Research in the learning disability or educational field has reached a consensus with regard to the two categories of disabilities widely known today: information processing disabilities (processing input, integration, storage, and output) and impaired function disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, math disability or dyscalculia, nonverbal learning disability, and disorders of speaking and listening).
No matter the difficulties that your child is facing with every learning session or class, as a parent, you can intervene to help him/her overcome if not all, at least part of his/her problems. Here are a few learning strategies that can help you successfully apply healthy learning techniques:
· Start off by making a list of the advantages and disadvantages the child has because of the learning disability. Meaning, identify the weak points in his/her learning process with the purpose of counteracting them or, rather, of annulling them by making use of the strong learning points. For example, if the child has a difficulty with remembering or recollecting certain information he/she has just been presented, find out exactly what kind of sensorial memory works best for him/her (visual, auditory, tactile etc.) and enhance the chances of recollection by presenting the information in a more memory friendly manner.
· Another highly regarded strategy of teaching children with learning disabilities, and which can be easily used at home by parents for the same purpose and with the same results, makes use of the associative technique. Actually, this technique is widely applied naturally by our brains to storage information, and it basically means that certain information that we already know pairs up with other new chunks of information, thus forming stronger bonds memory wise. With this in mind, parents can help their children associate already learned facts with new ones, easing their process of understanding and recollecting, by making use of comparisons, by presenting parallel, yet similar circumstances or by visually recreating a situation.
· All in all, the holistic learning strategy recommends that the teacher or the parent teaching should focus on the child’s learning rhythm and constantly adapting to it, especially because it might fluctuate more than in children with no learning disabilities. On the one hand, reducing the course material is essential, but also working on making it easier to understand for the child with phrase and content restructuring, by using many clarifying examples, and by providing clear chapter and course outlines. On the other hand, the teacher’s or parent’s attitude is very important. It must be supportive in a way that the student or the child gains confidence to ask questions, to explore the course material and even go to beyond it.