Learning Differences: Training Personnel to Facilitate Competence

Grant Winners

  • Rhoda Levine, SLP.D. – University School
  • Nadine Barnes, Ed.D. – University School
  • Wren Newman, SLP.D., CCC-SLP – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education
  • David Krasky, Psy.S. – University School
  • Erica Friedland, Aud., CCC-A – Hearing and Balance Center
  • Sandee Dunbar, DPA, OTR/L – College of Health Care Sciences
  • Kristen Cunningham, Psy.D. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Gabriela Barrera – OIT
  • Lisa Chancey, M.Ed. – University School
  • Sonia Kay Ph.D., OTR-L – Renaisance Learning Center

Dean

  • Jermone Chermak – University School

Abstract

Award Winners

A broad base of research supports that the training of professionals across disciplines facilitates improved academic performance among school age children who demonstrate learning differences. Specialized types of instruction directed towards these needs are taught in isolation within each professional discipline. Students with learning disabilities are far more than just isolated pieces. They often require the services of educators, paraprofessionals, speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, audiologists, and psychologists. It is of the utmost importance that all have an integrated and comprehensive view of the needs of these students. This comprehensive view should include applied strategies that allow professionals and paraprofessionals to identify and remediate problem areas. This project proposes to fill that void. The information which will be included in the different components of the training will better equip professionals and paraprofessionals to understand and meet the needs of students with learning differences. This will be accomplished by the participants' learning a combination of strategies gleaned from all disciplines. The training program being proposed will consist of five modules: special education, language, auditory processing, behavior, and sensory integration. The proposed training program involves participants equentially completing modules. Participants will be evaluated at the end of each module to ensure successful retention of information. The project has far reaching applicability. Upon completion of the pilot, the training could be incorporated into already existing coursework in a variety of disciplines. It can be disseminated electronically, through print, and via professional conferences. Extensions from the original project would include converting the program into textbook format for use in colleges and universities world wide, the addition of video clips to more clearly delineate problem areas and strategies for intervention, and electronic dissemination via a purchasable CD with accompanying study guides.