The web site of Learning Disabilities Association of America is: http://ldaamerica.org/
The Learning Disability Association of America has the following listed under its learning
- Auditory Processing Disorder
- Language Processing Disorder
- Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
- Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
- Executive Functioning
It is straight away apparent that Dyslexia is just one of the learning disabilities. In fact I would not even call it a learning disability. If you take away students who have Auditory Processing Disorder, Language Processing Disorder, Non Verbal Learning Disabilities, Visual Perceptual/ Visual Motor Deficit, Memory problem, ADHD and Executive Functioning disability we will have the students I am talking about. These are the children as defined by Stanovich 1991.
These are the students who shut-down/ disengage when something taught to them does not make sense to them. These are the students who need to be told explicitly that vowels in the English language have more than one sound/phoneme .
There is no need to confuse the kid by teaching him such things as ‘long e/short e’, diphthongs, r-controlled vowels, schwa etc. In fact I did not know what these were until a few years ago and I have forgotten what they are as of today. All you have to teach these kids when you first teach them words like bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat and sat (family words) and sound out the phonemes of each of the alphabets is that this is one of the sounds of the alphabet ‘a’ in each of the said family words.
When you come to another sound of ‘A’ remind them what you had said about “A’ having more than one sound and now tell them the new sound. Explain that the sound of the first ‘A’ in the two words “A cat” is different from the original sound they had learned in the family words bat, cat, fat etc. If the teacher explains this to all the kids in a class she is teaching, the number of kids who ‘shut-down’ will be reduced drastically.