The final episode of this season Special Compass podcast. This episode hear the story of how it all began, what propelled the founder of Special Compass to make change for other individuals with a learning disability and the important life lessons learned a long the way.Read More
This week, the conversation on transition continues as we discuss the second part of change receiving. Once on the other side of change, how can we ensure students settle and adapt to their new environment successfully and effectively.
Learn why it is important to prepare students for changes in school and in life.Read More
Three Pillars of TransitionRead More
What is metacognition? and what is its importance in learning and success? Today on the Special Compass podcast we dicuss how the brain takes information and to become an effective and efficient learner.Read More
Today's episode we are discussing laws, and policies that protect and support individuals with a disability. If you are a parent and wondering what are your child's rights, a post-secondary student or just curious to learn more, this conversation is for you.Read More
Advocating for a child with a learning disability can be a frustrating and overwhelming process for parents. On today's episode of the Special Compass Podcast we learn how to advocate for intent and important aspects to consider when navigating a student to success.Read More
The words we speak can have a bigger implication on others more than we realize. Mental health does not only impact adults but effects youth as well. In this episode, we discuss how youth can develop mental health issues and how we can change the statistics on such a growing epedemic.
Show notes: Episode Four
Mental Health is a growing concern in our society. According stats Canada 1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental health issues. By the time an adult reaches 40 it is expected to 1 and 2 Canadians will experience mental health issues.
Let’s work together to help change these statistics, by fostering the mindset of today’s youth.
Youth and Mental Health
· Youth experience mental health issues as well.
· Children build their self-esteem and self- concept by comparing themselves to others.
o An unhealthy perception of themselves can carry-out through development into adulthood.
· Need to help youth realize there is nothing wrong with being different. Our differences are what makes everyone unique. Variety is the spice of life.
· Words and actions from adults can have a deeper impression on youth
o A child’s mind is like wet cement. Easy to make an impression but hard to remove the imprint.
· Youth with disabilities experience mental health issues as well.
o 50% of students with disabilities are lonely
· Youth with learning disabilities are more likely to experience low self-esteem. Especially in regards to their learning challenges.
Adapting a Healthy Mindset
There are various means to helping, and supporting individuals with mental health issues, but the first step that can lead in a positive direction is to adapt a healthy mindset.
Understanding the root of the thought and changing the narrative.
· Be mindful.
o On a daily bases there are thousands of thoughts running through the human mind. Many of these thoughts are reruns.
o Being reflective of our thoughts. Understand the root of the thought and change the narrative that we tell ourselves.
o Help youth be reflective.
· People first
o Everyone has a different experience and a different story.
o Get to know the person first and let them tell you what they need not what you think they need
o Be mindful of the comments we make to ourselves and youth.
o Lead by example and guide others
· Teach Social and other required skills
o Do not assume that someone knows how
· Do not forget the support team.
o It takes a village to raise a kid, it takes a team to navigate a student to success.
o Parents, teachers, educational assistants they need support as well to
o Do not be shy. Let those around you know that you are there for support or that you need help. It can be as simple as saying:
§ How are you
§ How can I help you
§ Let’s take a break
o Throw kindness like confetti.
Inclusive Education? What is that? How to we work to create a classrooms and learning envrionrments where all students thrive? This week on the Special Compass podcast we are having a conversation about Inclusive Education.Read More
There was so much information on learning disabilities, we could not possibly fit it all in one episode. In episode two we continue the discussion on learning disabilities and understanding the various forms, symptoms, and methods of intervention to help students.
Show notes: Epsidoes One & Two -Learning Disabilities
Learning Disability Origin
- Samuel Kirk – A key psychologist in the study of learning disability. Coined the term Learning Disability.
- The study of learning disability began with multiple cases of children displaying similar symptoms to an adult who suffered a stroke but no indication of brain trauma.
- Defining learning disability a constant controversial debate. The definition haschanged multiple times over the years
Eight key components that remained consistent in various learning disability definitions:
- Subaverage Achievement
- Psychological processing problems
- Exclusion of disabling condition
- Life Span problem
- Social relation issues
- Exclusion of disabling conditions
Learning Disability defined according to the Learning Disability Association of Canada:
A number of disorders which affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or the use of nonverbal or verbal communication. Included but not limited: language processing, phonological processing, visual-spatial processing, processing speed, memory and attention and executive functions. Key areas: oral language, reading, written language and mathematics
Learning Disability defined in a more simple context
Everyday people commute to work or school. Everyone will take a different route to get to their destination. If one day there is construction on that regular route you will have to take a detour to get to work or school. Regardless of the route, you take you will still get to your destination. You will just have to find a new way, it may take a bit longer but you will get there.
Learning disabled individuals, learn differently their brain literally processes information in a different way. They are still able to learn but how they process information may be at a different rate or form compared to a non-learning disabled individual.
FACTS, FIGURES, AND MYTHS
- Figures. Canadian statistics. 1- 10 Canadians or 3.3 million / stats Canada - children with a disability in Canada or 3.2 % children with LD / 1 child per school bus.
- Dropout rates, unemployment rates, and crime
- Myth: Can’t learn certain topics Fact: Have the ability to learn
- Myth: unintelligent. Fact: Average or above average intelligence
- Myth: Grow out of it Fact: lifelong condition
- Myth: all the same Fact: different severity
- Myth: cannot go to post-secondary Fact: Fully able to achieve higher education
Helping Students to Succeed.
Three pillars: Building Independence, Metacognition and learning and Support Team
- Elementary: Self- Esteem and Confidence- “learned helplessness”
- Middle School: metacognition and creativity- Operating from a mindset of abundance
- Secondary: Critical thinking and Advocacy Skills - Speaking up and using your voice
- Post-Secondary: Independence - Live your life your way
- Inclusive education a form of education where exceptional students who receive accommodations and support within the general classroom setting. Can include: coteaching, collaboration, consultation, assistants from paraprofessionals etc.
- Assistive Technology – Not a replacement of skills but to help support students.
Symptoms and Causes
- Many reasons that cause learning disability: hereditary, problems during birth
- Learning Disabilities become more prevalent during the elementary school age. Detected and diagnosed early can help implement an early intervention for student success.
- There is a discrepancy or gap kind of unusual
Various kinds of learning disability
- Effect the major components of learning
- Reading - Dyslexia is a common learning disability that impacts reading. Not all learning disabilities that are connected to reading is dyslexia.
- Phonology, decoding, fluency, comprehension
- Writing -letter formation and fluency. Its laborious, roughs strokes wide spaces
- Math -cognitive development, arithmetic performance
- Language- phonology, syntax (sentence structure), morphology, semantics ( a branch of linguistics referring to the meaning), pragmatics, metalinguistic, receptive language (difficulties understanding oral language and listening), expressive language.
- Executive functioning - memory, staying on task, intention
- Gifted and has a learning disability
- Prevent them from not reaching their full potential I.e can get a B in class but their LD is preventing them from achieving an A
- ADHD / ADD
- not a learning disability but a behaviour issue that still impedes on a student's learning
Diagnosis- The process for diagnosing a learning disability is a journey. It usually starts with a teacher or parent/ guardian suspecting there may be an issue and refers the student to a special education teacher for further assessment.
- Informal evaluation or test by special education teacher
- Observation of student
- Interviews: parents, teachers, and students
- Referral for a psychological test.
- It has to be a psycho assessment - testing various cognitive functioning process.
- Duration of test can vary in length from 4 hrs - 2 days.
- After the test is complete the psychologist will complete a report which will conclude with the diagnosis.
- The report is review by the IEP team and an IEP is created for the student
- Individual Education Plan (IEP) - IEPs are the most common term used but in some provinces, it is referred to as an IPP (Individual Program Plan). The documents serve the same purpose. Outline the learning strengths of the student, their challenges, how and where accommodations will be provided and goals to work towards for the school year.
- Working towards helping the student
- Informal evaluation or test by special education teacher
October is learning disability month! What better way to kick off this month of awareness by the premiere of the Special Compass Podcast. Not your average podcast, the focus is to have an inclusive discussion, bringing more awareness and information to help all students excel in school and in life. If we want to ensure no student is left behind it's time to have an inclusive conversation.