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>Checklist of Learning Disability Symptoms
>
>Test scores alone cannot identify a learning disability.  Numerical
>scores from standardized tests show only the shadow of underlying
>patterns that block academic learning.  Learning disability is seen as
>cluster of behavior patterns that cause the student to struggle with
>classroom work.  To identify learning disability fully, we must study
>how the student approaches academic tasks.  Test scores can help
>pinpoint learning disability in some students, but scores from
>standardized tests by themselves show only 3 percent or less of most
>learning disability syndromes.  The following clusters of problems are
>seen in most learning disabled students who struggle with academic
>performance.
>
>Poor Vision for Near Work
>
>¨ Eyes quickly become tired soon after starting to read, copy, do
>handwriting, or work with a computer screen
>¨ Eyes begin to hurt or ache back behind, above or below, at the inside
>corners, at the outside corners
>¨ Eyes being to water profusely and feel a burning sensation after a few
>
>minutes of prolonged close work
>¨ Headache starts across the forehead, over the temples, or at the back
>of the head after a certain length of time doing close work
>¨ Print beings to “pulse” in and out of focus at a certain point in
>reading, copying, or handwriting
>¨ Double image begins in an off-and-on cycle after working with small
>details for a certain length of time
>¨ Student complains of headache, eye strain, or “not feeling well” in
>prolonged reading or writing tasks
>¨ Student shakes head frequently, leans back, squints to relieve blurred
>
>vision
>
>Symbol Reversal
>
>¨ Writes letters or numbers backwards
>¨ Reads or interprets letters, numbers or words in reversed order
>¨ Exhibits mirror image (reading from right to left)
>¨ Turns letter or numbers upside down
>¨ Reads whole words backwards
>
>Loss of Sequence
>
>¨ Cannot recall information in a given sequence (alphabet, days, months,
>
>math facts)
>¨ Loses the sequence after starting to remember it correctly
>¨ Cannot tell events in the right order
>¨ Cannot work math problems in the right direction
>¨ Cannot remember the right time frame when things occurred
>¨ Cannot remember several tasks to do in a certain order
>¨ Cannot follow directions that involve turning corners or changing
>geographical direction
>
>Poor Oral Telling
>
>¨ Cannot tell events in the right order; scrambles the sequence in
>telling
>¨ Stumbles over words, names, important parts of the message
>¨ Loses words as they story is being told
>¨ Leaves out important elements which changes the meaning as the story
>is told
>¨ Tongue becomes twisted while saying words, names, phrases
>Poor Listening
>
>¨ Cannot keep track of incoming oral information: misses the point,
>misunderstands, gets lost in listening
>¨ Misconstrues the oral message;  later remembers it another way
>¨ Continually responds by saying: “What?” or “Huh?” or “What do you
>mean?” immediately after the speaker has finished
>¨ Cannot take adequate notes in listening situations
>¨ Later says “You didn’t tell me that” or I didn’t hear you say that”
>
>Poor Writing
>
>¨ Penmanship is messy and poorly organized
>¨ Writing cuts down through the line or drifts up about the line in an
>uneven pattern
>¨ Student mixes capital and small letters in writing
>¨ Student mixes cursive and block printing
>¨ Quality of writing deteriorates, becomes poorer the longer the student
>
>writes
>¨ Size of writing inappropriately large for the given space
>¨ Columns zigzag away from left margin, often float in a curve toward
>lower right hand corner of the page
>¨ Writing hand becomes cramped; student stops writing to shake out the
>cramps
>¨ Student continually loses the place copying from the board or from a
>book
>¨ Student lays head won on left hand with nose close to pencil while
>writing
>¨ Student turns writing paper at 90 degree angel or turns head at an
>angle with writing
>
>Poor Phonics
>
>¨ Cannot make correct letter/sound connections from memory
>¨ Word sounding is labored, slow, difficult
>¨ Many pauses with whisper rehearsing before attempting to sound out a
>word
>¨ Student frequently says “Wait!” or “Hold it!” whole sounds out words
>¨ Student cannot blend sounds together in the right sequence when words
>have more than tow or three syllables
>¨ The sequence of sounds becomes scrambled or reversed while saying the
>word
>
>Poor Spelling
>
>¨ Spelling is phonetic instead of regular.  Words are spelled the way
>they are said instead of how they should be spelled (Twosday, Winsday,
>Thersday)
>¨ Spelling patters are partly reversed (brid or bird, gril or girl,
>Apirl or April)
>¨ Words are misspelled while copying or rewriting papers
>¨ Students cannot retain spieling patters after they are memorized
>
>Short Attention Span
>
>¨ Attention drifts or darts off on rabbit trails instead of staying on
>the task
>¨ Students changes the subject midway through without finishing what was
>
>started
>¨ A question is asked, then the speaker is interrupted by another
>question before the first on has been answered
>¨ Body of listener restless and disruptive during listening situations
>
>Poor Reading Comprehension
>
>¨ The meaning of the printed passage does not register even though
>student says all the words correctly
>¨ Reader habitually skips or omits key words or phrases, which changes
>the meaning of the passage
>¨ Rate of reading is very slow, only a few words decoded per minute
>¨ Reader wants to whisper while reading
>¨ Reader wants to trace the line with finger while reading
>¨ Reader needs to go back and read again two or three times before the
>full meaning registers
>¨ Reader cannot connect what was read to the test questions over the
>passage
>
>
>
>--
>JanMarie Swadling
>Assistant Director, Center for Academic Success
>Roosevelt Hall- Room 100, Chapman University
>1 University Drive
>Orange, California
>714.997.6828   fax 714.744.7699
>http://www.chapman.edu/arc
>
>"Tell me - and I may forget.
>Show me - and I may remember.
>Involve me - and I will learn."
>
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Guillermo Uribe PhD.
Manager, Learning Technology and Systems
University College
University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210021
Tucson AZ  85721-0021
520.621.5983