One of the greatest challenges as parents is understanding how our children learn. Most of the time we reflect back on how we approached our homework, studied for tests, and prepared projects. When helping our children, battles sometimes erupt over how these approaches are done. What can seem obvious to us is clear as mud to them.
One of the best ways to prevent battles is to sit back and observe patterns of behavior. When your child experiences success, what occurred that helped bring about this success? Listen to the way they talk with others. This can teach you how to talk to them. Experiment with different approaches, even if it seems counterintuitive to you. Build upon their strengths versus their weaknesses. It is so easy to pick out what they can’t do versus what they can. Lastly, learn about how they learn. There are multiple ways individuals learn. Take the time to learn your style first, then discover your child’s.
You can listen to our presentation on learning styles by clicking here.
Students with learning disabilities often find the traditional school setting challenging and frustrating. While your child may experience tremendous relief when his learning challenges are identified, he will likely develop questions and concerns about his capabilities.
It is paramount that your child understand:
- A learning disability is not a reflection of intelligence, but rather a matter of processing information.
- Your family is a team working to ensure the necessary tools are available for his success.
- His school and teacher will develop a clear, concise IEP (Individual Education Plan) that will address his learning challenges.
- Supplemental resources are available to support his educational development.
Learning Strategies will help your child explore the learning methods that support his strengths and meet the needs of his learning disabilities.
With the support of his teacher and school, the implementation of a well-defined educational plan, and a few simple learning strategies or special programs, your child will discover the ability to learn.
If your child struggles with reading, the physical act of reading may make studying from a book difficult. Reading out loud to your child while he follows along will allow him to better understand the subject material. Discuss the material in greater detail and encourage him to research the subject on the Internet for additional clarity.
Middle and high school students are often required to read novels. If the school provides a book with compressed print, the task of reading can be very challenging. Reading books with large print and spacing between the lines can be helpful. These can be loaned from your local library or purchased from a book store. Audiobooks are also useful as they can follow along with the printed version and “flag” key areas for further review.
Handwriting issues can make spelling and grammar assignments a challenge. Using a computer or AlphaSmart for practicing spelling words (no copying and pasting allowed) and creating sentences are two ways to address this issue. Ask your child’s teacher if spelling tests can be given verbally or typed; if typing is not an option, request fewer words be required.
In the area of math, children often have trouble keeping the numerals aligned in their proper columns. By turning notebook paper sideways, the student can better align the numbers. If handwriting is also a challenge, reducing the number of problems can be helpful.
If your student has Sensory Processing Disorder, providing the necessary “diet” rich in sensory experiences is critical. Sitting on an exercise ball or an air-filled cushion may aid the child who has trouble sitting for long periods of time. Sucking on a hard candy or chewing gum can also be helpful.
Since many school districts don’t recognize Sensory Processing Disorder as a condition requiring special accommodations, these practices may be considered “disruptive” and met with resistance. Communicating with and educating your teacher about your child’s processing disorder will likely result in the support he requires for success.
Let Learning Strategies’ help your child be his or her best.