profit firm. It provides professional services in the
area of planning, research, and evaluation within the field of human services with an emphasis
on developmental disabilities.
The Web site of a regional developmental center in Oregon for infants and children birth to
six who are medically fragile and developmentally delayed.
Americans with Disabilities Act Document Center
A Web site that lists the ADA statute, regulations, ADAAG (Americans with Disabilities Act
Accessibility Guidelines), federally reviewed tech Sheets, and other assistance documents.
Arc of the United States
An organization committed to the welfare of children and adults with mental retardation.
The Arc - King County
In Seattle, Washington.
Autism Research at the University of Rochester
A Web site created to provide information for parents, clinicians, and other investigators and
to make it easy for users to pose questions or offer ideas.
Autism Research in Genetics and Neuroimaging
The Collaborative Autism Project - Discordant Sibling Study - Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Autism Society of North Carolina, Wake County
The Web site of the Wake County Local Unit of the Autism Society of North Carolina,
located in the capital city of Raleigh.
A private, nonprofit agency that serves people with mental retardation, autism, head injuries,
spinal cord injuries or related disabilities. It serves residents of Richland and Lexington
counties, South Carolina, but also responds to needs outside this primary area.
Boys Town National Research Hospital
An institute that provides evaluation and treatment of children with communication disorders
and carries out research in related areas.
Camphill Soltane is a life-sharing educational community for and with young adults with
developmental disabilities ages 18 to 25. Located on 55 acres in rural Chester County,
Pennsylvania, 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Camphill Soltane creates a comprehensive,
therapeutic and supportive environment where resident volunteers and their families make
their home together with young people in need of special care.
Centre for Communicative and Cognitive Disabilities (CCCD)
A Canadian university-based centre of specialization which was established in 1985 by the
Secretary of State to improve educational opportunities for students with communication
exceptionalities. CCCD is dedicated to assisting students with language and learning
disabilities, deafness, and physical challenges to participate fully in society.
Center for Neuroscience
The Web site of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Neuroscience.
Child-Neuro Home Page
A site whose main purpose is to co-ordinate the available Internet resources concerning issues
in Child Neurology.
Civitan International Research Center
A research center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham devoted to improving the well-
being and the quality of life of individuals and families affected by mental retardation and
Colorado Association of Community Centered Boards
The assoication of boards that determine the eligibility of individuals with developmental
disabilities and matches state funds to those with needs.
Crotched Mountain Foundation
The Foundation serves children and adults who are physically, emotionally or intellectually
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Home Page
This site covers medical aspects of child development and behavior for physicians, but is also
of interest to psychologists, teachers, therapists, and parents.
Developmental Disabilities Centre
A research and training centre located within the Department of Educational Psychology in
the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.
Developmental Disabilities Resource Center
A center in Colorado that provides programs for persons with developmental disabilities from
Jefferson, Clear Creek, Gilpin and Summit Counties.
Disability Research Unit
A research unit within the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.
Formally established in 1994, the Unit is involved in research on a wide range of disability-
Disability Resources on the Internet
A WWW page maintained by J. Lubin with links to other Web sites dealing with disabilities.
The Web site of a company specializing in technology access for people with physical and
DO-IT at the University of Washington
The Home Page for DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) at
the University of Washington, whose long-term goal is to increase the participation of
individuals with disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics academic programs and
Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota
The Web site of the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota.
Down Syndrome WWW Page
A compilation of articles from members of the Down Syndrome List Server.
Elwyn's Home Page
An international non-profit human services organization serving people with mental and
physical disabilities, mental illness, the elderly, emotionally troubled and economically
The Family Village
A global community on the Internet for families of persons who have disabilities, located at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center.
FRAXA Research Foundation Home Page
FRAXA Research Foundation supports research aimed at finding a specific treatment for
fragile X, the #1 inherited cause of mental retardation, affecting an estimated 1 in 1000
Health Promotion Project
A project that aims to reduce, overcome, or eliminate barriers people with developmental
disabilities encounter while trying to obtain health care. Supported in large part by the
Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities.
The Inclusion Website
Children with special needs are now part of the regular classroom. Teachers seeking success
with inclusion will find help and inspiration here.
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1995
An informational Web page from the U.S. Department of Education.
Institute for Disability Policy
At the Muskie Institute of Public Affairs, University of Southern Maine, the Institutes's
mission is to enhance the well-being of individuals with disabilities, schools and community
organizations through training, research, technical assistance, and example.
Institute on Community Integration
A University Affiliated Program at the University of Minnesota, dedicated to improving
community services and social supports for persons with developmental disabilities and their
Institute on Disability and Human Development (UAP)
A University Affiliated Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago that conducts research
and provides services for persons with mental and physical disabilities and their families, as
well aso carrying out interdisciplinary graduate education and outreach training activities.
Institute for Special Education
The Web site at the University of Fribourg/Switzerland, with information on their research
programs, publications, and calendar of events.
Intellectual Disability Information Service
A WWW page of information from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
International Order of Alhambra
The Web site of a Fraternal Order of Catholic Men Dedicated to assisting persons
developmentally disabled by mental retardation
Irwin Siegel Agency, Inc.
An insurance agency that has developed an insurance program specifically for agencies
providing services to people with disabilities - and their special coverage needs.
Japan Down Syndrome Network (English version)
JDSN is a center dedicated to information and communication relating to Down syndrome in
Japan and worldwide. Click here to see the Japanese version.
Job Accommodation Network
A service of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.
JP Das Developmental Disabilities Centre
A research and training centre located within the Department of Educational Psychology in
the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada; activities include
research, student training, publication, and selected clinical services for children and adults
with mental retardation and other disorders that affect learning and originate in the childhood.
Kansas Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Research Center
The Web site of the Mental Retardation Research Center (MRRC) affiliated with the
University of Kansas.
The Web site of a Wisconson company that has been in business specializing in assistive
technology for 6 years.
Laureate Learning Systems, Inc.
The Web site of a company that offers over 70 special needs software packages for
individuals with developmental disabilities, language-learning disabilities, physical
disabilities, and autism.
The Web site of a foundation in Australia that provides information for parents and teachers
on learning disability and A.D.D.
Little City Foundation
The Web site of a foundation that provides services for people with cognitive and other
developmental challenges at their campus in Palatine, Illinois (near Chicago).
Mental Health Net
"The largest, most comprehensive guide to mental health online."
Mental Retardation Research Center UCLA
The general aims of this center are the acquisition of new knowledge on mental retardation
and related aspects of human development and the training of research personnel.
National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils
The Web site of the NADDC, whose mission is to promote national policy which provides
individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to make choices regarding the
quality of their lives and be included in the community; and to provide support and assistance
to member Councils.
National Center on Educational Outcomes
The Web site of the NCEO, which provides national leadership in the identification of
outcomes and indicators to monitor educational results for all students, including students
The National Center on Outcomes Research (NCOR)
NCOR is designed to use the national values of independence, productivity, integration,
inclusion, personal responsibility, self-determination, and choice to examine the status of
people with disabilities throughout their everyday lives.
National Home Of Your Own Alliance
The Web site of a unique program, initiated by the Institute on Disability, a University
Affiliated Program, that provides persons with developmental disabilities the choice to lease
or purchase their own home, thereby freeing them from the constraints of institutional living
and giving them more control over their lives and the services they require.
National Institute on Life planning for Persons with Disabilities
A Web site that seeks to provide an efficient method of disseminating information on all
aspects of Life Planning to persons with disabilities, families and professionals.
NCSA Mosaic Access Page
A resource for those interested in how people with disabilities can use the Internet and the
World Wide Web. The short term goals of this project are to identify some of the major
barriers people with disabilities encounter using NCSA Mosaic.
Northamptonshire People First
The home page of an organisation in England run and controlled by people with learning
A nonprofit coalition of 20 disability organizations serving as the parent training and
information center for Minnesota. PACER Center strives to improve and expand opportunities
that enhance the quality of life for children and young adults with disabilities and their
Parents Helping Parents
A resource center for children with mental, physical, emotional, or learning disabilities
whether due to birth defects, illness, or accident.
People First of the North Shore
The home page of a self-advocacy group of folks who would like to be known as People First.
The Policy Information Exchange Web site, a service dedicated to providing objective and
unbiased Mental Health and Health Policy information.
President's Committee on Mental Retardation
The Committee established in 1966 to focus on this critical subject of national concern.
3rd National QMRP (Qualified Mental Retardation Professional) Conference
Information obtained from the 3rd National QMRP Conference held August 18 - 21, 1998 in
San Antonio, Texas.
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Mental Retardation
A national resource for researchers, planners, providers, self-advocates, families and students
in the field of aging and mental retardation.
Research Project in The Netherlands
A project for better diagnosis and treatment for children with mildly retardation and
"The St. Coletta Community, guided by the Franciscan values of caring and respect, supports
people with developmental challenges to attain their highest level of human potential and
The Schizophrenia Home Page
Not-for-Profit Resource & Education Center for the brain disorder Schizophrenia.
The Shriver Center
The Shriver Center, located in Waltham, MA, promotes understanding of neurological and
behavioral development, with special emphasis on meeting challenges associated with mental
retardation and other developmental disabilities. We do this in two ways. First, our Center
conducts basic research to determine the biological and environmental factors that influence
development. Second, we provide training and service programs that directly benefit
individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Sibling Support Project
The Web site of a project at the Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle, dedicated
to the interests of brothers and sisters of people with special health and developmental needs.
Offers access to SibNet, the first and only listserv for and about brothers and sisters of people
with special health, developmental, and emotional needs.
Social Work 644
A Web site that describes Social Welfare Issues in Developmental Disabilities, a 2-3 credit
distance education course that uses pre-produced videotaped lectures, printed materials and
telephone office hours for undergraduate and graduate level students throughout Wisconsin,
offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Social Work.
A WWW page under the Home Page of The Option Institute and Fellowship describing
programs for families with special children, including those with autism, attention deficit
disorder, brain impairment, pervasive developmental delay, cerebral palsy, mental retardation,
epilepsy, neurological or muscular disorders, etc.
The Web site of a company, founded by the parents of a child with autism, that sells learning
videos, CD-ROMs and picture books for children with special needs.
Special Needs Education Network
A Web site created under the auspices of the SchoolNet project, a cooperative initiative of
Canada's provincial, territorial, and federal governments, in consultation with educators,
universities, colleges and industry; it provides Internet services specific to parents, teachers,
schools, and other professionals, individuals, groups, and organizations involved in the
education of students with special needs.
Special Olympics International
The official Web site of the Special Olympics International.
Special Olympics Wisconsin
Special Olympics Wisconsin is a statewide organization providing persons with cognitive
disabilities year-round sports training and competition. With seven Area offices throughout
the state, Special Olympics Wisconsin serves over 8,000 athletes in nearly 230 communities
Travel and Recreation for People with Special Needs.
Sullivan County Community Resource Center
A chapter of nysarc, inc. formerly the NYS Association for Retarded Citizens--for people
with developmental disabilities and mental retardation and their families, Sullivan County
Monticello, New York.
Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation
The WWW page of the Texas governmental agency whose mission is to "offer an array of
services which respond to the needs of people with mental illness and mental retardation and
which enable them to make choices that result in lives of dignity and increased
Trace Research and Development Center
The Trace Center was formed in 1971 to address the communication needs of people who are
non-speaking and have severe disabilities. Since then, the center has expanded its scope to
cover "communication" in a broader sense.
UCLA's Mental Retardation Research Center
A center devoted to the acquisition of new knowledge on mental retardation and related
aspects of human development and the training of research personnel.
Located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of 14 national centers dedicated to the
advancement of knowledge about human development and developmental disabilities.
"With A Little Help From My Friends..."
A series on contemporary supports to people with mental retardation from the President's
Committee on Mental Retardation (PCMR)
Wyoming Division of Developmental Disabilities
Responsible for the Wyoming State Training School in Lander, Wyoming, as well as
extensive preschool services, early intervention services, children's home and community-
based services, adult home and community-based waiver services throughout Wyoming.
YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities
A not-for-profit health and human services agency in New York state.