Helping Students With Learning Disabilities Succeed

Teacher helping student in class
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Students enter the classroom with a wide range of abilities and skill levels. For this reason, most educators know that they will sometimes need to adjust their teaching style to the children in their class. However, when a student with learning disabilities enters the classroom, this becomes even more important as a student’s disabilities will influence the types of support that they will need in order to be successful in their academic studies. While every individual student will have their own unique learning styles, here are a few of the best ways to help every student with a disability to succeed in school.

Participate in Early Screening

Early identification of a potential learning disability is vital to a child’s long-term outlook. In order to begin to implement supportive measures early on, schools should begin screening for disabilities during early childhood and every time a new student enters their school. This way, students will begin to receive help before they miss out on important concepts such as reading.

Individualize Education Plans

When a student is diagnosed with a learning disability, it is important for an individualized education plan (IEP) to be developed that will identify the areas in which a student struggles so that the proper supports can be put in place to encourage their success.

Increase Accessibility

A student should be able to move freely within a school to the best of their abilities. Therefore, wheelchair access, handrails and other types of accessibility devices should be installed anywhere that a student may need to go in a building. For a student with a learning disability, this can also mean including access to a variety of study materials that are in a format that they can understand.

Educate Teachers and Staff

Because disabilities cover a broad range of different conditions, it is common for teachers and staff to lack experience with specific disabilities. However, when they are educated about how to help a student with disabilities in their school, teachers and other staff members are more likely to feel capable of helping a student to succeed.

Utilize Technological Resources

Advancements in technology have made it easier than ever before to support a student with disabilities in the classroom. For example, voice-to-text devices can enable a student who has difficulty writing to be able to enter information into the computer. Additionally, videos, audio and other forms of media can enable teachers to present new information in a variety of ways.

Flexible Scheduling

Students with disabilities often need extra time to get to class and complete classroom assignments. A student who has a learning disability that pertains to comprehension may need extra time when they are taking a test. Additionally, a student who has an attention disorder may need more frequent breaks from their work. When a flexible schedule is in place in the classroom, then frustration and stress will be relieved.

Offer Parental Resources

Supportive parents are very influential in a student’s academic life. When a student with learning disabilities comes home with homework, it often falls on the parent to find a way to help their child learn the material. For this reason, it is important to ensure that families have access to resources in order to provide them with emotional support, train them on how to help their child and to provide more information about their child’s disabilities.

Support Through College

Often, a student with learning disabilities will discover that their support network dissolves upon graduation. However, the transfer to university can be very challenging for a student with learning disabilities. Because the ultimate goal for many students is to continue their education in college, more support needs to be given in order to help a student with a learning disability to develop independent study skills to help them through higher education.

Helping students with a learning disability to succeed in school requires a well-rounded approach that includes a supportive network of people that is made up of educators, school administrators, therapists, and parents. When each of these people makes it their goal to implement positive supports in their classrooms, schools, and homes, then students with a learning disability will develop the skills that they need to overcome their challenges and experience academic success.

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