Teaching strategies, either from a parent or an educator, play a major role in how students compete against themselves as well as other students. Teaching strategies are also essential in allowing students to get their highest grades. Unfortunately, finding the most appropriate strategy for your child may not always be easy. Becoming familiar with the various types of strategies allows you to teach children according to their own learning preferences and strengths. Here are a few tips for successful teaching strategies for students with learning disabilities.
Prioritize the Student
Creating a classroom, or even a home study environment, where all students are respected is essential. One of the most important ways to accomplish this is to prioritize the student over their disability. Labels can stigmatize students and create a false stereotype that a student who is disabled is not as capable of learning as their peers. The disability of a student should only be referenced when it is meaningful to the situation. For example, saying “the student who has a disability” is much better than saying “the disable student”. The way in which the words are spoken will place an importance on the student, instead of placing the importance of the disability.
Individual Learning Preferences
It is also important to approach each student as an individual. For example, all students with developmental delays, all students with a language or speech impairment and all students a physical impairment will not learn, comprehend or be at the same level of desire to learn as the other students who experience the same diagnosed disability. As you get to know students with a disability and understand their achievement levels and learning preferences, you will find that they are as diverse as their nondisabled peers.
Focus on Individual Learning
Using a multi-sensory approach for teaching students with learning disabilities helps the student get the necessary skills and allows them to work toward their achievements. Some of the things that can help students focus include:
• Break the learning into small goals
• Provide frequent and quality feedback
• Engage the student in process type questions, such “how is this working?”
• Provide intensive and independent practice
• Discuss the curriculum with the student and encourage questions
• Frequently discuss the course with the student to discuss all progress and to address any problems
• Make sure the student understands the skills they have learned in the previous lesson before proceeding to the next
- Make sure the student understands the skills they have learned in the previous lesson before proceeding to the next
One of the most important successful teaching strategies for students with learning disabilities is to use the appropriate tools. For example, a student who struggles with memorization may benefit from flip cards, especially when they are also used in the home environment. Flip cards allow the student to focus on one item, subject or topic at a time and familiarize themselves with the item, which may lead to memorizing through association. Visual guides are also extremely beneficial, especially for students who find it difficult to focus on “wordy” subjects/topics. For added benefit, encourage parents and caregivers to use online flip cards at home that pertain to the topic being taught in class.
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