Helping Students with a Disability
Speaking from personal experience and having had 3 of my 4 children born with learning disabilities, I can share with you some tips and tricks as well as frustrations. I was always an A student and when I married and began having children, it never occurred to me that the daughters and sons of very intelligent, educated parents could be learning disabled. I have one daughter who excelled in school and another who struggled with math concepts from junior high and up. I have two sons, one of whom has severe ADHD coupled with learning disabilities and the other who has problems decoding words. All of my children are very bright and intelligent. That fact is very evident if you have a conversation with any of them. Helping students with a disability is the responsibility of the school, parents and other professionals in the community. Tutoring for students with learning disabilities is essential.
Tutoring for Students with Learning Disabilities
Children with learning disabilities deserve as much of an opportunity at success as those who don’t have them. Working diligently with teachers, counselors and other professionals in the community is a start, but getting your child in touch with a tutor can be a God send. You need to find a tutor who is very patient and creative to enable your child to succeed. Learning disabled children are as intelligent as other children and tutoring them is not much different than tutoring another child. LD kids have trouble demonstrating their “smarts” in the classroom because of some problem with their “hard wiring” that prevents the message from getting through the way it would get through to others. Their listening skills can be weak and they need more time to understand and complete their work. LD kids tend to be disorganized and “forget” either what they’ve been assigned or the books or papers they need to take home to complete assignments. Spelling can be a challenge for these kids as well. Students with learning disabilities tend to be able to express themselves better orally rather than in writing.
With a learning disabled child, their learning can be affected because of problems with attention span, memory, language skills, execution of what is learned, reasoning and perceptual/motor skills. These children learn best when they are taught with a multi-pronged approach, including visual, auditory, verbal and tactile opportunities. Tutors cannot “fix” the child, but can offer the opportunity to explore various styles of learning to allow the child to develop strategies to help themselves.
As stated earlier, the tutor must be patient, but also positive and very supportive. It can be a learning curve for both the child and the tutor while exploring learning styles. It is crucial to keep the student involved and not spend too much time talking to him/her. By concentrating on processes rather than the end result, the child will eventually become accustomed to using the process and it will hopefully become automatic.
While you many find that results are slow, your child will make progress with a tutor who keeps your child very interactively involved with learning. You may notice after a while that you child no longer makes homework excuses and actually enjoys learning. A tutor can have a very positive impact on a child’s life, with great results like better grades and higher self-esteem. Results like these will influence your child’s life in all areas.
Helping Students with a Disability