UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA
OCT 481 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY IN SPECIAL EDUCATION
Perception of Parents and Teachers Toward Learning Disability in Handwriting
Nor Fazira Binti Samsudin 2016409926
Nursyahirah Binti Anuar 2016409964
Nurul Emylia Binti Rosman 2016409962
Ruzana Binti Ramli 2016409942
Datin Rosilah Binti Wahab
HS245 4B, Bachelor (Hons.) in Occupational Therapy,
Faculty of Health Sciences,
Universiti Teknologi MARA,
Campus of Puncak Alam,
42300, Puncak Alam, Selangor.
TABLE OF CONTENT TOC o “1-3” h z u
3.1Perception of Parents Toward Learning Disabilities in Handwriting53.2Perception of Teachers Toward Learning Disabilities in Handwriting7 3.2.1 Perception7 3.2.2 Modelling8
3.2.3 Use of Feedback84.0DISCUSSION9HYPERLINK l “_Toc342457810”
Learning disability is neurologically-based processing problems which can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing or doing math. Graham (1999) stated that students with learning disabilities typically have difficulties with handwriting and spelling, and such difficulties can affect other performance, constrain writing development and a child spot as a poor writer.
Learning disabilities is a main point that describing a number of other, more specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. Berninger et al. (2008) pointed out individuals who have problem in word-level processes in written language, oral reading and written spelling has dyslexia. Children struggling with dysgraphia often struggle with written language and unable to express and organize their thoughts on paper. Child also have problem in memory due to disconnection in the brain that prevents them from retrieving the information (Villaneda, 2016).
Learning disability cannot be cured or fixed. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships and in the community. In order to achieve the success parents should be more concern about their child performing in school especially child who have learning disability in handwriting.
Furthermore, teacher also has the greatest control over the child on a day to day basis in school. Therefore, student who have learning disability need more education support from parents and teachers. Teachers or parents respond to similar situation differently, thus knowing a child have learning disability in handwriting. So, it made a question and curious, what is their perception toward learning disability in handwriting? Is it parents either take some effective action, flexibly adapting the situation or freezes in varying degrees of rigid, ineffective reactions. Besides, teachers might somehow use same teaching method for dealing with children who have learning disability same as normal children or be prepared with the situation.
2.0LITERATURE REVIEWKirk as cited in Kavale & Forness (2000) defined that a learning disability is “a retardation, disorder or delayed development in one or more areas of speech, language, reading, writing, arithmetic or school subjects due to possible cerebral dysfunction with or without emotional and behavioural disturbances”. However, this learning disability is not due to “mental retardation, sensory deprivation, or cultural and instructional factors”.
According to Teoh, Cheong & Woo (2014) teachers are observing and considering learning disability is a learning problem such as being unable to read, poor comprehension, problem in hearing and less paying attention in terms of behaviour characteristics. They also pointed out parents relationship with the child who has learning disability will be affected. Most parents may experience feeling of disappointed as they may have difficulty imaging their child’s future career (Teoh, Cheong ; Woo, 2014).
Graham, Harris ; Larson (2001) explained that many students with learning disabilities experienced difficulties mastering the process of writing. From the earliest studies, there are 405 regular classroom teachers who has teaching 1st to 6th grade students in 30 schools in 3 Jordanian districts were taken as a sample. The result of the study shows that the teachers had a moderate level of knowledge of learning disabilities (Khatib, 2006).
3.0METHODOLOGYThe following databases were searched from science direct. The article search used the following terms parent’s perception, teacher’s perception, learning disability and handwriting. The searches were limited to full text only. No language or publication restrictions were applied to the search. The other searching process were using google scholar. Search terms included parental attitude, executive function, learning disability and handwriting. Abstract-only study reports were not considered in this process because they provide limited information about intervention and discussion.
3.1Perception of Parents Toward Learning Disability in Handwriting
Parents who have children with learning disabilities may have many different perception to their children’s special needs. These perceptions are focus on positive or negative factors based on the response of parents towards their children. There are many type of parents’ perception such as they might go through several episode of emotions roughly and discrete in sequence. This may occur as parents tried to confirm disability is fixable and not permanent as they want to determine the best educational options for the child. Others may experience minor reaction and they started to approach programmatic intervention. These kind of parents are mostly well prepared with knowledge and information as they may work diligently to optimise their child’s education and make sure that the child’s life is the best one possible. But unfortunately, there might be some of parents felt that the children with learning abilities affect their entire family structure and life (Ferguson, 2002).
According to Smith (2002), children with learning disabilities can be hard and frustrating towards parents and sometimes may lead to misunderstanding and conflict in a family. Sometimes the negative attitude of the children such as unpredictable behaviour, erratic, inconsistent, full with ups and down may be intolerant and challenging. But, despite of all the hard situation and difficult circumstances, most parents use every chances and resource that they could get to help their children function as normal children or at least can perform in school task and academic as much as possible even they need to sacrifice and giving some extra attention to their children.
Germane (2017) did a study to compare the opinion of parent and teacher of students with learning disabilities disorders. The study found out that parents believe that student with learning disabilities are associated with emotional control, planning or organization scale problems. More parent suggested that the executive functional problems presented by the children has high correlation between academic skills such as writing. Parent realised that the prior to enter school are behavioural competences, emotional and social control must already be very well established. It is because all the basic skills which are home-based are really needed for a successful academic learning later in school. Other than that parent also agreed that learning disabilities are also related to planning and organization skills. Regarding the issues, children with learning disabilities problem may have difficulties in time perception which brings significant impact on the quality of life in terms of time management skills also planning and execution within a specific period of time in doing any academic task such as writing. Furthermore, planning and organization skills are important to enable children exercise management skills and predict future action. Planning is require to set targets, plan and sequence future action to achieve success or complete a task. As for example, a children do have the good ideas but they cannot perform the practice as they cannot plan the action to actually initiate the steps or movement. In addition parents also likely to believe that children with learning disabilities was associated with academic procrastination. So that, the children need a special attention to planning and organization skills because the skills are needed to remediate the behaviour. Apparently, children with learning disabilities are having problems to get started and required more extensive suggestion or limits before they start to do the activity or task. This can be seen as the children may fail to initiate academic task such as writing in a timely way and lead the children stop working efficiently because they unable to do the planning and organization.
Study by Chandramuki et al. (2012) showed that there are significantly different parental perception related to gender of children with learning disabilities. This is because parents are expecting more especially in academic from male children rather than female. So that boys are expected to be more intelligent hand achieve higher level in education. Later in the future, they are also expected to be financially secure in cultural context of the country. Other than that, there also common parental perception and attitude towards children with learning disabilities which they were initially ignorant about nature of disturbance in their children. But, later they are feeling anxiety, insecurities, guilt, emotional instability, self-pity and hopelessness. These parent tend to develop negative attitude towards the children as we know every parents are dreaming about their children being perfect. Unfortunately, when learning disabilities problem spite of above average intelligent, some of the parent being over protective and fail to make realistic demands and special needs for the children. Parents actually should help to identify the child’s strong point to reduce high expressed emotion towards the children with learning disabilities. It is proven that children with learning disabilities can be high achievers in various creative activities such as music, dance, drawing and painting but parents fail to recognize and encourage the strength.3.2Perception of Teachers Toward Learning Disability in Handwriting
The teachers stated that gaps in their knowledge base relating to developmental progression, the ability to assist struggling students, an awareness of strategies to use and the IEP process contributed to their challenges in teaching handwriting to kindergarten students (Nye & Sood, 2018).
The reading curriculum and the handwriting curriculum were not aligned in terms of sequence of instruction of letter formations and rarely were the same letters being taught between the two programs (Vander Hart et al., 2010). The teachers reported using some of the handwriting curriculum prompts during the reading curriculum literacy time block, which was also noted by the OT during classroom observations (Vander Hart et al., 2010). In addition, the pace of instruction was often different and therefore the rate of progression through the program was different between the schools. These inconsistencies make teachers frust. The teachers reported using a variety of methods to teach letter formations with assessments that were primarily subjective in nature of (Graham et al., 2008). In addition, letter recognition was tested using flash cards to present letter formations with no training or informal training in handwriting instruction with scores obtained (Vander Hart et al., 2010).
The teachers indicated that grading handwriting was subjective and informal. Overall, the participants indicated that the evaluation of skills in the area of handwriting was inconsistent (Nye & Sood, 2018).
Some teachers introduce the letters one by one while others do it in groups (Graham et al., 2008). Teachers should introduce letters in a carefully thought-out order to reduce confusion for young children like confusable letters (e.g., b and d) and sounds (e.g., vowels a in sad and e in bed) should be taught separately rather than in an ABC order (Schlagal, 2007; Troia & Graham, 2003).
Teacher should modelling of letter formation and pencil and paper positioning is an essential instructional technique when teaching handwriting (Troia & Graham, 2003). It is important when letters are introduced and periodically throughout the school year as a reminder to students.
3.2.3 Use of Feedback
It is important to use corrective feedback in which teachers encourage students to correct or rewrite poorly formed letters in handwriting instruction (Asher, 2006; Graham, 1992; Graham & Harris, 2002; Graham et al., 2008; Troia & Graham, 2003). They can give specific corrections about letter formation, spacing, slant, alignment and line quality when monitoring student’s writing (Cutler ; Graham, 2008; Graham ; Harris, 2002). Finally, praising students for correct letter formation has also been recommended (Graham ; Harris, 2002; Graham et al., 2008).
The findings show that parents believe students with learning disorders have problems in the emotional control, planning and material organization scales. Studies find that, prior to entering school, socioemotional and behavioral competences must already be established. These competences are related to self-regulation skills and allow student to modulate socially appropriate emotional reactions. Although, there are few studies on executive functions based on the opinion of parents and teachers of students with learning disorders, this study shows the importance of investigating this perception as there is high correlations between reading, comprehension, writing and mathematical skills and executive functions.
The current study that assess parental attitudes towards their children with specific learning disability showed differences in parental perceptions related to the gender of children. Parents expect more academically from male children compared to female children. This indicates more academic pressure on boys as compared to girls. Over-protection (Perosa et al., 1982) and rejection (Minuchin et al., 1978; Nabuzoka ; Smith, 1993) are the common parental attitudes towards children with learning disability. Some of them become over-protective and fail to make realistic demands on the child. Rayner ; Moore (2007) suggested that mothers and fathers experienced similar levels of stress and poor social life in caring for a disabled child because of the higher demands for caregiving and inadequate social support obtained from family members and health professionals. The family needs psycho-educational inputs to lower the high academic expectations and help in identifying the child’s strong points. This would reduce high expressed emotion towards the child with learning disability. Many of these children can be high achievers in various creative activities such as music, dance, drama, sports, drawing, painting, etc., but parents fail to recognise and encourage these strengths unless children show academic achievement. This state of affairs can be detrimental to the mental health of the children.
The literature (Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Hughes et al., 2008; O’Connor ; McCartney, 2007) reports that the perception of the level of the pupil’s school achievement can affect the relationship with the teacher. Subsequently, in view of the link recognized between specific difficulties and low scholastic achievement. In the Italian context, in fact, teachers have to design an individual learning pathway for “certified” pupils, stating the aims and methodologies in the Individual Teaching Plan. Unfortunately, the number of pupils with certified diagnosis is low because in Italy the request for certification starts when the child has had enough time to learn to read and write usually midway through the second year of primary school causing limitation on this study.
Graham et al. (2008) also expressed concern that the number of times per week that handwriting instruction happens is low. Undoubtedly, students acquire appropriate and efficient handwriting skills in kindergarten. The current study focused on identifying barriers faced by kindergarten teachers in facilitating handwriting skills among children in their classrooms and the supports they require to facilitate handwriting skills in their classrooms. The results revealed that overall the teachers felt that the lack of a curriculum and formalized training impacted their teaching practices related to handwriting instruction. In addition, teachers stated that gaps in their knowledge base relating to developmental progression, ability to assist struggling students, awareness of strategies to use and the IEP process contributed to their challenges in teaching handwriting to kindergarten students. They identified time as one of the biggest challenges along with the lack of a curriculum. The participants indicated that they would like to have a curriculum that included “formal” training. They specifically requested that the OT provide the training along with education related to foundational skills via “lunch and learn” in-service, modeling of lessons and ongoing consultation and problem solving meetings. Furthermore, both literacy and handwriting curriculum may need to allow some flexibility for teachers so that they complement and reinforce one another, therefore, enhance the quality of teaching and learning of handwriting skills. The effectiveness of the integrated literacy and handwriting program should be regularly assessed.
There are different perceptions of impaired executive function among parents and teachers of students with learning disorders. The study suggest that the executive function problems presented by students with learning disorders were mentioned more by the parents, who pointed to impairment than by the teachers who monitoring. This could reveal that in students with learning disorders, executive function may be impaired to different extents based on the demand of the environment. Also, there is huge impact of social support on enhancing family confidence and improving parental relationships with learning disabilities children. Specifically, the results highlight the fact that the certification of specific learning disabilities is connected to an improvement in the quality of the teacher’s perceived relationship with the pupil. Futhermore, OT was specifically requested by teachers to provide training along with education as recommendation in teaching handwriting to learning disabilities children.
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