Learning disabilities in children's and adolescent literature: how are characters portrayed?Abstract. Ninety fictional books written for children or adolescents that portrayed por·tray
tr.v. por·trayed, por·tray·ing, por·trays
1. To depict or represent pictorially; make a picture of.
2. To depict or describe in words.
3. To represent dramatically, as on the stage. at least one character with a learning disability were analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. to determine how learning disabilities and related topics were addressed. Results indicated that most of the characters with learning disabilities were dynamic, meaning they changed or grew through the course of the story line. Also, most were the main character, the story was told from their point of view, and their learning disability had a major impact on the plot. Most commonly the learning disability was in the areas of reading and written language, with the character receiving services in a resource room. The diagnostic/evaluation process was often described, but few details about instructional methods were part of the story. Both negative and positive portrayals of teachers were evident.
Authors of literature for children and adolescents often include characters with disabilities in their works. Historically, authors have used characters with disabilities for literary symbolism Symbolism
In art, a loosely organized movement that flourished in the 1880s and '90s and was closely related to the Symbolist movement in literature. In reaction against both Realism and Impressionism, Symbolist painters stressed art's subjective, symbolic, and decorative or as pivotal in the moral development of other characters (Dyches & Prater prate
v. prat·ed, prat·ing, prates
To talk idly and at length; chatter.
To utter idly or to little purpose.
n. , 2000). Today, authors include characters with disabilities to (a) focus on the life of an individual with a disability, or (b) tell a story that happens to include an individual with a disability. In the first case, fictionalized or true characters may serve as role models and/or as bibliotherapy bibliotherapy /bib·lio·ther·a·py/ (bib?le-o-ther´ah-pe) the reading of selected books as part of the treatment of mental disorders or for mental health.
n. for children with disabilities. In addition, such characterizations may give children without disabilities opportunities to vicariously vi·car·i·ous
1. Felt or undergone as if one were taking part in the experience or feelings of another: read about mountain climbing and experienced vicarious thrills.
2. experience and learn about disabilities. In the latter case, the author's intent is not necessarily to provide role models or to teach about disabilities, but to represent the diversity in society.
Although teachers and researchers have advocated for the use of fictional literature as a means to teach students about disabilities (e.g., Andrews, 1998b; Blaska, 1996) and/or to be used as bibliotherapy (e.g., McCarty & Chalmers, 1997; Sridhar & Vaughn, 2000), few authors have systematically studied these portrayals. A comprehensive review of the literature revealed only four studies in which contemporary characterization A rather long and fancy word for analyzing a system or process and measuring its "characteristics." For example, a Web characterization would yield the number of current sites on the Web, types of sites, annual growth, etc. was examined empirically. In these studies researchers analyzed characterization of (a) disabilities in general (Ayala, 1999; Harrill, Leung, McKeag, & Price,. 1993); (b) mental retardation mental retardation, below average level of intellectual functioning, usually defined by an IQ of below 70 to 75, combined with limitations in the skills necessary for daily living. (Prater, 1999); and (c) mental retardation and autism autism (ô`tĭzəm), developmental disability resulting from a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. It is characterized by the abnormal development of communication skills, social skills, and reasoning. (Dyches, Prater, & Cramer, 2001).
In the first study, Ayala (1999) reviewed 59 fiction and nonfiction non·fic·tion
1. Prose works other than fiction: I've read her novels but not her nonfiction.
2. The category of literature consisting of works of this kind. books for young children, published between 1974 and 1996. Orthopedic orthopedic /or·tho·pe·dic/ (-pe´dik) pertaining to the correction of deformities of the musculoskeletal system; pertaining to orthopedics. impairments were the most commonly portrayed disabilities. Caucasian characters were portrayed more than characters of other ethnicities. A variety of settings were represented such as home, school, and leisure activities. Various school settings were also represented, including the general education classroom. Few of the books characterized char·ac·ter·ize
tr.v. character·ized, character·iz·ing, character·iz·es
1. To describe the qualities or peculiarities of: characterized the warden as ruthless.
2. the individual with a disability as a victim or outcast out·cast
One that has been excluded from a society or system.
outcast , and, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the author's criteria, only 20% of the books portrayed the individual with a disability in realistic terms.
Harrill et al. (1993), in the second study, randomly selected children's literature children's literature, writing whose primary audience is children.
See also children's book illustration. The Beginnings of Children's Literature
The earliest of what came to be regarded as children's literature was first meant for adults. published prior to and following implementation of P.L. 94-142 (defined as 1978). Each book was rated by teachers on 10 statements, referring primarily to the portrayal of the character, such as the degree of stereotyping, amount of time the character spent in the least restrictive environment As part of the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the least restrictive environment is identified as one of the six principles that govern the education of students with disabilities. , or the purposefulness pur·pose·ful
1. Having a purpose; intentional: a purposeful musician.
2. Having or manifesting purpose; determined: entered the room with a purposeful look. of the character's role in the story. Additional items included realistic and sensitive illustrations and nondiscriminatory language. The authors concluded that notable improvements were seen in the books published post-special education legislation.
In the third study, Prater (1999) examined 68 books written for children and young adults in which characters with mental retardation are portrayed. The books were published between 1965 and 1996. Each character was categorized cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat as (a) a main, supporting, or minor character; and (b) a static character, who is believable be·liev·a·ble
Capable of eliciting belief or trust. See Synonyms at plausible.
be·lieva·bil but unchanging un·chang·ing
Remaining the same; showing or undergoing no change: unchanging weather patterns; unchanging friendliness. in character development; or (c) a dynamic character, who changes throughout the course of the story. The point of view from which the book is written was also examined. Most of the characters with mental retardation are supporting and static, and most books are not written from the point of view of the character with mental retardation. In terms of topics in the field, schooling and education are rarely depicted de·pict
tr.v. de·pict·ed, de·pict·ing, de·picts
1. To represent in a picture or sculpture.
2. To represent in words; describe. See Synonyms at represent. , and when they are, it is generally outside of the context of schools. If instruction takes place, the "teacher" is a peer, a sibling sibling /sib·ling/ (sib´ling) any of two or more offspring of the same parents; a brother or sister.
n. , or another family member. The few times schoolteachers are portrayed, they are generally depicted favorably fa·vor·a·ble
1. Advantageous; helpful: favorable winds.
2. Encouraging; propitious: a favorable diagnosis.
In the last study, Dyches et al. (2001) examined all children's fiction books published in 1997 and 1998 that include portrayals of characters with mental retardation or autism (N=12). Inconsistencies were found across books in terms of positive portrayals, relationships, and changes in both the characters with and without mental retardation or autism. This study found that characters are portrayed as having more independence and being educated in more inclusive settings than the characters found in the Prater (1999) study although few of the books are written from the point of view of the character with disabilities.
Educators and researchers advocate using literature to teach others about disabilities and as bibliotherapy for those with disabilities. Yet few researchers have examined portrayals to ensure that they are accurate and appropriate. The purpose of this study was to conduct an examination of books portraying characters with learning disabilities (LD) in a fashion similar to the study of characterization of mental retardation and autism conducted by Prater (1999) and Dyches et al. (2001). The research questions were:
1. What percentage of fiction books written for children and adolescents:
a. Portray por·tray
tr.v. por·trayed, por·tray·ing, por·trays
1. To depict or represent pictorially; make a picture of.
2. To depict or describe in words.
3. To represent dramatically, as on the stage. individuals with LD as minor vs. supportive characters and dynamic vs. supportive characters;
b. Are written from the perspective of the character with LD;
c. Use the learning disability as a major, somewhat, or minor role in the plot; and
d. Portray reading, written expression, math, social skills, oral language, and motor skills as the type of learning disability?
2. How is the role of identification/diagnosis of LD portrayed in the plot?
3. How is the role of schooling portrayed, particularly the:
a. School placement;
b. Instructional methodology; and
4. What other issues or topics related to LD emerge as themes in the plot?
An attempt was made to locate all fiction written for children and adolescents portraying a character with learning disabilities, published before 2001. First, 9 reference books (Azarnoff, 1983; Baskin & Harris, 1977, 1984; Blaska, 1996; Carlin car·line or car·lin
A woman, especially an old one.
[Middle English kerling, from Old Norse, from karl, man.] , Laughlin, & Saniga, 1991; Quicke, 1985; Robertson, 1992; Rudman, 1995; Sweeney, 1998); 19 professional articles (Andrews, 1998a, 1998b; Bauer, 1985; Gold, 1983; Higgins, Lewis, & Perryman, 1981; Hildreth & Candler, 1992; Hopkins, 1980; Hulen, Hoffbauer, & Prenn, 1998; Landrum, 1998; Lass & Bromfield, 1981; McGowan, McGowan, & Lombard, 1995; Myles, Ormsbee, Downing, Walker, & Hudson, 1992; Prater, 2000; Sridhak & Vaughn, 2000; Stark, 1986; Stelle, 1999; Stroud stroud
A coarse woolen cloth or blanket.
[After Stroud, an urban district of southwest-central England.] , 1981; Wagoner, 1984; Winsor, 1998); one professional newsletter article (Summer Reading for Students with Disabilities, 1997); and one professional brochure published by a national organization (National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, n.d.) were searched. An Internet search was also conducted, which found four world wide web pages that listed children's books with characters with learning disabilities (see Table 2). In addition, three Internet bookstores (www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.specialneeds.com) and the electronic version of Books in Print were searched.
Once a comprehensive list of potential books was generated, three criteria were applied to the books for inclusion in the study. The book must (a) include a main or supporting character with a learning disability (LD) as the character's primary disability, (b) be fiction (not nonfiction, autobiography autobiography: see biography.
Biography of oneself narrated by oneself. Little autobiographical literature exists from antiquity and the Middle Ages; with a handful of exceptions, the form begins to appear only in the 15th century. , or biography), and (c) have been published prior to 2001. Several book lists, particularly the electronic lists, did not differentiate between LD find attention deficit (hyperactivity hyperactivity, excessive physical activity of emotional or physiological origin, usually seen in young children; one of the components of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ) disorders (ADD/ADHD). If the book summary identified ADD/ ADHD Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Definition
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder characterized by distractibility, hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, and the inability to remain focused on tasks or as the primary disability, the book was excluded from the study. This resulted in a total of 105 books.
One book could not be located through public libraries, bookstores, or interlibrary in·ter·li·brar·y
Existing or occurring between or involving two or more libraries: an interlibrary loan; an interlibrary network. loan at a large western university, and 14 additional books were excluded after being read. Books were excluded if the character (a) clearly was not an individual with LD, but with another disability, such as ADD/ADHD (n=2), mental retardation (n=1), emotional/behavioral disorder (n=3), or traumatic brain injury Traumatic brain injury (TBI), traumatic injuries to the brain, also called intracranial injury, or simply head injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes brain damage. TBI can result from a closed head injury or a penetrating head injury and is one of two subsets of acquired brain (n=2); or (b) was described as illiterate ILLITERATE. This term is applied to one unacquainted with letters.
2. When an ignorant man, unable to read, signs a deed or agreement, or makes his mark instead of a signature, and he alleges, and can provide that it was falsely read to him, he is not bound by (n=2) or as having minor academic difficulties (n=4) without indication of any disability. Of the original 105, 90 books met the criteria for inclusion in the study (see Table 3).
The researcher read all 90 books and analyzed the characterizations of the individuals with LD in terms of (a) the role or level of the character (main or supporting), (b) the type of character development (dynamic or static), and (c) the point of view from which the story was told. A portrayal was classified as a main character if the majority of the story line centered on him or her. All other portrayals were considered supporting roles supporting role n → second rôle m
supporting role n → ruolo non protagonista . Dynamic characters were defined as those who changed or developed in the course of the story. Static characters remained the same, that is, they did not grow or learn anything new by the end of the book.
The impact of the disability on the plot (major, somewhat, minor) was also determined. Major impact was defined as books in which the plot focused exclusively on the character's learning disability. Books where a subplot sub·plot
1. A plot subordinate to the main plot of a literary work or film. Also called counterplot, underplot.
2. A subdivision of a plot of land, especially a plot used for experimental purposes. focused on a character's LD were considered to have somewhat of an impact; and minor impact included books in which a character's LD was not part of any plot. In the latter case, the learning disability was used more to describe an individual than to impact the story line.
While reading each book, the researcher took notes and identified themes. In particular, she looked for themes about the portrayal of learning disabilities. Of special interest were the types and characteristics of learning disabilities portrayed, as well as the role of identification/diagnosis of learning disabilities in the plot. Of additional interest was whether, and if so how, other issues or topics related to learning disabilities were included in the story. In particular, the researcher examined the role of schooling in the story line, paying attention Noun 1. paying attention - paying particular notice (as to children or helpless people); "his attentiveness to her wishes"; "he spends without heed to the consequences"
attentiveness, heed, regard to the treatment of school placement, instructional methodology, and teachers.
The notes consisted of a chart on which the researcher wrote the book title, themes to be examined, and corresponding page numbers. After several books were read, similar themes began to emerge. The researcher then returned to the books with similar themes, reread Verb 1. reread - read anew; read again; "He re-read her letters to him"
read - interpret something that is written or printed; "read the advertisement"; "Have you read Salman Rushdie?" the pages on which the themes had been identified originally, and provided additional written elaboration or clarification, if needed.
The characters identified as having LD were categorized as main or supporting and dynamic or static. Ninety books were included in the study; however, several books featured more than one character with LD; thus 97 characters with LD were identified. Most of the characters with LD were categorized as main (n=73; 75.3%) and dynamic (n=89; 91.8%). Thus, three-fourths of the characters with LD were the focal point focal point
See focus. of the story line, and nearly all of them changed or grew throughout the course of the story (see Table 3).
More than half (n=53; 58.9%) of the books were written solely from the point of view of the character with LD, while one fourth (n=22; 24.4%) were written from the point of view of someone without LD (see Table 3). Non-LD characters included peers without a disability (e.g., Putting Up with Sherwood), peers with a disability other than LD (e.g., Eddie's Blue-Winged Dragon), siblings siblings npl (formal) → frères et sœurs mpl (de mêmes parents) (e.g., M.E. and Morton), or another relative (e.g., cousin in Handles). Thirteen authors used the points of view of both an individual with and an individual without LD (14.4%) (e.g., Just Ferret, The Runaways); and two authors used a narrative format without a particular character's point of view (2.2%) (Leo Leo, in astronomy
Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. , the Late Bloomer This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since September 2007. ; It's George).
Each book was categorized according to the level of impact the learning disability had on the story line (i.e., major, somewhat, minor). In approximately one half of the books (n=47; 52.2%), learning disabilities played a major role in the story line (see Table 3). In most of these books, the story was structured around a child having difficulty in school. For example, in Different, Not Dumb, Mike struggles with reading until he goes to a new classroom and learns to read. In The Best Fight, Jamie fights with his peers when they tease tease (tez) to pull apart gently with fine needles to permit microscopic examination.
v. him for not being able to read. When Jamie is finally put on detention, he and the principal have a good discussion about his disability. And in Adam Zigzag, Adam's parents struggle to find a school to help him academically. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile Adam turns to drugs to cover up his problems (see Table 3).
In approximately one third (n=31; 34.4%) of the books, the learning disability had "somewhat" of an impact on the story line, generally as a factor in a subplot. For example, in How Many Days Until Tomorrow? Josh and his older brother, Simon, spend an adventurous ad·ven·tur·ous
1. Inclined to undertake new and daring enterprises.
2. Hazardous; risky.
ad·ven summer on an island off the coast of Maine with their grandparents grandparents npl → abuelos mpl
grandparents grand npl → grands-parents mpl
grandparents grand npl . Josh feels he is always being compared to Simon, particularly by his grandfather who is constantly correcting Josh. Josh wishes Simon was the one with dyslexia dyslexia (dĭslĕk`sēə), in psychology, a developmental disability in reading or spelling, generally becoming evident in early schooling. To a dyslexic, letters and words may appear reversed, e.g. . Another book in this category, The Elderberry elderberry,
n Latin names:
Sambucus nigra, Sambucus canadensis; parts used: buds, fruit; uses: common cold, toothaches, headaches, diaphoresis, hay fever, sinus infections, epidermal irritations, lacerations, liver disorders, inflammation; Thicket (jargon) thicket - Multiple files output from some operation.
The term has been heard in use at Microsoft to describe the set of files output when Microsoft Word does "Save As a Web Page" or "Save as HTML". , takes place in rural Wisconsin in 1938. When Franny's father loses his job and leaves home to find employment, Franny volunteers to tutor TUTOR - A Scripting language on PLATO systems from CDC.
["The TUTOR Language", Bruce Sherwood, Control Data, 1977]. Gill, one of her classmates Classmates can refer to either:
In the remaining books examined in the study, the character's learning disability played a minor role (n=12; 13.3%). For example, in Dicey's Song and its sequel, Seventeen Against the Dealer, Dicey's younger sister, Maybeth, has a learning disability. Maybeth is portrayed as having difficulty at school, but this characterization has little to do with the plot or subplots of the books. Another example of a learning disability with a minor role is found in Sixth Grade Sleepover; Janie feels better about her secret, fear of the dark, when she learns at the end of the story that the new girl in her class also has a secret, which happens to be a reading disability.
Characteristics and Types of Learning Disabilities
Nearly three-fourths (n=70; 72.2%) of the 97 characters exhibited a reading disability. Written language disabilities were the next most frequently portrayed (n=36; 37.5%), followed by math (n=7; 7.2%), social skills (n=7; 7.2%), oral language (n=5; 5.2%), and motor skills (n=5; 5.2%). Sample books from each category are listed in Table 4.
Specific learning disabilities. Many of the characters with reading disabilities were identified in the books as having dyslexia (e.g., Kiss the Clown, Me and Einstein, My Name is [begin strikethrough]Brain[end strikethrough] Brian, Yellow Bird and Me). In most of these books dyslexia is defined, usually for the child being identified or his/her classmates. For example, in Danny Means Trouble one of his teachers, Mr. Bowman, explains to the other students that the reason Danny is leaving class is to get help from a reading tutor.
Danny has a reading disability that is called dyslexia. Perhaps you've heard of it before. What it means is, he can't see some words right, because his brain reverses the letters. For example, the word saw might look like was to him. (Suzanne, 1990, p. 124)
Another example of a character with dyslexia is Jason in Altogether, One at a Time. An unnamed boy tries to use Jason's dyslexia as the reason for not inviting Jason to his birthday party, but the boy's mother reminds him that dyslexia is not contagious contagious /con·ta·gious/ (-jus) capable of being transmitted from one individual to another, as a contagious disease; communicable.
1. Of or relating to contagion. :
I forgot that Mother would know what dyslexia was ... If you have dyslexia it's like your brain is a faulty TV set; the picture comes through the wires all right, but some of the tubes are missing or are in the wrong places. So that when you tune in to one channel you may get the sound from another. Or spots of the picture may be missing or be backwards or upside down. Kids with dyslexia read funny. (Konigsburg, 1971, p. 4)
Other characters with reading problems are described not as dyslexic dys·lex·ic or dys·lec·tic
Of or relating to dyslexia.
A person affected by dyslexia. , but as having reading or learning disabilities. These disabilities are also defined. For example, Ms. Chadick, in Megan's Nutcracker nutcracker, common name for a small crow of the genus Nucifraga in the family Corvidae (crow family). The Old World nutcracker (N. caryocatactes) is found throughout the colder regions of Europe, including high mountain forests. Prince, explains to Megan that she has a learning disability. Megan responds, "What's that? ... I thought a disability meant, like, being blind. Or having to use a wheelchair wheel·chair or wheel chair
A chair mounted on large wheels for the use of a sick or disabled person.
n " (Costello, 1994, p. 56). Ms. Chadick answers:
Those are kinds of disabilities, too ... Think of it this way. People use wheelchairs because it's hard for them to walk. Your disability makes it hard for you to read and to see numbers properly. That makes it difficult for you to learn the same way other children do. (pp. 56-57)
Over one third of the characters in the books studied had written language disabilities. In Secrets Aren't Always for Keeps, Jennifer has a pen pal pen pal
A person with whom one becomes acquainted through a friendly, regular correspondence.
Informal same as pen friend
Noun 1. , Kay KAY Kick Ass Year
KAY Kansas Association of Youth , but because of her writing difficulties, she asks her best friend to handwrite hand·write
tr.v. hand·wrote , hand·writ·ten , hand·writ·ing, hand·writes
To write by hand.
[Back-formation from handwritten.]
Verb 1. the letters to Kay. "They were really my own thoughts, straight from my heart, so it wasn't like a lie or anything" (Aiello & Shulman, 1988, p. 11). Difficulty arises when Kay comes to visit Jennifer and must figure out how to tell Kay she didn't really "write" the letters.
Deficits in math skills were less prominent. In fact, none of the books portrayed a character who demonstrated math difficulties only. Those who had math problems also demonstrated difficulties in reading and/or written expression. For example, in Thank You, Mr. Falker, Trisha has difficulty reading, writing, and computing computing - computer . "`Line the numbers up before you add them,' the teacher would say. But when Trisha tried, the numbers looked like a stack of blocks, wobbly wob·bly
adj. wob·bli·er, wob·bli·est
Tending to wobble; unsteady.
wobbli·ness n. and ready to fall. She just knew she was dumb" (Polacco, 1998, no page number [np]).
A few portrayals included social skill deficiencies. For example, Judy, in But I'm Ready I'm Ready is the double platinum second release from R&B singer Tevin Campbell. I'm Ready yielded the biggest R&B hit of his career the #1 R&B smash "Can We Talk", and produce 3 more successful hits in "I'm Ready", "Always In My Heart" and "Don't Say Goodbye Girl". to Go, demonstrates pragmatic language difficulties that interfere with her social skills. After listening to another student's report on Patrick Henry, including his "give me liberty or give me death" speech, Judy raises her hand and asks, "`That was a pretty good speech of Patrick Henry's. But why did they make him a saint just for that?'" The teacher asks what she means. In all seriousness, Judy responds, "`Well, you know--Saint Patrick's Day ...' Suddenly the whole class was laughing" (Albert, 1976, pp. 4-5).
Other books portrayed oral receptive receptive /re·cep·tive/ (re-cep´tiv) capable of receiving or of responding to a stimulus. or expressive language difficulties as the primary learning problem. Tommy in The Summer Kid and Reverend Lee in The Vicar of Nibbleswicke reverse letters and syllables in their speech. Tommy's speech reversals make him appear different, and the Reverend's speech reversals are comical com·i·cal
1. Provoking mirth or amusement; funny.
2. Of or relating to comedy.
Some of the characters demonstrated motor skill deficits. In Wrongway Applebaum, Sam Applebaum dreams of being on a baseball team. But he can't catch, throw or hit a ball. He does, however, get his wish when his grandmother volunteers to be coach of a local baseball league team. In the first game he actually hits the ball, and runs from third to second to first base and home, only to be told to run back the way he came. He runs in the opposite direction and makes it all the way back to home before the hit ball is returned. General clumsiness clum·sy
adj. clum·si·er, clum·si·est
1. Lacking physical coordination, skill, or grace; awkward.
2. Awkwardly constructed; unwieldy: clumsy wooden shoes; a clumsy sentence. is portrayed in several books including Happy Birthday Jason, The Runaways, and Putting Up with Sherwood, among others.
In some books the character's type of learning disability was unclear. For example, Nick, in Probably Still Nick Swansen, knows he has a learning problem. That's why he has been assigned to Room 19. When he discusses his condition with a classmate, the friend suggests that Nick has minimal brain dysfunction min·i·mal brain dysfunction
Attention deficit disorder. No longer in scientific use.
minimal brain dysfunction because "`it's what puts people in Room 19. Some people, I mean. You've probably got it too. I mean, you haven't got Downs, you're not retarded re·tard·ed
1. Often Offensive Affected with mental retardation.
2. Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed. or anything--you probably have it'" (Wolff, 1988, p. 147). And Crystal, in Life Magic, tells the reader that it is almost impossible to label her learning disability. "The test results showed there wasn't really any simple name for what I had" (Cooper, 1990, p. 26).
Specific terms other than dyslexia and learning disability were used rarely. Exceptions included minimal brain disorder/dysfunction (But I'm Ready to Go, Probably Still Nick Swansen), neurological neurological, neurologic
pertaining to or emanating from the nervous system or from neurology.
evaluation of the health status of a patient with a nervous system disorder or dysfunction. impairment/disorder (And Don't Bring Jeremy, Father Bede's Misfit mis·fit
1. Something of the wrong size or shape for its purpose.
2. One who is unable to adjust to one's environment or circumstances or is considered to be disturbingly different from others. , Whales whales - like kicking dead whales down the beach to See The), sensory/motor integration difficulties (Angie), word blindness word blindness
See alexia. (Squarehead and Me), apraxia apraxia
Disturbance in carrying out skilled acts, caused by a lesion in the cerebral cortex; motor power and mental capacity remain intact. Motor apraxia is the inability to perform fine motor acts. Ideational apraxia is loss of the ability to plan even a simple action. (Whales to See The), hyperkinesias (Whales to See The), and dysgraphia dysgraphia /dys·graph·ia/ (-graf´e-ah) difficulty in writing; cf. agraphia.
Impairment of the ability to write, usually caused by brain dysfunction or disease. (Unjust UNJUST. That which is done against the perfect rights of another; that which is against the established law; that which is opposed to a law which is the test of right and wrong. 1 Toull. tit. prel. n. 5; Aust. Jur. 276, n.; Hein. Lec. El. Sec. 1080. Cause).
Learning strengths. Along with a type of disability, characters often manifested strengths. The most commonly portrayed strength was math skills. For example, Colin David, the main character in Home is Where Your Feet are Standing, has reading, handwriting HANDWRITING, evidence. Almost every person's handwriting has something whereby it may be distinguished from the writing of others, and this difference is sometimes intended by the term.
2. , and spelling difficulties but the author explains:
He didn't need any help with math, that was his best subject, he knew it all backwards and forwards and hardly had to think much to put down the correct answers. But just so they didn't get suspicious ... he would put down a couple of wrong answers now and then, otherwise they wouldn't believe him, they always thought you must be cheating. (Windsor, 1975, p. 7)
Other examples of characters who have reading difficulties, but do well at math include Peter in The Hard Life of Seymour E. Newton, Danny in Danny Means Trouble, and Sam in Do Bananas ba·nan·as
Crazy: "That's the horrible thing when you're bananas Chew Gum gum, colloidal plant substance
gum, term commonly applied to any of a wide variety of colloidal substances somewhat similar in appearance and general characteristics, exuded by or extracted from plants. ?.
Additional areas of strengths portrayed included motor, social, and artistic skills. In Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You, Helen, who has academic difficulties and misbehaves, is the best softball softball, variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. Invented (1888) in Chicago as an indoor game, it was at various times called indoor baseball, mush ball, playground ball, kitten ball, and, because it was also played by women, ladies' player in her class. In Kiss the Clown, Joel, Marc's brother who has a learning disability, unintentionally wins the affection of Marc's girlfriend, Viki, because unlike his self-centered brother, Joel is fun to be around. And several characters demonstrate artistic abilities, such as Charlie in Charlie's Challenge, Tommy in The Summer Kid, and Uncle Joe in Life Magic.
Misbehavior. Misbehavior of the character with a learning disability, primarily in school, was commonly portrayed. Generally, the character misbehaves to cover poor academic skills. For example, on the first day of 4th grade, Shirley in Yours Turly, Shirley interprets everything her teacher says literally. Mr. Bradley tells her to take a seat, so Shirley picks up her seat and asks where he would like her to place it. After several similar episodes, Mr. Bradley tires of her antics antics
absurd acts or postures [Italian antico something grotesque (from fantastic carvings found in ruins of ancient Rome)]
plural noun and embarrasses Shirley by inviting her to come forward to give the class her whole comic routine. Other examples of misbehavior include The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room, Danny Means Trouble, Me and Einstein, and Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You.
Self-esteem/self-confidence. The lack of self-confidence or self-esteem of characters with learning disabilities was a common characteristic. In some stories characters with LD improve their feelings about themselves once they are diagnosed and/or receive appropriate services. For example, in Different, Not Dumb, Mike's best friend, Jeff, is a member of the highest reading group, while Mike is in the lowest group. Once Mike is tested and placed in the "special reading class," he learns to decode (1) To convert coded data back into its original form. Contrast with encode.
(2) Same as decrypt. See cryptography.
(cryptography) decode - To apply decryption. and ends up helping Jeff read the word "explosives" written on a box they find on the playground. Both boys are later congratulated by a policeman policeman /po·lice·man/ (pah-les´min) a glass rod with a piece of rubber tubing on one end, used as a stirring rod and transfer tool in chemical analysis.
n. for reporting their find, making Mike feel better about himself and his ability to read.
Some of the characters with learning disabilities improve their self-esteem after demonstrating their strengths to others. Kelly in Kelly's Creek explains everything about the fiddler crab fiddler crab, common name for small, amphibious crabs belonging to the genus Uca. They are characterized by a rectangular carapace (shell) and a narrow abdomen, which is flexed under the body. to his classmates, and Nehemiah wins an essay contest in I'm Special, Too. In other books the character with LD achieves something notable and receives the recognition he or she has otherwise lacked. George in It's George, for example, is featured on the news for calling 911 and saving an old man's life. Similarly, 11-year-old Jamie in Man from the Sky has difficulty reading, but enjoys "reading the sky." One day he notices a parachutist land in a cow pasture pasture, land used for grazing livestock. Land unsuited for cultivation, e.g., hilly or stony land, may be used as pasture. Tilled land and meadow may be pastured after the crops are removed. nearby and helps the police locate the parachutist, who happens to be a criminal.
In one book the character's confidence or esteem does not improve over the course of the story. The young girl's father in Somebody Called Me a Retard Today tries to console his daughter after she is called a "retard." She confides to the reader at the end of the book that her heart still feels sad.
Other characterizations. Reversals were portrayed in many of the books as they were manifested in reading (e.g., The Don't Give Up Kid, Father Bede's Misfit), writing letters or numbers (e.g., The Flying Fingers Club, Will the Real Gertrude Hollings Please Stand Up?), writing words (e.g., My Name is [begin strikethrough]Brain[end strikethrough] Brian, Searching for Shona), and speaking (e.g., Josh, the Boy with Dyslexia, The Vicar of Nibbleswicke). Other characteristics portrayed less prominently were perceptual per·cep·tu·al
Of, based on, or involving perception. problems (e.g., Keep Stompin' `til the Music Stops), poor memory (e.g., Father Bede's Misfits), poor sequencing skills (e.g., Aunt Morbelia and the Screaming Skulls), and laterality laterality
or hemispheric asymmetry
Characteristic of the human brain in which certain functions (such as language comprehension) are localized on one side in preference to the other. difficulties (e.g., Wall of Words).
Diagnosing Learning Disabilities
Diagnosing the characters' learning disability was a major theme throughout many books. Several books portray parents as unwilling to accept their child's learning problem and/or refusing evaluation, at least initially. For example, in Spaceman Gary's parents are called to a conference at the school. When they are told that Gary is having difficulty in school, his father spends time blaming the teacher. Finally his parents agree to have Gary tested. Another example occurs in Unjust Cause. Davey's professor father makes it clear that his son does not need to be singled out for special help. When confronted by Davey's teacher, Mr. Fischer yells, "Since when do teachers solicit students for their programs? ... Don't you have enough kids with problems in the school? Do you have to create problems where none exist?" (Peterseil, 1998, p. 44).
In some stories parents avoid having their child diagnosed by changing schools. For example, when Willy's mother in Willy's Summer Dream learns that Willy willy
pl -lies Brit, Austral & NZ informal a childish or jocular word for penis has been tested and that the school wants to place him in a special class, she responds, "Well, we'll just have to get you a transfer again; that's all there is to it" (Brown, 1989, p. 7). Other parents take the initiative to have their child evaluated on their own. When Helen's mother receives a phone call from the school in Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You, Helen overhears her mother's side of the conversation.
Helen's already been given a reading and IQ test at the University of Washington. She has normal intelligence. In fact, she's quite bright ... We are perfectly aware that she has a reading problem ... No, we are not going to consider special education ... I'm sorry, but if we don't sign permission, it won't do you any good to recommend it ... We are working with her at home. (DeClements, 1985, p. 33)
Several books describe the testing experience from the perspective of the person being evaluated. Generally, these experiences are very positive. For example, in What Do You Mean I Have a Learning Disability? Jimmy finds that this testing is different from the other kind of testing he has been given in school, and although some of it involves spelling, reading, and math, at least other students aren't watching. And in The Hard Life of Seymour E. Newton, Peter finds the testing experience to not be as bad as he had anticipated.
Representation of the tests varies. For example, Bill is not diagnosed as dyslexic until he is an adult in Father Bede's Misfit. His evaluation consists of flash cards, number progressions, vocabulary, figure drawing, and the "MultiPhasic Personality Inventory" tests, among others. Sam in Do Bananas Chew Gum? describes several of the tests he is given:
Pretty much every new part started out easy and got hard ... There were lots of different kinds of things, like when Ms. Huggins laid these tiles down on a table and all the tiles had weird lines on them and squiggles and she'd say, "Which shape is different from the rest?" ... She was timing all this stuff with a stopwatch, and it was hard. Then I was supposed to copy circles and arrows and boxes and stars and, boy, did I stink at that. So when we finally got to some math, it was like a vacation, or at least recess. (Gilson, 1980, p. 132)
Service placement. The most prominent placement portrayed in books was the resource room. Sometimes the resource room is called a remedial REMEDIAL. That which affords a remedy; as, a remedial statute, or one which is made to supply some defects or abridge some superfluities of the common law. 1 131. Com. 86. The term remedial statute is also applied to those acts which give a new remedy. Esp. Pen. Act. 1. reading class (e.g., Life Magic), a special class (e.g, The Best Fight), or a resource room (e.g., I'm Special, Too). Most portrayals of resource rooms are positive. For example, in Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You before Helen is diagnosed as having a learning disability, she visits the resource room. She observes that there are two teachers with about 14 students, most of them boys. She's impressed im·press 1
tr.v. im·pressed, im·press·ing, im·press·es
1. To affect strongly, often favorably: with the bank of computers against the back wall and notices one student writing an essay and stopping to look up spelling in a dictionary. The resource room does hot seem as bad as she had expected.
In Life Magic, Crystal appears depressed and discouraged dis·cour·age
tr.v. dis·cour·aged, dis·cour·ag·ing, dis·cour·ag·es
1. To deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit.
2. To hamper by discouraging; deter.
3. when she learns she has a learning disability and must attend a remedial reading class. But when she finds out that her uncle Joe had difficulty in school, her attitude changes. "If Uncle Joe hadn't told me about his learning troubles, I would have felt like a total worthless nothing. But now remedial reading class was like the cold not being so bad when Uncle Joe and I made snow angels" (Cooper, 1996, p. 46).
Several books identified the difficulty and embarrassment students experience attending pull-out programs. The best example is Kinneret in The Safe Place. Before school, Kinneret's mother reminds her about leaving the general classroom and going to the resource room at 9:00. When 9:00 arrives, Kinneret becomes nervous and doesn't know how to leave the room without interrupting the teacher's lesson and calling attention to herself. Ten minutes later she tentatively raises her hand.
"What is it?" Mrs. Rubenstein asked, slightly annoyed. "It's nine o'clock. I have to go," she mumbled. "I can't hear you," Mrs. Rubenstein said, walking over to Kinneret's desk. Kinneret pointed to her watch. "Oh my, it's 9:10 already. You were supposed to leave at nine o'clock. Why didn't you go? Tomorrow at exactly nine o'clock I want you to get up quietly and leave. Do you understand that?" (Peterseil, 1996, pp. 81-82)
As Kinneret leaves the room, she becomes lost and cannot find the resource room. The special education teachers sees her in the hall and brings her into the resource room, volunteering to meet her halfway in the hallway the following day.
A few books portrayed the embarrassment students feel when they need modifications in the general classroom. In My Name is [begin strikethrough]Brain[end strikethrough] Brian, Brian's resource teacher gives him a tape recorder tape recorder, device for recording information on strips of plastic tape (usually polyester) that are coated with fine particles of a magnetic substance, usually an oxide of iron, cobalt, or chromium. The coating is normally held on the tape with a special binder. to record his social studies lectures. He tries to disguise Disguise
Dishonesty (See DECEIT.)
enters nunnery as convert to retrieve money. [Br. Lit.: The Jew of Malta]
disguised as a woman to avoid conscription. [Gk. the recorder by wrapping it in a paper napkin a napkin made of paper, intended to be disposed of after use.
See also: Napkin . But it is to no avail, because his teacher tells the others, "Whenever the class takes notes, Brian will record my lecture. As you probably know, he has a learning disability. He also will be able to spend as long as he needs to on tests" (Betancourt, 1993, pp. 54-55). Brian slumps down in his chair, questioning how his teacher could do this to him.
In a surprisingly high percentage of books, segregated classrooms and schools were advocated for the student with LD. For example, in Me and Einstein nine-year-old Bobby is identified with a learning disability and begins to attend a special education classroom, but he continues to have problems and eventually runs away from home. His parents take him to a psychologist, who discovers that Bobby has dyslexia and recommends that he attend a segregated school, named the Einstein School, "where people understand the problem and where there is a large staff of people to help all the children" (Blue, 1979, np). Other examples of segregated settings included But I'm Ready To Go, Every Living Thing, Just One Friend, Probably Still Nick Swanson, and Spaceman.
In at least three of the books, the character with LD is retained or held back a grade. These included Richard in The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room, Joshua in The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates Bates , Katherine Lee 1859-1929.
American educator and writer best known for her poem "America the Beautiful," written in 1893 and revised in 1904 and 1911. , and Morton in M.E. and Morton.
Instructional methodology. Although many of the books centered on the schooling experience, few portrayed actual instructional methodologies. The types of instructional methodologies portrayed include (a) learning strategies (e.g., Egg Drop Blues; Josh, a Boy with Dyslexia; Seventeen Against the Dealer); (b) psycholinguistic psy·cho·lin·guis·tics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the influence of psychological factors on the development, use, and interpretation of language. training (e,g., Kelly's Creek); (c) compensatory education (e.g., Do Bananas Chew Gum? My Name is [begin strikethrough]Brain[end strikethrough] Brian); (d) multisensory multisensory /mul·ti·sen·so·ry/ (mul?te-sen´sah-re) capable of responding to more than one kind of sensory input, as certain neurons in the central nervous system. instruction (e.g., Aunt Morbelia and the Screaming Skulls); (e) phonics phonics
Method of reading instruction that breaks language down into its simplest components. Children learn the sounds of individual letters first, then the sounds of letters in combination and in simple words. (e.g, The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room); (f) tutoring (e.g., And One for All, Just Call Me Stupid); and (g) computer programs (e.g., Alison Walks the Wire).
In most stories the methods are mentioned without any detail. A few describe perceptual motor exercises. Kelly in Kelly's Creek is described as standing with his nose at the chalkboard drawing lopsided lop·sid·ed
1. Heavier, larger, or higher on one side than on the other.
2. Sagging or leaning to one side.
3. circles in both hands. "It was one of the exercises he did in the special class he was in one hour every school day" (Smith, 1975, p. 23). In What Do You Mean I Have a Learning Disability? Jimmy and his classmates complete exercises that improve their visual perception. They do rhythmic rhyth·mic also rhyth·mi·cal
Of, relating to, or having rhythm; recurring with measured regularity.
rhythmi·cal·ly adv. writing at the blackboard (1) See Blackboard Learning System.
(2) The traditional classroom presentation board that is written on with chalk and erased with a felt pad. Although originally black, "white" boards and colored chalks are also used. and visual spatial puzzles and games.
Other books describe skill-based instruction. In Just Call Me Stupid (Birdseye, 1993), Patrick's teacher, Mrs. Nagle, is teaching him to read using a phonetic pho·net·ic
1. Of or relating to phonetics.
2. Representing the sounds of speech with a set of distinct symbols, each designating a single sound. approach. While playing a new game in which the students race little cars around the letter sounds, Patrick ends up on a square where he is supposed to put S, Q, and U together with A, V, and E.
"Sssss ..." He felt pressured and couldn't remember the sound S, Q, and U make together. He'd known before. Why couldn't he recall now? Mrs. Nagle said, "It's a nonsense word, but you can do it. Put the sounds together." Patrick couldn't believe it. A nonsense word? Now she was going to start making him read words that didn't mean anything? He wanted to yell out, "WHY?" He didn't though. (p. 123)
Teachers. The manner in which teachers are portrayed varies greatly. Most perspectives are from the point of view of the character with LD. For example, in Spaceman Gary receives an "F" written in red on every test and assignment with the comment "Try harder." Gary tells the reader he has received an "F' on everything he has done in fifth grade and that he does not know how to try any harder. In another example, Eli shares his feelings about his teacher, Ms. Hyatt, in Culligan Man Can. "It wasn't enough to sit quietly, his busy thoughts disturbing no one but himself. Ms. Hyatt wanted those busy thoughts slowed. She wanted them sorted and organized, then poured out of his brain like wet cement sliding down a chute" (Kirby, 1988, p. 11).
Some authors describe the teacher from the perspective of sympathetic classmates. In Eddie's Blue-Winged Dragon, Eddie, a 6th grader A grader, also commonly referred to as a blade or a motor grader, is an engineering vehicle with a large blade used to create a flat surface. Typical models have three axles, with the engine and cab situated above the rear axles at one end of the vehicle and a third with cerebral palsy cerebral palsy (sərē`brəl pôl`zē), disability caused by brain damage before or during birth or in the first years, resulting in a loss of voluntary muscular control and coordination. who is a classmate of Gary, who has LD, describes their teacher as not too pleased to have students with special needs in her classroom. "Miss Clark was the kind of person who couldn't tolerate tol·er·ate
1. To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.
2. To put up with; endure.
3. To have tolerance for a substance or pathogen. weeds 1. weeds - Refers to development projects or algorithms that have no possible relevance or practical application. Comes from "off in the weeds". Used in phrases like "lexical analysis for microcode is serious weeds."
2. , raggedy rag·ged·y
adj. rag·ged·i·er, rag·ged·i·est
Tattered or worn-out; ragged. edges on paper, or anything noisy" (Adler, 1988, p. 15). In another example, Doris helps her classmate James, also called Yellow Bird, prepare for a big social studies test in Yellow Bird and Me. During the test, their teacher accuses James of cheating. Doris thinks,
I wanted to raise my hand and tell her that Bird knew the dates this morning. If only I could explain to her what was wrong with Bird and how hard he tried.... Why couldn't she see that there was something smart and good in Bird? (Hansen, 1986, p. 83)
In Just Ferret Minty mint 1
1. A place where the coins of a country are manufactured by authority of the government.
2. A place or source of manufacture or invention.
3. An abundant amount, especially of money. is asked by her new teacher if a particular day was frightening. Minty insightfully responds, "Not half as bad as an ordinary day with Mrs. Flint flint, mineral
flint, variety of quartz that commonly occurs in rounded nodules and whose crystal structure is not visible to the naked eye. Flint is dark gray, smoky brown, or black in color; pale gray flint is called chert. ... You see it's the teacher, Miss, that makes the difference" (Kemp n. 1. Coarse, rough hair in wool or fur, injuring its quality. , 1990, pp. 124-125).
Some authors portray the general education teacher negatively and the special educator positively. For example, in Josh, the Boy with Dyslexia, Josh recalls the previous year's teacher who pounded his reading book and screamed at him in front of the class. She said he was too slow, messy mess·y
adj. mess·i·er, mess·i·est
1. Disorderly and dirty: a messy bedroom.
2. Exhibiting or demonstrating carelessness: messy reasoning. , and lazy, and he never paid attention. His current teacher, a special educator, is more sensitive to the students.
Not all general educators are portrayed negatively, however. Trisha in Thank You, Mr. Falker has a sensitive and supportive teacher. She is excited to start school and learn to read, only to find reading very difficult. She is teased tease
v. teased, teas·ing, teas·es
1. To annoy or pester; vex.
2. To make fun of; mock playfully.
3. and embarrassed unbearably until her teacher, Mr. Falker, recognizes her problem and gets help for her.
the act of parading a male before a female to see if she displays estrus, and is therefore in a state where mating is likely to be fertile. , bullying Bullying
Chowne, Parson Stoyle
terrorizes parish; kidnaps children. [Br. Lit.: The Maid of Sker, Walsh Modern, 94–95]
bully; becomes thief in Fagin’s gang. [Br. Lit. , and name calling. In the books that were examined, characters with learning disabilities are commonly teased, bullied bul·ly 1
n. pl. bul·lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
2. A hired ruffian; a thug.
3. A pimp.
4. , or called names. In Don't Look at Me "Don't Look at Me" is the 42nd episode of the ABC television series, Desperate Housewives. It was the 19th episode of the show's second season. The episode was written by Josh Senter and directed by David Grossman. It originally aired on Sunday, April 16, 2006. Patrick's classmates tease him endlessly. He's called "a retard," "the dumbest person who ever lived," and "STUPID," among other things. On the bus his classmates chant chant, general name for one-voiced, unaccompanied, liturgical music. Usually it refers to the liturgical melodies of the Byzantine, Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches and is analogous to cantillation in Jewish liturgical music, Qur'anic chanting , "Patrick is a loser (jargon) loser - An unexpectedly bad situation, program, programmer, or person. Someone who habitually loses. (Even winners can lose occasionally). Someone who knows not and knows not that he knows not. ... couldn't win if he had to." In Freak the Mighty Freak the Mighty is a children's novel by Rodman Philbrick. Published in 1993, it was followed by the novel Max the Mighty in 1998. The primary characters are friends Maxwell Kane, a large kid, but very slow, and his friend Kevin Avery, nicknamed "Freak," who is , Max does not respond when his new teacher asks him to share what he did during the summer. One student finally says, "Forget it, Mrs. Donelli, his brain is in his tail!' and another says, "Ask him to count, he can paw (tool) PAW - Physics Analysis Workbench. the ground!' In I Am Not Dumb Johnny explains his learning disability to Peter, who suggests they ask their teacher to explain his disability to the class so that others will stop teasing Johnny. Other books that present examples of teasing, bullying, and name calling include And Don't Bring Jeremy, Squarehead and Me, and Unjust Cause, among others.
Teaming with others with disability. In several books students who both have difficulties team together to support one another. In Claudia's [begin strikethrough]Friend[end strikethrough] Friend, no one understands Claudia's difficulty with her English class except Shea, who has LD. They work together to show themselves and others just how smart they are. Donald in The Flying Fingers Club struggles with his learning disability as he enters a new school until he befriends Matt, a deaf classmate, who is also new to the school. And in Freak the Mighty, Max, an 8th grader with LD, befriends Kevin, affectionately af·fec·tion·ate
1. Having or showing fond feelings or affection; loving and tender.
2. Obsolete Inclined or disposed.
af·fec referred to as Freak, whose birth defect birth defect
Genetic or trauma-induced abnormality present at birth. A more restrictive term than congenital disorder, it covers abnormalities that arise during the formation of an embryo's organs and tissues and does not include those caused by diseases (e.g. has affected his body but not his genius mind. They join forces to create a powerful team. Other examples of children with disabilities teaming together include Eddie's Blue-Winged Dragon and Matthew Pinkowski's Special Summer.
Siblings. Several books present the perspective of a sibling of the character with LD. In And Don't Bring Jeremy, 6th grader Adam has difficulty making friends after moving to a new neighborhood. He blames it on his older brother, Jeremy, who has a learning disability and often acts younger than Adam. And in He's My Brother, an unnamed young boy describes the home and school experiences of Jamie, his younger brother Wiki is aware of the following uses of "'Younger Brother":
Some books also describe sibling relationships from the perspective of the character with learning disabilities. In Yours Turly, Shirley, Shirley's parents adopt a Vietnamese girl and name her Jackie. Shirley is thrilled thrill
v. thrilled, thrill·ing, thrills
1. To cause to feel a sudden intense sensation; excite greatly.
2. To give great pleasure to; delight. See Synonyms at enrapture. as she teaches her new sister English, until Jackie's skills improve beyond Shirley's. "Shirley could have killed Jackie. This just wasn't fair. It really wasn't. Having a sister as smart as Jackie was worse than having a brother as smart as Joe" (Martin, 1988, p. 56).
In more than half of the books analyzed in this study the learning disability plays a major role in the story line. Most of the characters with LD are dynamic, and the main character of the story, with the learning disability predominantly pre·dom·i·nant
1. Having greatest ascendancy, importance, influence, authority, or force. See Synonyms at dominant.
2. a reading and/or written language disability. Many of these books tell the story of an individual with a learning problem that is finally diagnosed, or the disability is better treated and thus the character's self-esteem improves. Bullying and name calling are common, as is the portrayal of resource rooms. In several stories the parents deny that their child has a disability, and resist evaluation.
Several of the books mention famous people who supposedly had LD. Authors commonly discuss these famous individuals from the perspective of helping the character with LD feel he or she is capable of making great achievements as well. For example, when Bobby, in Me and Einstein, is referred to a special school, he is told that the school is "named for Albert Einstein. It's believed that he had dyslexia too. And so did Thomas Edison, and Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, and Nelson Rockefeller Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) was the forty-first Vice President of the United States, governor of New York State, philanthropist, and businessman. and General Patton and many, many others" (Blue, 1979, np). In another example, Sam in Do Bananas Chew Gum? is told, "Thomas Edison had a learning disability in school, and so did Hans Christian Andersen Christian Andersen (born September 28 1944) is a Danish former football-player and now manager. He is curtrently adviser for the team Glostrup FK
As player he played for B 1903, Cercle Brugge, FC Lorient and Akademisk Boldklub and playde two caps for the Danish national and Vice President Rockefeller, and President Wilson. They didn't get famous by saying `never'" (Gilson, 1980, p. 142).
Baskin and Harris (1984) in their analysis of children's literature argue that most children do not know these famous individuals and if they did, "It is hard to believe that simply citing names of Albert Einstein, Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Nelson Rockefeller, and General Patton ... would inspire pride of association in an elementary school elementary school: see school. child" (p. 90). There is a third reason to question the mention of these famous individuals. Even if children knew these individuals and their accomplishments, the posthumous post·hu·mous
1. Occurring or continuing after one's death: a posthumous award.
2. Published after the writer's death: a posthumous book.
3. diagnosis of LD has been greatly disputed (Adelman & Adelman, 1987). Therefore, living examples who have expressed their personal experiences with LD, such as Bruce Jenner William Bruce Jenner (born October 28, 1949 in Mount Kisco, New York) is a U.S. track athlete, known principally for winning the decathlon in the 1976 Summer Olympics. , Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg Whoopi Goldberg (born November 13, 1955) is an American actress, comedian, radio presenter, and author.
Goldberg is one of only ten individuals who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award, counting Daytime Emmy Awards. , and Cher, are more appropriate models.
Only 8 of the 90 books (8.9%) analyzed are picture books. Picture books are designed to be read to young children, usually pre-kindergarten through second or third grade. This percentage represents a higher proportion than found in an earlier study in which highly recommended books were analyzed for characters with disabilities. In that study, only 2 of 46 (4%) were found to be picture books (Prater, 2000). Yet another study discovered 13 of 68 books (19%) characterizing mental retardation to be picture books (Prater, 1999). And a more recent review of characterizations of mental retardation and autism found 6 of 12 (50%) books to be picture books (Dyches et al., 2001). It may be that fewer picture books characterize learning disabilities than mental retardation because LD is a "hidden disability" that manifests itself at ages greater than the typical audience for picture books. However, that would not preclude pre·clude
tr.v. pre·clud·ed, pre·clud·ing, pre·cludes
1. To make impossible, as by action taken in advance; prevent. See Synonyms at prevent.
2. books being written that describe older individuals (such as siblings or friends) who have learning disabilities.
When books written for children and adolescents that portray characters with LD and those that portray characters with mental retardation (Prater, 1999) are compared, it is found that authors portraying LD are more likely to (a) write from the character with LD's point of view (58.9% vs. 18%), (b) portray individuals with LD as dynamic (91.8% vs. 45%), and (c) depict de·pict
tr.v. de·pict·ed, de·pict·ing, de·picts
1. To represent in a picture or sculpture.
2. To represent in words; describe. See Synonyms at represent. those with LD as the main characters of a story (75.3% vs. 39%).
As with all literary works, one could question the general quality of the books identified in this study. Books characterizing learning disabilities are vulnerable to the same flaws as any other literary work. As described by Baskin and Harris (1977), most are of modest quality, some are inept, and a few are extraordinary. One book, Dicey's Song, received international recognition as a Newbery Award Winning Book. Interestingly, the character with LD is only a supporting character, and the role her learning disability plays in the story line is minor. More Newbery Award books have characterized mental retardation (Prater, 1999) than learning disabilities.
Given that understanding of learning disabilities has evolved, many juvenile books promote practices that are not current and up-to-date. The researcher elected to evaluate all books that could be identified rather than restricting them to the last 10 or 20 years. This was done because even older books are currently available on public and school library shelves. (The researcher had difficulty locating only 1 of the originally identified 105 books.) One particular outdated out·dat·ed
old-fashioned or obsolete
Adj. 1. aspect is the application of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Some statements may be disputed, incorrect, , biased or otherwise objectionable.
Some of the books include factual information about learning disabilities separate from the story. For example, the story of How Dyslexic Benny Became a Star is followed by resource information such as discussion questions and a list of advocacy organizations. I'm Special, Too includes teacher lesson activities; I Am Not Dumb lists discussion questions and activities; and Josh, a Boy with Dyslexia provides answers to questions about learning disabilities.
Other books include this information as a prominent part of the story. Learning My Way and I'm a Winner provides specific information about learning disabilities from the perspective of a fictional character, who defines special education jargon jargon, pejorative term applied to speech or writing that is considered meaningless, unintelligible, or ugly. In one sense the term is applied to the special language of a profession, which may be unnecessarily complicated, e.g., "medical jargon. , such as individualized in·di·vid·u·al·ize
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.
2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.
3. education plans (IEPs), as part of his description. Similarly, Kevin's Story is written from the perspective of a 10-year-old fictional character. After being diagnosed with a reading disability, Kevin meets with the psychologist several times so she can explain how the brain functions and why he is having trouble learning to read. And in What Do You Mean I Have a Learning Disability? the reader follows the experiences of 10-year-old Jimmy being tested, diagnosed, and receiving help with his academic problems.
As mentioned in the introduction, authors use characters with disabilities in children's literature for two purposes: first, to focus on the life of an individual with a disability; and second, to portray the diversity in our society. A large proportion of the books in this study appeared to be written with the first goal in mind: to share the life of an individual, primarily a child, with a learning disability. These books provide a good foundation for bibliotherapy. For example, students referred for individual evaluation may benefit from reading or hearing the story of a child who had the same experience in preparation for the testing process. Also, students without disabilities may gain some empathy empathy
Ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The empathic actor or singer is one who genuinely feels the part he or she is performing. for those with a learning disability through reading or hearing stories of children who are bullied because they have a learning difference. Thus, there is great value in books of this nature.
The researcher was disappointed, however, that more of these books did not take the second focus: telling a great story that just happened to include a character with a learning disability. Given the incidence of learning disabilities in our society, one would expect more characterizations embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. in quality storytelling Storytelling
semi-legendary fabulist of ancient Greece. [Gk. Lit.: Harvey, 10]
Baron traveler grossly embellishes his experiences. [Ger. Lit. , particularly for children and adolescents.
Several limitations to this study can be identified. First, no reliability data were taken. Although the researcher applied definitions for characterization classification, the judgments could be considered subjective. The method of identifying themes through the process of note taking may also be considered subjective.
Although attempts were made to locate all books written for children and adolescents with a character with LD published before 2001, one cannot ensure that all were located. The researcher relied on previous identification of the books by others through electronic and published booklists, as well as electronic searches. Electronic booklists provided more recently published books, but also added most of the questionable books that were later excluded from the study because they did not include reference to a learning disability. Books including characters whose primary disability appeared to be ADHD were also excluded. This could be considered a limitation, as characteristics associated with ADHD may be similar to those associated with learning disabilities (O'Shea, O'Shea, & Algozzine, 1998).
The researcher attempted to include only books with characterizations that were clearly learning disabilities by applying strict inclusion criteria
Inclusion criteria are a set of conditions that must be met in order to participate in a clinical trial. . However, there were five books for which characterization of LD could be questioned. These books were not excluded from the study because the disability could be characterized as LD. In Leo, the Late Bloomer (Kraus, 1971), for example, Leo is Leo I, Byzantine emperor
Leo I, d. 474, Byzantine or East Roman emperor (457–74). Chosen by the senate to succeed Marcian, he sought to counteract the preponderance of Germans in the Roman army by enlisting Isaurians. portrayed as a young lion who has difficulty with many skills. He suddenly overcomes these difficulties. One could easily argue that Leo's problems may be accounted for by maturation maturation /mat·u·ra·tion/ (mach-u-ra´shun)
1. the process of becoming mature.
2. attainment of emotional and intellectual maturity.
3. . Yet this book appears on several LD booklists (e.g., Bauer, 1985; Gold, 1983; www.ldonline.org/ld_store/bibliotherapy/ldbooks.html).
In four additional books the character could have a learning disability although it is not clear. The young girl in Someone Called Me a Retard Today, for example, is consoled by her father after being called "a retard." The author provides no other indication of the girl's condition. This book appears on booklists of characters with developmental disabilities developmental disabilities (DD),
n.pl the pathologic conditions that have their origin in the embryology and growth and development of an individual. DDs usually appear clinically before 18 years of age. (Orr et al., 1997) and learning disabilities (Blaska, 1996). Other books with characters identified by reviewers as representing both mental retardation and learning disabilities include Keep Stompin' Till the Music Stops (Baskin & Harris, 1984; Garry, 1978), M.E. and Morton (Heim, 1994; Robertson, 1992), and One Little Girl (Baskin & Harris, 1977; Rudman, 1995). These books were not excluded from the study because the characters portrayed could be classified as having a learning disability.
Implications for Practice
The results of this study support several practical implications for both teachers and teacher educators. Teachers cannot assume that books appearing on LD booklists in fact include characters with LD. Nor does the mere presence of a character with learning disabilities guarantee that appropriate characterization or upto-date practices are depicted. Teachers are encouraged, therefore, to read the books in advance to evaluate the appropriateness of the characterizations and services described before using them in the classroom or recommending them to students, parents, or librarians This is a list of people who have practised as a librarian and are well-known, either for their contributions to the library profession or primarily in some other field. .
Teachers can use juvenile literature juvenile literature: see children's literature. to teach about learning disabilities in the classroom. They may integrate these books across the curriculum or focus specific lessons on learning about LD. Even books with questionable or outdated portrayals and practices can be used as nonexamples of current and appropriate practice. Teachers are cautioned, however, that the use of nonexamples requires appropriate instruction to ensure that misconceptions are not promoted. Regardless of the manner in which teachers use juvenile literature in their classroom, students need an opportunity to discuss reactions to the books and relate concepts portrayed to their personal lives.
Teacher educators can integrate these books in characteristics and methods courses. For example, in a characteristics course, university students could compare the characteristics portrayed in a juvenile fiction book with the characteristics learned in the course. In methods courses, student can write lesson plans involving the use of books to teach about learning disabilities. In addition, children's literature courses should incorporate books with characters with LD as required reading; and textbook textbook Informatics A treatise on a particular subject. See Bible. authors preparing materials for future teachers could provide lists of appropriate books as part of their curriculum.
This study analyzed children and adolescent literature published prior to 2001 that portrays characters with learning disabilities. Ninety books met the criteria and were locatable. This number represents a small percentage of juvenile fiction literature currently available on library, school, and home bookshelves. Why more books have not been written that include characters with LD remains unclear. Teachers and teacher educators are urged to seek out fictional portrayals of learning disabilities and use them as teaching tools in their classrooms. Similarly, parents and librarians are encouraged to include books portraying individuals with learning disabilities in their home and library collections.
Table 1 Empirical Studies Examining Portrayal of Disabilities in Juvenile Literature Author Number, Type, and (Year) Purpose Publication Dates Ayala Determine extent to 59 fiction & (1999) which story line and nonfiction, characters with dis- 1974-1996. abilities mirror soci- ety. Harrill et al. Compare portrayal 15 pre-1978 & (1993) of disabilities pre- 30 post-1978 and post-P.L. 94-142 fiction & nonfiction. (defined as 1978). Prater Determine how 68 fiction, 1965-1996. (1999) mental retardation (MR) and related issues are portrayed. Dyches Analyze portrayal of 12 fiction, et al. MR, autism, and 1997-1998. (2001) related themes, Compare with Prater (1999) results. Author (Year) Methodology Results Ayala Books read. Most common portrayals (1999) Characterization and were orthopedic impair- trends analyzed and ments (22%), male compared with cur- (52%), Caucasian (50%), rent demographics. varied settings (53%), protagonist as "hero" (63%). Other results: character portrayed as victim (10%), realistic portrayals (20%). Harrill et al. Four teachers rated Books published after (1993) randomly selected 1978 improved in terms books on 10 state- of absence of stereo- ments. typing, appropriate role models, realistic illustrations, use of nondiscriminatory lan- guage, frequency of interactions between those with and without disabilities, among other areas. Prater Books read, portrayals Most characters were (1999) categorized, and supporting (61%) and notes taken and static (54%). Few books analyzed for emer- were written from pers- gence of themes. pective of character with MR (13%). Most portrayed characters as victims and dependent on family members. Few included school, em- ployment, or recreatio- nal settings. Almost all described some form of outdated practice (e.g., sheltered workshops). Dyches Books read and notes Most portrayals were et al. taken regarding char- main, dynamic, posi- (2001) acterization of tive, and realistic. MR/autism, relation- Few were written from ship of characters to the perspective of others, and related character with MR/ themes. autism. Relationships with others similar to Prater (1999) results. Most portrayed up-to- date practice (e.g., inclusion). Table 2 World Wide Web Children's Booklist Pages Accessed April 14, 2001 Page Title Internet Address CEC and ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education: Children's Books for Students with Learning Disabilities www.cec.sped.org/ericec.org/fact/ kidbooks.html Come Unity: Children's Special Needs and Disability Books www.comeunity.com/dbooklist.html LD Store: Children's Books About Disabilities www.ldonline.org/ld_store/biblio- therapy/ldbooks.html LDA-CA Bookstore: LD Books for Children and Youth www.ldaca.org/books/ldyouth.html Table 3 Books Reviewed in This Study Title, Author, (Illustrator), Publisher, Year [Grade/Interest Level] * (+) Adam Zigzag by Barbara Barrie, Delacorte, 1994 [7-9]. (+) Alison Walks the Wire by Sheri Cooper Sinykin, Magic Attic, 1996 [4-6]. Altogether, One at a Time by E. L. Konigsburg (Mercer Meyer), Atheneum, 1971 [4-6]. (+) And Don't Bring Jeremy by Marilyn Levinson (Diane deGroat), Holt/Rinehart/Winston, 1985 [4-6]. * (+) And One for All by Theresa Nelson, Orchard, 1989 [7-12]. * (+) Angie by Pat Bezzant, Fawcett Juniper, 1994 [9-12]. (+) Aunt Morbelia and the Screaming Skulls by Joan Davenport Carris, Little Brown, 1990 [4-6]. * (+) The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room by Patricia Reilly (Gift & Blanche Sims), Dell, 1984 [2-4]. * (+) The Best Fight by Anne Schlieper (Mary Beth Schwark), Whitman, 1995 [2-5]. The Best Way Out by K. Follis Cheatham, Harcourt/Brace/Jovanovich, 1982 [7-9]. * (+) But I'm Ready to Go by Louise Albert, Bradbury, 1976 [4-6]. (+) Candy Corn Contest by Patricia Reilly Gift (Blanche Sims), Dell, 1984 [2-4]. * (+) Charlie's Challenge by Ann Root and Linda Gladden (Anne Nelson Sweat), Printmaster, 1995 [2-4]. Claudia's [begin strikethrough]Freid[end strikethrough] Friend by Ann M. Martin, Scholastic, 1993 [4-6]. (+) Culligan Man Can by Susan Kirby, Abingdon, 1988 [4-6]. * (+) Danny Means Trouble by Jamie Suzanne, Bantam, 1990 [3-6]. Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight, Atheneum, 1982 [5-8]. * (+) Different, Not Dumb by Margot Marek (Barbara Kirk, photo), Watts, 1985 [2-3]. * (+) Do Bananas Chew Gum? by Jamie Gilson, Pocket, 1980 [4-6]. * (+) The Don't-Give-Up Kid by Jeane Gehret (Sandra Ann DePauw), Verbal Images, 1990 [K-3]. * (+) Don't Look at Me by Doris Sanford (Graci Evans), Multnomah, 1986 [K-3]. Eddie's Blue-Winged Dragon by C. S. Adler, Putnam, 1988 [4-6]. (+) Egg Drop Blues by Jacqueline Turner Banks, Houghton Mifflin, 1995 [4-6]. The Elderberry Thicket by Joan T. Zeier, Atheneum, 1990 [5-8]. (+) Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant (S. D. Schindler), Bradbury, 1985 [4-6]. (+) Father Bede's Misfit by Phil H. Troyer, York, 1986 [9-12]. * (+) The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates by Susan Shreve, Knopt, 1984 [2-4]. (+) The Flying Fingers Club by Jean F. Andrews, Kendall Green, 1988 [3-5]. (+) Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick, Scholastic, 1993 [5-8]. Handles by Jan Mark, Atheneum, 1985 [6-9]. * (+) Happy Birthday Jason by C. Jean Cutbill & Diane Rawsthorn, IPI, 1984 [2-4]. * (+) The Hard Life of Seymour E. Newton by Ann B. Herold, (Sherry Neidigh), Herald, 1990 [2-5]. (+) Hasta Luego, San Diego by Jean F. Andrews, Kendall Green, 1991 [4-6]. Herbie Jones by Suzy Kline (Richard Williams), Putnam, 1985 [2-4]. * He's My Brother by Joe Lasker (Joe Lasker), Whitman, 1984 [K-3]. (+) Home is Where Your Feet are Standing by Patricia Windsor, HarperCollins, 1975 [7-12]. * (+) How Dyslexic Benny Became a Star by Joe Griffith (Jenny Schulz), 1998 [4-6]. (+) How Many Days Until Tomorrow? by Caroline Janover (Charlotte Janover), Woodbine House, 2000 [4-6]. * (+) I Am Not Dumb by Ahmed Motiar, Z.A.N. Press, 1979 [3-5]. * (+) I'm Special, Too by Darlene M. McCarty, (Napoleon Wilkerson), African American Images, 1997 [4-6]. * It's George by Miriam Cohen (Lillian Hoban), Greenwillow, 1988 [K-3]. (+) Jake McGee and his Feet by Mary Waldorf, Houghton Mifflin, 1980 [4-7]. * (+) Josh, a Boy with Dyslexia by Caroline Janover, Waterfront, 1988 [4-6]. * (+) Just Call Me Stupid by Tom Birdseye, Holiday House, 1993 [4-6]. (+) Just Ferret by Gene Kemp, Faber & Faber, 1990 [4-6]. * (+) Just One Friend by Lynn Hall, Scribner, 1985 [5-8]. (+) Keep Stompin' Till the Music Stops by Stella Pevsner, Clarion, 1977 [4-6]. * (+) Kelly's Creek by Doris Buchanan Smith (Alan Tiegreen), Crowell, 1975 [4-6]. * (+) Kevin's Story by Dvora Levinson, IPI, 1984 [3-5]. (+) Kiss the Clown by C. S. Adler, Houghton Mifflin, 1986 [7-9]. * (+) Learning My Way and I'm a Winned by Judy Harris Swenson & Roxanne Brown Kunz (Lynne J. Kratoska), Dillon, 1986 [3-6]. (+) Leo, the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus (Jose Aruego), Simon & Schuster,. 1971 [K-3]. (+) Life Magic by Melrose Cooper, Holt, 1996 [4-6]. M.E. and Morton by Sylvia Cassedy, Crowell, 1987 [5-8]. (+) Man from the Sky by Avi, Morrow, 1980 [4-6]. (+) Matthew Pinkowski's Special Summer by Patrick J. Quinn, Gallaudet University, 1991 [5-8]. * (+) Me and Einstein by Rose Blue (Peggy Luks), Human Sciences, 1979 [4-6]. (+) Me and My Million by Clive King, Crowell, 1979 [4-7]. (+) Megan's Nutcracker Prince by Emily Costello, Harper, 1994 [3-6]. * (+) My Name is [begin strikethrough]Brain[end strikethrough] Brian by Jeanne Betancourt, Scholastic, 1993 [4-7]. * (+) One Little Girl by Joan Fassler, Jane M. Smyth), Behavioral, 1969 [K-3]. * (+) Probably Still Nick Swansen by Virginia Euwer Wolff, Holt, 1988 [6-10]. Putting Up with Sherwood by Ellen Matthews, Westminster, 1980 [4-7]. (+) The Runaways by Ruth Thomas, Lippincott, 1989 [6-8]. (+) Running Scared by Jane Morton, Dutton, 1979 [5-8]. * (+) The Safe Place by Tehila Peterseil (Zely Smechov), Pitspopany, 1996 [4-7]. Searching for Shona by Margaret J. Anderson, Bullseye, 1978 [4-7]. * (+) Secrets Aren't Always for Keeps by Barbara Aiello & Jeffrey Shulman (Loel Bart), Twenty-First Century, 1988 [3-5]. Seventeen Against the Dealer by Cynthia Voight, Atheneum, 1989 [9-12]. * (+) Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You by Barthe DeClements, Scholastic, 1985 [4-7]. * (+) Sixth Grade Sleepover by Eve Bunting, Harcourt/Brace/Jovanovich, 1986 [5-7]. (+) Solution for Randy's Problem by Glennis Koenig (Ronald E. Kropt), Blue Ribbon Bookhouse, 1993 [K-3]. * (+) Somebody Called Me a Retard Today ... and My Heart Felt Sad by Ellen O'Shaughnessy (Chuck Hall), Holt/Rinehart/Winston, 1979 [2-3]. * (+) Spaceman by Jane Cutler, Dutton, 1997 [4-6]. Squarehead and Me by Henry Louis Haynes (Len Epstein), Westminster, 1980 [5-8]. *The Summer Kid by Myrna Neuringer Levy, Second Story, 1991 [4-6]. * (+) Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco, Philomel, 1998 [K-3]. Thunder and Lightenings by Jan Mark (Jim Russell), Crowell, 1976 [3-6]. * (+) Unjust Cause by Tehila Peterseil, Pitspopany, 1998 [4-6]. Us and Uncle Fraud by Lois Lowry, Houghton Mifflin, 1984 [4-6]. * (+) The Vicar of Nibbleswicke by Roald Dahl (Quentin Blake), Viking, 1992 [4-6]. Wall of Words by Tim Kennemore, Faber, 1983 [9-12]. * (+) Whales to See The by Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout, Doubleday, 1975 [4-7]. * (+) What Do You Mean I Have a Learning Disability? by Kathleen M. Dwyer (Barbara Beirne, photo), Walker, 1991 [2-5]. (+) Will the Real Gertrude Hollings Please Stand Up? by Sheila Greenwald, Little/Brown, 1983 [5-8]. (+) Willy's Summer Dream by Kay Brown, Harcourt Brace, 1989 [7-9]. (+) The Worst Speller in Junior High by Caroline Janover, Free Spirit, 1995 [6-9]. * (+) Wrongway Applebaum by Marjorie Lewis (Margot Apple), Coward, 1984 [4-6]. * Yellow Bird and Me by Joyce Hansen, Clarion, 1986 [6-8]. * (+) You Can Do It Rosy by Sybil Fleming, Syanacon, 1999 [K-3]. * (+) Yours Turly, Shirley by Ann M. Martin, Holiday House, 1988 [4-6]. * Learning disability plays a major role in the plot. (+) Some of or the entire book is written from the point of view of the character with a learning disability. Table 4 Characterization by Level, Development, Point of View, and Impact of Disability on the Plot Number Percentage Character Level N=97 100 * Main 73 75.3 * Supporting 24 24.7 Character Development N=97 100 * Dynamic 89 91.8 * Static 8 8.2 Point of View N=90 99.9 * Individual(s) with a Learning Disability 53 58.9 * Individual(s) Without a Learning Disability 22 24.4 * Both 13 14.4 * Narrative 2 2.2 Impact of Disability on Plot N=90 99.9 * Major 47 52.2 * Somewhat 31 34.4 * Minor 12 13.3 Table 5 Type of Disabilities Portrayed in Children's Literature Number Type of Disability (Percentage) Sample List of Books Reading 70 (72.2) Adam Zigzag The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room The Best Fight The Candy Corn Contest Different, Not Dumb Just Call Me Stupid Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You Thank You, Mr. Falker Written Language 36 (37.1) Do Bananas Chew Gum? The Hard Life of Seymour E. Newton It's George My Name is [begin stiketrough] Brian[end strikethrough] Secrets Aren't Always for Keeps Unjust Cause The Worst Speller in Junior High Math 7 (7.2) Eddie's Blue-Winged Dragon Putting Up with Sherwood Yours. Turly, Shirley Social Skills 7 (7.2) Angle Just One Friend Solution for Randy's Problem Oral Language 5 (5.2) The Safe Place The Summer Kid The Vicar of Nibblesworth Motor 5 (5.2) And Don't Bring Jeremy Home is Where Your Feet are Standing Wrongway Applebaum Note. The total number of identified characters equaled 97. Totals do not equal 97 nor 100% because characters may have manifested more than one type of learning disability.
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Adler, C. S. (1988). Eddie's blue-winged dragon. New York New York, state, United States
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A wood or grove; a copse.
[Middle English, from Old English.]
the lair of an otter [from .
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DeClements, B. (1985). Sixth grade can really kill you. New York: Viking Kestrel kestrel
Any of several birds of prey (genus Falco) known for hovering while hunting. Kestrels prey on large insects, birds, and small mammals. The male is more colourful than the female. Kestrels are mainly Old World birds, but one species, the American kestrel (F. .
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1. An institution, such as a literary club or scientific academy, for the promotion of learning.
2. A place, such as a library, where printed materials are available for reading. .
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Former city and sultanate, Java. It was located at the western end of Java between the Java Sea and the Indian Ocean. In the early 16th century it became a powerful Muslim sultanate, which extended its control over parts of Sumatra and Borneo. .
Sweeney, W. K. (1998). The special-needs reading list. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine woodbine, name for several vines, among them honeysuckle and Virginia creeper.
Any of many species of vines belonging to various flowering-plant families, especially the Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia, family Vitaceae) of House.
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Requests for reprints should be addressed to: Mary Anne Prater, 328 MCKB, Brigham Young University Brigham Young University, at Provo, Utah; Latter-Day Saints; coeducational; opened as an academy in 1875 and became a university in 1903. It is noted for its law and business schools. , Provo, UT 84602. email@example.com.
MARY ANNE PRATER, Ph.D., is professor, Brigham Young University.