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Case Study: Learning Disability

Andy student difficulty
Andy had the difficulty in comprehension because he could not know what he was being told to do. His teachers had given him some words to read and write but he could not do so. He is also unable to coordinate some words during play and this shows that he cannot comprehend anything. The child seems to have psychological problems which are disturbing him and these are causing the problem of understanding anything. The specific problem is not inability to read or write but there are psychological challenges affecting the child.
Difficulty in comprehension is the primary problem that Andy is experiencing because he is not able to coordinate what he is being to do. At his age the teachers expect him to know how to read and write and that is why he is placed in year 4-class. However, he is not able to perform as expected and this shows that he has weaknesses in social life. He stays aloof despite the effort that his cousin is putting to make him feel comfortable. The teachers also find that he cannot spell his name and this is a clear indication that he has problems in comprehension. In addition, Andy is not able to identify the initial sounds of words.
Analysis and Techniques
According to Clayton and Morrison (1999), learning disability does not mean that a student is not intelligent but it refers to the weakness acquiring learning skills. This can affect the success of a person in school and should be corrected as soon as possible. People with this weakness fail to connect the words being said to them and the real items relating to the items. For example, the word cow represents a domestic animal but when a person cannot create a mental picture of the animal, it becomes difficult to understand clearly. Thus, failure to create mental representation occurs when a student is unable to create a mental picture of what s/he is being taught (Westwood, 2008).
Waber (2010) opine that lack of phonological awareness is a learning difficulty which occurs when a student is unable to understand sound structure. Every language has its own sound structure and sentences words as well as phrases are based on the structure of the language. This weakness is experienced by students who cannot relate the letters to their appropriate sounds. The sound of words is the key factor in developing phonological awareness (Swain, & French, 1999).
Lack of automaticity in basic number facts refers to the learning difficulty whereby a student cannot remember or compute numbers without thinking. Automaticity in basic facts allows people to compute or do things without thinking about the whole process. It helps reduce the time taken to respond to a certain issue because all ideas are developed automatically (Hartman, 2007).
From the case concerning Andy, it is evident that he lacks phonological awareness because he could not read or spell any word. He does not know the letter sounds or the names of letters. He however participates very well in class. This indicates that Andy is intelligent but he has the challenge of connecting words with their correct sounds.
Intervention
Gillon (2004) explains that intervention measures should be taken early enough when learning difficulties are recognized. It seems that Andy has not received enough experiential foundation in language and this he requires to be taught the basics of language. The teachers need to communicate high possibility of Andy succeeding in developing skills in reading and writing. Appropriate collaboration between the teachers, parents and/or guardian will be very important so that they can identify ways of improving the learning skills of Andy. Team commitment is required between all concerned parties to ensure that Andy is able to learn the phonological aspects of language. It is also important that the teachers should give child-centered instructions to Andy. This will help the child learn quickly especially when there are appropriate directions about phonological aspects of language that are child-directed (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2009).
Peer interaction should be promoted so that Andy can learn from other children. The teachers should allow Andy to interact with as many children as possible so that he can learn from them. A big proportion of what children learn is acquired through peer interaction and this creates a good foundation in the learning process (Pennington, 2009). Andy seems to be aloof and the teachers should encourage him to play, interact and socialize with other children. Some children tend to fear adults and it becomes difficult to interact with them. Giving such children opportunities to interact with their peers will give them the courage to express themselves as well as learn from other children (Bender & Larkin, 2009).
Technology in modern learning institutions has become a major factor that has contributed to successful learning. The teachers can make use of computers or other machines to help Andy learn the language. There are various computer games which children can use to learn more about language and to create a better picture of the world they live in (Schumm, 2006). Technology is being developed each day and new ways of learning have been innovated. Children become exposed to technology at an early age and they learn faster through the use of computers. It will be easier for Andy to learn phonological language by the use of modern technologies and this will help him acquire better skills (Gillon, 2004).
Monitoring Student Progress
To monitor the progress in learning the phonological aspects of Andy, I would assess him on a weekly basis. During the assessment I would give some mental questions to test his understanding of language. It is during these assessment sessions that I would show him better ways of developing his language. A close attention will be required so that I can know how he is getting used to the words and phonological aspects of the language. In addition, to locate the specific area of difficulty that Andy is experiencing, I would invite his parents or relatives and have a discussion about him. Through this, I would get the actual facts relating to the weaknesses of the child. I would have a closer friendship with Andy so that I may learn his mental science as a way of identifying his weaknesses. Alternatively, I would request his cousin to explain to me some of the challenges he finds affecting Andy. The cousin seems to be closer to Andy and he may be the best person to learn the weaknesses of Andy. The entire monitoring process would be collaborative such all people close to Andy will be assisting in developing his language. To ensure proper learning is achieved, I would be holding meetings with the cousin, his close friends and other teachers so that we can discuss how to come up with better strategies of helping Andy.

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