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Understanding new students and learning disabilities

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Alex is attending a new elementary school and is nervous about meeting new friends and having new teachers. She thinks that the school work at her new school seems much harder than at her other school. Although she had some difficulties at her old school, these problems seem to have increased at the new school. She is a fluent reader but cannot seem to answer questions about what she has just read. She is accurate in math computation, but the word problems cause her a great frustration. Alex is popular with her peers and makes friends easily. However, her teachers often must tell her to "be still, stop talking, and stay in her seat". Alex loves to tell stories and is very creative. She believes that if her teachers would let her tell stories instead of writing them she would get better grades. She has difficulty organizing her thoughts and writing them on paper. Her handwriting is very messy. In spite of these complications, Alex loves school and wants to do well.
1) Based on the description above, do you believe Alex could have learning disabilities? What characteristics does Alex exhibit that would lead you to believe she does or does not have learning disabilities?
2) If you were working with Alex, in any capacity, what type of informal assessments could you do to assist in determining her strengths and weaknesses?
3) Which instructional method would you recommend using with Alex?

Solution Preview

I think she may have been working below an age appropriate level at her old school. Her reading comprehension seems underdeveloped. I would screen her reading skills, to determine what areas she has a weakness. If her reading comprehension ability does not improve, she will not flourish and after third grade may be on a continual uphill battle with school at ...

Solution Summary

Understanding students with learning disabilities and those who potentially have conditions, requiring special testing and service are highlighted in this piece.