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Title: Learners with below average reading abilities

Article Number: EC2/2015/086

Authors: Petrus Johannes van Staden

Topic: Psychology


The purpose of this case study is to serve as a model for educators, family and parents. The study is focus not only on children’s reading or level of intellectual but also outline an intervention plan that can be implemented by educators and family members. Further the intervention strategies are to assist a bilingual learner that experiences a low average reading ability.


    COMMENT - 1

  • Fides A. Urbiztondo (Viewer) 18th Nov 2015 - 12:27 AM
    Several tests were conducted such as AIMS web; Nonsense word fluency analyses, Phoneme segmentation analyses, TAPS III, WIAT II and ACES which pointed out that Lee's reading and oral index was 1 year lower grade level than her current grade level as grade 2. Also, it resulted that her interpersonal skills was inadequate while on the other hand, math and written language indexes resulted as average. From the tests result conducted by the psychologist what is their analysis in Lee's academic progress, is she a slow learner or can be classified as dyslexia?
    • petrus (Pete) (Author) 22nd Nov 2015 - 5:27 PM
      Each instrument, provide you with a brief description of what the test measures, reveal. The goal is to provide the results, so that you can determine which of these instruments will best meet your needs as you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a child (like in the case of Lee, all the instruments used show she experience various learning problems ) to make a diagnosis of learning disability (dyslexia) or not. During the study I find that it is difficult to distinguish between slow learners and learning disability (dyslexia). There are similarities between the two e.g. errors in numbers and letter production, reading errors, behavioral aspects, but the differences are what influence the type of instruction used. Psychologists are part of a team that assesses Lee, and many psychologists often wonder whether the child being assessed has Learning disability (LD) or is the child a slow learner. Additionally, many psychologists complete tests that they believe are appropriate assessments of LD. What was also importance, was the in structural observation sheet Ms kept during her instructions and the observation of Lee behavior during the classroom. A clear and simple description of LD processing is presented along with a discussion of how deficits in such processes can lead to educational and communication problems in children who have LD. Tests claiming to evaluate LD are discussed along with an overview of how LD must be appropriately assessed. It is therefore that an Intervention Plan has been develop to assist teachers and parents on how to deal with the problem. In short I would like to distinguish between LD and Slow Learning.
      Slow Learner: - is a child of below average intelligence, whose thinking skills have developed significantly more slowly than the norm for her/his age. This child will go through the same basic developmental stages as other children, but will do so at a significantly slower rate. However, this development, while being slower, nevertheless be relatively even.
      Learning Disability (LD):- is one of average or above average intelligence who has specific difficulties which can make learning very difficult. There may be deficits in any of the basic central nervous system functions, which have to do with the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing or mathematical abilities i.e. attention, memory, language and visual perception, motor coordination etc. In short, if there is a discrepancy between the children’s potential and actual achievement. Their characteristics will also be different. (Hope this answer your question).

  • COMMENT - 2

  • Marrie Louise Davis (Viewer) 20th Nov 2015 - 5:17 AM
    The study did not state the findings, that is if the child is a slow learner of classified as dyslexia.
    • petrus (Pete) (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 3:06 PM
      Dear Marrie
      Thank you for the question. The purpose of this case study is to serve as a model for educators, family, parents and psychologists. The study is solution focused – meaning that the focus of the study is to not only assess the child’s reading and intellectual ability level, but to specifically outline an intervention plan that can be carried out by a school etc. Should one look at the characteristics of a slow learner and that of a learner with disabilities one can then distinguish between the two for example:
      Slow learner
      Development- may have immature language patterns or speech problems
      Social – poor judgement, immature social behaviour, prefer company of younger children
      Personal – frustration, aggression, anxiety etc.
      Academic- may show proficiency with particular tasks rather than a subject areas, poor memory, difficulties understanding several steps in a task.
      Learning- need to have new information linked to old, difficulties transferring information learned in one situation to other situations.
      Learner with disabilities.
      Academic- reading: confuses similar words and letters, loses place, repeats words, does not read fluently, persists in using fingers to follow along, does not like to read.
      - Spelling; uses incorrect order of letters in words, it has difficulty of associating correct sound with appropriate letter, reverses letters
      Mathematics – has difficulties associating numbers with symbol, cannot remember number facts etc.
      Social/ emotional/behavioural
      - Hyperactivity (noisy, gross, constant movement)
      - Hypo activity (quiet, nervous, fidgety)
      - Impulsivity
      - Poor concentration

      When one compare the above mention with that outcome of the tests that was done on Lee her problem the can be distinguish between the two. Taking in to consideration the history of Lee’s appears was that she is healthy, active and had no serious medical illness or disability.

  • COMMENT - 3

  • CHETNA PUNIA (Viewer) 23rd Nov 2015 - 10:57 AM
    How well did the intervention model do in further follow-up since september 2015?
    • petrus (Pete) (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 3:15 PM
      Hi Chetna

      Although the programme is still in its baby shoes, Lee have already expressed her desire for continuous positive feedback during both tests administration with the examiner and her classroom activities with her teacher Ms Lu. I am positive that the program will help students.

  • COMMENT - 4

  • KOO KIAN YONG (Viewer) 23rd Nov 2015 - 5:43 PM
    Have you ever heard about neurofeedback? Do you think it is a suitable intervention for them too?
    • petrus (Pete) (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 3:33 PM
      Dear Koo Kian Yong
      Yes I did hear of Neurofeedback that is a non- drug intervention that can be used for children with learning problems, which can exercise part of the brain. Children with cognitive slowness, one can usually use neurofeedback to train their brains to recover first. This is important as it also helps in detoxification, if any is needed. Most neurofeedback centers overlook this crucial step and do activation training which may send more toxins to the brain.

  • COMMENT - 5

  • OLAYINKA AYODEJI OBAFEMI-MOSES (Viewer) 23rd Nov 2015 - 10:13 PM
    Can peer-group influence be a suitable intervention as well?

  • COMMENT - 6

  • petrus (Pete) (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 4:19 PM
    Dear Obafemi
    In the early school years, learners with difficulty often face problems learning reading, and spelling. The things that are within easy reach of the majority of their peer-group may be difficult for. They need external stimulation and encouragement to do simple type of work and also need special help in the form of special classes. They are capable of achieving a moderate degree of academic success through the additional time and help. Although peer- group may have a positive impact on the learners with difficulty and will boost them to perform better.