The term learning disability is used for defining different kinds of learning problems that affect students. In simple terms, learning disability is defined as the problem where a student has trouble in grasping what is being taught in the class. Is it because they are any different or less intelligent? Not really infact the sharpest of minds like Albert Einstein used to suffer from the problem of dyslexia. And it is here that teachers can help find the next Einstein and aid then in overcoming the problem.
It can be a student is in the general education classroom or learning in a special class setting. On the whole the idea is to focus the activities on assessing individual students to monitor their progress through the curriculum. It is suggested that all teachers and schools must take precedence over concerns for the group or the curriculum or for the organization and management of the general education classroom content.
The specific types of learning disabilities are mentioned below-
- Dyslexia (reading problems)
- Dysgraphia (writing problems)
- Dyscalculia (math problems)
- Executive Function Difficulties (problems with organization)
- ADHD (trouble regulating attention)
Over the years researches have continued to confirm that teaching students with learning disabilities is something that demands a little bit of patience along with lots of compassion. It is possible for the teacher to put them into a position to compete and hold their own.
How do I know that a student has learning disability?
One of the first aspects that teachers should note here is a particular pattern that the child exhibits. It can be anything like writing mirrored words or showing attention and answering orally, but not being able to write. As a teacher, these are common traits that you have been already taught or experienced during your course. And now is the time to put these skills to good use. You can take the help of your school counselor if needed in this reference to understand if a child is suffering from a particular kind of learning disability.
It should be kept in mind that success for the student with learning disabilities would mean that a lot of focus on individual achievement has to be given. Hence individual progress and learning both need to emphasize on strongly. It would require some hard work from the teacher’s part especially for directed, individualized, intensive remedial instruction, for all the students who are struggling.
Here are some solutions for remedial teaching for students with Learning disability based on Learning sensitivity.
Basically this is an approach, where the teachers change and twirl the system of learning or what students need to learn. The focus is here is on how they’ll learn it and working on modes of getting material across to them. It has been seen that students with learning disabilities tend to struggle in one particular area. Here the first task of the teacher would be to identify that area and create a plan that includes extra practice. So the students are provided with step-by-step directions, and special homework. With practice and persistence, they are able to overcome the same.
A method called scaffolding is often employed or used in the teaching process for students learning disabilities. It makes use of a method that breaks learning into chunks. So in simple, breaking learning into smaller parts makes it easier for a student to grasp. These are chunks based on a logical order and heading towards a clear goal. The task of the teacher here is to bridge the gap that exists between what the students know and what they are unable to attain on their own. Such ridges are referred to as “scaffolds.” Different materials are used here for help, which include charts, pictures and cue cards. The teacher presents a model of high-quality work before asking students to work on their own.
In the mode of graphic organization, the task of the teacher is drawing a picture to map out thoughts and ideas. So mostly visuals are used for helping younger students learn activities that are associated with identifying the characters. Think of it as resemblance with characters in a story they’ve read. In the long run, the idea is to help them plan and organize a story, which they can write. In particular, subjects like history largely benefit from the same.
Another mode used by teachers for helping students with learning disabilities is mnemonics. Remedial teaching for students with Learning disability based on learning sensitivity focus on students using special phrases to help them remember information. A fine example here would be 'Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally’’. This is something that is used for remembering the order of operations in math: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add and Subtract. So the strategies are used for helping remembering smaller words, which in the long run would help the child remember longer connotations.
This is a method employed by teachers for helping students with learning issues and based on what students are able to hear, see and understand movements. So basically it makes use of all the senses that a student has. Some teachers prefer using the base ten blocks here that has two-sided counters. With this, students are able to touch, see aid understand new vocabulary by capturing the meaning of a word and then illustrating it.
Add a little perspective
Keep things in perspective is one of the most crucial aspects of overcoming learning disability. Remember that this problem is not really insurmountable. Yes, there will be a share of hurdles that you would have to overcome but in the long run, you would be able to deal with them without becoming discouraged or overwhelmed. So as long as you are focused and have that perspective, you will get there.
Use your expert skills
Becoming your own expert or using your expert skills is something that always scores with a teacher. Your students suffer from a learning disability, which means that even though you are going by the book, you can still add a personalized learning touch. Skills as a compassionate teacher or ability to draw or even story telling are some means through which you would be able to help these kids overcome the issue. Also, try to develop your skills by being aware of the new developments in learning disability programs, therapies, and educational techniques.
Being there for your students
Being an advocate for the student who suffers from learning disabilities is something that you must focus on. Remember that a student looks up to their teacher for assistance and as a role model too. It is your duty to be patient with them and also help the school authorities understand their special needs. By doing so, you are going to make a huge impact or difference in helping them overcoming many barriers.
Provide positive influence
The positive influence that a teacher can have on a student is something that really cannot compare with other role models. Students who suffer from learning disabilities look for empathy, and if somewhere around the line they find a teacher who is helping them in overcoming this issue would be received with equal enthusiasm. So you should approach learning challenges with optimism, hard work, and a sense of humor and you will notice that the students are responding to you in the same way.
Clear vision for goals
Post this, you should remember to be more precise and clear about your goals. The best way to do this is noting or writing down what you want to accomplish. Based on importance, segregate them. You should also be a good listener and be able to explain to the school authorities what you are trying to do. Offer new solutions with a plan that would double as a remedial method of learning for students with such disabilities. Stay calm, collected and positive and don’t give up easily.
Here are some remedial and intervention practices that teachers can implement-
- Give students direct instructions which are clear
- Focus on new learning strategy instruction
- Work out a sequential, simultaneous structured multi-sensory approach
- Try and break learning into small steps
- Probe into further progress, supply regular, quality feedback etc.
- Make use of diagrams, graphics and pictures to augment what they say in words
- Ensure well-designed intensive practice
The first thing that a teacher should do here would be to actually see what the others are not able to. For at least one week, the teacher should take notes on the different students in the class. This will help you in getting an idea on what is exactly going on and which student is undergoing a problem. One week is a time span good enough to see and understand, which child is actually having acute problems with learning or suffer from similar disabilities.
Once you know the student, the next step would be to observe the child over an entire day. Doing this is suggested so that the child is able to get the individual attention he/ she deserves. The entire idea is to give that child the focus they deserve. Now that you are aware that if everybody is to learn and make their best progress, you will have to add or change a few things around.
Remember that the goals for you student would be earning and progress. So you are the one who should brainstorm and implement a plan that phases out over a 6-week period and brings results.