Learning Disabilities: Glossary of Some Important Terms
Accommodations. Techniques and materials that allow individuals with LD to complete school or work tasks with greater ease and effectiveness. Examples include spellcheckers, tape recorders, and expanded time for completing assignments.
Assistive Technology. 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. Also called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Brain Imaging Techniques. Recently developed, noninvasive techniques for studying the activity of living brains. Includes brain electrical activity mapping (BEAM), computerized axial tomography (CAT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
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.
Developmental Aphasia. A severe language disorder that is presumed to be due to brain injury rather than because of a developmental delay in the normal acquisition of language.
Direct Instruction. 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 age-appropriate speed.
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 written language.
Dyspraxia. A severe difficulty in performing drawing, writing, buttoning, and other tasks requiring fine motor skill, or in sequencing the necessary movements.
Learned Helplessness. A tendency to be a passive learner who depends on others for decisions and guidance. In individuals with LD, continued struggle and failure can heighten this lack of self-confidence.
Learning Modalities. Approaches to assessment or instruction stressing the auditory, visual, or tactile avenues for learning that are dependent upon the individual.
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 subject.
Reprinted with the permission of the Education Resources Information Center.
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