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Insights on Learning Disabilities
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There is an increasing interest in how to differentiate between English language learners who experience language learning difficulties due to socio-cultural, academic, or affective factors and those who demonstrate true learning disabilities. This case study is representative of the difficulty many teachers and administrators face as they try to determine whether or not a child who is an English language learner--and in the United States for a relatively short period of time--requires a referral for special education services. Utilizing the "Pre-Referral Data Collection Tool to Identify English Language Learners Who May Require Special Education Evaluations", the authors recount the story of a 4th grade Haitian Creole speaking newly arrived child and his academic and language difficulties. The in-depth profile created by a team of concerned and committed educators informed their instructional decisions and impacted the pre-referral process.
Cohan, Audrey Ed.D and Honigsfeld, Andrea Ed.D., "Differentiating between Learning Disabilities and Typical Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study" (2012). Faculty Works: Education. 25.