Youths are generally faced with the problem of adjusting to the environment they find themselves. As a result of these problems, they tend to be so different and dynamic, seeing the elderly too old to understand them and seeing the children too young and childish to understand them. one of the problems faced by youths and adolescence is learning disabilities.
Research have shown that their cant be an acceptable definition of leaving disabilities but scholar inn the field have been able to come up with different definitions of learning disabilities.
Public law 94-142, the learning disabilities act of 1969 (United States Office of Education USEO, August 1977). It thus reads Learning disabilities means a disorder in one or more basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language spoken or written which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations. the term includes such condition as perpetual handicaps, brain injury in minimal, brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. the term does not include people who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps or mental retardation or of environment, cultural or economic disadvantage.
Classification of Learning Disabilities.
- Perceptual motor deficits- inability to integrate perception with motor activities. Apraxia is a term used to describe motor problems and they are Laterality and directionality, balance, eye hand coordination and motor coordination.
- Attention deficits: this includes alertness, stimulus selection, focus, and vigilance.
- Behavioral deficit: this includes attention, stimulus response, order, exploration, social response.
- Language disorder: this includes Aphasia. In children it represents lack of language development while in adult it is associated with the loss of ability to speak often caused by cerebrovascular accident or brain stroke. Types of Aphasia includes
- Receptive Aphasia: inability in comprehending spoken English Expressive Aphasia: inability to make request and express ideas
- Mixed Aphasia: combines both problems of comprehension and expression.
- Central Aphasia: inability to think and deal with abstract concepts
- Dyslexia: This refers to inability to read which is almost synonymous with the word Blindness e.g. seeing Dog as God or was as saw. Types of Dyslexia include:
- Auditory dyslexia: inability to adequately process auditory information
- Visual dyslexia: inability to comprehend visual stimuli
- Receptive dyslexia: being unable to comprehend what you are reading
- Dysgraphia: inability to write properly
Causes of Learning Disorder
- Genetic factor
- Peri-natal factor
- Post-natal factor
- Infections and brain abscess
- Malnutrition: iodine deficiency (cretinism), protein deficiency (kwashiorkor), vitamin A and B deficiency
If one is suffering from any learning disability, identified above are steps in getting such individual back to a normal self. These includes
- Identify the problem
- Consult a counselor
- Improve on areas where he/she predicts improvement
- In case of dyslexia consult a doctor
Educational Programme for the Learning Disability
- Resource room services where the child goes for some supplementary services to remedy some specific deficiencies
- Consultative services: teachers or instructors receive advice from a special educational teacher on how to deal with a learning child.
- Special class placement
- Clinical services e.g. (doctors, pharmacists)
- Internet services (from specially learning disability trained teachers)
Characteristics of Learning Disability
- Hyper activity, restless, fidgety, aimless activity, random movement, unable to sit still e.t.c
- Perceptual motor impairment. It may include disorder of auditory visual, tactile or kinetic perception which may result in less academic problems.
- General coordination deficits (clumsiness). This is the inability to properly access position in space, balance or birth
Note: Learning Disability is different from mental retardation because the later has to do with the inability of the brain to develop more than a certain stage while learning disability is just an imperfection in learning.
Individuals with either learning disability or are mentally retarded should be taken care of, loved by everyone and helped to cope with life. Although the acceptability and how to cope with individuals with these problems varies with regions of the world due to our different levels of understanding. We should try as much as possible to study individuals with lack of success in learning things and not discriminate against them for their inability to learn.
Chalfant K and King T (1997) An introduction to learning disabilities. New York: Houghton Miffilin
This work is credited to
Obajemu A. Solomon
Obajemu A. Solomon
An Educationist and Aspiring Psycologist
Primary Education Science
University of Ilorin