Learning Disabilities: How Do We Stop the Stigma?

Too often, students with learning differences are labeled early in their educational careers as lazy or dumb. Learning disabilities may hinder a student in many areas of their lives, from academics and the school environment, to social interactions at home, at school, and elsewhere. There are many professional disciplines that help these students manage their learning differences and develop their strengths, though there is still a dangerous stigma attached to many of these differences.

Learning Disabilities How Do We Stop the Stigma

“Dumb”

When students do not fit into the average mold, they are often perceived as dumb by peers and even teaching professionals. Peers may bully students who they perceive as different or stupid. Teachers are frequently under-trained to manage the learning differences of the diverse student populations they serve. Instead of encouraging unique methods and approaches that would better serve their students with learning differences, they often take the easier out and assume any student who cannot keep up with the presentation of information in their traditional classroom is stupid.

 

“Lazy”

Another common assumption made about students with learning differences is that they are lazy. When a student is so overwhelmed by an assignment that they cannot figure out, it can look from the outside like they are just being lazy. In fact, the student is struggling with a higher level cognitive skill known as executive functioning, which includes skills like breaking things down into steps, organizing information, and making decisions. A student may be very focused on the assigned task and have many ideas about how to tackle it, but simply be unable to choose the best one and then break it down into manageable steps so that he knows where to begin.

 

What can I do to help?

The labels that are placed on students, like “stupid” or “lazy” can have a dramatic effect on them far into the future. When someone is told again and again that they are dumb, they will eventually begin to believe it. Supporting a student with a learning difference can mean helping them to discover their strengths. It can mean helping them to find their true interests, and develop them into a love of learning. It can mean teaching them techniques to help them manage their unique differences and become the best they can be. It means helping them discover that they are neither dumb nor lazy.

 

There is a lot of work to be done to stop the stigma attached to learn disabilities in our education systems. If you interested in learning more about how you can help students with learning differences, visit the University of Cincinatti Behavior Analysis Graduate Programs Online at http://behavioranalysis.uc.edu/. Do your part to help end the prejudice that pervades our perception of disabilities.

Five Phobias That You Never Knew You Had

phobiasDo you let the phone ring and ring, never wanting to pick it up? Do you go into a panic when you think about going to class? Everybody is scared of something, but sometimes it is more than a simple fear. If you find yourself terrified of doing or being near something, and that fear seems greater than what most people experience, you may be in the throes of a phobia. There are several phobias in existence that you may have never even heard of but that you may actually have.

 

Telephonephobia

Also known as telephonophobia and telephobia, this is a social phobia or social anxiety disorder which literally translates into having a fear of telephones. You may have this phobia if the sound of the phone ringing or the thought of having to make or receive a call gives you feelings of anxiety, dread, panic, or terror. Some sufferers may also experience shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, or a nervous stomach. Don’t you wish that your teenage daughter had this problem?

 

Entomophobia

Otherwise known as insectophobia, this causes those affected by it to severely overreact to the mere glimpse of any insect. Sufferers may experience severe panic attacks when they find themselves in the presence of an insect. Some will actually flee their homes seeking a safe haven. While there is therapy available to help control this phobia, the first step is to rid your own home of insects so you can feel safe. If you happen to be in the Oregon area, Portland Pest Control will take care of the problem for you, while also laying down chemicals and traps that will keep the critters out of your home.

 

Automatonophobia

If you find yourself so terrified you are unable to move when you come face to face with something like a ventriloquist’s dummy or an animatronic, such as the singing robots at kid’s restaurants, you may very well suffer from this phobia. Though, this is considered an irrational fear due to the fact that none of these things can cause harm, it still probably won’t be a good idea to go and watch Chucky with your friends tonight.

 

Didaskaleinophobia

If your child is experiencing intense anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts over going to school, they may be suffering from this phobia which causes a fear of going to school. This sort of phobia may be caused by a fear of failure, high levels of stress, or even things such as bullying. It is also possible that your child is simply suffering from separation anxiety. All of these things are extremely serious and will usually require professional therapy, as well as school counseling.

 

Rupophobia

If you can’t seem to stop yourself from sweeping your floor or wiping counters, you may suffer from this phobia. In short, it is fear of dirt or filth. While we all wish that our roommates or family members had this problem, rupophobia can easily destroy somone’s life, both socially and physically, since they will have time for nothing else.

 

Regardless of what scares you, if you feel it has reached phobic proportions, don’t hesitate to see a therapist about your condition. Even something as simple as a fear of the telephone can have drastic consequences when it comes to your life and career.

Older Return Students Like to Save Money, Too

Older students returning to school is not a new phenomenon.

The movement has been increasing for years and includes many graduates, age 70 plus, and those of retirement age. Many older students head back to school to obtain an advanced degree for self-improvement, to make career changes, or to update themselves in their current field. Continue reading Older Return Students Like to Save Money, Too