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Elsie Kim

Dr. Ellen Duchaine

June 14, 2017
Disability Characteristics Fact Sheets

1. Specific Learning Disabilities

Lack of knowledge of the purpose of subjects
Organization difficulties
Lack of focus, failure to attend to task
Difficulty in functioning at a high level of thinking abstractly, only function on a concrete level
of understanding
Need extra time to process incoming information
Phonological awarenessthe ability to understand that speech flow can be broken into smaller
sound units such as words, syllables, and phonemes
Failure to attend to critical aspects of a word, sentence, or paragraph
Omissionskipping individual or groups of words
Insertioninserting one or more words into the sentence being orally read
Substitutionreplacing one or more words with other words, reversing letters in a word
Hesitation and insecurity
Dyslexiaspecific language-based disorder characterized by difficulties in single word
decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities.
Dyscalculiaselective impairment in mathematical thinking or in calculation skills
Incorrect operation or number factselecting the incorrect operation, inaccurate recalling of
Visual-Spatial math errorsdisturbances in visual-spatial-motor organization which result in
weak or missing understanding of concepts, poor number sense, specific difficulty with
pictorial representations, and confused arrangements of numerals and signs on the page
Difficulties with measurements such as speed, temperature, averages, and proportional
Difficulties with topics relating to time, telling time, keeping track of time, monetary concepts,
and counting money.
Dysgraphiainability to perform motor movement, extremely poor handwriting
Dysorthographiadifficulties utilizing clues from several sources that aid in deciding on the
correct spelling.
Frequent misspellings, even as students become more adept at reading.
Use of less appropriate words because student cannot recall the right word
Difficulty understanding complex sentence structures and retrieving words.
Deficits in working memory, affecting ability to store new information and retrieve previously
processed information from long-term memory
Deficits in metacognitiontrouble with identifying and selecting learning skills and
techniques to facilitate acquisition of information, identifying the most effective and efficient
way to process and present information, and evaluating and adapting techniques for different
materials and situations
Miss social nonverbal language cues
Not understand jokes, puns, idioms, sarcasm, and idioms
Laugh inappropriately or at the wrong times
Have difficulty with group work
Difficulties giving and following directions
Difficulties in responding to statements and questions
Highly distractible
Exhibit excessive daydreaming
Attention-deficitscannot sustain attention for more than a short period of time, inability to
focus on the dominate stimuli
Less likely to solve social problems, to predict consequences for their social behavior, adjust to
the characteristics of their listeners in discussions or conversations
More likely to be rejected or isolated by classmates and peers, be the objects of negative and
non-supportive statements, criticisms, and warnings
Emotional volatility Unique mood and performance from day to day, potential moodiness,
may get upset easily
Act impulsively without identifying the consequences of behavior and recognizing the feelings
and concerns of others
Difficulty getting others to understand what is being communicated
Difficulty initiating and maintaining conversations due to trouble with reading what others are
communicating through facial and body language
Exhibit isolation tendencies
Difficulties in discipline and adjusting to change
Distractabile, restless, and impulsive
Saying one thing and meaning another
Disruptionshave a tendency to disrupt the environment and demand attention, desires instant
Doesnt like to follow routines and rules
Difficulties establishing friends and being accepted by peers
Prone to tantrums
Time managementhas trouble completing tasks in the allotted time
Lack of fine motor coordination
Eye-hand coordination issues, poor coordination in general
Coordination impairmentclumsy during physical activity, accident prone
May have an awkward gait
Holds writing utensils incorrectly, too hard or not hard enough
Hyperactivityconstant motion, inability to stay still
Inability to maintain equilibriumtrips and stumbles often, touches/holds on to other objects
in an attempt to maintain equilibrium
Inability to discriminate between/among letters, numerals, or sounds
Sensory difficulties
Highly skilled in one area of study
Increased spatial reasoning skillsheightened ability to solve problems with navigation, or
with the visualization of faces, scenes, and objects
Interconnectednessverbal reasoning capacity to connect seemingly disconnected ideas
(ability to find analogies)
Narrative reasoninggreat memory for personal experiences
Dynamic reasoningability to reason in novel situations
High energy and enthusiasm
Higher levels of empathy

2. Emotional Disturbance / Behavioral Disorders

May function two or more years below grade level in reading, math, writing, and spelling
Attention deficitshort attention span, trouble listening and following directions and
maintaining focus
Variety of learning disabilities accompanying ED
Language problems in both expressing ideas and in understanding what others are
Lack of strategies such as memorization skills
Lack of organization skills and time-management
Frequently off-task and potential to adversely affect the learning of others
Expressive and receptive language disorders that impact ability to understand and
communicate with peers and adults
Unable to work in groupsdishonest, consistently blames others
Little to no regard for personal space and belongings
Lack of motivation
Aggression or self-injurious behavioracting out, fighting with others
Withdrawalnot interacting socially with others, excessive fear or anxiety
Immaturityinappropriate crying, temper tantrums, poor coping skills
Mood swings accompanied by severe changes in energy and behaviormay laugh, cry or
become very angry without apparent cause at times when others would show different reaction
Inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers
General pervasive mood of unhappiness
Difficulty interacting socially with others due to excessive fear or anxiety
May withdraw from others and appear isolated, avoid interaction with others
May affiliate with deviant social groups
May display covert aggressionlying, cheating, vandalizing
May display relational aggressionmanipulating, gossiping, intentional exclusion of someone
Can be at a higher risk for substance abuse
Impulsivityhyperactivity, defiance, opposition, risky behaviors
Obsessive and repetitive behaviors
Inability to remain calm when under stress
May use inappropriate ways to get attentiontalking back to adults, refusing to do work,
making inappropriate jokes
Difficulty trusting adults and peersrequire consistent and fair rules and consequences
Too much concern for body weight and shape
Show extreme interest in morbid, obscure, or gruesome events
Does not seem to learn from experiencebehavior does not improve with usual disciplinary
Appear fearful and anxious
Appear undernourished, extremely thin
May be overcome with drowsiness and appear sleepy, always tired
Low stamina
Have scars from potential self-injuries behavior
Bizarre repetitive motor actsmay suck on fingers, engage in rocking or pacing
Tendency to develop physical symptoms of fears associated with personal or school problems
Binge eating, vomiting, purging, extreme dieting
May have slovenly, unkempt appearance
May complain of physical pain, sensations of discomfort, or physical or bodily impairment in
the absence of an organic basis
On days with high energy and enthusiasm potential to accomplish many tasks
Can be highly skilled in one area of study if deemed interesting
Willing to try new things and explore

3. Autism (high-functioning)
Difficulty paying attention, short attention span for most lessons
Resistance to following directions and completing tasks
May have a difficult time transitioning to a different activity
Delayed content and grammar skills
May reverse pronouns
May get overwhelmed and have difficulty concentrating if there is too much verbal direction
Difficulty with fine motor activitiese.g. coloring, printing, using scissors, gluing
Difficulty with reading comprehensione.g. can quote an answer but unable to predict,
summarize or find symbolism
Excellent rote memory in some areas
Exceptionally high skills in some areas and very low in others
Difficulty understanding directional terms
Difficulties sharing emotions, understanding how others think and feel, and holding a
Less frequent use of eye contact
May not appear to notice other people and seems to tune them out, minimal acknowledgement
of others
Rarely shares attention with others
Lonely, or prefers to be/play alone
Difficulty in making and maintaining friendships
Can be active, uncooperative, or resistant
Does not know how to play with toys in the way that they are intended
Has limited to no interest in other children.
May have difficulty with imaginative/pretend play
May repeat words, questions, or phrases
May not consistently smile when smiled at
May obsessively follow daily routines or schedules and be unable or unwilling to be flexible in
changing these routines
Express high levels of anxiety regarding specific objects or eventse.g.weather events,
specific machines
May not accurately interpret puns, sarcasm, or idioms
Less likely to share experiences with others
May not be able to express wants and needs
Difficulty reading facial expressions and body language
Difficulty understanding the rules of conversation such as when to pause, stop, or change the
Offers spontaneous comments which seem to have little to no connection to the current
Makes honest, but at times inappropriate observations
Talks excessively about one or two topics
May show a lack of personal space and boundaries
Finds it easier to socialize with people that are older or younger instead of peers their own age
Difficulty sensing timee.g. 5 minutes vs. 3 hours
Inability to perceive potentially dangerous situations
Have certain obsessions with objects, ideas, or desires, large amounts of collections
Display perfectionism

No effort to use nonverbal communication such as pointing and gesturing
May display an unusual tone of voicemonotone, robotic, or high pitch
May appear not to hear at times, but when is checked hearing is fine
May repeat certain actions and get stuck doing the same things over and over without being
able to move on to other thingse.g. closing doors, flicking the lights on and off
May demonstrate repetitive body or other motor movementse.g. spinning, rocking, finger
flicking, sniffing, watching objects fall, flapping arms, humming, tapping, or rubbing clothes
Movements that result in self-injurye.g. scratching eyes, skin picking, biting hands, head
banging, hitting walls
Demonstrate increased sensitivity to certain textures tastes, and smells
May demonstrate increased sensitivity to visual and/or auditory stimulation
May seek out additional sensory stimulation in atypical wayse.g. licking objects, eating non-
foods, smelling objects, closing one eye to get a closer look at objects
Resistance to certain food groups or textures
May spend lots of time lining things up or putting things in piles, rows, or groups
Have odd movement patterns
May walk on toes
Calmed by external stimulatione.g. soothing sounds, brushing, rotating objects, constant
Difficulty with loud or sudden sounds
Inappropriate touching of self in public situations
Unusually high or low pain tolerance
May suffer from constipations
May have difficulty moving through a space without bumping into objects or other people
Frequent gas, burping, or vomiting
Irregular sleeping patterns
Unexpected movementse.g. running out into the street
Behind in both gross motor and and fine motor skills
Feels the need to fix or rearrange things
A very high and complex use of vocabulary
Exceptionally honest, dont lie or have hidden agendas, rule followers, reliable, low-
absenteeism, trustworthy
Often highly skilled in a particular area
Are very detail oriented and meticulous
Have deep passions and intense interests that result in study that leads to encyclopedic
knowledge on such topics
Strictly logical in decision making (especially in cases where emotions may interfere)
Less concern for how others perceive them
High levels of loyalty
High levels of visual processing skills
Ability to concentratecan persist and focus on detailed work for extended periods of time
Problem-solving skillsare logical, visual, and structured thinkers, enjoy the challenge of
problem solving
Intelligence & aptitudehave average to above average intelligence levels
Retentionability to thrive in a work environment that is structured with routine and
Enjoy repetition and appreciate tasks that others may find boring
Resourcefulcan find ways to overcome challenges by using previous experiences
Independencemay be much more independent than other children his/her age

4. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Difficulty performing tasks quietly
Difficulty following instructions, completing tasks, and maintaining effort
Difficulty with transitions or prioritizing tasks
Tendency to lose objects quicklyhomework, classroom materials, etc.
Distracting to other studentsconstant chatter, blurts out answers without being called on
May try to do several things at once, bouncing around from one activity to the next
Trouble staying organized, planning ahead, and finishing projects
Tendency to guess on questions instead of taking time to solve the problem
Often avoids/resists tasks that require sustained mental effort
Makes careless mistakes in school work, overlooks details
Highly impatient
Trouble waiting for things and demonstrating patience
Difficulty controlling emotions
May become aggressive, easily frustrated
Speaks or acts without considering consequence
Problems with self-control
Has difficulty waiting to take turns, may interrupt conversations and answer questions not
intended for them
Mood swingsinability to keep emotions in check, resulting in angry outburst or temper
Acts without thinking
May not seem to be paying attention when spoken to
Easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli, easily derailed from the task at hand
Impulsivityacting without inhibitions or thinking about the consequences
Constant motionfidgets, squirms, taps pencil, runs and climbs at inappropriate times
Has difficulty remaining seated, may leave seat in situations where sitting is expected
May have poor motor coordination
More likely to face other mental problems
Higher risk of experimenting with drugs or getting into fights
Need for less sleep

Ability to find alternate paths to overcome obstaclesare adaptive/collaborative, always
willing to help others, and ready to take on large problems/situations
Ability to see the big picturecan pick out patterns, have a broader focus
Create order from chaosability to multitask
Hyperfocusability to effectively channel all attention and energy into work without noticing
the rest of the world around them
True resilienceexcelling at pushing past setbacks, adapting new strategies, and moving
Bright personalitytendency to be bright, creative, funny, with a sense of humility and self-
Generous and compassionatelove and desire to make other people happy, feel compassion
towards others and are always willing to lend a hand
Ingenuityability to harness creativity in unique ways.
Strong sense of fairnessunderstanding that different people need different things to succeed
and are committed to helping others
Willing to take risks and try new things
Spontaneitywilling to act on an impulse
Engaging conversational skillsdesire to talk about a variety of topics, ability to create
meaningful questions that propel the conversation, lack of awkward lulls
Creative & inventiveoffer a different perspective on life and encourage others to approach
tasks and situations with a unique view.
Express emotions truthfullyallowing oneself to feel emotion as the they happen and process
them, helping prepare for the future
Can be highly skilled in areas of interest
Flexibilityconsider a lot of options at once, dont become set on one alternative early on and
are open to different and new ideas

5. Other Health Impairments & Orthopedic Impairments (OI)

Frequent absences or lateness to school
Inability to concentrate for long periods of time, may appear inattentive
Depending on the health impairment, students intellectual function may not be affected
Orthopedic impairments have no cognitive, learning, perceptual, language, or sensory issues.
Neuromotor impairments have higher incidence of additional impairments that affect school
Non-accessible transportation may be an issue
Trouble maneuvering around the classroom and navigating the school
Depending on the health or orthopedic impairment, a variety of academic abilities, needs, and
accommodations are reported.
Loss of sense of control
Feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, stress, anger, guilt, and boredom
Increased feeling of isolation, may experience social isolation due to stigma or extended time
in the hospital
Negative body image
May feel helpless or depressed because of impairment
May have difficulty interacting with others, making and maintaining friendships due to
May lack confidence in social settings, have anxiety about large crowds and being judged or
made fun of
Potential to become easily frustrated when impairment prohibits or makes an action more
difficult or asked the same questions over and over
Other Health Impairmentsasthma, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead
poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, Tourettes Syndrome, and sickle cell anemia
General Groupsallergies, heredity, accidents, multiple factors, & unknown
Limits strength, vitality, and alertness
Increased fatigue
Coordination difficulties and/or limited mobility depending on illness
Low stamina
May suffer from muscle weakness
Potential delay in gross and fine motor development
May require tools to assist in physical movement
Three main areas of OIneuromotor impairments, degenerative diseases, musculoskeletal
Limited limb movement, loss of urinary control, loss of proper alignment of spine
Ability to excel in subjects of interest
Ability to show empathy to others that have disabilities
Can offer a unique perspective on a variety of topics
Perseverance and determination

6. Mild Intellectual Disability

Learn and develop at a slower pace than children of the same age
Lower than average scores on IQ tests and low achievement in most or all academic areas
e.g. reading comprehension, mathematics, written expression
May not be confident in school, easily frustrated
Difficulty remembering information
Difficulty with problem-solving or logical thinking
Difficulty using academic strategies such as note taking or memorizing definitions
Difficulty with generalization of information to other material
Weak vocabulary
Difficulties with more advanced academic skills
Slower to learn new skills and concepts but able to achieve with assistance of a supportive
educational system
May not understand the concept of having to pay for things
Struggle to differentiate concrete and abstract concepts such as figurative language
May use simple language with short sentences
Difficulty communicating or socializing with others
Inability to connect actions with consequences
Difficulty in establishing interpersonal relationships
Unable to perceive non-verbal cues in social situations
May be viewed as emotionally immature by peers
Exhibit obsessive-compulsive behaviors
Can be disorganized, clumsy, and forgetful
Potentially persistence of childlike behavior
Trouble understanding social rules and customse.g. taking turns, standing in line
Impulsivity and poor frustration tolerance
Difficulty following rules and routines
May lack a sense of curiosity for the surrounding world
Failure to adapt and adjust to new situations
May misinterpret the intentions of others
May need reminders about hygiene
No unusual physical characteristics
Slower development of gross and fine motor skills
Inability to complete everyday tasks such as getting dressed or using the bathroom
May be clumsy and prone to accidents
Ability to blend in socially
Ability to function in everyday life
May achieve academic success
May live independently as adults
May live a normal lifee.g. have a job, start a family, etc.
Are able to develop important relationships with people
Likely to develop reading, writing, and math skills at a basic level
Ability to show empathy to others that have disabilities

7. Communication Disorders
Overall academic achievement may be lower than expected
May have accompanying LD with average intelligence
Inappropriate use of grammar when talking or writing
Inability to follow directions
Difficulty remembering specific words
Has difficultly breaking down words into sounds and syllables
Has difficulty with concepts of time, space, quantity, size, and measurement
Has difficulty understanding and using complex sentences
Has problems understanding rules and patterns for word and sentence formation
Cannot identify pronouns
Unable to retell events in a story in order
Difficulty making predictions, judgements, and drawing conclusions
Difficulties with figurative language
Difficulty understanding and solving math problems
Word knowledge is below expectancy
Frequent word substitutions in reading and writing
May hesitate or refuse to participate in activities where speaking is required
Must be shown what to do
Inability to express ideas
Difficulties in understanding and/or using words in context both verbally and nonverbally
Improper use of words and their meanings
Asks questions and/or responds to questions inappropriately
Unwilling to initiate conversations
Does not use appropriate speaking volume
Becomes easily frustrated
Acts impulsively
May isolate themselves from social situations
May over use gestures or use gestures in place of talking
May display stuttering, an interruption in the flow of speech
Difficulties with the pitch, volume, or quality of voice
May continually sound congested or nasal with a whining quality
May not initiate or maintain eye contact
May be conditions in the student's medical/developmental history, such as cleft lip and/or
palate, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, brain injury or disorder, aphasia, hearing loss, ear
surgery, facial abnormalities, or congenital (present at birth) disorders
Has frequent allergy problems or colds
Has oral muscular coordination slower than normal
Displays clumsiness or seems to be uncoordinated
Ability to show empathy to others that have disabilities
Can be skilled in another area of communicatione.g. American Sign Language
Specific Learning Disabilities:
Emotional Disturbance / Behavioral Disorders:
Autism (high-functioning):
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder:
Other Health Impairments & Orthopedic Impairments:
Mild Intellectual Disability:
Communication Disorders: