Embracing Diversity Responding to learning difference May 2014

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Responding to learning difference

May 2014

Embracing Diversity


Teachers have a professional obligation to respond to a range of educational needs on a daily basis. Students present with a diversity of personal characteristics and experiences attributable to physical, personal health or wellbeing, intellectual, psychological, religious, cultural, socio-economic or life experiences that may impact on their access to and participation in learning. A thorough background knowledge and understanding of the conditions that impact on learning is fundamental to managing the diversity within classrooms.
The information resource package; ‘Embracing Diversity: Responding to learning difference’ is intended to empower educators with the knowledge and understanding required to cater for the diverse learning needs of all students. It aims to promote inclusive practices. The concept of electronic access to the resource through the school intranet recognises the centrality of the classroom teacher and the emphasis of a whole school approach to the provision of inclusive educational practices.
Reference to definitions and features of conditions is not intended to label or classify students but rather provide relevant background information to support teachers address the unique characteristics and specific individual needs of students in their classes.
The suggested adjustments to classroom management and teaching strategies may represent effective practice for all students; however they are essential for those students experiencing learning differences. Without specialised instruction and implementation of specific strategies, students with disabilities and learning differences will not effectively move forward and attain their full learning potential. The notion of teachers and classroom aides empowering students to become increasingly independent through the acquisition of a repertoire of strategies and metacognitive processes specific to their own learning profile is another aim of the resource package.
The occurrence of overlap of information and strategies across areas is addressed through the inclusion of links within the document as well as to additional reading and resources. Referencing to sources of information is provided at the end of each area.
The concept of an electronic knowledge base such as this represents an evolving, ongoing project. Schools can tailor the resource to suit their specific context. Conditions and learning differences specific to individual students in the school cohort can be added through using the template provided.
Invitations for feedback, suggestions and contributions for inclusion will be valued and most welcome. If you are interested in receiving emails of future updates to this resource, please submit your details to the following contact:

Dianne McRoberts

January 2010

Embracing Diversity 2

Acquired Brain Injury 4

Attention Deficit Disorder / 8

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 8

Anxiety Disorder 17

Aphasia 21

Asperger Syndrome 22

Attention Difficulties 29

Auditory Learning Differences 31

Auditory Learning Differences: 36

Auditory Closure 36

Auditory Learning Differences: 39

Auditory Discrimination 39

Auditory Learning Differences: 41

Auditory Memory 41

Auditory Learning Differences: 44

Auditory Sequential Memory 44

Auditory Learning Differences: 46

Central Auditory Processing Disorder 46

Autism Spectrum Disorder 51

Bipolar Disorder 60

Cerebral Palsy 63

Chiari Malformation 65

Communication Difficulties 66

Convergence Insufficiency 69

Depression 72

Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia 75

Diabetes 77

Down Syndrome 80

Duane Syndrome 84

Dyscalculia 86

Dyslexia 90

Dyspraxia 94

Epilepsy 97

Executive Functioning 102

Expressive Language Disorder 105

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome 107

Fragile X Syndrome 109

Hearing Impairment 111

Intellectual Disability 119

Learning Differences 123

Marfan Syndrome 132

Neurofibromatosis Type 1 134

Non-Verbal Learning Disorder 137

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 140

Oppositional Defiant Disorder 143

Pervasive Developmental Disorder 146

Phonemic Awareness 150

Phonological Awareness 152

Physical Impairment 154

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 158

Pragmatic Language Disorder 164

Psychosis 168

Receptive Language Disorder 173

Schizophrenia 176

Scoptic Sensitivity Syndrome (Irlen Syndrome) 179

Sensory Integration 181

Social Emotional Disorder 184

Speech Language Impairment 187

Spina Bifida 191


Tourette Syndrome 194

Visual Processing Learning Differences 198

Visual Discrimination 206

Visual Processing Learning Differences: 209

Visual Memory 209

Visual Processing Learning Differences: 211

Visual Motor Integration 211

Visual Processing Learning Differences: 213

Visual Sequencing 213

Visual Processing Learning Differences: 215

Visual Spatial 215

Vision Impairment 220

Williams’ Syndrome 224

Word Finding Difficulties 227

XYY Syndrome 231

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