What did you experience and how did you feel as you tried the simulations?
I felt very annoyed when I was trying the simulations. My annoyed feelings came from the fact that I wasn't able to concentrate during the attention part because there was some much fading in and out during the reading part and too much talking going on when the teacher was giving directions in the other parts. For the reading part, it was frustrating to try and decode a passage when I didn't even know where to begin and what letters were really suppose to be what and even with the key I felt completely lost. However, in the memory part it I felt pushed to finishing reading because the lines were disappearing and I caught myself just skimming the reading just so I would finish. So, when it came time to do the questions, I got one answer right because I guessed on everything. The writing part I had no idea what I was doing or what I was suppose to do. Even with the directions I was just confused. The math part was probably the worst for me because I have always struggled in math. The spacial part and the sequencing part was about the worst.
What insights did the simulations give you into the experiences of students with learning disabilities in that particular area?
Overall, I felt horrible. Here I am complaining about how annoying and frustrating these simulations were and I don't even have this type of learning disability. There are children out there, everywhere, that have learning disabilities and I can't even imagine what it's really like to go through that everyday. A good majority of the students out there with learning disabilities aren't even being attended to.
What I got out of this activity is something that I really needed. I needed to know what it was like to have a glimpse at what it feels like to have a learning disability. To be just mildly frustrated and annoyed during these activities was a good experience. I knew before that children with disabilities have anger and frustration issues, but now after this, I can tell that student, "it's okay to be frustrated and annoyed with what you're going through, but I need to help you and we can get through this together."
What implications for teaching do the simulations have?
I think there was really good insight on how to help and teach these types of children properly. Even though they were just short simulations, with doing the activities and listening to the recordings, I think that each individual area gave its own insight onto what it's like and what it feels like. It also gave me an idea of what strategies to use and not use in the classroom. It gave me a better understand of each of the learning disabilities.