As a Learning Disabilities Teacher consultant I am an educational specialist who has the professional preparation and experience to:
Make an assessment and analysis of a child's learning characteristics (assets and deficits)
Design instructional strategies and plan educational programs
Play an active role on a multi-disciplinary team
Act as an educational consultant to classroom teachers
Plan for and provide in service education
Serve as a case manager as assigned and maintains appropriate case records
Basically, my role is one of "helping", "assisting", "supporting" or "enabling another individual or group of individuals to become more competent in a particular situation.
What is a Learning Disability?
The individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal special education law, defines learning disabilities as follows:
"Specific Learning Disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, more to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include children who have learning problems, which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, environment, cultural or economic disadvantage.
Learning disabilities are the most common developmental disability found in children. "Learning disabilities" describes a group of chronic neurological deficits that affect the ability to master new learning commensurate with a person's intelligence. Although a person with a learning disability can benefit from early and accurate diagnosis, the impact of this disorder can persist throughout life.
Learning disabilities occur when the brain doesn't perform correctly all that it is suppose to do with regard to learning. It is important to remember that learning disabilities are not behavioral disorders or problems with motivation ("He could do it if he tried") - although, left untreated, inappropriate behavior and problems with motivation can develop.