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Description of Common Disabilities

What is ADHD?

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition that makes it hard for children to focus, sit still, follow directions, control impulses, or pay attention.

What are Signs of ADHD?

Symptoms of ADHD are broken into two components; hyperactive and impulsive behaviors and inattentive behaviors.

What Does ADHD Look Like in a School Setting?

  • Difficulty with organization
  • Struggling to follow directions
  • Easily distracted
  • Blurting out answers or excessive talking
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Forgetful or misplaces items
  • Impatient
  • Always on the go or “driven by a motor”
  • Fidgeting or squirming

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder which impacts the way in which a child develops. 

What are Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder showcase deficits in social skills, communication, and repetitive behaviors. The disorder has a extensive range of symptoms, language skills, behaviors and cognitive abilities. 

What Does Autism Spectrum Disorder Look Like in a School Setting?

  • Difficulty commencing in a back and forth conversation
  • Struggles to make eye contact
  • Lower displays or aversion to affection
  • Prefers to play alone
  • Difficulty handling minor changes in daily routine
  • Consuming interests in a specific topics 
  • Struggling to recognize emotions of other people or reading their body language
  • Sorts, lines up or organizes toys or objects

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a type of learning disability that impacts a child’s ability to process words or numbers. Children with dyslexia put in more effort than their peers to keep up with their work but struggle with reading fluently - with ease, quickly and automatically. 

What are Signs of Dyslexia?

Younger children with dyslexia may struggle with differentiating left from right, a hard time following directions, experience speech delays, difficulty with learning simple rhymes, repeat or leave out short words like “and”, “but”, and “the”.

What Does Dyslexia Look Like in a School Setting?

  • Struggling to copy notes from the board
  • Difficulty learning how to read
  • Reversing letters or numbers
  • Spelling incorrectly or will spell phonetically i.e. “gitar” instead of “guitar”
  • Avoidance in reading aloud in class
  • Tires easily from reading
  • Impacts on reading fluency
  • Struggling with rhyming words 

What is Emotional Disturbance (ED)?

An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors. Behaviors that are situationally inappropriate. A generally depressed mood or unhappiness. Weaknesses in building and maintaining relationships with peers or teachers. 

What are Signs of ED?

  • Rebellious Actions
  • Frequent/Unnecessary Arguments
  • Withdrawal from Peers 
  • Inability to Cope with Environment (Anxiety, Mood Swings)

What Does ED Look Like in a School Setting?

  • Truancy or Attendance Issues to Class
  • Aggressive Attitudes or Tantrums
  • Performing Below Grade Level
  • Hostility Towards Authority
  • Immature Behaviors
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Environmental Anxiety
  • Eating Disorder(s)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What is a Learning Disability?

A Learning Disability is a term used to describe a variety of learning problems. The disability is in a relation to the way the brain gets, stores, and sends information. 

What are Signs of a Learning Disability?

Children who have a learning disability have difficulty in reading, writing, math, listening, speaking, and reasoning.

What Does a Learning Disability Look Like in a School Setting?

  • Struggle to follow directions
  • Difficulty staying organized in school and at home
  • Difficulty learning and remembering facts
  • Struggle to write clearly (poor handwriting)
  • Focus on and complete school work
  • Struggle to understand abstract concepts
  • Difficulty understanding body language and nonverbal cues
  • Difficulty recognizing and drawing shapes