Reaction Paper 3

Reaction Paper 3- A Reconceptualization of Learning Disabilities via a Self-Organizing
Systems Paradigm & The Connection Between Social-Emotional an Learning Disabilities
Movie: Understanding Disabilities
Jinnifer Maust
SPE 550 2/8/2010
Of the reading we have done thus far, I had a hard time with the one from David
Zera but I really enjoyed the one by Maurice Elias. I whole-heartedly agree with the fact
that many of the students with learning disabilities have difficulties with social
relationships. I notice this even more prevalently in my student with autism. I think that it
is beneficial where I work that they do ability grouping only for the fact that students feel
more accepted within the group of peers that they are with every day. But generally
speaking, I agree that these LD students tend to not be accepted by their non-disabled
peers and display shortcomings in the way that they interact with peers and adults. I do
see this more in older students, (3rd grade and above) and I think it is when a student has
an ability that really impacts their life. Language impairment, as stated in the reading, is
another one that I really see affecting student’s social interactions. I was very interested
in the SEL principals that promote social and emotional learning. We are constantly
trying to teach our students the importance of respect and responsibility and this is an
idea that can work for both regular and special educators.
I noticed in both articles, the focus on Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NLD). According
to Zera, NLD is a syndrome and students with NLD may exhibit a very different pattern
of dysfunction. I think that this can include social communication such as difficulty
comprehending nonverbal communication as well as adjusting to social situations. This
makes me think of a student who I have to be very literal with because he has no idea
how to distinguish between kidding and joking. I think that the SEL skills would be very
beneficial to many of my students (especially my student with autism). I think of him not
being able to regulate and manage his emotions, especially anger and hope that I can use
some of the things I have read to help me in my classroom. I am going to copy the
“ANGER THERMOMETER” to use with him. I also think that recognizing his strengths
will be powerful as well. He takes a lot of pride in doing things well. I know that he will
take pride in making contributions in any way he can to our classroom. I thought the
accommodations such as having consistent order and structure in the classroom and
offering immediate feedback in a firm and caring way were very important parts of this
article as well. I gained a lot of useful information from the Elias article. It will definitely
go in my easy to access collection.
After finally finding and watching the video I realized I would like my colleagues and
even parents of special needs students to also watch it just for the purpose of helping
explain IEP’S and how we need to keep in mind that these students have a special way of
learning. And I think that I noticed something that I wish that other teachers would
notice, just because a student has been identified in an area such as math for example,
does not mean they will be qualified in all areas. They may be a great reader And soar in
Social Studies. We can’t label them across the board.
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