Case Study


Sam is a 6th grader at Mount Washington Middle School. He is a friendly, outgoing preteen who enjoys playing basketball, baseball, and electronic games. When Sam was in the 2nd grade, his teacher, Mr. Dunn, noticed that he had problems with the computation of math facts. With assistance and support from Sam’s parents, after school tutoring, and cross-age peer tutoring, Sam was able to make satisfactory progress in math. In 3rd grade, Sam not only exhibited continual problems with basic math facts, he began to have significant problems with solving mathematical word problems. Sam reads on grade level, so his teacher knew that Sam could read the problems but lacked strategies to apply problem-solving skills. With support from Sam’s parents, the teacher referred Sam for a multi-factored assessment to determine whether a disability was interfering with his ability to progress in the general education mathematics curriculum. After the assessment process was completed, Sam was diagnosed with a specific learning disability in mathematics. Sam has received special education support services since his diagnosis. Now Sam is in the 6th grade. Although he has received support from his special education teacher, general education teacher, and parents, Sam’s parents are beginning to think about the time when Sam enters high school. They have high expectations for his future and both Sam and his parents see a four year college in his future. However, Sam continues to have problems with math calculations and problem-solving. The IEP team has been asked to address whether Sam would benefit from the use of Assistive Technology to help him with higher-order mathematical curriculum that he will face in high school, on postsecondary entrance examinations, and in college.