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The Sundance Times
Sundance, Wyoming
July 31, 1969     The Sundance Times
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July 31, 1969

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| Robert K. Smith School Psychologist Dickinson Iron Intermediate School District A n,um~ber of times in this eolu~nn I Iha,ve made reference ~ e hi,ldren with specific learn- g disabilities. I ha.re discuss- ecl the i,mporta~nce of early iden- t[fi~atio~ and the ad~visabilRy of retevRion ,i~n ~the kindergarten rather than in the early elemen- fatty grades, ~nd last week I dis- cUSsed some of the activities ~hich help children get ready to learn. I think it a~ropriaCe to enter ltJ~o a more thorough discussion 0~ ~he child with sped,tic learn- lag disabiliies so that my read- ers m~y gain some understanding ~f the Child ,and of his particular Problems. One of the most interesting aspects in the qidentificati.on of leve~l of a ggress'i'on a,nd o~ten fighting with other children. ,Leading ~a,uthorities ~)n the sub- ject are not in agreemen as to the number of ,cl~ildren ,so af- fected. Studies ,on ,the subject have revealed tha,t as little as five per cen or as many as 20 per cen,t of the total school en- roll'ment may have specific learzfing disabilities. Th,e general characteristics of the child with a specific learn- i~g disability do not follow a pa.r~icular p~ttern; hmve~cer, I will try ~o list some af the char- acteristics Which seexa o Mfect a large proportion of these chil- dren. I~ellectual capacity of the child will range fro~ low aver. age to above average and. occa- sionally a bright child will be so a~fe~ted. Learning disabiliJties are normally pvedorninant in re~ing,,,, arithme~bie and spelling. ~ child with lea~'ning disabilities s ~he fact that .he .is .capable of A~ other ti,mes, general eoovdina- I.~Ide variety, of h.ehavior and is ~ion is affected and prinCdng, ~etenCi~m, es aJm.o~ im,poss~ble to writing or drawoing may be ex- erect. There are a nuTnber oftremely poor and the child might sYVaptoms whi~ch give some clues maya in a jerky and erratic man- a.s to his identi~y ,but an accurate her. diagn,osis is not possible without Mater coordination is often af- a thorovgh psychological exam- The child wifih learning dis- ~bil~ies ,has been diagnosed Over the years with a wide vari- ety of medicaI4ype labels, the ~ost 'accurate, and currently the ~aost popular, of which is "mini- ~l~abrain d~"sfunvtion." A very ,. d definition of ~the term, ~r~tnimat brain dy~unetion" footed and fi.ne muscle perform- ance such a,s b,u~ttoning clothes, tying shoes ~and cutting ~vi,th ~is~rs may be diffi,cul~t for the child to a,ccompli~h. In the more severe cases, the youngster may experience difficulW in catch- ing a bail, ridin~g a ,hi,cycle or in learning to sw~m. In a large number of cases, the child is hyperactive. He ~ld indicate an ~mpairment or seems to be in consta,p,t motion of development in some and ~lits from one object to an- ~aladl ,g~up of cells in a particu- other. He a,ppea,rs restless and av segments of the brain ha~ing even when watching TV some ~do with one ,of Che ,pa~t of his body ~vitl be in con- sensory actions. Stated ,more simply, stan moion. ~aean say cheat a tiny group of A lesser n,unvber 0 children in cells is ~ailin,g to function heh~ve in an opposite manner ProperlT, tlms causing a pro,b- and are slow a,nd often appear in so,me aspect of learn,ing, to be daydreaming. These young- ~e~(iProble,m is most always cen- sters move, Chink and speak in th in vision or i,n hearing and a slow and @pparently delibera~te ne learning .~r~blem u sual,ly af- .manner. feets the abili~y~ read. On ,the emotional level, the child is area ,considered high The 0r~bl, ems are not always ,s~crun,g and nervous. He is over- ~0afined to the ]earning area. ly sensitive and his .e~notional ~twa Che difficulty results in behavior eh,anges ~from respon- behavior ,characteristics which sive ,and ,gentle to e:cplosi,ve, witch irma disru~in:g ~oth at home and oceasion.al Cempev Cantruvns. He !1 t~e classroom. The behavior is often aggressive and seems to ge~lerally ~anges from simple get into a large n.umber of fights (iarupti,on of activities to e ~hl$h width other children. ~,~____~_________,~_=..___;.Another ch.~racteristie of the (~ child ~vith ~earning disability is an extremely shore attention nge blossom span and inabili~y ~ understand instructions. O~ften the child forgets Wh,a,t he is told ,to do al- most immediately. He distravts easily 'and ~a,n't seem to keep ihis mind on any su,bj,ect more than a b~ief moment. The behavior of su,ch children is often impulsi,ve and unpre- dictable. They ~,ct with no i>l~n- ning and little ,foresight. The range of impulsive behavior is very ~wide and covers an a~ay ~f und~esirable aeti~iies from $265 DR. T. H. PROCTOR 1 OPTOMETRIST | Ph. 578-1761, | Deadwood | Ground Floor, 1 Franklin Hotel BuildingJ [ DR. CARL MOORE ! l DENTIST i J Clark$on Medical Bldg. J J Belle Fourche, S.D. / J Tues.,-Sat., $ a.m. to $ p.m. / "re the girl who knows what she ~ants but not where to find it. Match your style with our ~a.ny distinctive designs. And ~_Sk us about our famous IJrange Blossom guarantee, YOur Quality Jewelry Store "Where Gifts Beomo Keep~kes" Belle Fovrche speaki.n~g ot~t at inappropriate times to stealing or damaging the pxaperty of others. Let ~ne stress the ~act tha~ the clvaracteristics ou~lined above ate only xymptoms and that a non,Iwafessional dia, gno~is should never be made on the basis of these ,types of activities. ~ a child is h'aving learning trou. bles in school and is ~so con- sidered somewhat of a behav- ior problem, he should he re. ferred for a thorough psychologi- cal exam~na, tion. Early 8etec- tioa and diagnosis af the child with learning difficulties are nec- essary to ,provide the best types o~ remed, iation. Discussion of ,thi,s subject will be continued in the next column. ALWAYS FIRST QUALITY ,S.D. Fashion Manor blankets and all our Fashion Manor sheets[ ~..|' 'FASHIONAIRE' ALL ACRYLIC THERMAL BLANKET Twln 60"x90" tog. 6.99 NOW Full 80"x90'~ ...... reg. 7,99 NOW 6.88 Use our thermal all year long. Stay cool In summer, warm in winter. Mahine washable in warm water. Beautiful colors: gold, pink, green. 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