Not every teacher gets to work with a child with a learning difficulty. As a result and a cause, not everyone is knowledgeable about what to do to support them. If you have at least one such learner in your classroom, then you’ve probably realised that you have a great challenge ahead of you. You can help support them by doing the following:
Supply Them With the Tools They Need
While most of the help that you’re going to give them isn’t material, sometimes they will need certain items to be able to learn properly. Thankfully, there are occupational therapy products for kids that are available for purchase and use. You should work together with therapists when you use such so that they will be useful. You don’t have to purchase them yourself, of course, as you can suggest it to the school for consideration instead.
Work Closely With Parents and Experts
You’re not the only one who is supposed to be part of your learner’s support group. Their parents have to be involved as well since they’re the ones who are with the child at home. It would help if you didn’t dismiss other professionals who are working alongside your student either. To better approach your learner, you’ll need to get to know them on the side of the other people who support them. See what you can do and what adjustments you can make, as well as ask what they can do to help you teach the child.
Treat Them as You Would Any Other Child
People have different reactions and actions toward children with learning difficulties. Some try to protect them too much, sometimes to the point of treating them like babies. This is not to say that you should treat them as if they can learn as normal kids can, either. It’s best to treat them and other children as equals, only with them having greater needs when it comes to their education. Check yourself for any biases in your actions and words that might go against them, whether it has good intentions behind it or not.
Encourage Asking for Assistance
Often, seeking help is seen as a sign of weakness. We might not have been taught that directly, but we get it as children through other means, such as when someone gets teased for being a “teacher’s pet”. Encouraging your learner to take courage and ask for help when it is necessary is a simple yet great way of supporting them. It helps them get the idea that they are not alone in the challenge that they’re facing right now.
You’re a teacher, a person who has a great influence on your learners, whether you like it or not. Considering that children with learning difficulties are sometimes limited in their interactions with others, your involvement in their education means a lot to them. When you have them in your classroom, it is part of your responsibility to make them feel that they belong. Your actions may seem small now, but those will affect how these learners view and live life when they grow up.