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How schools can help kids in tackling with learning problems

by Vijay Garg
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Auditory and visual processing disorders: Sensory disabilities in which a person has normal vision and hearing but has difficulty understanding language.
Nonverbal learning disabilities: A neurological disorder that causes problems with visual-spatial, organizational, evaluative, intuitive, and holistic processing functions.
When searching for methods to help children with learning problems, remember that these methods should help children help themselves. As teachers, we should give children who have learning problems the social and emotional tools they need to work through these challenges. Over a while, facing and overcoming a challenge such as a learning disability can help children grow resilient and stronger.
Lessons in schools can be adapted to accommodate the needs of students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. These methods can be used to modify lessons in most subject areas to improve students’ understanding of tasks. They can also be helpful for most students who prefer a clear, structured educational program. Teachers should initiate open and honest communication with children. When children get a judgement-free space to express themselves, they feel safe and heard.
i. Auditory learner- A person who learns best by listening to sounds, music, and audio. They may love to draw, read, and write and are often good at spelling.
ii. Kinesthetic learner- A person who learns best by engaging in a movement like art and craft, sports, and games. They may like sports, dance, drama, and arts and crafts.
iii. Visual learner- A person who learns best through visual aids, flashcards, highlighted content, videos, and pictures. They may like music, languages, and performing on stage.
2. Help them achieve their goals with perseverance and hard work
Usually, children may find certain parts of their academics difficult even after putting in a lot of effort. It is important to understand that it may take time, hard work, and perseverance for children to get through these challenges. Teachers should help children set realistic and attainable short-term and long-term goals.
3. Let children repeat instructions
Teachers must rectify any kind of miscommunication before a child begins doing the work. Teachers must check and guide the student as he/she works to ensure that the work is being done correctly. Whatever they learn in schools should include specific, step-by-step instructions that are stated by the teacher and repeated by the student to avoid confusion and distress.
4. Reward children and use positive reinforcement
Schools should have a reward and positive reinforcement system in place that can help children stay motivated. This system can help in tracking their academic progress. Rewards and reinforcements should be catered to each child’s needs and differ according to their grade levels. This system should be maintained and required adjustments should be made from time to time.
5. Make use of assistive learning technology
Introduce modes of assistive technology in schools, especially for children who have learning problems. Audiobooks, graphic tools, word tools, tape recorders, talking calculators, optical character recognition software, text-to-speech, and speech-to-text software, and software to help with subjects like math can assist children who face learning challenges. These modes can help children become independent and also cope with their challenges.
It is vital to nurture and develop a good teacher-student relationship to help children with learning difficulties. Children should not be discouraged or reprimanded, instead they should be made aware of their potential and capability. Teachers must be open-minded, positive, balanced, and flexible. This will help and guide them through challenges in academics and their everyday life.

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