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Glossary  

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This short glossary gives the meaning of some of the most common words used on this site. For larger lists please go to:

Bridges to Practice Glossary

or to

Learning Disabilities: Glossary of Some Important Terms.
Jean Lokerson, Ph.D. ERIC Digest #E517

A Short LD Glossary
(In this glossary, LD stands for Learning Disabilities.)

Accommodations
Materials or methods that help people with LD to complete tasks successfully. Reasonable accommodations must be provided -by law- to people with diagnosed disabilities. Examples include extra work time, use of technology (tape recorder, computer) or changes in a work setting (like getting directions in writing or on tape).

Assessment
The steps taken to find out if someone has LD. Can include tests and interviews.

Assistive Technology
Equipment that helps people with LD to do things more successfully. Examples include books on tape and computer programs that assist with reading, writing, or organizing.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
A condition in which a person has a hard time paying attention, staying focused, and being organized. A person with ADHD may be unusually active and impulsive, although some people with ADHD are not especially active. ADHD can lead to learning problems and behavior problems.

Bridges to Practice
A guide for people working with adults with learning disabilities.

Cognition
The process of knowing.

Diagnosis
A decision that someone has a condition. A diagnosis of LD must be made by a qualified person. Direct Instruction - A way of teaching in small steps that build on each other until the learner understands or can do the entire process or concept being taught.

Disclosure
Telling others about something, for example, a diagnosis of LD.

Dyscalculia
A serious difficulty with understanding and doing math.

Dysgraphia
A serious difficulty with handwriting.

Dyslexia
A serious difficulty with understanding and/or using language. It includes problems in reading, writing, and/or spelling.

Dysnomia
A serious difficulty with remembering names and other words.

Information Processing
The work of the brain in taking in and making sense of information and often, in expressing it is some way, for example, by writing or speaking.

Learning Differences
The many ways that people learn new things. Differences are not always serious difficulties.

Learning Disability
A serious difficulty with processing information, understanding and using spoken or written language, and/or reasoning and doing calculations in math.

Learning Modalities
The different ways that information is taken in, for example, visual (with eyes), auditory (with ears), tactile (through touch), and kinesthetic (through movement).

Learning Strategies
Ways a person learns, for example, repeating something several times or explaining it out loud to oneself.

Learning Styles
The ways a person prefers to learn, for example, by seeing, listening or "hands on."

Metacognition
Thinking about and being aware of how one learns.

Multisensory Learning
Learning that uses a combination of learning modalities, for example, tracing the letters in a word while saying the name of the letter or its sound.

Screening
Collecting information that might point to a possible learning disability. A definite diagnosis must be made by a qualified professional.

Self-Advocacy
The ability to explain one's learning disability and strengths and to ask for needed help or an accommodation.





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