Learners with exceptionalities are students who have special educational needs in relation to societal or school norms. An inability to perform appropriate academic tasks for any reason inherent in the learner makes that learner exceptional. (Slavin 1) About ten percent of students in the United States receive special education and there are many different types of learners with exceptionalities, including learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, mental retardation and gifted students. A handicap is defined as a condition or barrier imposed by the environment or the self and a disability is a functional limitation that interferes with a person?s mental, physical or sensory abilities. (Slavin 1)
A learning disability is a neurological disorder that affects the brain?s ability to receive, process, store and respond to information. The term learning disability is used to describe the difficulty a person of at least average intelligence has in acquiring basic academic skills. (LD 1) Learning disorders can affect a person?s ability in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and mathematics.
Other features of a learning disorder are: a distinct gap between the level of achievement that is expected and what is actually being achieved, difficulties that can become apparent in different ways with different people, difficulties that manifest themselves differently throughout development, and difficulties with socio-emotional skills and behavior. (LD 1)
Though experts aren?t exactly sure what causes learning disabilities, they may be caused by heredity, problems during pregnancy and birth, or incidents after birth. Often learning disabilities run in the family, so it is not uncommon to find that people with learning disabilities have a parent with the same problem. Illness or injury before birth may also attribute to learning disabilities. Drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, low birth weight, lack of oxygen and premature or prolonged labor may also account...