Managing Learning Differences in the Classroom

Learning disabilities is a traditional term; we prefer ‘learning differences.’ Learning differences is a more inclusive term that envelopes all of the elements children are faced with when having difficulty learning.

First of all, life and school can be difficult for all teens. However, specific learning differences in the classroom can make things harder for certain students. Learning differences can affect the way your teen’s brain acquires and uses information, which often times hinders them from adapting to traditional teaching methods. The standardized way of relaying and receiving information is not suited for everyone as young adults have multiple ways of processing what they learn.

Although most learning differences appear in very young children, they also can appear in teens as well during later adolescence. Early learning differences usually are not noted until a child reaches school age. When later learning differences appear, they tend first to be noticed by teachers in the classroom, which is why it’s important to be aware of learning differences when they first appear.

Different Learning Styles and Future Success

Although learning differences do not go away, they can be effectively managed. Many of the most successful individuals of recent times had learning differences that did not hold them back. Albert Einstein wasn’t able to read until he was nine. Also, Walt Disney and General George Patton had difficulty reading all their lives. However, they were able to develop different methods to learn essential information.

The goal is to discover a positive way forward that adapts to different learning styles, thus deeming effective for those who learn information in a different way. A learning difference experienced by your teen no longer needs to be a hindrance to their success. Effective strategies to work around learning differences can make them less of a difficulty. In fact, sometimes what first appeared as a learning difference turns out to open new doors of growth for a teen.

This is an important distinction to make. A learning difference does not mean that your child is less than or not capable. Newport Academy stresses the importance of celebrating the positive assets of each of our clients, which is why it’s essential to be on the lookout for signs of a learning difference.

Moreover, a learning difference does not reflect intelligence. As expressed by experts in the field, “learning disabilities are not the same as learning problems due to intellectual and developmental disabilities, or emotional, vision, hearing, or motor skills problems.”

What Are the Common Learning Differences?

Learning differences arise when performance doesn’t match intellectual ability. Some include:

  • Dyslexia – A reading disorder
  • Dyscalculia – A disability that affects your perception of numbers
  • Dysgraphia – A condition that interferes with ability around written words
  • Dyspraxia – A disorder involving motor coordination
  • Dysphasia – Difficulty communicating

If your teen shows signs, have him or her see a qualified professional. In addition, find one who specializes in learning impairments who is able to accurately provide a learning disability diagnosis. After the diagnosis, it is vital that your teen receives the proper assistance, treatment and care to ensure they live a happy, healthy life.

Learning Disabilities Can Trigger Teen Depression

Learning disabilities can often times affect mental health. Isolation is one form, but, there are also other concerns that we should focus on. Teens with learning impairments may also suffer from:

  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Low self-confidence
  • Anxiety
  • Poor physical health

Because a learning difference can impact school and social life, teens may withdraw. This is why it is very important to observe and be supportive. Depression may also cause illness and poor health. Therefore, it is crucial to get support as soon as you notice a difficulty with learning or any disruption in your teen’s normal behavior.

A treatment program can provide:

  • The support of therapists and counselors
  • Peer support groups, where you’ll learn how to cope
  • Access to Equine-Assisted Therapy, Adventure Therapy, yoga
  • Family counseling

In conclusion, the teen treatment specialists at Newport Academy are here to support you or a loved one who’s struggling. Contact us today to see how we can help support your child with their learning differences.

Image courtesy of João Silas via Unsplash.