I know the struggles and intricacies of helping a child with learning issues — I have two. Here’s what I’ve learned on my journey that can apply to anyone working with a learning disabled student.
This list is in no way exhaustive, but offers advice on working around the struggles these brave students face.
Denial is Your Enemy
Recognizing and admitting an issue exists is the first step. And usually the hardest. Adaptations have to be made. Triggers have to be removed. Help may need to be sought out. But ignoring the possibility is more hurtful than accepting it.
Pay Attention to How a Student Retains Information
And find a way to use it to their benefit. For example, my middle daughter learns best through music. It didn’t hit me until her older sister was having trouble remembering what a noun was. My little one began singing a song about nouns that she’d learned from the show “Super Why.” We now use sing-a-longs to help her practice reading.
We hear a lot of talk about eliminating screen time. However, the opposite may be true for children with learning disabilities.
There are hundreds of apps, games and resources available to assist across all age groups and skills. They can enhance what you’re already doing or open up new areas of learning.
Make the most of times when your child wants to do things. They may want to do it 87 times in a row, but it’s still learning. Keep singing that song. Keep coloring those pictures. Keep a smile on their face.
It is going to take time. Progress might require year-round school, longer days with more breaks, or even weekend work. It’s necessary for you and your child to get into a good rhythm together, but know it won’t happen overnight. When you rush or have unrealistic expectations, you just end up stressed out.
Read, Research, Plan and Adapt
There is so much out there. If you find something cool and new, see if it will mesh with your program. Seek out credible articles and blogs about your child’s particular situation. New things are created daily; never be afraid to change it up.
You know the goals that you have and what works best for your student.