One out of ten people in the United States has learning disabilities. According to the Diagnostic and statistical manual, a specific learning disorder is a set of learning disorders that relate to having difficulty in learning and developing certain skills for at least six months.
For proper counseling or learning disability treatment and intervention, it is important to correctly identify the child’s weakness. There are types of Specific Learning Disorders, so approaching the appropriate SLD treatment can help the child overcome their disorders earlier and in more effective ways. Before diving into the study skills for students with learning disabilities, we need to first know what types of common disabilities are there.
First is Dysgraphia- Difficulty in writing
It describes an individual having trouble with writing, specifically difficulty in writing and poor grammar.
Oftentimes, they have poor handwriting, even though they don’t have trouble with other mechanical skills.
They might have mixed print and cursive writing or might misuse upper and lowercase letters. This ends up leading to their writing to be slow and labored, causing them to get writing fatigue.
Dysgraphia can also involve more global writing problems like having difficulty putting thoughts down on paper, or thinking and writing at the same time, which leads to writing that lacks clarity and cohesion.
Second is Dyslexia- Difficulty is reading
It affects both oral and written communication through an individual’s life. The child often has trouble identifying letters or words. This results in slow, inaccurate, and effortful reading. This becomes obvious when a person with dyslexia is reading aloud as they might hesitate or guess at words and end up reading without normal expression or intonation.
Dyslexia can cause difficulty with spelling because the child might omit or add letters by mistake.
All this effort with reading means that the individual might have a hard time understanding what they have read, sometimes missing the deeper meaning in a passage. They might not remember the right sequence of events or are unable to make inferences about what they have read.
The third is Dyscalculia- Difficulty with mathematics
It is where individuals have a poor understanding of numbers, such as their magnitude.
A very common problem is with number sense. Number sense is an inherent understanding of how numbers work, how to compare and estimate quantities on the number line.
They often struggle to memorize math facts like formulas and equations, which makes it hard for them to manipulate numbers and solve math problems.
In general, these individuals struggle to follow mathematical reasoning, misunderstanding the logic behind the steps and therefore having to rely heavily on rote memory.
Over time, the difficulty can cause related problems like not being able to easily measure out ingredients for a recipe or feeling uncomfortable reading graphs and charts.
It is very important to understand that any of these disorders are not due to a lack of intelligence or desire to learn, but with appropriate teaching methods, an individual can master all these skills.
A child can have only one of these disorders or they can also show symptoms that span all three.
They are called “specific” learning disorders because these are not caused because of any environmental issue or any intellectual disorders.
This SLD is diagnosed during the school years of a child. These can be assessed by seeing their academic performance of what the child should do at a certain age.
Is there any treatment for learning disabilities?
Yes, there is. Individuals with learning disorders often benefit from a small modification to the normal instruction that takes their disability into account.
For example, individuals with mild or moderate learning disabilities might benefit from an untimed oral test or other alternatives to written assignments like video reports.
Individuals with dyslexia might also benefit from having text printed in a specific font, while individuals with dysgraphia often benefit from wide-ruled paper or certain pencil grips.
For dyscalculia, playing math-based games and using physical objects that relate to the real world like buttons in place of numbers can help to develop and cultivate a more intuitive feel for numbers.
In most of these situations, individuals might benefit from having extra time to practice specific skills or with one-on-one tutoring.
Top Five Tips:
- Use an audio version of a specific course or the subject. This helps to understand the academics and be more precise.
- Change the font size, the color of the font, and the page(use color pencils) or use grid notebooks.
- Make notes of the lecture, or ask the teacher or personal tutor to note down the key points that can be assessed later.
- View video DVD or Powerpoint slides to have more control over understanding the concept through visualization.
- Involve more in group studies.
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