Techniques to Best Help Students Who Have Learning Differences
Many children and adults around the world struggle with various learning differences. Whether they are in a classroom setting or at home, certain assignments and tasks can be more challenging for them than for other students. ADHD, autism, and dyslexia are the three learning differences that we will discuss in today’s blog.
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience more obstacles on their path to success than the average student. The symptoms of ADHD include reduced abilities to pay attention, difficulties completing and turning in work, and challenges controlling impulses, which can make it hard for children with this diagnosis to do well in school. There are dozens of possible accommodations to receive, but common ones include:
Extra time on tests;
Positive reinforcement and feedback;
Allowing breaks or time to move around;
Changes to the environment to limit distraction.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to interact and communicate. More specifically, it impacts the nervous system, and common problems seen in children with ASD are difficulties with communication, social interactions, obsessive interests, and repetitive behaviors. Since ASD is such a complex disorder and affects each child differently, the teacher really needs to focus on what works for the individual student. Accommodations will need to be carefully considered and cannot be implemented in a “one-size-fits-all” manner.
Dyslexia is a language and reading disability. Some of the main characteristics of dyslexia are challenges with decoding, fluency, spelling, and reading comprehension. Poor decoding involves difficulty accurately reading or sounding out unknown words. Fluency difficulties include a slow reading rate and difficulty reading out loud. Poor spelling often involves difficulty spelling unknown words, but even common words can be difficult to spell. Reading comprehension issues involve difficulty decoding and understanding the material, despite potentially good oral language comprehension skills. Some accommodations for children with dyslexia may include:
Verbal instruction or visual prompts or cues
Pointing to response choices, oral responses, or marking answers in a test book instead of a separate sheet of paper.
Changing the location of where the test is given, like in a distraction-free setting.
Star Tutoring cannot provide a diagnosis for learning differences, but we have many referral contacts in our network who can help. Many students with learning differences will need extra 1:1 support and repetition, which is a core tutoring service we provide. Additionally, through parents, we can also coordinate with the student’s teachers and counselors to hone in on certain skill gaps and learning gaps to maximize our impact.
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