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Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are learning differences that affect an individual's ability to process oral or written information. The most common type of learning disability is reading disability. Limited English proficiency can complicate identification and intervention for English language learners with learning disabilities. The articles below offer excellent information that both teachers and parents can use to support their ELLs with learning disabilities.

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Language-Based Learning Disability: What to Know

Language-based learning disabilities (LBLD) encompass a spectrum of cognitive and behavioral differences in processing, comprehending, and using language. Students with LBLD commonly experience difficulties with listening, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, math, organization, attention, memory, social skills, perseverance, and self-regulation. However, a teaching style that is specialized and structured enables students with LBLD to succeed. Learn the essential facts about how to foster the strengths of students with LBLD in this article.

When ELLs Struggle: Recognizing the Signs

When working with struggling English language learners (ELLs), it's important to note that there are similarities among linguistic, cultural, and learning disability explanations for behaviors demonstrated by ELLs. This article can be used as a starting point for conversations regarding diverse learners who are struggling.

RTI and ELLs: A System of Support to Ensure Success

Alan Matan is the Department Chairman for ELL and Foreign Languages at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Illinois. In this article written for Colorín Colorado, he explains the process by which his team created and implemented an RtI model designed to meet the needs of long-term ELLs

American Sign Language/English Bilingual and Early Childhood Education

Learn about American Sign Language (ASL)/English bilingual programs to support the acquisition, learning, and use of ASL and English to meet the needs of diverse learners who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Asking the Right Questions

Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision

Thanks to advances in imaging techniques and scientific inquiry, we now know much more about learning disabilities (LD), dyslexia, and the role of vision problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Council on Children with Disabilities, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology published a joint statement that summarizes what is currently known about visual problems and dyslexia. The statement also covers what treatments are and are not recommended when diagnosing and treating vision problems, learning disabilities, and dyslexia.

Does My Preschooler Have Delayed Development?

Parents and caregivers want the very best for their children, and therefore are often the first to notice and to worry when they suspect their child may be showing signs of delayed development. Get answers and advice with this easy-to-understand information about developmental delays.

How to Help Your Child with LD Have a Happy Holiday

The holiday season is a time for family togetherness, fun, and friendship. But children who struggle with social and behavioral problems can feel lonely and excluded during this happy time. This article gives you a dozen ways to help your child join the fun.

Handwriting: What's Normal, What's Not

This article lists some milestones to look for as your child's handwriting skills begin to develop. The article also describes some signs and symptoms of dysgraphia, a learning disability that affects a child's handwriting and ability to hold a pen, pencil, or crayon.

10 Steps for Parents: If Your Child Has a Learning Disability

If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability, there are many things you can do to support him. Here are 10 ideas to get you started!

How does the special education system work in the United States?

This article offers parents an introduction to the special education system in the U.S., and provides a brief overview of the IDEA law mandating special education services.

What is an IEP meeting and who can request one?

This article offers an introduction to the Individual Education Program (IEP) and discusses parent participation in the creation of an IEP.

Learning Disabilities: An Introduction for Parents

This article provides parents with a basic introduction to what learning disabilities are, and how they are identified. It also provides a list of steps that parents can take if they suspect that their child has a learning disability.

Do you suspect that your child has a reading difficulty or learning disability?

This article offers suggestions of steps parents can take if they suspect their child has a learning disability, and provides an introduction to the process of conducting an evaluation.

At Risk Students and the Study of Foreign Language in Schools

Studying a foreign language can be especially challenging for kids with oral and/or written language learning disabilities. The International Dyslexia Association looks at the kinds of problems students with both moderate and severe LD might manifest in foreign language classes, and lists some approaches teachers can employ to assist these learners.

Library Services for Children with Special Needs

Libraries offer a wide range of services for individuals with special needs. This article details some of the services that may be available for children and adults with learning or intellectual disabilities, who are blind or deaf, and gifted and talented children. If you aren't sure what your library offers, ask the librarian for assistance.

How to Address Special Education Needs in the ELL Classroom

When an ELL student is struggling with language difficulties, it is often difficult to know if the problem is due to a delay in language acquisition, to a learning disability, to other kinds of special education needs, or a combination of these factors. This month's article presents an overview of practical guidelines on the steps to follow when considering if a student has special education needs, including academic interventions, factors affecting referral for assessment, and a number of related resources.

Communication Strategies for All Classrooms: Focusing on English Language Learners and Students with Learning Disabilities

Concrete suggestions for teachers who want to communicate well with all of their students, especially English language learners and students with learning disabilities.

School Issues and Program Information

All schools are held to certain standards based on federal and state laws. This article discusses some of obligations stated in The No Child Left Behind Act, which includes mandatory testing. It also describes the different programs available to English Language Learners and students with disabilities, as well as vocational and college preparatory programs.

How To Know When Your Child Needs Extra Help

Children learn differently and at different rates. Some kids need extra time, especially if they're also learning a second language.

Where to Go for Help

What should you do if you think your child is having a reading problem?

Recognizing Reading Problems

Learning to read is a challenge for many kids, but most can become good readers if they get the right help. Parents have an important job in recognizing when a child is struggling and knowing how to find help. Here are some signs to look for and things to do if you suspect your child is having trouble reading.

Reasons for the Misidentification of Special Needs among ELLs

Some Myths Regarding ELLs and Special Education

A Word Beginning with "T": Maestra

In this excerpt from Special Education Considerations for English Language Learners, a bilingual coordinator shares an experience which highlights the importance of collaborating with bilingual staff when concerns about ELLs arise.

Bilingual Special Education

Learning Disabilities in English Language Learners

Children with learning disabilities (LDs) in reading and youngsters who are English language learners (ELLs) both are at risk for low reading achievement, but for different reasons. Children with genuine LDs in reading have intrinsic learning difficulties or differences, often related to problems in phonological processing that impact their word identification skills. ELLs usually can learn to read normally in their native language, but they lack sufficient exposure to both spoken and written English, which can adversely affect their development of English literacy. When both situations coexist for the same youngster---when a child with a learning disability happens also to be an English language learner---the issues surrounding identification and remediation can be very complex.

Learning Disabilities in English Language Learners

For English language learners, proper identification of learning disabilities can be crucial to success. The author offers practical tips for identifying learning disabilities and developing appropriate accommodations.

What Is Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing abilities. Learn the warning signs and strategies that can help. There are techniques for teaching and accommodating early writers, young students, or help yourself if you struggle with dysgraphia.

What's 'Normal,' What's Not: Acquiring English as a Second Language

How can you tell when a student has a language-learning disability and when he or she is merely in the normal process of acquiring a second language?

Improving Mathematics Problem Solving Skills for English language learners with Learning Disabilities

Improving Mathematics Problem Solving Skills for English Language Learners with Learning Disabilities

Find ways to help English language learners with learning disabilities who are struggling in math. Strategies for working through mathematical problems, questioning, and assessment are included.

Disproportionate Representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education: Measuring the Problem

Criando Estudiantes de Postsecundaria con Discapacidades: Convirtiéndose en el Mentor, Abogado* y Guía que su Hijo Necesita

English Language Learners with Special Needs: Effective Instructional Strategies

Students struggle in school for a variety of reasons. Unless these students receive appropriate intervention, they will continue to struggle, and the gap between their achievement and that of their peers will widen over time.

What Are Learning Disabilities?

As parents you are familiar with the term learning disability. Yet, it seems that there are so many types, and each educator or other professional you work with uses different terms or ways to describe your son or daughter. The following outline might be helpful in putting these terms and concepts in perspective.

¿Qué son las discapacidades de aprendizaje?

Como padre, puede que está familiarizado con el término "impedimentos del aprendizaje". Aún así, parece que hay demasiados tipos, y cada maestro o profesional que trabaja con usted tiene diferentes términos o maneras de describir a su hijo o hija. La siguiente discusión puede ayudarle a poner estos términos y conceptos en perspectiva.

Bilingual Students With Disabilities Get Special Help

There are many children who are eligible for both special education and English as a Second Language instruction, but few models exist for how to serve these children well. Learn about a program in Clark County, Nevada in which dually trained teachers provide overlapping instruction to meet both these needs.

Early Reading Intervention for English Language Learners At-Risk for Learning Disabilities: Student and Teacher Outcomes in an Urban School

This study follows a group of teachers implementing an early reading intervention program with students at-risk for learning disabilities, most of whom were also English language learners.

Common Signs of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. This article provides a list of common signs of dyslexia.

Foreign Language Learning and Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities and Foreign Language Learning

Mathematics For Students with Learning Disabilities from Language-Minority Backgrounds: Recommendations for Teaching

A Guide to Learning Disabilities for the ESL Classroom Practitioner

In an ESL classroom, the challenges of learning English can mask a student's own challenges to learn. By understanding the four categories of difficulties for LD students, the instructor can distinguish LD behavior patterns from standard ESL challenges. Find out more about them, as well as fifteen learning strategies can easily be implemented into the classroom and help all students.

A Guide to Learning Disabilities for the ESL Classroom Practitioner

It is estimated that in the United States, 15% of the general population has a learning disability. It is possible that many of the ESL students whom we view as poor language learners are struggling because they too have a learning disability.