In this assignment you will demonstrate your understanding of the learning objective: Identify the characteristics and learning differences of students with mild to moderate disabilities based on the IDEA.
Researchers have identified multiple potential causes as well as suggested interventions for children who have been identified as having mild to moderate learning disabilities. These strategies may include environmental, instructional, behavioral, and/or psychological approaches within the classroom or school setting. This information can be instrumental in the decision-making process, specifically for the IEP team, when developing a studentâ€™s individualized goals and services. Using research-based interventions along with the studentâ€™s present levels of performance, background and cultural influences, for the purpose of developing an individualized plan are the recommended procedure for supporting a studentâ€™s needs.
Assessments are one important measure of a childâ€™s level of functioning. They can measure a variety of areas including academic performance, processing abilities, language comprehension and usage as well as many others. There are many types of informal and formal assessments that contribute to the overall picture of a studentâ€™s abilities and which help to determine the gaps that need remediation. Whether conducted by a teacher or school psychologist, a report is written to explain the findings, which include current levels of functioning, strengths, and weaknesses.
After reviewing Henryâ€™s assessment report, you will contribute to his case study by completing the â€œBackgroundâ€ section.
In this assignment you will read a Case Study, Henry, and then create the â€œBackground Historyâ€ section using the characteristics of mild to moderate disabilities. In addition, you will explain how each determinant may impact his academic progress.
Review Henryâ€™s Case Study
I. Background History
- Week 2 Assignment
II. Reason for Referral
Henry is a transfer student to the school who enrolled approximately three weeks after the start of the school year. His previous school did not send past school records. Henry is currently in an inclusive classroom that is being co-taught by Mr. Franklin and you.
Henry is a quiet young man who sits near the back of the classroom and is reluctant to participate in whole-group discussions. When asked to read aloud, Henry will comply; however, his verbal expression is reticent but he is able to decode each word. While reading silently during independent practice, he struggles with answering grade-level comprehension questions that require higher-level thinking skills. In group-work settings, Henry will volunteer for the secretary role to avoid peer engagement.
III. Behavioral Observations during Testing
During the reading portion of the education assessment, Henry told the assessor that he didnâ€™t like reading because he â€œisnâ€™t very good at it.â€ He also said that his mom takes him to the library once a week but he has a difficult time finding a book the he likes and usually ends up checking out a movie or CD instead.
Although Henry mentioned, several times, how he does not like reading, he was willing to try each portion of the assessment and seemed to be putting forth his best effort. It is relevant to mention that after each subtest, Henry asked the assessor if he did â€œa good job?â€
Based on Henryâ€™s overall performance on the education assessment and his academic history, the evaluation results appear to be a valid representation of his abilities.
IV. Sources of Information, Tests, and Procedures
Personal Observations and Interviews:
- Henry (student)
- Henryâ€™s parents
- Teacher reports
- Classroom observation
Formal and Informal Assessments:
- Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement
- Curriculum Based Measurements (CBM)
- Student portfolio
V. Test Results
Woodcock-Johnson, Education Assessment: The following is a summary of Henryâ€™s current performance in reading, math and language/content:
- Letter-Word Identification: Henry was asked to read a list of words beginning at his level of independence and gradually becoming more difficult. He scored within the low average range (standard score: 88)
- Word Attack: Henry was asked to decode (phonetically pronounce) a list of nonsense words using letter patterns that gradually advanced in difficulty. He scored within the low average range (standard score: 87)
- Passage Comprehension: Henry was asked to read a passage (beginning at his level of independence) silently and then verbally provide the omitted word. This subtest measured Henryâ€™s level of reading comprehension. He scored within the low range (standard score: 77)
- Reading Vocabulary: Henry was asked to provide the antonym (opposite) and synonym (same) for two separate vocabulary lists, and then he was asked to complete analogies. He scored within the low range (standards score: 76)
- Writing Fluency: Henry was asked to formulate and write sentences comprised of three given words along with a pictures within a 7-minute timeframe. He scored within the low average range (standards score: 82)
- Writing Samples: Henry was asked to formulate sentences that combine visual and auditory information. There is no penalty, in this subtest, for basic writing, spelling or punctuation errors. He scored within the average range (standard score: 92)
- Math Calculation: Henry was asked to complete basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division equations gradually advancing in difficult to more complex computations involving decimals, fractions and geometry. He scored within the average range (standards score: 95)
- Math Fluency: Henry was asked to complete simple addition, subtraction and multiplication facts within a 3-minute timeframe. He scored within the average range (standard score: 90)
- Strengths: Henryâ€™s strengths are in math calculation and fluency where he scored in the average range. He also excelled in completing the â€œWriting Samplesâ€ and â€œLetter-Word Identificationâ€ subtest that requires visual and auditory information input.
- Areas of Need: Based on the assessments administered, it is evident that Henry struggles in the areas of reading and vocabulary comprehension. In the subtests that required â€œPassage Comprehension (standards score: 78), â€œReading Vocabularyâ€ (standard score: 76) and â€œWriting Fluencyâ€ (standard score: 76), Henry scored in the low range. These scores indicate an area of need in demonstrating vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. Although considered low-average, Henry struggled with phonetics of non-sight words in the â€œWord Attackâ€ subtest (standard score: 87).
VII. Summary & Recommendations
- Student Summary: At this time there have been no records transferred from Henryâ€™s previous school for teachers and other school personnel to review. Because there is no background information, the team is only able to use the current class performance and his educational assessment regarding his ability levels and eligibility for services provided under IDEA. It is evident from the teacher and parent reports along with classroom observation that Henryâ€™s area of weakness is in reading and vocabulary comprehension.
- The assessment results indicate that Henry is not making effective progress in the areas of reading and vocabulary comprehension at his grade level. If allowed to continue with proper support and intervention strategies, he will continue to fall behind his same-aged peers as he progresses through each grade level.
Within your paper you are to identify characteristics of a mild to moderate disability and how each may impact Henryâ€™s academic progress. Use the following guidelines for creating your presentation:
- Identify and define characteristics of a mild to moderate disability as outlined by Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
- Explain how Henryâ€™s specific disability was chosen with justification from the case study, the weekâ€™s reading assignments and independent research.
- Describe at least three potential causes (environmental, instructional, behavioral and/or psychological) for the disability.
- From the above, establish the overall potential impact on Henryâ€™s academic success.