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Posted: September 4th, 2023

Disability Comparison Template

Special education teachers are part of the assessment team that determines eligibility for special education services. There are 14 major eligibility categories defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For each of these disability categories, educators must have general knowledge of the guidelines for eligibility, characteristics, causes, effects on learning, and how often the disabilities occur within a defined population in order to contribute to team collaboration and consult articulately with staff and parents/guardians. Additionally, there are specific conditions, such as dyslexia, that are included within each of the broad categories, and special education teachers must be well informed about the potential effects on learning for each specific disorder.

Use the information in the textbook and topic Resources to complete the “Disability Comparison Template” to summarize information for the categories of disability under IDEA as well as for common, specific learning disabilities. The first category, Autism, is completed for you.

APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.
Disability Comparison Template

Part 1

For this section of the template, focus on gathering details about the IDEA disability categories. Review the textbook and the topic study materials and use them to complete the chart. Note that “Autism” has been completed for you as an example.

Disability Category

Definition

Characteristics

Causes

Prevalence

Potential Effect on Learning

Autism

Autism is a developmental disability that affects communication (verbal and nonverbal) and social skills.

-Difficulty communicating and interpreting motives and cues of others

-Not comfortable with change

-Poor social skills

-May engage in the same activity over and over (SARRC, n.d.)

The causes of autism are not clear, but has something to do with brain development before birth.

Autism is one of the fastest growing disabilities. Prevalence has changed to 1 in 68 children in U.S. (Autism Society, 2016, para. 2)

Difficulty with written expression. Reading comprehension, math problem solving, fine and gross motor skills may also be affected, over and under selective attention

Deaf-Blind

Deafness

Developmental Delay

Emotional Disturbance

Hearing Impairment

Intellectual Disability

Multiple Disabilities

Orthopedic Impairment

Other Health Impairment

Specific Learning Disability

Speech or Language Impairment

Traumatic Brain Injury

Visual Impairment Including Blindness

Part 2

For this section of the template, focus on gathering details about common, specific learning disabilities. These disabilities fall under the IDEA disability categories you researched for the chart above. Review the textbook and the topic study materials and use them to complete the chart.

Learning Disability

Definition

Characteristics

Causes

Prevalence

Potential Effect on Learning

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Dyscalculia

Dysgraphia

Dyslexia

Dysphasia/Aphasia

Dyspraxia

Language Processing Disorder (LPD)

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities

Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
Learning Disability

Definition

Characteristics

Causes

Prevalence

Potential Effect on Learning

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

-Inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity

-Difficulty with organization, time management, and completing tasks

-Distractibility

-Forgetfulness

-The causes of ADHD are not yet fully understood, but are believed to be a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and brain development.

-The prevalence of ADHD in children is estimated to be around 7.2% in the United States (CDC, 2021).

-Difficulty with attention, focus, memory, organization, and time management. May also affect academic performance and social skills.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

APD is a hearing disorder in which the brain has difficulty processing sounds in the normal way.

-Difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments

-Difficulty following verbal instructions

-Difficulty with phonological awareness and reading comprehension

-The causes of APD are not well understood, but it is believed to be related to the way the brain processes sound.

-The prevalence of APD in children is estimated to be around 5-7% (ASHA, n.d.).

-Difficulty with reading, spelling, and language comprehension. May also affect social skills and behavior.

Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability in math that affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math facts.

-Difficulty understanding math concepts and symbols

-Difficulty with math reasoning and problem solving

-Poor mental math skills

-The causes of dyscalculia are not well understood, but it is believed to be related to differences in brain development and functioning.

-The prevalence of dyscalculia in children is estimated to be around 5-7% (APA, n.d.).

-Difficulty with math calculation, reasoning, and problem solving. May also affect reading and attention.

Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability in writing that affects a person’s ability to write legibly and express thoughts in writing.

-Difficulty with handwriting, spelling, and punctuation

-Difficulty with written expression and organization

-Difficulty with fine motor skills

-The causes of dysgraphia are not well understood, but it is believed to be related to differences in brain development and functioning.

-The prevalence of dysgraphia in children is estimated to be around 7-15% (LD Online, n.d.).

-Difficulty with written expression, spelling, and handwriting. May also affect attention and reading.

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability in reading that affects a person’s ability to read fluently and accurately.

-Difficulty with decoding and phonological processing

-Difficulty with reading comprehension and fluency

-Poor spelling skills

-The causes of dyslexia are not well understood, but it is believed to be related to differences in brain development and functioning.

-The prevalence of dyslexia in children is estimated to be around 5-17% (IDA, n.d.).

-Difficulty with reading fluency, comprehension, and spelling. May also affect writing and attention.

Dysphasia/Aphasia

Dysphasia/Aphasia is a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate effectively.

-Difficulty with spoken language, including word finding and grammar

-Difficulty with comprehension and expression of written language

-The causes of dysphasia/aphasia vary, but can be related to brain injury, stroke, or other neurological conditions.

-The prevalence of dysphasia/aphasia in children is not well

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