Students with Learning Differences
A learning disability is a neurological condition that interferes with an individual’s ability to store, process, or produce information. Learning disabilities can affect one’s ability to read, write, spell, compute math, reason and also affect an individual’s attention, memory, coordination, social skills and emotional maturity. According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2.3 million students are diagnosed with specific learning disabilities and receive services under IDEA. This represents 35% of all students receiving special education services. With the right support and interventions, children and adults with learning disabilities can succeed in school and life.
Types of Disabilities
ADHD – a disorder that includes difficulty staying focused and paying attention, controlling behavior and hyperactivity.
Dyspraxia – a disorder which causes problems with movement and coordination, language and speech.
Dyslexia – the impaired inability to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols.
Dysgraphia – affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills.
Executive Functioning – an inefficiency in the cognitive management systems of the brain that affects a variety of neuropsychological processes such as planning, organization, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, managing time and space.
Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities – a disorder that affects the understanding of information that a person sees, or the ability to draw or copy. This can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too lightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
Language Processing Disorder – a specific type of Auditory Processing Disorder in which there is difficulty attaching meaning to sound groups that form words, sentences and stories.
Homeschooling for Students with Learning Differences
Sometimes, getting a school to provide services or accommodations takes a lot of effort. You must follow a formal process. By contrast, at home you don’t need school approval for assistive technology or accommodations like frequent breaks. Homeschooling lets you focus on your child, and you have the freedom and flexibility to try different methods to help your child learn. You can choose what subjects to teach your child and spend time nurturing strengths and interests. Homeschooling lets you set a flexible schedule and setting for child’s learning. Parents are able to structure a homeschool program that meets a child’s specific needs. Being homeschooled can be good for your child if he or she was being bullied at school, has behavior issues, or easily gives in to peer pressure.
Online Tutoring for Students with Learning Differences
Online learning is noted as one that works well for children who have learning differences. According, to the National Center of Learning Disabilities, “The versatility and flexibility of online learning provides opportunities for students with learning differences not available in traditional school settings." Online tutoring is flexible, they can adjust to your kids’ schedule, and you would no longer have to leave your kids unattended with a stranger at home since the communications are done via computer. Everything is done over the internet, the online expert has a one-on-one meeting with your child whenever he or she feels like it or if his or her schedule permits. The sessions are online so all you need is a fast and reliable internet connection and a laptop. Online experts are trained to adjust to your schedule and will find time to squeeze you in. Online tutors are also trained to detect your kid’s learning style and adapt to it. The experts you hire from the internet usually have been through a thorough process to make sure they are fit for every child’s needs.
Private Tutoring for Students with Learning Differences
Tutors provide extra instruction, outside the classroom, that can help your child work on different skills, prepare for tests and get better grades. Every student has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning. Customized tutoring programs help ensure your child is learning effectively in a way that work for him or her. Tutoring helps teach your child important study habits that he or she can use in the classroom and beyond. These skills teach students the importance of work ethic, and set them up for life-long success. Tutoring helps teach students to think critically about problems and how to solve them. It can also help your child develop better communication skills and build better relationships with peers inside and outside the classroom. With one-on-one attention, your child is able to receive detailed feedback about his or her work, including strengths and weaknesses. This helps identify where your child can continue to improve and build academic skills.
Assistive technology can be any equipment, software, product or system specifically designed to assist individuals with disabilities. Some common forms of assistive technology include:
Talking Word Processors/Speech-to-Text – this is especially helpful for students with dyslexia or a physical impairment, as it allows the, to dictate a paper or assignment and have translated into a text document.
Digital Recorders – students who struggle with ADHD and find themselves distracted in class often use digital recorders, allowing them to record lectures or classroom instruction and listen to it later in a space where they can concentrate.
Assistive Technology Centers – these centers provide a variety of services, including formatting materials or coursework to be accessible to students with different learning disabilities, training students or staff in the sue of assistive technologies, and providing assistive technologies to those who require them.