Understanding the Psychological and Educational Development of Students with Learning Disabilities
One of the biggest challenges a teacher can face is how to deal with children of varying learning and cognitive abilities. Moving too quickly through lessons will leave some students behind, while over-emphasizing a lesson can bore more advanced students, which eventually disengages them from the process. A common challenge that educators must embrace and overcome is how to work with children diagnosed with a learning disability. These include:
Dyslexia. This language-based learning disability makes it difficult for the child to understand letters, words, sentences, or paragraphs structure. This learning disability is so difficult to diagnose because it manifests during first grade, when children are first learning to read and write. Because this is normal when children are first learning language, it might seem like a natural part of the process when there’s a deeper problem involved.
Dysgraphia. This describes children who struggle with writing. It’s usually associated with older children, as they understand letters correctly, but there is a motor challenge that makes it difficult to write within a confined space such as lined notebook paper. It can take an extraordinary amount of time to write a single sentence neatly and properly. Despite the effort on the part of the student, the handwriting can remain challenging to read.
Dyscalculia. This learning disability is related to mathematical ability, as basic formula processes will be more difficult for a child than others his age. Typically, fractions and percentages are the main problems.
In short, learning disabilities can be summed up into two categories: language-related learning disabilities and information-processing disorders. Regardless of which learning disability is present in a student, however, parents and teachers alike must work in tandem to ensure that the child excels during the academic process. It’s also vital to remember that the educational process exceeds grade school and high school, as a student with learning disabilities may desire to go to college.
According to the American Council on Education and the United States Department of Education, approximately 6-8 percent of first-year students in college or higher institutions of learning had a learning disability. As long as educators and parents can diagnose and address these learning disabilities early on, there’s no need for them to disrupt the educational process. As college remains a realistic option for students with learning disability, it’s vital to understand the challenges so that they can be addressed.
When it comes to transitioning to college, one of the most important things that can be done is to plan the transition. Planning through a collaboration that involves the school, family, mentors, and the student increases the likelihood of success in higher education.
To learn more about the psychology of learning disabilities and how they can affect higher education, be sure to read more at Communiqué or the Learning Diagnostic Clinic at Missouri State University. From Chicago to all other corners of the United States, learning disabilities are a challenge that educators cannot afford to ignore.