Disabilities: Glossary of Some Important Terms
ERIC Digest 352780, 1992
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
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
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
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 imaging
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
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.
A severe language disorder that is presumed to be due to brain injury
rather than because of a developmental delay in the normal acquisition
An instructional approach to academic subjects that emphasizes the
use of carefully sequenced steps that include demonstration, modeling,
guided practice, and independent application.
severe difficulty in understanding and using symbols or functions
needed for success in mathematics.
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
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.
Approaches to assessment or instruction stressing the auditory,
visual, or tactile avenues for learning that are dependent upon
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.
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.
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 vocational orientation.
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.
Examination. A series of tasks that allow observation of performance
that is presumed to be related to the intactness of brain function.
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 perceptual handicap.
A procedure in which special and regular teachers develop trial
strategies to help a student showing difficulty in learning remain
in the regular classroom.
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.
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 employers.
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 (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.
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.
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
ED352780 92 Learning
Disabilities: Glossary of Some Important Terms. ERIC EC Digest #E517.
Author: Lokerson, Jean
Council for Exceptional
Children, Reston, Va.; ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted
Children, Reston, Va.
THIS DIGEST WAS CREATED
BY ERIC, THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATION CENTER. FOR MORE
INFORMATION ABOUT ERIC, CONTACT ACCESS ERIC 1-800-LET-ERIC
Note: The content of
this digest was developed by Dr. Jean Lokerson, DLD President, 1991-92;
Associate Professor, LD Program, School of Education, Virginia Commonwealth
University, Richmond, VA.
This publication was
prepared with funding from the Office of Educational Research and
Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, under contract no. RI88062007.
The opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect
the positions or policies of OERI or the Department of Education.