Multisensory Techniques Help Parents Accommodate Learning Styles: Auditory Techniques:

Auditory Techniques Multisensory techniques that focus on sound and stimulate verbal reasoning are called auditory techniques. Auditory techniques include strategies such as using:

Computerized text readers, augmentative communication devices; auditory trainers; hearing aids; books on tape, podcasts, and peer-assisted reading;

Video, film, or multi-image media with accompanying audio; and

Music, song, instruments, speaking, rhymes, chants, and language games.

Tactile Teaching Methods:


Multisensory techniques that involve using the sense of touch are called tactile methods. Tactile methods include strategies such as:


Preschool and primary games involving jumping rope, clapping, stomping or other movements paired with activities while counting, and singing songs related to concepts;

All tactile activities mentioned above; and  any large motor activity for older students involving dancing, beanbag tossing, basketball, or other such activities involving concepts, rhythmic recall, and academic competition such as current events quizzes, flashcard races, and other learning games.


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What Causes Learning Disabilities?

Learning DisabilitiesExperts aren’t exactly sure what causes learning disabilities. In fact, there is often no apparent cause for LD. LD may be due to

Heredity. Often learning disabilities run in families. Children with LD are likely to have parents or other relatives with similar difficulties.

Problems during pregnancy and birth. An illness or injury during or before birth may cause an LD. Drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, low birth weight, lack of oxygen and premature or prolonged labor may also lead to an LD.

Incidents after birth. Serious illness, head injuries, poor nutrition and exposure to toxins such as lead can contribute to LD.

Learning disabilities are not caused by economic disadvantage or cultural differences, nor are they the result of lack of educational opportunity. That said, children who are denied timely and effective instruction during critical times during their development are at high risk for showing signs of LD during the school years and beyond.


Are Learning Disabilities Common?

Today, approximately 2.4 million school-aged children in the U.S. are identified as having specific learning disabilities (SLD) and receive some kind of special education support.1 These numbers do not include children in private and religious schools or those who are home-schooled.


What Can You Do About Learning Disabilities?

Learning disabilities are lifelong challenges. Although they don’t go away, they should not stop individuals from from achieving their goals. A learning disability is not a disease, and there is no single course of treatment or intervention that works for everyone. The first step to overcoming the challenges posed by LD is to recognize that a problem might exist. Then seek help from qualified professionals, who can provide guidance through a personalized evaluation process. Working with a trusted team of professionals, it is then possible to identify the types of accommodations, services and supports that will lead to success.



The LD identification process is not set in stone and will vary from state to state (for school age children) and from one adult to another depending upon the nature of the presenting difficulties and the professionals enlisted to provide testing and guidance. For example, an elementary school age child who shows signs of dyslexia (specific LD in reading) might demonstrate excellent skills in math, so an evaluation would be tailored to better understand the specific components of reading (i.e., phonemic awareness, comprehension, automaticity) that would help with planning an appropriate course of instruction and intervention.


If a parent suspects that their child might have a learning disability, it is important that they record (in writing) their observations and share them with, teachers, physicians and others who might be able to confirm or add important detail. If informal efforts to help the child overcome these difficulties is not successful (over a short period of time the next step is to initiate (in writing) a request to begin a formal evaluation process.


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Truths Parent Involvement: Truth #1: Parent involvement is all about the children.

ParentInvolvement, SchoolPrograms, SchoolSystemIt’s important to be clear about the purpose of parent involvement.  It is all about making sure that children get the best education possible.

Dr. Joyce Epstein at the Johns Hopkins University Center on School, Family and Community Partnerships makes the point very well when she says:

“The way schools care about children is reflected in the way schools care about the children’s families.

If educators view children simply as students, they are likely to see the family as separate from the school. That is, the family is expected to do its job and leave the education of children to the schools.

If educators view students as children, they are likely to see both the family and the community as partners with the school in children’s education and development.”


Our schools alone cannot provide the complete education children must have.

Parent involvement is all about the children and making sure they receive the kind of education they deserve and must have to be successful in this ever-changing world  as we prepare for the future.


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Multisensory Techniques Help Teachers Accommodate Learning Styles:

Multisensory TechniquesSome researchers theorize that many students have an area of sensory learning strength, sometimes called a learning style. This research suggests that when students are taught using techniques consistent with their learning styles, they learn more easily, faster, and can retain and apply concepts more readily to future learning. Most students, with a disability or not, enjoy the engaging variety that multisensory techniques can offer.



Stimulating Visual Reasoning and Learning:


Multisensory techniques often include visual teaching methods and strategies such as using:

Text and/or pictures on paper, posters, models, projection screens, or computers;

Film, video, multi-image media, augmentative picture communication cards or devices, finger spelling and sign language;

Adaptive Reading Materials;

Use of color for highlighting, organizing information, or imagery;

Graphic organizers, and outlining passages; and

Student-created art, images, text, pictures, and video.



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What Are Learning Disabilities?

Learning DisabilitesLearning disabilities (LDs) are real. They affect the brain’s ability to receive, process, store, respond to and communicate information. LDs are actually a group of disorders, not a single disorder.


Learning disabilities are not the same as intellectual disabilities (formerly known as mental retardation), sensory impairments (vision or hearing) or autism spectrum disorders. People with LD are of average or above-average intelligence but still struggle to acquireskills that impact their performance in school, at home, in the community and in the workplace. Learning disabilities are lifelong, and the sooner they are recognized and identified, the sooner steps can be taken to circumvent or overcome the challenges they present.


How Can You Tell If Someone Has a Learning Disability?

The hallmark sign of a learning disability is a distinct and unexplained gap between a person’s level of expected achievement and their performance. Learning disabilities affect every person differentlyand they present differently at various stages of development. LDs can range from mild to severe and it is not uncommon for people to have more than one learning disability. In addition, about one-third of individuals with LD also have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While LD and ADHD can share common features, such as difficulties with concentration, memory, and organizational skills, they are not the same types of disorder. Unfortunately, LD is often confused with ADHD and is frequently mistaken as laziness or associated with disorders of emotion and behavior. A careful and thorough review of concerns, with input from multiple sources (including parents, educators, physicians, psychologists, speech-language providers and, of course, the person themselves) is the only way to rule in or rule out a learning disability.


Learning disabilities can affect a person’s ability in the areas of









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