What It’s Like to Have a Learning Disability
To allow children to experience the visual difficulties many LD children face when learning to read.
One copy of “The Friembly Bog” for each child
1. Distribute the story to each child.
2. Group the children into fours and select two children to read the story aloud.
3. Listen for comments such as, “The spelling is all wrong?” “This is too hard?” “I don’t want to do this!”
4. Watch for reactions from the listeners, i.e., those not selected to read aloud.
5. Read the “translation” of the story out loud.
6. Write the following questions on the board and have the children answer each individually.
-How did you feel when you saw the story?
-How did you feel having to read it aloud?
-How did you feel as you heard your classmate read?
-How would you feel if all your school work looked this way to you?
Discussion Have the children share their answers to the above questions. Ask them to pinpoint specific problems in the story (e.g., the confusion among the p, the b, and the d). Tell them that many children with learning disabilities cannot tell the difference among the letters. Let the children know that although they are bright students, they still had trouble with the story. Many children who are learning disabled are bright too, but have many problems when it comes to reading. Using this experience as a guide, discuss with the children how it might feel to have these problems daily.
Simulation Activity #1
THE FRIEMBLY BOG
Once ubom a tmie there was a friembl dobl. His name saw Jake. Jake belombeb to Bavig and Bhte. Davib and Beth aar tins. They ar nime yrse dol.
On e tome Jak went dow to the cellra. H was a ducket of soab. The tins wer doing to wsah the car. He liked some saop buddles out fo the ducket. When he darked, dig dubbles ca me out of hi s muth!
Last sum mre Jak founb a frenb. His frien sqw a tac named Freb. They blayde all bay. They nar aroumb and aroumbb tye yarb. Jake chased the tac ub te tre. Freb climded up easily. Jake trieb t and trieb dut ehe slib back bown!
Simulation Activity #1
THE FRIENDLY DOG (TRANSLATION)
Once upon a time there was a friendly dog. His name was Jake. Jake belonged to David and Beth. David and Beth are twins. They are nine years old.
One time Jake went down to the cellar. He saw a bucket of soap. The twins were going to wash the car. He licked some soap bubbles out of the bucket. When he barked, big bubbles came out of his mouth!
Last summer Jake found a friend. His friend was a cat named Fred. They played all day. They ran around and around the yard. Jake chased the cat up the tree. Fred climbed up easily. Jake tried and tried but he slid back down.