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Assistance to secondary school student with non-verbal learning disabilities

Ana Filipič (2019) Assistance to secondary school student with non-verbal learning disabilities. MSc thesis.

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    Non-verbal learning disabilities are still a relatively unknown neurological syndrome, which impedes individuals in their functioning in various fields despite their average or above-average intellectual ability. The authors state that their deficits can be reflected in the motor, visual, spatial, organizational, social and emotional fields and also have an impact on all other areas of life. However, strong areas such as early language and vocabulary development, good mechanical and auditory memory, attention to detail, early reading skills and spelling ability are also often presented. The problems of secondary school students with non-verbal learning disabilities are generally not outgrown and can become even more noticeable because of greater demands. In the theoretical part I present the characteristics of people with non-verbal learning disabilities, the expression of these difficulties during the secondary school years and possible forms of assistance to overcome them. Concepts – executive functions, teaching strategies, and organizational skills – are briefly defined, because they often cause problems for students with non-verbal learning disabilities and prevent them from successfully facing secondary school challenges. Although it is crucial for deficits to be identified and addressed as soon as possible, some remain overlooked and are diagnosed as late as during secondary school years as the demands become greater. In the empirical part, I focus on exploring strategies for helping a seventeen-year-old student, whose non-verbal learning difficulties were recognized in high school. The following rating scales and questionnaires were used to form the initial functioning assessment: Children's Non-verbal Learning Disabilities Scale (Goldstein, 1999), Memlectics Learning Styles Questionnaire (Advanogy.com, 2004), Organization Skills Test- Version For Workers & Students (w.d.), Reading-to-Learn Strategies Questionnaire (Pečjak, 1998; Pečjak and Gradišar, 2012) and Executive Skills Questionnaire for Students (Dawson and Guare, 2012). Based on the initial assessment, a special pedagogical training was formed, which took place from the beginning of April to the end of June 2018, at the student's home twice a week for two forty-five minute lessons. The training included strategies for developing organisational skills, executive functions and learning strategies, and was supported by a variety of accessories as well as information communication technology. The comparison of initial and final results showed some progress in the field of organization, use of learning strategies and executive functioning. Changes were seen in the use of advance planning and timing of his activities, organizing his obligations and learning, better preparedness for learning, more effective and active learning, and understanding of subject matter. Nevertheless, the considerable progress in all areas could still be made, as the student is still heavily dependent on the encouragement and help of others. The reason for lesser progress than desired could be the short duration of training and the specific circumstances that limited the effectiveness of the training - recovery after surgery, replacement of missed subject matter, the complexity of the secondary programme and completion of the school year. In order to achieve long-term goals, assistance should be continued, the support gradually reduced and responsibility and independence increased.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: secondary school, secondary school student with non-verbal learning disabilities, organisational skills, executive functions, learning strategies
    Number of Pages: 116
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Marija KavklerMentor
    doc. dr. Milena Košak BabuderComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12614985
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 6016
    Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2019 12:03
    Last Modified: 01 Oct 2019 12:03
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/6016

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