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The use of special needs profile snap in the identification of specific learning disabilities in third grade of primary school

Tatjana Alauf Veteršek (2014) The use of special needs profile snap in the identification of specific learning disabilities in third grade of primary school. Diploma thesis.

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    Abstract

    The purpose of this diploma thesis is to show the use of a diagnostic aid intended for gathering information on a specific student. With the Special Needs Assessment Profile – SNAP for short - we were trying to asses learning needs and difficulties of regular school students in the third grade, detect possible risks connected to specific learning disabilities and evaluate the progress of children who have a more severe form of specific learning disabilities named deficits in individual areas of learning. The diagnostic aid SNAP (Weedon et. al., 2009) is one of modern methods of evaluation and it allows a systematic and comprehensive overview of data on children’s learning difficulties. Within the scope of this diploma work, we were trying to assess the frequency and the severity of difficulties in specific areas, differences between the genders and evaluating the progress of four students with deficits in individual areas of learning. The sample consisted of twenty third-grade students from a regular school; more precisely six girls and fourteen boys (with the average age of 8:9 years). Four boys with deficits in individual learning areas of learning, who had a provision of placement as children with special needs and were assigned additional expert help, formed a sub-sample. The SNAP aid was applied to all the students (they were tested individually with all fifteen sub-tests, parents and class teachers were asked to fill out a questionnaire for parents and a questionnaire for a student’s evaluation). The four students from the sub-sample were re-tested fifteen months later (in fourth grade). The statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, assessment of differences (T-test, Mann-Whitney test) and connections (the Pearson’s coefficient correlation). The results have shown that the third-grade students encountered most difficulties with sub-tests on reading, writing from dictation, copying a text, visual memory, sequence of numbers and counting backwards, balance and visual discrimination. After comparing results of all the students who participated in the SNAP sub-tests, no differences between the boys and the girls were detected. However, when results of students without the special needs placement were compared, it was shown that boys scored better in some sub-tests, even though the differences were not statistically significant. Students with deficits in individual areas of learning, who were placed in an educational programme with adapted delivery and were receiving additional professional help, statistically scored significantly lower in almost half of the SNAP sub-tests. These students had severe difficulties with sub-tests on writing from dictation, visual memory, sequence of numbers and counting backwards and also balance. Moreover, the comparison of sub-tests from the first and second testing shows that students with deficits in individual areas of learning improved their scores in some sub-tests on account of the additional professional help. The final qualitative analysis of profiles taken from the first and the second testing showed improved scores in some sub-test but also increased difficulties in some areas. The SNAP test proved to be a useful diagnostic aid for identifying students who have general and above all specific learning difficulties and also for following their progress. The advantages of the SNAP aid are that with a worked-out, complete profile we get and insight in a child’s functioning; areas of difficulties and areas of strength and these pieces of information play a great role in teaching and planning learning support. It is very important for special and rehabilitation pedagogues to be able to qualitatively compare profiles in a repeated testing analyse them and examine the efficiency of the support.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: diagnostic assessment, learning difficulties, specific learning disabilities, deficits in individual areas of learning, evaluation of support, diagnostic profile SNAP
    Number of Pages: 113
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Lidija MagajnaMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10159177)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2344
    Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2014 14:29
    Last Modified: 08 Sep 2014 14:29
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2344

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