What is Dyscalculia?
Dyscalculia is defined as a learning disability specifically in math and numbers including the inability to understand the concept of numbers and applying math principles to solve problems. The following are signs and symptoms of dyscalculia:
- Difficulty in counting backwards
- Difficulty in recalling facts
- Slow in performing calculations
- Difficulty with subtractions
- Difficulty using finger counting
- Difficulty with the multiplication table
- Poor mental math skills
- Difficulty with understanding the concept of time
- May show signs of anxiety when conducting math activities
- May have a poor sense of direction (i.e. north, south, east, west)
Early signs of dyscalculia include:
- Delays in learning how to count
- Delays in recalling facts
- Difficulty with time
- Displays a poor memory
- May lose track when counting
- Difficulty sorting items by groups include color, shape, texture and size.
Students with diagnosed with ADHD qualify for accommodations in the classroom. Here are a few resources:
Accommodations for students with dyscalculia– Adventures in Inclusion
Classroom accommodations for dyscalculia– Understood
How to help kids with dyscalculia- Child Mind Institute
How to treat the symptoms of dyscalculia– ADDitude
According to the Tourette Association of America, tics are involuntary, repetitive movement and vocalizations. They are the defining feature of a group of childhood-onset, neurodevelopmental conditions known collectively as Tic disorders and individually as Tourette Syndrome.
Tics are common in childhood. The estimated prevalence of Tourette Syndrome disorder range from 3 to 8 per, 1,000 in school-aged children. Males are more commonly affected than females. Some people may have tic-free periods of weeks to months.
There are three types:
- Motor tics cause a movement including eye blinking, facial grimacing, jaw movements, and head bobbing
- Vocal/phonic tics produce a sound including throat clearing, grunting, hooting, and shouting
- Provisional tic disorders involve a person who experiences involuntary motor and/or verbal tics for one year.
Signs and Symptoms:
- eye blinking
- throat clearing
- facial movement
- shoulder shrugging
- barking or yelping
- repeating what someone else says
Co-Occurring Disorders Include:
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive -Compulsive Disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Behavior problems
- Mood problems
- Sleeping issues
- Social skills and deficits
- Temperamental- it is worsened by anxiety, excitement and exhaustion.
- Environmental- observing a gesture or sound in another person my result in an individual with a tic disorder making a similar sound.
- Genetic- genetics and environmental factor influences tic symptoms.
Cerebral palsy is a motor disorder which results from damage to the brain occurring before, during and after birth. Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood and it is estimated that 1 in 323 individuals have been identified with cerebral palsy.
Since cerebral palsy is the result of damage to the brain, it impacts each person differently ranging from severe to mild symptoms. It is estimated that many children with cerebral palsy also have at least one co-occurring condition. For instance, 41% had co-occurring epilepsy and 40% of children were diagnosed with an intellectual disability.
Teaching strategies should focus on assistive technology, fine and gross motor skills, and personal care. Accommodations and modifications should include providing extra time for task completion.
The following links provide information on teaching strategies.
The definition of orthopedic impairment under IDEA means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s education performance. Causes include:
- birth trauma
- cerebral palsy amputation
There are 3 classifications that an orthopedic impairment can fall under:
- Neuromotor impairment, this would include cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, and seizure disorders
- Degenerative Disease such as muscular dystrophy and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
- Musculoskeletal Disorders including scoliosis and deformed limbs.
Students with orthopedic impairments often qualify for therapy including physical and occupational therapy. assistive technology should be included for accommodating the students needs.
The following links provide resources on teaching assessment, modifications, and teaching information.
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), multiple disabilities refers to simultaneous impairments such as intellectual-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment. The combination of which causes such severe educational needs that cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments, meaning a student has more than one or multiple impairments. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 2.0 percent of students currently are diagnosed with multiple disabilities.
The term multiple disability is a broad term and can include a number of disabilities. For example, a person diagnosed with cerebral palsy may also have a diagnosed of epilepsy, intellectual disability and ADHD. The Center for Parent Information and Resources explains that from the term, your cannot tell how many disabilities a child has, which disabilities are involved or how severe each disabilities are involved or how severe each disability is. It is important to know the following in orde to support the child:
- which individual disabilities are involved;
- how severe (or moderate or mild) each disability is; and
- how each disability can affect learning and daily living.
Support should include the following areas:
- caring for oneself;
- performing manual tasks;
- seeing, hearing, eating, and sleeping;
- walking, standing, lifting, and bending;
- speaking and communicating;
- concentrating and thinking; and
Did you know that Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is considered part of Autism Spectrum?
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) is a condition where a child develops normally and achieves appropriate milestones up to the age of 4 and then begins to regress in both developmental and behavioral milestones and lose the skills they already learned. with a loss o skills plateauing around the age of 10.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is rare. It affects 1.7 in 100,000 and affects males at a higher rate than females. It is also known as Heller’s Syndrome and Disintegrative psychosis. The causes are unknown but may be linked to issues with the brain and nervous systems with some researchers suggesting it is some form of childhood dementia.
First discovered by Dr. Theodor Heller in 1908, Dr. Heller began publishing articles on his observation of children’s medical history in which he reported that in certain cases, children who were developing normally began to reverse at a certain age.
Signs and Symptoms
Children begin to show significant losses of earlier acquired skills in at least two of the following areas:
- Lack of play
- Loss of language or communication skills
- Loss of social skills
- Loss of bladder control
- Lack of motor skills
The following characteristics also appear:
- Social interaction
- Repetitive interests or behaviors
Due to the small number of reported cases, it is included in the broad grouping of autism spectrum disorder in DSM-V under pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Although grouped with the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, there are distinct differences. For example, children with CDD were more likely to be diagnosed with severe intellectual disability, epilepsy and long term impairment of behavior and cognitive functioning.
According to IDEA’s definition, visually impairment is defined as including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. There are 3 types of blindness including The types of vision impairments are low visual acuity, blindness, and legal blindness (which varies for each country): Low visual acuity, also known as moderate visual impairment, is a visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/400 with your best corrected vision, or a visual field of no more than 20 degrees.
The following articles and links provide resources on teaching students with visual impairments.
The following are articles that provide tips and resources on teaching students with visual impairments.
The following links provide activities that can used to teach students with visual impairments.
The following training resources are from the Center for Parent Information and Resources:
Key terms to know in early intervention– Parent Center Hub. 6-page pdf document
Identification of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities– reviews the process by which schools identify that a child has a specific learning disability
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)– the module includes 1 sideshow presentation, trainer’s guide, speakers notes and 2 handouts
Introduction to Procedural Safeguards- Part C of IDEA designed to protect the rights of parents and their infant or toddler.
The basics of early intervention– Includes a 64-page trainer’s guide in PDF or Word format
Material and Resources from the CDC:
Autism Case Training– Web-based continuing education introductory course on autism.
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome-PDF format including resources on the topic
Specific Special Needs Topics:
Getting to know cerebral palsy- training resource in pdf format for facilitators
Supporting the student with Down syndrome in your classroom– created by Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan.
Today is Global Developmental Delay Awareness Day. It is recognized the year on the first Friday during the month of May.
What is Global Developmental Delay (GDD)?
Global Developmental Delay is an umbrella term used when children are significantly delayed in their cognitive and physical development and do not meet their developmental milestones in one or more of the development categories. the diagnoses is often used for children under the age of 5 years who are unable to meet benchmarks in intellectual functioning. It is also used when children are not diagnosed with a specific disorder of disability. There are some cased where children may be identified to have a disability however, the type of disability may not be known during the early onset of the disability.
Parents are typically the first to notice their child is not reaching milestones. as professionals, we should equally pay attention when children appear to be delayed in the area of motor, cognitive, speech and social and emotional development and bring it to the attention of parents so the child can be evaluated.
Click below to receive a free copy of the Global Developmental Delay Fact Sheet