Tag Archives: learning disabilities

Student Support

As a young adult, there are many things to consider while pursuing an education. You must figure out how to fit the expensive bill of attending an educational institution. Plus, you will need to plan for creating a class schedule and finding the right resources that you need to succeed. Many young students fail to be prepared for important things like health care. Fortunately, student support is offered for all of these items and more. There are many people and resources that are available to help you reach your educational goals. The most important thing is to know what services are offered and how to find them.

Finance is a word that sparks anxiety in many college students. However, the cost of tuition and books should not defer anyone from pursuing an education. School is an investment in your future. For this reason there are multiple organizations that can help you get by. Every educational institution should have a financial aid department. Financial assistance my be available through the school in the form of a scholarship. Also, the federal government, state agencies, and private organizations or individuals may be able to provide for you. Most financial aid departments will have you begin your search for aid with a FAFSA application. This is a lengthy government form that requires your financial information, as well as that of your parents. The application is usually done online and you will want to be prepared with your most current income tax return, as it will ask for some detailed information. However, if you have questions about completing the application, the office of financial assistance is there to help.

When the time comes to select the appropriate classes, you should probably seek the advise of your schools academic adviser. They are a great resource and can help you stay in line for a timely graduation. You will find out exactly what courses are required for your field of study and be instructed on the number of classes you should be able to handle each semester. However, schedule an appointment in advance. Academic advisers become very busy at the start of a new semester.

If you struggle academically because of a learning disability or any other reason, you will want to seek the appropriate organization for assistance. Each state requires student support services for those who are at a disadvantage when it comes to learning. You may be eligible for free tutoring, class room accommodations, or some extra help learning study and organizational skills. Ask your school counselor if you think you may be a candidate for these resources.

Due to the fact that attending an educational institute can be very stressful, young students often find themselves feeling under the weather. Some of them may be far from home or lack appropriate health care coverage. Many schools offer their own health care center. You should contact the Student Insurance office on your campus and look into a policy that ensures you will receive the proper care in the event of an illness or accident. It is required of some schools that you have medical coverage prior to attending.

Get familiar with your campus and know where to go to find help when you need it. Although attending a new educational institution can be an exciting and intimidating experience, help is available if you look around. Student support is offered in a variety of forms and is there for almost any problem you may encounter.

Remediation and What Schools Offer

Remediation by definition is the process in which you correct a fault or a deficiency. In education this term is commonly used in respect to learning disabilities. This is not to say that it only applies to those with big name disabilities but it even applies to the student that struggles in reading and needs extra help. No matter the severity of the need, remediation may help the student succeed.

States really hold all the control on what remedial coursework is offered to students. With the No Child Left Behind Act many states are taking a closer look at their remedial programs and what is offered in an attempt to help students resolve issues that they have in learning. In some schools these attempts are only made for those with reading problems while in other schools they offer remedial help for students struggling in a variety of subjects.
When it comes to remediation at the two year college or four year college time things are controversial. The proponents see the benefits of giving these students a second chance at being ready for college coursework while naysayers believe that this is “double dipping” as far as the funding for such programs.
Statistics show that 45% of those students that took two or more remedial courses graduated with at least an associates degree. Oddly, even with these statistics those students that received federal aid for college were limited to 4% allotted for remedial courses. As a side note, statistics show that those students that were given more challenging college prep coursework in high school were more likely to do better college regardless of their grades in high school.

Special Education Overview

The United States Department of Education has an Office of Special Education Programs to help those individuals from birth to 21 years of age with disabilities. These programs help fund, support and lead the special education efforts in our communities across the country. The need for these programs is on the rise. With increasing awareness of special needs and disabilities as well as learning disabilities we now have more resources than ever to fit the needs of individual students.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities states that:
  • 2.9 million students are currently receiving services in special education for their learning disabilities.
  • Most people with learning disabilities have the disability affect their reading ability.
  • 44 percent of parents that saw warning signs of learning disabilities in their children waited at least a year or more to take the signs seriously.
  • 38 percent of kids with learning disabilities drop out of school.
  • Students with learning disabilities are more at risk for substance abuse due to their lack of self esteem and trouble with their schoolwork.
There are thirteen different reasons (general) that qualify a student for special education services. These are: learning disabilities, autism, brain injury, deaf/blind, speech and language problems, visual impairments, hearing issues, multiple and cross over disabilities, orthopedic problems, mental retardation, serious health issues, behavior disorders (or emotional), and multi-sensory impairment.

Learning Disabilities

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines a learning disability as: “any of various conditions (as dyslexia) that interfere with an individuals ability to learn and so result in impaired functioning in language, reasoning, or academic skills and that are thought to be caused by difficulties in processing and integrating information.”

We find in our society that there are many differing levels of learning disabilities. One person may be severely dyslexic and another may just be mildly dyslexic. This can be said about most learning disabilities. We also know that many people may struggle in learning things but may never be diagnosed with an actual learning disorder.

The key with learning disabilities is to identify them as early in life as possible and then to seek out the right kind of help. The National Institute of Health showed that 67 percent of children who were at risk for reading problems became avid readers when given the right help in the early grades of their education. This is proof of the progress that can be made if parents, teachers, and other caretakers just watch children carefully and try to identify where the child may need extra help.

Here are some signs to look for at different ages so that you may get a child the help that they need:

Preschoolers:

  • trouble relating to friends of the same age
  • has problems pronunciating words clearly
  • vocabulary isn’t growing quickly
  • has fine motor skill difficulties
  • has trouble following directions
  • has trouble with routine
  • is easily distracted or seems “busy” all of the time
  • speaks later than most children his/her age
  • has trouble rhyming words
  • difficulty in learning preschool subjects like shapes, colors, letters, and numbers

Kindergarten to 4th Grade:

  • can’t seem to grasp learning to tell time
  • seems clumsy or accident prone/uncoordinated
  • mixes up number sequences and math symbols
  • depends on memorization and has a hard time with new concepts
  • has difficulty with spelling words (root words, prefixes, suffixes)
  • regularly transposes the same letters (b/d)
  • seems very impulsive, does things haphazardly
  • does not grip pencil or other writing utensils well

5th Grade to 8th Grade:

  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Reverses letters in words
  • Strange pencil grip
  • Does not like and/or has difficulty with handwriting
  • Trouble recalling facts
  • Does not make friends easily
  • Trouble with word problems
  • Has difficulty picking up on other’s body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions

Grade 9 to Adulthood

  • Difficulty spelling, does not seem to show improvement
  • Slow worker
  • Difficulty summarizing stories, concepts or facts
  • Has trouble filling in the blanks
  • Does not grasp abstract concepts
  • Hard time remembering in general
  • Seems not to focus on information details or misreads information

If a parent/teacher or someone close to an individual picks up on these warning signs they can get them the help they need. Teachers are valuable resources as are school counselors and tutors. There are people who specialize in learning disabilities that you can find within your community. Just remember, most of these learning disabilities can be worked with if the individual gets the help that they need. Schools can help you put together an IEP (Individualized Education Program) that will be of great help.