Learning disabilities and special education

The Article on Learning Disability provided by Psychology Today details the various dimensions of learning disability which thrusts on the following: its definition, symptoms, causes, and treatment.
To start off, learning disability refers to the child’s difficulty of translating to their brain what their visual and auditory senses produce. The symptoms of this disorder are categorized into the following: “language disorders, developmental speech disorders, academic abilities disorders”, and the other category which includes certain coordination disorders and learning handicaps not covered by the previous terms.
There is no single concrete explanation to why this disorder has developed but several theories accounted several factors such as errors in fetal brain development, genetic, use of alcohol and drugs, problems during pregnancy, and toxins in the child’s environment. All of these factors contribute to one’s understanding of the existence of such kind of disorder. Several steps have been taken to minimize the adverse effects of this learning disorder such as medication and therapy (MedicineNet Inc, 2002).

From a psychological standpoint, I appreciate the various theoretical offerings on the causes of learning disorder of this article. However, I believe that one of the important dichotomies in psychology was underrated by this work, i.e. the genetic vs. environment consideration. Although genetic factors complemented by the cellular basis of learning were considered, the social environment of the child definitely plays a role here as well. This article should have explored on this aspect too. Psychological studies, indeed, have shown that both genes and environment are major determinants of many major human processes (Smith et al., 2003). In addition, the socialization process goes with it too.
Although this article is mainly about learning disabilities, the inclusion of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, though spurious for this matter, is a beneficial one. It was able to present how learning disability becomes an inevitable consequence of the presence of ADHD. Further, it goes to show several remedial processes that one may undergo to defeat the effects of ADHD and learning disorder – such as medication, therapy, and educational options.
The social impact of learning disorder was also mentioned in this article, which is a valuable aspect to look on. Children who suffer from this disorder also suffer from frustration and low self-esteem. Indeed, this is serious matter. The good thing is that several laws have been passed in relation to this problem. First, children with this disorder are guaranteed of free public education which is intended to respond to their specific needs (MedicineNet Inc, 2002). This is supported by a particular stipulation under section 200.2 of Part 2 Regulations of NYS school codes which specifies that an arrangement of special education programs and services for a preschool student with a disability shall be made.
This is a very important undertaking in relation to the development of children with learning disorder (New York State Education Website, 2005). This regulation acknowledges the differences of children’s learning development and gives special focus and treatment on children with deficiency on this. How valuable is this if you would ask me? Very much as it goes to show that the state moves toward the enrichment of every member of the society and further, this move minimizes the inequality set forth by this kind of disorder. This claim can is substantiated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which ensures equal job opportunity among people with learning disorder. This also orders employers to make reasonable accommodations to workers with this disorder (MedicineNet Inc, 2002).
The importance of parental and academic factors in the detection of learning disorder, which was highlighted in the article, can also be seen on the Individual evaluation and reevaluation stipulation under 200.4 which states that developmental and educational information of the student must be gathered plus a physical examination, observation of the student in the educational placement, and a social history are all required (New York State Education Website, 2005).
The need for social history underscores the importance of the child’s social environment as a determinant of LD, which is concurrent with the previous point that I have raised. Second, the importance of parental role was accounted for in this stipulation. The information gathered from the parent is required in the evaluation of students with learning disability.
In conclusion, learning disability is as crucial as how we perceive it to be. It affects an individual’s normal functioning; and worse, it affects the attainment of one’s fullest potential. But on a lighter note, several measures have been formulated. Thus, the partnership of parents, teachers, and the state is an important element in assisting children with learning disorder. Further, this partnership has the capacity to help these children in attaining their precious little dreams.
REFERENCES
New York State Education Website (2005). Regulation of the Commissioner of EducationPart 200- Students  with Disabilities. Retrieved October 27, 2006 from
Smith, E.E. et al. (2003). Atkinson & Hilgard’s Introduction to Psychology 14th edition.
Australia: Thomson & Wadsworth.

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