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New Era University

College of Arts and Science

Psychology Program

Name: James R.
Grade Level: 4
Gender: Male
Birthday: August 11, 2004
Age: 11
Disability: Learning Disorder and Mild Autism
Mothers Name: Janice A.
Fathers Name: Joseph A.

New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

At age of 2, James parents notice James still wont learn to walk and
his grip is still weak. They notice that James is slow learner. Later on he
was diagnosed that he has learning disability and a mild autism.
When he was in grade 2-3 he was in full inclusion but he has
difficulty in catching up lesson but it takes time and he easily forget some of
what has been taught. His long term memory is feeble particularly in his
memory retention like for example in math, he forget to subtract and add
alone, he needs example just to remember how to solve. His
comprehension is also weak too, subjects like Filipino and science is hard
for him to understand. He was easily get distracted when his classmates or
things moved and he is also easy get bored. He has difficulty in listening
when the teacher ask him a question sometimes he ignores it. So James
recommend in multilevel transition.
At grade 4 his results in studies is getting high compare when he was
in full inclusion. The educational coach teach James easily. He is guided by
the Sped teacher with the help of his results in IEP with short term
objectives, strategies and resources and assessment procedures. When
the educational coach breaks down the work step by step, and guides him

New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

through it, he can complete his assignments and even activities

successfully. But James is still easily get bored when he was teaching and
his ability to focus is still in short limit even when he is playing.
James is an enthusiastic boy who, in spite of his past difficulties with
learning. His social skill is good, he is friendly. He talks a lot, usually about
a favorite subject.

New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

Related Literature

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms
for a group of complex disorders particularly in brain development. These
disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social
interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
In James case, he has a mild autism.
Children with autism may fail to respond to their name and often
avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what
others are thinking or feeling because they cant understand social cues,
such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and dont watch other peoples
faces for clues about appropriate behavior. They often lack empathy and
engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or in selfabusive behavior such as biting or head-banging. They also tend to start
speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name
instead of I or me. Children with autism dont know how to play

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Psychology Program

interactively with other children. Some speak in a sing-song voice about a

narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the
person to whom they are speaking. Many children with autism have a
reduced sensitivity to pain, but are abnormally sensitive to sound, touch, or
other sensory stimulation. These unusual reactions may contribute to
behavioral symptoms such as a resistance to being cuddled or hugged.
Some of these signs are seen in James behavior like repetitive behavior
and gestures.
ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor
coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and
gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills,
music, math and art. But James hate to color, like coloring books and even
activities that the instruction has need to color things in the paper.
Autism treated in a way that each child or adult with autism is unique
and, so, each autism intervention plan should be tailored to address
specific needs. Proven treatments prompts many parents to pursue their
own research often using the "trial and error" method. One quick Google

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Psychology Program

search yields close to 1.5 million "hits" on the topic of "ASD treatment"
truly everything you would want to know about treating ASDs. A preliminary
study conducted in 2004 by Dr. Vanessa Green and colleagues1 found that
over a hundred different treatments were being tried by families across the
United States and that, on average, parents were using seven different
treatments at one time for their child. The number and types of treatments
being used varied with the childs age and the severity of the childs
disability. Many of even the most commonly used treatments lack empirical
Another treatment for autism may include a Special education:
Education is structured to meet the child's unique educational needs.
Behavior modification: This includes strategies for supporting positive
behavior and decreasing problem behaviors. Speech, physical, or
occupational therapy: These therapies are designed to increase the child's
functional abilities. Social skills therapies : These therapies address
language and social pragmatics in those verbal individuals with autism.

New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

Learning Disability
Comorbid with Autism is Learning Disability of James. Learning
Disability is neurologically-based processing problems. These processing
problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing
and/or math. They can also interfere with higher level skills such as
organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory
and attention. It is important to realize that learning disabilities can affect
an individuals life beyond academics and can impact relationships with
family, friends and in the workplace.
In James case, his long term memory, retention and also his
comprehension are the problem. We all know that ong-term memory refers
to the storage of information over an extended period. If you can remember
something that happened more than just a few moment ago whether it
occurred just hours ago or decades earlier, then it is a long-term memory
and the retention is the endurance of behaviors which have been learned
or acquired when the behavior is not being utilized; signified by being able
to recall, relearn, recognize, or reproduce the behavior. Preservation of a
memory within the mind. A subject's refusal or incapability to defecate or

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Psychology Program

urinate. This long term memory of James is not critical like for example
when the coach tell to answer the test he would ask the educational coach
on what should do and then the educational coach explain the instruction
and give one or two example and he will do it by himself when he
remember the procedures.
His reading comprehension needs to improve. Reading
comprehension is the ability to read text, process it and understand its
meaning. An individual's ability to comprehend text is influenced by their
traits and skills, one of which is the ability to make inferences. Subjects like
science is difficult for James to understand all or most of the lesson. Math
word problem too cant perform independently by James he needs
repetitive teaching for him to remember what has been taught to him.
Unlike other children with learning disability James does not have
dyslexia, dysgraphia nor dyscalculia. Dysgraphia means a specific learning
disability that affects a persons handwriting ability and fine motor skills.
Problems may include illegible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor
spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, and difficulty composing writing as
well as thinking and writing at the same time. Dyslexia means A specific

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College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

learning disability that affects reading and related language-based

processing skills. The severity can differ in each individual but can affect
reading fluency, decoding, reading comprehension, recall, writing, spelling,
and sometimes speech and can exist along with other related disorders.
Dyslexia is sometimes referred to as a Language-Based Learning
Disability. And Dyscalculia means a specific learning disability that affects a
persons ability to understand numbers and learn math facts. Individuals
with this type of LD may also have poor comprehension of math symbols,
may struggle with memorizing and organizing numbers, have difficulty
telling time, or have trouble with counting.
Children diagnosed with learning and other disabilities can qualify for
special educational services. A child who qualifies for special education
services should receive his or her own Individualized Education Program,
or IEP. This personalized and written education plan. Lists individualized
goals for the child. Specifies the plan for services the youngster will receive
and lists the specialists who will work with the child. Like James who have
been take assessment test, IEP and educational coach.
Here are some possible treatments that can help James:

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College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

Reading Comprehension
Understanding what is being read
Thinking about how it relates to other information
Remembering what has been read

Spelling (Written and Oral)

Visual spelling (memorization of words)

Phonetic spelling (single and syllable sounds)

Symbol and sound [letter (s) and sounds] integration

Mathematics Computation

Understanding basic and complex computations in all math areas

from Addition through advanced Math

Thinking about computation internally and externally

Remembering mathematic operations

Speed of computing

Mathematics Reasoning

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Psychology Program

Understanding math concepts

Thinking about math concepts

Remembering math concepts

Understanding and remembering tables, charts, and graphs

Word problem mastery


Handwriting legibility

Expressing oneself when writing

Listening Comprehension

Attending to spoken information

Understanding what has been heard

Thinking about what has been heard

Remembering what has been heard.

Oral Expression

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College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

Formulating thoughts

Organizing thoughts

Mis-speaking (malapropisms)

Speaking coherently and easily

Thinking Skills

Age appropriate awareness

Sequential thought

Organized thought

Planning and goal orientation

Understanding and following directions

Time relationships Spatial (space) orientation

Map reading directions

Abstract/critical thinking

Concrete to abstract thinking


New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

Study Skills

Sequencing and organizing, planning, goal setting, and follow through


Note taking




Attention Focus




Over activity

Attention span



New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

Factors or Causes of Disability

Genetic Factor might be the cause of James case because on his
mother side, his two cousin have disability too. A particular disorder or
disability might be described as running in a family if more than one
person in the family has the condition. Some disorders that affect multiple
family members are caused by genemutations, which can be inherited
(passed down from parent to child). Other conditions that appear to run in
families are not caused by mutations in single genes. Instead,
environmental factors such as dietary habits or a combination of genetic
and environmental factors are responsible for these disorders.
It is not always easy to determine whether a condition in a family is
inherited. A genetics professional can use a persons family history (a
record of health information about a persons immediate and extended
family) to help determine whether a disorder has a genetic component. He


New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

or she will ask about the health of people from several generations of the
family, usually first-, second-, and third-degree relatives.
Another factor may cause is environmental factor. The role of
environmental factors in the development of autism is a crucial area of
study. We know that genetics strongly influence the risk for developing
autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, genetics alone do not account
for all instances of autism. For good reason, the increasing prevalence of
autism has generated great interest in the potential involvement of toxins in
our environment. For example, prenatal exposure to the chemicals
thalidomide and valproic acid has been linked to increased risk of autism.
Also the leaning disability has environmental factor. Although very difficult
to document as primary causes of learning disabilities, environmental
factorsparticularly impoverished living conditions early in a childs life and
poor instructionprobably contribute to the achievement deficits
experienced by many children in this special education category. The
tendency for learning disabilities to run in families suggests a correlation
between environmental influences on childrens early development and
subsequent achievement in school. Evidence for this relationship can be

New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

found in longitudinal research such as that conducted by Hart and Risley

(1995), who found that infants and toddlers who received infrequent
communication exchanges with their parents were more likely to show.
deficits in vocabulary, language use, and intellectual development before
entering school.
Sometimes the specific cause is not known. Like for example autism,
there is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder, but it is
generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or
function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the
brain in children with autism compared to in neurotypical children.


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College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program


To the Special Education Teacher

Progress of James can be monitored like checking in on students'
performance should be frequent, but uneven; probing individual students'
understanding, providing instructive feedback or monitoring individual
progress maybe rare. It is crucial to give James corrective feedback.
Advancement is maybe slow and in smaller than-common steps, both
James and the teacher need to see the tangible traces of his learning in
order to stay motivated.

To the Educational Coach


New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program

James still needs to be disciplined for him to learn more in an hour

and doesnt get easily bored and for him to increase time of his attention
and focus more on his lessons.

To the Parents
For James to motivate in learning, parents can give rewards to James
whenever he does something well. Use positive language in a calm voice,
and rather than telling him what you dont want him to do, direct him to
what he should be doing instead. For example, instead of saying stop
pulling your sisters hair, say put your hand down.

To the child
James is an intelligent boy and I believe that if he learned to focus
and disciplined he can compete with his same age students.


New Era University

College of Arts and Science
Psychology Program