Tips for supporting children with the most common learning disorders.
The management of homework and homework, in itself, can already create tension and a bad family environment, since it generates a problematic disposition on the part of many children.
But … what happens if to this situation, sometimes already controversial, we add some kind of learning difficulty as a base? Hopefully, as parents, the challenge becomes even greater.
What is considered a learning disorder (LD)?
When we speak of difficulties in the learning process of a child, we refer to the existence of a learning disorder (PD).
These disorders are understood as the persistent, unexpected and specific inability to efficiently acquire certain academic skills (whether reading, writing, calculating, drawing, etc.), and that occur despite the child’s normal intelligence, follow adequate schooling and their socio-cultural environment is favorable.
Advice on the most common learning disorders
Let’s review the main TAs, specifying the guidelines that should be followed in each of them during study time and homework, advice that can also be applied in the event of a possible confinement or quarantine.
The dyslexia is learning disorder most common, and is impaired neurodevelopment generating learning problems, use of language, reading and writing, to the be altered processes and skills of phonological awareness, verbal memory and speed verbal processing.
Children who develop dyslexia require a good school methodological adaptation, since these difficulties they present make them need support to learn and follow the academic pace required for their age.
The most common measures that we can adopt from home are the following.
1. Give it time
Give it time, accepting the fact that a child with specific learning difficulties can take up to three times longer to learn and will tire quickly.
2. Provide support
Although it presents some autonomy, it is important that it is placed in a place close to us, where it can receive our attention, control and supervision.
3. Don’t assume you understand everything
We must check that you have understood the statement and what to do, explaining it verbally if necessary.
4. Explore different learning media
Whenever possible, we have to delve into learning and oral assessment of knowledge. If the most effective means of information for the child is spoken language, it will also be the best means of learning.
5. We will not require perfect spelling of you
This is very complex for a child with dyslexia. In the same way, it is not fair to penalize him for it or focus on his mistakes.
6. Not giving the full weight of correction
We will never let you correct a writing on your own.
7. Facilitate learning texts
When you have to study, we must provide you with written material, a safe text, and never let you study from your notes, its accuracy can be disastrous and the results frustrating.
This AT causes difficulties in acquiring mathematical skills, understanding the functionality of number language, memorizing basic procedures and interpreting mathematical problems.
Children who present it will have effects on many of their daily activities, since mathematics is necessary for the correct interpretation of time scales, directions, the management of monetary resources and even cooking, so an early detection and a proper treatment will be essential to develop basic skills that can help them in their day to day.
In this regard, as parents we can help in the following ways.
1. Respecting their level of development
That is, adapting mathematical learning to their ability and going from the most concrete to the most abstract aspects, from the experimental to the numbering and mathematical operations in an ascending process of difficulty.
2. Be creative and design manipulative learning situations
These situations will allow learning through experimentation and the senses, from a more practical perspective.
3. Prioritize understanding of concepts
Understanding is more important than mechanization and automation processes.
4. Highlight the association of the number with the quantity it represents
This can be done using graphics, parts, manipulatives, etc.
5. Reinforce the performance of serialization and numerical order exercises
These activities help consolidate learning progress.
6. Practice mental math every day
Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Taking into account the learning moment you are in.
7. Work on the correspondence of mathematical language and the operations necessary to solve a problem
Encourage him to visualize problems, for example by drawing them.
8. Use computing resources
This will make learning more attractive.
Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity
This neurodevelopmental disorder is often included within the AT, as the attendant difficulties that accompany it create problems to develop new academic learning.
It is characterized by causing hyperactivity, impulsivity and attention deficit, although not all symptoms are manifested in all those affected, nor do they do so with the same intensity. Although many of these behaviors are normal in most children, in those without ADHD they tend to decrease with age as they move from preschool to primary school.
In these cases it is advisable to follow these guidelines.
1. Guarantee a structured, predictable and orderly educational environment
This will minimize the chances of distractions appearing.
2. Create a daily routine, a visual schedule
This schedule will divide the day and allow the child to locate different activities.
3. Create a homework space without distractions
This space should have good lighting and should only have the material required for the task.
4. Take advantage of the first half of the day
In the first half of the day is when children show a greater capacity for concentration and attention, as their daily routine has accustomed them to doing so since school. The morning time slot is ideal for homework, especially in the case of children with ADHD. This must be taken into account for weekends or for an eventual confinement.
5. Use sequencing lists, schematics, and concept maps
These resources will help you learn in an orderly and structured way.
6. Explain the tasks with short instructions
In addition, we must make sure that you have understood it.
7. Discreetly supervise the performance of the activity
Do not give it the feeling that we are exerting pressure.
8. If a task is very dense, divide it and divide it into small parts
In primary education, the maximum of 45 minutes of homework should not be exceeded and, if there is a lot of difficulty, small breaks can be made every 20 minutes or so.
9. Allow mobility in the chair prior agreement
We can allow mobility in the study chair at certain times, which can be agreed in advance.
10. Give you clear directions
Clear, slow and repetitive explanations and instructions should be provided.
11. Be patient
It is necessary to understand his behavior pattern to help him, always reinforcing his good actions and using his interests to motivate him.
Author: Laia Portero Capilla, Head of the Psychopedagogy Area of PSICOTOOLS .
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