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Lindsey Blas-Brown

Specific Learning Disabilities

Disability-Specific Characteristic Matrix


Directions: Use a variety of resources to find and create lists of the common characteristics of students with each of these six disabilities.
Academic
Characteristics
Scores indicate inconsistency
and great variability between
expectancy and performance
Short attention span; unable to
concentrate on any one task
for very long
Easily distracted by irrelevant
stimuli
Disorganized in the use of books
and materials
Unable to follow and understand
class discussion; appears to be
inattentive or daydreaming
Difficulty understanding
meaning of time and fails to
comprehend the requirements
of completing assignments
within a certain time frame

Behavioral
Characteristics
Hyperactivity, constant motion,
inability to attend to a specific task
for a required period of time
Emotional lability: easily upset,
anxious, low frustration threshold
Impulsivity: uninhibited, acts without
thinking
Distractibility: difficulty in attending
to dominate stimuli
Perseveration: attention becomes
fixed upon a single task, which is
repeated over and over
May frequently demonstrate an
inability to assimilate, store or
recall visual and/or auditory stimuli
May frequently disrupt the classroom,
demand attention to an
inappropriate degree, speak out of
turn or exhibit an inability to
control responses
May disregard or fail to understand
the feelings of others
May demonstrate a low tolerance for
change, may react inappropriately
to stimuli
May lack self-sufficiency, seldom
initiates appropriate activities
Has difficulty interpreting emotions,
attitudes and intentions others
communicate nonverbally

Social
Strengths
Characteristics
Difficulty with:
Material or spatial reasoning:
Acceptance by peers
heightened ability to solve
problems with navigation, or
Difficulty making friends
with the visualization of faces,
Being seen by peers as
scenes, and objects. This skill
overly dependent
can be useful for designers,
Being less likely to become
engineers, filmmakers or
leaders
photographers
Resolving conflict
Interconnectedness: verbal
Managing frustrations
reasoning capacity to connect
Initiating or joining a
seemingly-disconnected ideas
conversation or play
(finding analogies, etc.).
activities
Narrative reasoning: great
Listening
memory for personal
Demonstrating empathy
experiences. Dynamic
reasoning: ability to reason in
Maintaining a friendship
novel situations
Working in groups
Misread social cues
Misinterpret the feelings of
others
Not know when they are
bothering others
Be unaware of the effect of
their behavior on someone
else

Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Low to average
intellectual ability
Lowest GPAs and highest
dropout rate
Many students
with EBD also
show comorbid or
additional disabilities
An inability to build or
maintain satisfactory
interpersonal
relationships with peers
and teachers.
Learning problems cant
be explained by
intellectual, sensory, or
health factors -slow to
adopt change
-withdrawing from new
stimuli
Development of physical
symptoms or fears
related to school or
personal problems
School absences due to
anxiety related health
complications: ulcers,
diarrhea, abdominal
Academic Characteristics

Internalizing vs. Externalizing Hard to establish and


May be highly intelligent
Behaviors
maintain peer and adult
trying to educate the
relationships
Same emotions and behaviors
student in the classroom
typical students have, but Lack of social skills and
with supplemental
are more intense and more
appropriateness
therapeutic treatment
often.
irrational fear of everyday
Treatment that focuses on
Fears and Anxieties
situations
individual strength had
associated with coming to Many students with
greatest results
school
emotional disturbance are
Might have Anger with
at great risk for substance
externalizing behaviors and
abuse disorders
aggression
difficulty in initiating and
Might be depressed,
maintaining interpersonal
internalizing behaviors
relationships
reactions not appropriate to effects of the disorder can be
circumstances
caused by neglect
pervasive unhappiness or
may be overprotected or
depression
reject because of the
disorder
more likely to occur in males
at greater risk of abuse
than females
showing negative mood
overly shy
showing biological
irregularity
high level of expressiveness
ability to interact with
environment -anxiety
Behavioral Characteristics

Social Characteristics

Strengths

Communication Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder


Speech / Language

Fidget and squirm


Get out of chairs inappropriately
Blurt out answers
Interrupt
Have trouble waiting
Have trouble playing quietly
Often leaves his or her seat in
situations where sitting quietly is
expected
Moves around constantly, often
runs or climbs inappropriately
Talks excessively
Has difficulty playing quietly or
relaxing
Difficulty with
Demonstrate behavior
communicating to learn
problems: hyperactivity,
-difficulty in learning to read
inattention, immaturity,
social withdrawal,
Speech disorders include
dependency
articulation : process of
Behavior problems may be
producing vowels and
secondary to language
consonants that result in
disorder
meaningful language
Passive in communication
Voice (production of the
frequency and intensity of
speech sounds that is
atypical of sex, physical
maturity, and age resulting
in disorders of phonation

does not pay close attention


to details
cant stay focused on play or
school work
doesnt follow through on
instructions or finish school
work or chores
cant seem to organize tasks
and activities
get distracted easily
Lose things such as toys,
school work, and books

Academic
Characteristics

Behavioral
Characteristics

Children with ADHD may:


May include:

behave
Good at math
aggressively
Read well

be rejected by
Artistic
peers
Good gross motor skill

have poor
Good computer skills
conversational skills
Good memory

have trouble using


Helpful
conversational skills in
social situations
Kind to others

become frustrated
Loves outdoor
or angry more easily than
activities
other children
Good with animals

be anxious or
Variety of interests,
Less likely to initiate a
Resourceful
Hardworking
conversation
Can be very intelligent
Difficulty communicating
and express themselves
with others
Adults encounter social
using other means
problems as adults because
when necessary
they do not outgrow
language-learning
disorders
Difficulty keeping up with
peers, difficulty attending
group lessons, difficulty
with organization

Social
Characteristics

Strengths

High-functioning Autism

Difficulty adjusting to changes in


routine or to familiar surroundings
Difficulty transitioning from one
activity to another in school.
Difficulty with fine motor
activities (e.g., coloring, printing,
using scissors, gluing).
Difficulty with reading
comprehension (e.g., can quote an
answer, but unable to predict,
summarize or find symbolism).
Excellent rote memory in some
areas.
Exceptionally high skills in some
areas and very low in others.
Resistance or inability to follow
directions.
Short attention span for most
lessons.

Causes injury to self


Difficulty attending to some
tasks.
Difficulty sensing time Difficulty
transferring skills from one area to
another.
Difficulty waiting for their turn
Extreme fear for no apparent
reason.
Fascination with rotation.
Feels the need to fix or rearrange
things.
Fine motor skills are
developmentally behind peers
(e.g., hand writing, tying shoes,
using scissors, etc.).
Frustration is expressed in
unusual ways.
Gross motor skills are
developmentally behind peers
Inability to perceive potentially
dangerous situations.
Many and varied collections.
Obsessions with objects, ideas or
desires.
Perfectionism in certain areas.
Play is often repetitive.
Quotes movies or video games.
Ritualistic or compulsive
behavior patterns
Unexpected movements (e.g.,
running out into the street).
Unusual attachment to objects.
Verbal outbursts.

Difficulty maintaining
friendships.
Difficulty reading facial
expressions and body language.
Difficulty understanding group
interactions.
Difficulty understanding jokes,
figures of speech or sarcasm.
Difficulty understanding the rules
of conversation.
Finds it easier to socialize with
people that are older or younger,
rather than peers of their own age.
Gives spontaneous comments
which seem to have no connection
to the current conversation.
Makes honest, but inappropriate
observations.
Overly trusting or unable to read
the motives behinds peoples
actions.
Prefers to be alone, aloft or
overly-friendly.
Resistance to being held or
touched.
Seems unable to understand
anothers feelings.
Talks excessively about one or
two topics (e.g., dinosaurs,
movies, etc.).
Lack of personal space).
Unaware of/disinterested in what
is going on around them.
Very little or no eye contact.

an stick to routines
are able to forgive others
are accepting of others
are gentle
are honest
are not bullies, con artists, or
social manipulators
are not inclined to steal
are perfectly capable of
entertaining themselves
are smart, they study hard, and
they respect authority
are talented
can make amazingly loyal
friends...
dont discriminate against
anyone based on race, gender, or
age...
dont launch unprovoked attacks,
verbal or otherwise
don't play head games, and dont
take advantage of others
weaknesses
enjoy their own company, and
can spend time alone
have a child-like innocence, an
exceptional memory, and have
no interest in harming others
notice fine details that others
miss
prefer talking about significant
things that will enhance their
knowledge-base, rather than
engaging in chit chat

Other Health Impairments &

Blind / Visually Impaired Visual Impairment

Orthopedic Impairments (skeletal &

May have decreased ability to


participate in classroom activities.
May sense themselves as
inferior to others in the
classroom
May take on learned
helplessness as a result of their
impairment
Limited alertness, strength or
vitality
Fatigue
Issues involving attention
Muscle weakness
Frequent and sometime
lengthy absences or
lateness to school
Stamina

loss of sense of control


fear, worry, anxiety, stress,
anger, and guilt
medical noncompliance
Coordination difficulties
Common for the physically
disabled child to use a
nonverbal/argumentative
communication system
The severity, visibility, and age
acquisition of a physical disability
or health impairment affect a
childs development and behavior.
May exert a great deal of energy
to accomplish small tasks

May be ostracized by other


students
isolation
depression
Characterized as passive less
persistent, having a shorter
attention span, engaging in less
exploration, and displaying less
motivation and less self-esteem
More dependent on adults and to
interact less with their peers
Programs serving these students
must consider ways to socialize
the student
Parents and teachers need to
facilitate independence and build
self-esteem

May exhibit increased sensitivity


to others with other health
impairments
*Can be placed in the mainstream
of public schoolsemphasis on
returning them to school as soon as
possible
Support team of teachers, medical
professionals, and parents allow
families to more easily adjust to the
demands of raising a child with
these impairments
Can acquire better usage of other
parts of the body, can be an
inspiration to others.
May want to be very involved in
class and share their opinion