Explore the historical, conceptual, and cultural foundations of learning disabilities and evaluate contemporary issues pertaining to educational services focused on students and youth with learning disabilities or learning deficits. Incorporate differentiated instruction. This is part of a professional module on differentiated instruction.
Literature Review: Differentiated Instruction and Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities were initially diagnosed in the 1960s. Familiarize yourself with FAPE and LRE if you are not already knowledgeable of these terms. The special education field incorporates numerous and varied acronyms! FAPE refers to a Free and Public Education, which all students are entitled to (important distinction, this does not necessarily include the BEST educational services, merely appropriate at no cost to parents/guardians). LRE: Least Restrictive Environment (a student being educated in an educational setting that will provide services to support the needs of the student while utilizing the utmost instructional time with peers who are typically developing).
Historically, Learning Disabilities and our responses to students requiring additional support to access and engage in the curriculum have evolved. Conceptually, despite challenges, movement and progress has been implemented to assist all students in achieving their maximum potential. Cultural factors do impact students identified with learning disabilities. Educators must be aware and responsive to cultural differences and also be sensitive to potential impacts of these factors within the school setting. Contemporary issues that continue to address students with learning disabilities include: services available, IEP (Individualized Education Plan) planning and review meetings, advocacy, continuity of transition services, and compliance issues.
In 1975 IDEA was passed: Individual with Disabilities Act (originally termed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act).
IDEA is divided into four sections, Parts A - D.
Part A defines the terms used in the law.
"Specific learning disability" is defined as ...
The history of Learning Disabilities illuminates a progression of recognition and response to services required for students identified with special needs to increase successes within the classroom environment. References are included for additional resources. 920+ words offered as a Word and PDF attachment.