- Techniques and materials that allow individuals with LD/ADHD to complete
school or work tasks with greater ease and effectiveness. Examples
include spellcheckers and tape recorders. Accommodations may also be
instructional, such as adjusting the reading level or allowing for open
book tests, or changing grading requirements. (See also Modifications)
- Equipment that enhances the ability of students and employees to be
more efficient and successful. For individuals with LD, computer
grammar checkers, an overhead projector used by a teacher, or the audiovisual
information delivered through a CD-ROM would be typical examples.
Attention Deficit Disorder
(ADD) - A severe difficulty in focusing and maintaining attention.
Often leads to learning and behavior problems at home, school, and work.
The psychiatric diagnosis is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
(ADHD) Predominantly Inattentive, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive,
or Combined Type.
Brain Injury - The
physical damage to brain tissue or structure that occurs before, during,
or after birth that is verified by EEG, MRI, CAT, or a similar examination,
rather than by observation of performance. When caused by an accident,
the damage may be called Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Collaboration - A
program model in which the LD teacher demonstrates for or team teaches
with the general classroom teacher to help a student with LD be successful
in a regular classroom.
- A severe language disorder that is presumed to be due to brain injury
rather than because of a developmental delay in the normal acquisition
- An instructional approach to academic subjects that emphasizes the
use of carefully sequenced steps that include demonstration, modeling,
guided practice, and independent application.
Dyscalculia - A severe
difficulty in understanding and using symbols or functions needed for
success in mathematics.
Dysgraphia - A severe
difficulty in producing handwriting that is legible and written at an
Dyslexia - A severe
difficulty in understanding or using one or more areas of language,
including listening, speaking, reading, writing, and spelling.
Dysnomia - A marked
difficulty in remembering names or recalling words needed for oral or
Dyspraxia - A severe
difficulty in performing drawing, writing, buttoning, and other tasks
requiring fine motor skill, or in sequencing the necessary movements
(ED) A reference to emotional problems which interfere with
a childs ability to learn in school. The term includes problems
with interpersonal relationships, inappropriate types of behaviors,
and depression, as well as physical symptoms or fears associated with
personal or school problems..
An umbrella term referring to a number of cognitive functions
associated with goal directed behavior. The term is thought to refer
to prefrontal brain functions, including things like set maintenance,
selective attention, working memory, and inhibitory control. Problems
with executive function overlap a number of childhood diagnoses, including
LD and ADHD, as well as high functioning autism.
FAPE (Free and appropriate
Public Education) The public school system has the responsibility
for educating every child, and for addressing the learning factors which
interfere with that education.
IDEA (Individuals with
Disabilities Act) A federal special education law safeguarding
the delivery of services to individuals with disabilities through the
public school system.
IEP (Individual Educational
Plan) A process of assessment through which the public school
system evaluates a students school problems (academic and behavioral)
and makes recommendations for intervention. The term includes the meeting
at which school professionals and parents gather to discuss eligibility
for special services and agree on interventions.
An individual who is employed to travel with the student for all or
part of the school day to assure that they participate appropriately
in the general education classroom, so they are not disruptive to others
and gain learning opportunities for themselves.
IQ (Intelligence Quotient)
The standard score provided by an intellectual test, and thought
to represent the general level at which a student functions, and to
reflect the general rate at which they may learn in class. This is a
controversial concept, and does not reflect "innate ability,"
but only functioning at a particular point in time and on a particular
(Or Language-Based Learning Disability) - A learning problem in
which a primary language disorder impacts the acquisition of language
arts (or the language aspect of other subjects such as word problems
in math), while skills in the other areas are age-appropriate.
Learning Modalities - Approaches to assessment or instruction
stressing the auditory, visual, or tactile avenues for learning that
are dependent upon the
Learning Strategy Approaches
- Instructional approaches that focus on efficient ways to learn, rather
than on curriculum. Includes specific techniques for organizing, actively
interacting with material, memorizing, and monitoring any content or
Learning Styles -
Approaches to assessment or instruction emphasizing the variations in
temperament, attitude, and preferred manner of tackling a task. Typically
considered are styles along the active/passive, reflective/impulsive,
or verbal/spatial dimensions.
- Instructional approaches emphasizing awareness of the cognitive processes
that facilitate one's own learning and its application to academic and
work assignments. Typical metacognitive techniques include systematic
rehearsal of steps or conscious selection among strategies for completing
Minimal Brain Dysfunction
(MBD) - A medical and psychological term originally used to refer
to the learning difficulties that seemed to result from identified or
presumed damage to the brain. Reflects a medical, rather than educational
or vocational orientation.
A strategy for impacting learning by changing the presentation of material
(e.g. reading material to a child instead of having them read it themselves),
aspects of the environment (e.g. going to different room or using a
reading carrel), or time demands (e.g. increasing allowed time or segmenting
the test/assignment into periods). (See also Accommodations.)
- An instructional approach that combines auditory, visual, and tactile
elements into a learning task. Tracing sandpaper numbers while saying
a number fact aloud would be a multisensory learning activity.
- A series of tasks that allow observation of performance that is presumed
to be related to the intactness of brain function. They usually include
tests of intellectual function as well as information processing.
- Difficulty in accurately processing, organizing, and discriminating
among visual, auditory, or tactile information. A person with a perceptual
handicap may say that "cap/cup" sound the same or that "b"
and "d" look the same. However, glasses or hearing aids do
not necessarily indicate a perceptual handicap.
- A procedure in which special and regular teachers develop trial strategies
to help a student showing difficulty in learning remain in the regular
Resource Program -
A program model in which a student eligible for special education services
is in a regular classroom for most of each day, but also receives regularly
scheduled services in a specialized resource classroom.
Self-Advocacy - The
development of specific skills and understandings that enable children
and adults to explain their specific learning disabilities to others
and cope positively with the attitudes of peers, parents, teachers,
A therapeutic approach which emphasizes the systematic utilization
of proprioceptive, tactile, visual, and motor experience and function
in order to increase basic skills and perceptual tolerance.
Specific Language Impairment
(SLI) A severe difficulty in some aspect of listening, speaking,
reading, writing, or spelling, while skills in other areas are age-appropriate.
Also called Specific Language Learning Disability.
Specific Learning Disability
(SLD) - The official term used in federal legislation to refer to
difficulty in certain areas of learning, rather than in all areas of
learning. Synonymous with learning disabilities (LD). The term covers
disabilities in listening, speaking, reading, mathematics, and writing.
Special Educational Services
Educational services accessed through the IEP process, and provided
on an individual (such as resource) or group (such as special class)
SST (Student Study Team)
A school group (usually including the students teacher
and other professionals involved in their program) which meets to assess
the students progress and formulate strategies for helping the
student in school.
Transition - Commonly
used to refer to the change from secondary school to postsecondary programs,
work, and independent living typical of young adults. Also used to describe
other periods of major change such as from early childhood to school,
from one school setting/level to another, or from more specialized to