Learning Disability (LD) Case Study #3 – “Sarah”
Sarah, a 4th grader, was referred to JCOS by her public school guidance counselor after unsuccessful attempts at Response To Intervention (RTI) programs were implemented. Sarah did not have grade level phonemic awareness that negatively affected her ability to learn and achieve at grade level curriculum. Behaviorally, she became the quiet girl who doesn’t cause any trouble; academically she was falling behind all her peers and felt alone and isolated. Her guidance counselor was searching for a school with the flexibility to provide more individualized instruction to children who need it, based on demonstrated needs and not simply on test scores and chose JCOS.
Daily lessons in Preventing Academic Failure (PAF), an Orton Gillingham Methodology targeting skills required for the proven achievement of reading, writing, and spelling was provided. Baseline assessments were given and a program was developed with the level of difficulty determining the amount of time necessary to acquire each new skill. Ongoing assessments tracked proficiency while maintaining the structure and sequencing of the program. Judith Hochman’s Basic Writing Skills, a writing program for struggling writers, dovetailed into the PAF program to support students with language and learning disabilities. Across the curriculum, direct instruction models were used with teacher-led differentiated instruction in a multisensory milieu. Books on tape, a large component of the classroom centers and Smartboard technology was utilized throughout the day for visual enrichment and hands-on student participation.
Today, Sarah has become an active participant in the classroom and shows real leadership skills. She thrives on the one-to-one instruction as well as small group activities. Sarah completes her homework independently and her parents say they have a happy, confident daughter.
These case studies do not represent actual students, parents or faculty members. They are composites based on persons and learned experiences from JCOS. Any resemblance to real persons, past or present, is purely coincidental.