Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Identification of Learning Difficulties among Children Studying in Public Sector Schools

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Identification of Learning Difficulties among Children Studying in Public Sector Schools

Article excerpt

Literarily, learning difficulty is employed to indicate educational problems of the students when their class achievements are substantially below what is expected by their intelligence level or ability to learn (Pastor, & Reuben, 2002). Conceptually, it is an imperfect ability to; listen, speak, read, write and spell or to do simple mathematical calculations (NIMH, 2006; Pastor, & Reuben, 2002). Some of the students with learning difficulties reveal problems in storing information in memory as well as retrieving it from memory (Snowling, 2000) and it causes to lower their academic achievements. Due to the neurological origin, LDs are also named as developmental disorders (Kauchali, & Davidson, 2006). However, all such students require some help and attention to improve their learning process (NIMH, 2006) and they remain successful in their studies even up to the university level (Fullarton, 2008). It has been observed that generally, these students cannot try harder, unable to pay closer

attention, need help to learn but at the same time they are not similar to other children who are enrolled in special education being mentally deficient/ retarded (Pastor, & Reuben, 2002).

LDs are generally divided in to six categories with reference to functional problems, such as: dyslexia (reading problem), dyscalculia (numeric problem), Dysgraphia (writing problem), dyspraxia (problem in running and jumping), auditory processing disorder and visual processing disorder (Wong, 1996; Kemp, Segal, & Cutter, 2009). Experts encompass behavioural and emotional problems in LDs (Lindsay, 1984; Watts, 1985; Rubenzer, 1988; Diakakis, Gardelis, Ventouri, Nikolaou Koltsida, Tsitoura et al., 2008). However, recent studies have shown that such problems may arise as a result of their poor performance in studies, methodological pitfalls and developmental issues (Huntington, 1993; Saddler, & Buckland, 1995) and due to stress (Tomblin, Zhang, Buckwalter, & Catts, 2000; Hill & Wigfield, 1984; Svetaz, Ireland, & Blum, 2001). Behavioural problems are further subdivided into temperamental /emotional (Mather & Goldstein, 2001) and antisocial behaviour such as destructiveness, aggression, disobethence, bullying other children and angry reaction toward school staff (Kemp, Segal & Cutter, 2009). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has also been grouped with learning disabilities (Lyness, 2007).

The factor of IQ is significant in the process of identification of LDs. Studies have shown that LDs are independent of individual's IQ (Siegel, 1989; Vaughn, Levey, Coleman, & Bos, 2002; Vellutino, Fletcher, Snowling, & Scanlon, 2004; Woolley, 2005; Lyness, 2007; Zachou, & Zachos, 2008; Glassberg, Hooper, & Mattison, 1999). This basic feature differentiates LDs from mental retardation (Woolley, 2005). Siegel (1989) has concluded that poor readers at a variety of IQ levels showed similar reading, spelling, language and memory deficits. Another study also has supported that such individuals remain successful in their studies even up to the higher level (Fullarton, 2008).

It has been reported that the symptoms of LDs significantly overlap with each other (Dykman, & Ackerman, 1991; Kaplan, Dewey, Crawford, & Wilson, 2001; Lyness, 2007; Young et al., 2002). Children with neurological problem manifest more than one impairment (Meehan, Njuguna, Mturi, Alcock, & Newton, 2006). For example LD and ADH are on a continuum, interrelated and usually coexist (Mayes, Calhoun, & Crowell, 2000; Pastor, & Reuben 2002; Vellutino, Fletcher, Snowling, Scanlon, 2004). Study has concluded that students with ADHD were found less proficient in writing stories than other children of their age (Newcomer, & Barenboim, 1991). Problems in spatial thinking coexist with numeration and computation to construct meaningful measurement concepts and processes (Booker, Bond, Sparrow, & Swan, 2003). …

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