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Special Education Characteristics, Accommodations and Strategies

Home | Sources | Autism | Mental Retardation | Learning Disability | Other Health Impaired | Emotionally Disturbed | Visually Impaired | Hearing Impaired | Orthopedically Impaired

Learning Disability

"Specific learning disability means a disorder in one of 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 or to do mathematical calculations.  The term inclused such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain in jury, 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, or emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage." (IDEA 2004)


  1. Academic deficits
  2. Language deficits
  3. Social-emotional problems
  4. Attention deficits and/or hyperactivity
  5. Memory difficulties
  6. Cognitive delays
  7. Perceptual differences
  8. Motor skill and coordination problems


  1. Pre-teach vocabulary
  2. Flexible time limits
  3. Flexible seating
  4. Alternative presentation format
  5. Alternative response format
  6. Advance organizer
  7. Number tables and charts
  8. Calculators (regular or speaking)
  9. Modified assignments
  10. Safe place
  11. Clarify directions


  1. State directions/rules and expectations clearly
  2. Use of visuals
  3. Teach social and emotional skills
  4. Remediate basic skills
  5. Direct instruction
  6. Structured learning
  7. Cooperative learning
  8. Peer teaching/review
  9. Build home-school connections
  10. Hands-on and interactive learning
  11. Computer programs for skill-building in math and reading
  12. Re-teach phonics if needed

This site was created by Ann Kuehnel who is
a classroom teaching in the
Springfield School District,
Springfield, Illinois.