Strengthening Skills And Learning Differently
Education and Advocacy When a student is struggling with learning, it can often be an unsettling situation for parents and the child.
The key to empowering a child with learning disabilities and strengthening their skill set; is to target the reason they struggle as early as possible.
Sandra Heusel works at the Eaton Arrowsmith School, a private school for students with learning disabilities. She says a student’s literacy skills are a key indicator in determining their abilities. The earlier you’re able to identify the reason why a child would be struggling with reading, the more helpful it will be for the student’s outcome.
“This is why we feel it’s so important to be able to get down to the neurological level [to determine] which area of the brain is responsible for reading difficulties,” she says. “[We do this to]strengthen and target those areas of the brain so students have the capacity to pick up the code of language, identify sight words to comprehend what they’re reading, and to go from there.”
“It has nothing to do with the child or adult’s intelligence, it all has to do with which area of the brain is relatively weaker and therefore isn’t able to grasp the new concepts or information that’s coming to them.”
Anxiety and depression
In her experience working with children who have learning disabilities, Heusel has seen a high number of students go on to experience anxiety and depression. This is one reason why it’s key to target the problems early on, preferably by Grade 3.
“When we’re able to target, remediate and strengthen the areas that are weaker, their self-confidence and self-esteem comes up right away,” she says.
Supporting a student with learning disabilities is absolutely essential in order to put them on the right path.
“It has nothing to do with the child or adult’s intelligence, it all has to do with which area of the brain is relatively weaker and therefore isn’t able to grasp the new concepts or information that’s coming to them,” Heusel explains. “To know which way the student works best, it’s really important to let the teacher know so they can work as a team.”