Learning Disorders


Special Education

Treatment Summary: In any or all of the many articles reviewed regarding any specific learning disorder the treatment, in one fashion or another, comes down to the educational instruction the children with the Learning Disorders (LD) were receiving. The goal of the special education programs is to teach those living with these disabilities to achieve competencies and goals in spite of the disabilities. Oftentimes, many of the articles on the topic of learning disorders were not discussing interventions for the disorders, but rather assessments of the educational programs teaching these children to cope.

  • Reference: Nelson, Jason M.; Manset-Williamson, Genevieve (2006). The Impact of explicit, self-regulatory reading comprehension strategy instruction on the reading-specific self-efficacy, attributions, and affect of students with reading disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 29 (3), 213-230.
  • Submitter: Michael W. Baumann

Humanistic Group Therapy (HGT)

Treatment Summary: HGT was used in three phases on elementary children with LD to reduce negative emotions through the development of behavior changing and personal insight. Children involved in the study were diagnosed with LD for either a reading or math deficit. Phase I (Sessions 1-6) focused on building group cohesiveness and understanding a shared emotional language. Phase II (Sessions 7-13) children shared personal difficulties and supported one another. Phase III (Sessions 14-15) the students made goals for their future. Techniques used during these phases are The Emotional Clock, used to help build an understanding of emotions, and bibliotherapy, used to relate their personal emotions to literary characters experiencing similar emotions. Due to the link between emotional and scholastic functioning, HGT was more effective in treating children with LD than Academic Assistance and Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy. Children with LD who received HGT had better academic and psychosocial scores and made more gains at the posttreatment follow-up.

  • Reference: Shechtman, Z., & Pastor, R. (2005). Cognitive-Behavioral and Humanistic Group Treatment for Children With Learning Disabilities: A Comparison of Outcomes and Process. Journal Of Counseling Psychology, 52(3), 322-336. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.52.3.322
  • Submitter: Whitney Weaver

Academic Remediation

Treatment Summary: A learning disability is a neurological disorder that interferes with the way a child's brain receives and processes information. For learning to take place there are a series of functions that must be adequately performed by the brain. This process involves many steps including: Gathering information from the senses, accurately processing that information, comparing this information to previously held knowledge, discarding irrelevant information, organizing the information, storing the information, accessing this information at a later time, and demonstrating by performance that the information was understood. People with learning disorders may need a more "hands on" approach to learning experiences. They may need to demonstrate mastery of a subject through verbal answers versus a pencil-and-paper task. It does not mean the information was not learned or needed to be watered down. It simply means that the person needs to demonstrate the mastery of the material in another way, such as through oral testing, dioramas, or a multimedia presentation. Limit or eliminate copying Simplify worksheets to uncluttered the visual space. Use graph paper for math to help with visual spacing. Place emphasis on verbal learning. Use concrete versus abstract examples. Have a structured learning environment with warnings prior to transitioning. Use visual cues and repetition to help with sound formation. Provide specialized multisensory structured language instruction. Extend time on reading and writing tasks. Allow untimed tests. Reduce work load with emphasis on quality versus quantity. Use colored overlays when reading. Tape record lectures. Provide alternate testing formats such as oral or dictated answers.

  • Reference: Anglada, T. (2011). When Learning is the Problem. Pediatrics for Parents, 1&2(26), 25-27.
  • Submitter: Roderick D. Swanson
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