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Teaching Strategies to Help Learning Disabled Students

Teaching Strategies for Learning Disabilities

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Most instruction at home or in school can be adapted to accommodate the needs of students with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia or other learning problems. These strategies, and others on this site, can be used to modify instruction in most subject areas to improve students' comprehension of tasks and the quality of their work.
  • Set the stage for learning by telling children why the material is important, what the learning goals are, and what the expectations are for quality performance.
  • Use specific language. Instead of saying, "do quality work," state the specific expectations. For example, in a writing assignment, a teacher might grade based on correct punctuation, spelling, and inclusion of specific points. If your child does not understand what his teachers expect of him, contact the teacher and ask for details you need to help your child. Suggest the teacher may want to begin posting that information on a school web site so others can use it as well.
  • Teachers should develop a scoring guide, share it with students, and provide models of examples of each level of performance.
  • Never use a student's work as a public example of poor work for the class to see. This is humiliation, and it has no place in any classroom or home.
  • Have the student repeat back the instructions for a task to ensure he understands. Correct any miscommunication before he begins the actual work. Check back on the student as he works to ensure he is doing the work correctly. Prompt him as necessary to ensure that he corrects any mistakes before he finishes.
  • Clearly define classroom expectations for work and behavior. Post them, and use them for a basis of all interactions and class projects. Making your requirements a part of the classroom or homework routine will help the student meet expectations.
  • Use graphics organizers to help students understand the relationships between ideas.
  • Instruction should include specific, step-by-step instructions that are explicitly stated by the teacher and modeled for the student.
  • Create models of quality work that students can see and analyze. Include both spoken and written explanations of how the work fulfills academic expectations.
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