The number of children with learning disabilities (LD) is soaring. The term “learning disability” can refer to various developmental disorders, including dyslexia, dyscalculia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. School districts are clamoring for effective strategies to provide these students with the necessary educational support.
There are several ways to overcome challenges in teaching students with learning disabilities. Here are some of the top strategies that educators have been using.
1. Introduce Yourself
When a student enters your class, ensure that you introduce yourself to the student. This is a good way to introduce yourself because it allows the student to learn about you. Additionally, this will help you get an idea of what kind of learner the student is and how you can support his or her learning.
You can start by asking them about their interests, hobbies or even where they are from. Furthermore, it may work well if you learn something about their family and other people who are close to them. Finally, when all else fails and nothing seems to be working out well with a particular student, consider giving him/her some time to adjust.
2. Provide Appropriate Instruction
Learning disabilities can be difficult to identify, and it can take a long time to determine exactly what type of instruction a student needs or how that student learns best. Instead, you should look for signs of strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments based on your findings.
If you successfully identify the learning disability, you need to develop and provide an appropriate instructional program that addresses the unique learning needs of that child. Consider the child’s interests, strengths, weaknesses and individual needs when developing your instructional program.
3. Provide Incentives
Similar to providing instruction based on the child’s learning needs and interests, you should also work with a child’s family to determine what incentives are available for that child. When designing solutions for students with learning disabilities, you need to consider what the child wants and needs. Based on this information, you should develop instructional strategies to benefit all involved parties and the student.
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You can offer a reward or incentive that encourages the student and their family to participate in some form of supplemental instruction. These solutions may include extra time off from school or even extra help from your school district office or other agencies.
As an educator, you must collaborate with your colleagues and other professionals to find ways to meet the educational needs of students with learning disabilities.
4. Learn About Each Student’s Learning Style
For you to be successful in teaching students with learning disabilities, you must get to know the students well. You should consider developing some form of individualized instruction plan or learning profile that would enable you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your learners.
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Ask questions about their interests, hobbies and personal quirks. This will allow you as an educator to better understand each student’s learning style so that you can develop an instructional program designed specifically for them. You can also design a plan that simulates your classroom as a place for learners to be successful.
5. Provide Independent Learning Opportunities
One of the best ways to help students with learning disabilities is to give them some or all of the responsibility for their learning. This may be done through cooperative learning, self-paced instruction, individualized instruction and other similar teaching methods that allow the students to take an active role in their own education.
You can encourage students by giving them additional responsibilities and challenging tasks that provide a level of independence in their work. By doing so you are allowing them to share in the responsibility of their own education and giving them more opportunities and freedom as learners.
6. Provide Constant Instructional Feedback
Research has shown that providing constant feedback on student learning, teaching methods and student efforts can be one of the most effective ways to improve a student’s ability to learn. In addition, feedback about what is learned and how it was learned will help a learner gain insight and knowledge about himself/herself.
As a result, you can encourage students to strive for better learning outcomes and increased academic achievement. When providing instructional feedback, consider asking questions such as: What did you learn today? How did you find out what to do next? Was this easy or hard for you? If the answer is easy, let your students know they can accomplish this task at home by reading or asking their parents for help.
As educators, we are responsible for providing the best possible opportunities for all students to succeed. This starts with understanding each student’s learning style and individualized instructional needs. Unfortunately, learning disabilities are a fact of life, but it doesn’t mean a student cannot learn.
For students to succeed at school, it is important to have the skills necessary to succeed and make good academic decisions. This is why the first place to start would be to emphasize that all students can learn when given access to the appropriate instruction and learning strategies.
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