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Guaranteeing Special Education Rights: Individualized Education Plans

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
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Classroom Modifications for Students with Learning Disabilities

When children cannot meet the expectations for behavior it is a frustrating experience for both children and the teacher. Simple changes in the classroom can cut down on the frustration for both students and teachers. Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Learning Disabilities - the specific label put on a disability is not so important. What you should consider is the child’s needs. So, we have included the recommendations here based on the problems children are experiencing in school.

people readingFor children with READING PROBLEMS
Books on tape can accompany the regular text that everyone else is reading. Books on tape can be ordered through the North Dakota State Library at no charge .

For children with WRITING PROBLEMS
Word processors can be used by children who have difficulty writing. These can help find spelling and grammar errors and also are useful for children with fine motor problems who have difficulty with writing.

Use a tape recorder. The teacher may accept a taped report instead of a written one. Another alternative is for the student to tape record his ideas and then type up the paper or write it from what is on the tape. Tape recorders can be used to help the student get his thoughts organized. Some people with learning disabilities have trouble thinking of what they want to say at the same time as the physical act of writing it down. This lets them separate the two tasks.

The term for people who have learning disabilities that affect writing is dysgraphia. Click here for a newsletter by Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. with an article with more on how to help students with dysgraphia.

chandelierWhen my daughter, Jennifer was three years old, she literally swung from the chandelier. She would push a chair out from the table, climb up on the chair, climb up on the table, jump up and swing from the chandelier. Since chandeliers are made to look pretty, hang from the ceiling and give light to your room, and NOT to be used as playground equipment by a toddler, I was not very happy about this situation. I mentioned it to a professor at the university where I was in graduate school at the time. She was quite alarmed. She told me that this was clearly a sign of Attention Deficit Disorder, that she knew some people who ran a special program for preschoolers with ADD and she offered, very kindly, to ask them to move Jennifer up on the waiting list and admit her immediately as a special favor. I told her not to worry about it, that it was not a problem. She stared at me in disbelief and asked, “How can you say it is no longer a problem?”
I told her, “I moved the table. Now she can’t reach the chandelier.”

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