ERIC Identifier: ED352780
Publication Date: 1992-00-00
Author: Lokerson, Jean
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Handicapped and Gifted Children Reston VA.
Learning Disabilities: Glossary of Some Important Terms. ERIC
Accommodations. Techniques and materials that allow individuals with LD to
complete school or work tasks with greater ease and effectiveness. Examples
include spellcheckers, tape recorders, and expanded time for completing
Assistive Technology. Equipment that enhances the ability of students and
employees to be more efficient and successful. For individuals with LD, computer
grammar checkers, an overhead projector used by a teacher, or the audiovisual
information delivered through a CD-ROM would be typical examples.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). A severe difficulty in focusing and
maintaining attention. Often leads to learning and behavior problems at home,
school, and work. Also called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Brain Imaging Techniques. Recently developed, noninvasive techniques for
studying the activity of living brains. Includes brain electrical activity
mapping (BEAM), computerized axial tomography (CAT), and magnetic resonance
Brain Injury. The physical damage to brain tissue or structure that occurs
before, during, or after birth that is verified by EEG, MRI, CAT, or a similar
examination, rather than by observation of performance. When caused by an
accident, the damage may be called Traumatic Brain Injury
Collaboration. A program model in which the LD
teacher demonstrates for or team teaches with the general classroom teacher to
help a student with LD be successful in a regular classroom.
Developmental Aphasia. A severe language disorder that is presumed to be due
to brain injury rather than because of a developmental delay in the normal
acquisition of language.
Direct Instruction. An instructional approach to academic subjects that
emphasizes the use of carefully sequenced steps that include demonstration,
modeling, guided practice, and independent application.
Dyscalculia. A severe difficulty in understanding and using symbols or
functions needed for success in mathematics.
Dysgraphia. A severe difficulty in producing handwriting that is legible and
written at an age-appropriate speed.
Dyslexia. A severe difficulty in understanding or using one or more areas of
language, including listening, speaking, reading, writing, and spelling.
Dysnomia. A marked difficulty in remembering names or recalling words needed
for oral or written language.
Dyspraxia. A severe difficulty in performing drawing, writing, buttoning, and
other tasks requiring fine motor skill, or in sequencing the necessary
Learned Helplessness. A tendency to be a passive learner who depends on
others for decisions and guidance. In individuals with LD, continued struggle
and failure can heighten this lack of self-confidence.
Learning Modalities. Approaches to assessment or instruction stressing the
auditory, visual, or tactile avenues for learning that are dependent upon the
Learning Strategy Approaches. Instructional approaches that focus on
efficient ways to learn, rather than on curriculum. Includes specific techniques
for organizing, actively interacting with material, memorizing, and monitoring
any content or subject.
Learning Styles. Approaches to assessment or instruction emphasizing the
variations in temperament, attitude, and preferred manner of tackling a task.
Typically considered are styles along the active/passive, reflective/impulsive,
or verbal/spatial dimensions.
Locus of Control. The tendency to attribute success and difficulties either
to internal factors such as effort or to external factors such as chance.
Individuals with learning disabilities tend to blame failure on themselves and
achievement on luck, leading to frustration and passivity.
Metacognitive Learning. Instructional approaches emphasizing awareness of the
cognitive processes that facilitate one's own learning and its application to
academic and work assignments. Typical metacognitive techniques include
systematic rehearsal of steps or conscious selection among strategies for
completing a task.
Minimal Brain Dysfunction (MBD). A medical and psychological term originally
used to refer to the learning difficulties that seemed to result from identified
or presumed damage to the brain. Reflects a medical, rather than educational or
Multisensory Learning. An instructional approach that combines auditory,
visual, and tactile elements into a learning task. Tracing sandpaper numbers
while saying a number fact aloud would be a multisensory learning activity.
Neuropsychological Examination. A series of tasks that allow observation of
performance that is presumed to be related to the intactness of brain function.
Perceptual Handicap. Difficulty in accurately processing, organizing, and
discriminating among visual, auditory, or tactile information. A person with a
perceptual handicap may say that "cap/cup" sound the same or that "b" and "d"
look the same. However, glasses or hearing aids do not necessarily indicate a
Prereferral Process. A procedure in which special and regular teachers
develop trial strategies to help a student showing difficulty in learning remain
in the regular classroom.
Resource Program. A program model in which a student with LD is in a regular
classroom for most of each day, but also receives regularly scheduled individual
services in a specialized LD resource classroom.
Self-Advocacy. The development of specific skills and understandings that
enable children and adults to explain their specific learning disabilities to
others and cope positively with the attitudes of peers, parents, teachers, and
Specific Language Disability (SLD). A severe difficulty in some aspect of
listening, speaking, reading, writing, or spelling, while skills in the other
areas are age-appropriate. Also called Specific Language Learning Disability
Specific Learning Disability (SLD). The official term used in federal
legislation to refer to difficulty in certain areas of learning, rather than in
all areas of learning. Synonymous with learning disabilities.
Subtype Research. A recently developed research method that seeks to identify
characteristics that are common to specific groups within the larger population
of individuals identified as having learning disabilities.
Transition. Commonly used to refer to the change from secondary school to
postsecondary programs, work, and independent living typical of young adults.
Also used to describe other periods of major change such as from early childhood
to school or from more specialized to mainstreamed settings.