Learning Disability Versus Behavioral Problem
Thesis: Coexistence of kids with learning disabilities and those with behavioral problems leads to degeneration of the two conditions than helping. With more focus on behavioral kids at the expense of teaching priority in school, kids with learning disabilities stand a high risk of developing behavioral abnormalities in order to secure more attention.
What happens should children with behavioral problems be in the same classroom with students with learning disabilities? This is a burning question I have asked many teachers and principals. The biggest part of the equation tends to reveal that one way or the other, they all either have a learning disability or behavioral problem affect their ability to learn.
It is important to briefly explain the two conditions for proper delineation of issues without mincing words. Firstly, a learning disability is a neurobiological disorder; people with learning disabilities have brains that learn in a different style because of relative differences in brain structure and/or function. A behavior problem is observed in a child who has the capacity to learn but lacks the prerequisite discipline to sustain attention and control themselves for variety of reasons. These behavioral problems sometimes appear to be a self-defensive strategy in an attempt to resuscitate a battered ego in the society wrong perception of whom they are. Behavioral kids develop poor self-image. They get out of despondent state by acting abnormally, initiating quarrels in class as a mean of relief.
Most kids with learning disabilities are evaluated by child psychologists and set up on an peculiar or Individual Education Program (IEP). These programs often take the student out of a regular classroom environment and put them in a separate learning environment with other affected children with learning disabilities. One of the pronounced features observed in the child with a learning disability is exertion of an extra effort to learn how to read and write.
When these students are put in an environment with kids having some behavior problems, the learning process stops and the teachers’ focus tends to be automatically shifted towards the child with more obvious behavior problem(s). More often, children with behavioral problems tend to be very disruptive among peers in class. While they torment other students in class they also become violent, rowdy, notorious, throwing detached chairs and desks. They are found on some occasions uttering swear words at their teachers and fellow students. These atmosphere-disturbing activities attract the attention of teacher, hence, the prioritized expectation to focus on such abnormal behavior rather than the main learning process.
Parent of a child with learning disabilities finds it very frustrating because teaching in this condition would require constant and repetitive instructions to suppress effect of the debilities with more effort while impacting knowledge. As a mother we would get up every morning and read the same five books over and over again; training the child the flow of reading. To assist memory, we would recite five words instruction at a time. Once this is memorized, we drop a word and add new one, but never to exceed five words at a time. Lamentably, we paid for tutoring twice a week for period of four years so that our son could manage to read at a short of sixth grade level for a supposed eighth grade. We never mind the extra pay we dedicate to the teaching of our child in other to read and write for so it was, and it shall be a continuous endeavor that worths doing every moment of our life.
Since the enrollment of our children in middle class school, it is rather gripping to however, find now that our sons are in same classroom with couple of kids that lack discipline more than they have a learning disabilities. Their difference lies in their unequal challenge, in that kids with behavioral problems do have no need to struggle with learning how to read or memorize English language or in retaining the sight of every word they know. They can read but they just cannot control their unaccepted behavioral disorder. For reasons being to ensure class harmony and effective coordination, the teacher in charge has no choice but to deal with the disruptive child at the expense of teaching exercise. There is hardly a day when my son does not come home with this unceasing bitter experience. The complaint got him mad in class someday and a teacher had to take him to the principal’s office in person. Personally, I do not blame the teacher for reporting because often times some of them have no other choice but to deal with the student. Furthermore, I do not equally opined that the teacher demonstrates an act of teaching incompetence because in my own opinion, the fundamental arrangement takes away the ability to teach from the teacher by misplacement of teaching priority for coordination when kids deserving different attentions are grouped together as equals.
We have worked long and hard in school but we still have 5 years left. My fear thus far is the inexistence of caution to guide against futile teaching efforts in the long run. I fear that all we have done while teaching our son how to read might have been taken away from us because of mixture with couple of kids with other need. Is teaching atmosphere really the place to rehabilitate kids with behavioral problem? Definitely no. Of what purpose to learning goal is their co-existence together like a sojourner on the same mission whereas they are of different foundational problem? One would not be wrong to envisage a derivative of another unforeseen social problem different from the standing learning disabilities and behavioral abnormality. Should kids with behavioral problem be placed with kids that struggle to learn, or should they be left in a regular classroom or better still separated all together until they have been taught the ability to control their own behavior, each problem would appear to have rightly been embattled by tackling each problem in a more refined and in an orderly manner characterized of standardized psychosocial and educational managements.
Beyond doubt, I strongly feel that children with learning disabilities have more challenges to tackle and do deserve a clear cut definition of purpose. I do not see them having any necessary dealings with abnormal behavioral kids in school. I therefore argue as an advocator for separation of disruptive kids from those with learning disabilities. The time has come for society to actively rule out any excuses alluded for further continuity of these two different entities. With no gain saying, above evidence base submissions is the only way out of preventing further danger in our society. The school arrangement with such arrangement does no good service by allowing the disruptive behavior to continue in our schools where we expect so much of ingrained values. Our expectation must not be cut short, let the standard expectation be sustained even far beyond the status quo. Behavioral kids need more focus on sharpening of attitudes and need to be disciplined in embracing adherence to simple rules.
It would be reasonable to logically expound the tendency for kids with learning disabilities coming up with behavioral problem. This development could speedily spring out in matter of few weeks following a persistence exposure to peer influence in this wrong school cohabitation. In as much as parent in their own effort are spending both in monetary and substance of quality time to assist in filling the deficient of kids with learning disability, school setting should equally compliment this effort. Without this, it is suffice to posit an institutional attempt at counter progressive effort by the middle class school that mix both kids with learning disability with behavioral problem. It does tell that the school management understanding of both conditions is questionable and need intervention by the controlling appropriate authority. The absence of expected empathy from the affected kids spurs them to act uncontrollably like other group of individuals. They erroneously assume psychical behavioral re-orientation to gain equal attention from the teachers. It is against effective treatment protocol to help the defects in the two groups. They need to be separated.