PRAXIS II Special Education: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Exam (5383)

The PRAXIS II Special Education: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Exam (5383) is designed for individuals who would like to teach learning disabled students in grades preschool through 12. You will be given two hours to complete this 120 multiple-choice question exam. The test can be broken down into five sections:

Development and Characteristics of Students with Learning Disabilities – 20 questions
Planning and Managing the Learning Environment – 32 questions
Instruction – 33 questions
Identification, Eligibility, and Placement – 14 questions
Foundations and Professional Responsibilities – 21 questions

Development and Characteristics of Students with Learning Disabilities:
Questions in this section of the exam will cover topics like typical and atypical human growth and development, the similarities and differences among students with learning disabilities, the impact of coexisting conditions and exceptionalities on students with learning disabilities, how typical cognitive functions differ in students with learning disabilities, and how particular deficits affect learning and academic skills.

Planning and Managing the Learning Environment:
This section of the exam will cover topics such as how to access and select resources for students with learning disabilities, how to integrate instructional and assistive technology into instructional planning, how to select and implement a behavior management strategy appropriate to individual students, how to establish and maintain rapport with students, and how to design and manage daily routines.

This section of the exam will cover a variety of topics including how to develop observable and measurable instructional objectives, how to develop and implement a lesson plan, how to use student responses and performance for guiding instruction and providing feedback to students, how to manage instructional variables in inclusive classrooms, and how to adapt the learning environment based on input from stakeholders.

Identification, Eligibility, and Placement:
This section will test your knowledge on a variety of topics such as the basic terminology used in assessment, procedures for the formal and informal assessment of students with learning disabilities, factors that can lead to misidentification of students with learning disabilities, and how to create and maintain assessment records.

PRAXIS II Special Education: Teaching Students With Learning Disabilities Practice Questions

1. Causes of learning disabilities include:

A. heredity
B. mother addicted to alcohol
C. premature birth
D. All of the above

2. Behavior a teacher may observe from a student with a learning disability includes:

A. trouble remembering new data
B. difficulty staying organized
C. making inappropriate comments
D. All of the above

3. Which of the following is not a sign of an integration disability?

A. Putting data symbols in the incorrect order
B. Understanding sarcasm and irony
C. Inability to connect the general with the specific
D. Confusion about subtle differences in word meaning

4. Which of the following is not a memory problem?

A. Inability to retain data for immediate use
B. Forgetting a short list of items quickly
C. Forgetting a name at a tenth class reunion
D. Inability to retrieve a familiar phone number

5. Which of the following is a possible sign of problems with fine motor output?

A. Sloppy handwriting
B. Difficulty running or climbing
C. Bumping into furniture
D. General clumsiness

Answer Key For Special Education: Teaching Students With Learning Disabilities

1. Answer: D

People with learning disabilities frequently are very intelligent and have strong leadership skills. They often show amazing abilities in creative areas like art and music or are athletically gifted. These folks just process information differently than others do. People with learning disabilities are never “cured.” They learn ways to cope with and work around whatever problems they have, and many function very well in later life, especially if they receive help in the early years.

Learning disabilities are complex. Scientists think the causes may be as complicated as the problems themselves and may be different for each person. They may be caused by: heredity (runs in families), teratogenic elements (develops in the womb because the mother is addicted to alcohol or cocaine or ingested lead), medical reasons (premature birth, diabetes, meningitis), and societal influences (malnutrition, poor prenatal healthcare). Since the causes can’t yet be pinpointed, it is more important to focus on determining the child’s problems and developing educational tools to help him maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses, so he can function in the world.

2. Answer: D

Since teachers have regular contact with students and can usually be objective, they are in a unique position to observe students’ behavior. Making note of awkward interactions with peers, difficulty with normal classroom requirements, and frustrated attempts to master tasks is an excellent way to spot potential problems and bring them to the attention of parents and administrators. The signs listed are not diagnostic tools and should be weighed against the student’s age and behavior of his peers. They should be considered hints rather than markers:

  • Trouble understanding what he reads and remembering newly learned data
  • Difficulty getting and staying organized, following clearly defined directions, and remembering and honoring deadlines
  • Problems using basic reading, writing, spelling, and math skills.
  • Making inappropriate comments and difficulty interacting with peers and teachers
  • Problems expressing thoughts and an inability to use proper grammar in speaking and writing

3. Answer: B

After information comes into and is registered in the brain, understanding the data is accomplished through sequencing and abstraction. Sequencing puts data symbols in the correct order and determines the meaning of the information. Sequencing problems are numerous. The student recounts the end, beginning, and middle of a story. He knows the information, but it doesn’t make sense because he tells it in the wrong order. Using the correct letters to spell a word but putting them in the wrong sequence, such as spelling cat “a-c-t.”

Abstract thinking is the ability to figure out the subtle differences in the meaning of words and use the words appropriately. Elementary school children may be able to talk about a particular firefighter. However, if asked about the responsibilities of firefighters in general, they won’t be able to answer because they can’t make the connection between the specific and the general. Students in middle and high school may not understand jokes, sarcasm, and irony. Since this type of wit is based on word play, it confuses and befuddles these adolescents.

4. Answer: C

Short-term memory is the ability to retain data for as long as the person is focused on the particular information. For example, calling directory assistance and retaining the number long enough to dial it or remembering a short list of items to pick up at the store. Examples of student short-term memory issues: knowing the history dates the night before but not remembering them the next morning; understanding a concept in class but unable to recall anything about the topic when trying to do homework that night.

Long-term memory stores learned data until the information is needed and retrieved. A phone number used all the time is recalled quickly, while putting a name to the face at the tenth class reunion might take longer. If someone has a long-term memory disability, he would be diagnosed with some type of retardation because he would be unable to function in daily life without assistance.

5. Answer: A

When information comes out of the brain via muscle activity like writing, drawing, and gesturing, it is called motor output. Gross motor output uses large muscle groups. Signs of a gross motor disability include difficulty running, swimming, or climbing; bumping into walls and furniture; stumbling, falling, and being generally clumsy. Fine motor output involves integrating many muscles to perform an action. When a child can’t get several muscle groups to work together, he has a fine motor disability. The most noticeable fine motor problem is difficulty writing, which results in writing slowly; the output is poor, sometimes illegible, handwriting. The shape, size and position of the letters and the spacing between them are all out of kilter, no matter how hard the student tries. When the brain processes or records vision perceptions incorrectly and the message sent to the muscles required to perform an activity requiring eye-hand coordination goes awry, the person has a visual motor disability.