Learning Disabilities

pile of 3-D letters
Dyslexia, by Tiberiu Ana. Creative Commons License https://www.flickr.com/photos/txberiu/2328758712

 

Learning disabilities can show up in any educational setting, including Christian education. Sunday school teachers should watch for these signs of possible learning disabilities and adapt lessons to individual learning needs. 

Children with Learning Disabilities

  • may struggle with reading
  • may not interact in a way that is deemed appropriate by their teachers and peers
  • may struggle to pay attention in class
  • may struggle to organize themselves, their class work and their time.
  • may go to great lengths to avoid activities that they do not enjoy, such as writing or reading.
  • may be easily frustrated.
  • may have difficulty finishing work on time.
  • may have trouble copying notes from a chalkboard, overhead screen, etc.
  • may find it difficult to sequence events, times, or things.

Build on strengths

Understand that not all children will read or comprehend at the same level. Pay attention to children’s gifts and call on children to use their most developed gifts.

Do not force a child to speak or read if he or she is embarrassed or uncomfortable.

 

Use parents as a resource

For children with an identified disability, use parents as a resource. Invest time in listening to the parents describe everyday challenges and strategies that are successful. Find out what works for the child in the school environment. And don’t neglect to ask the child what will be most helpful. Remember that each person’s expression of abilities and limitations is unique, so use flexibility and creativity in adapting curriculum for individual gifts and differences.
 

Resources from others

Child by Child: Supporting Children with Learning Differences and their Families. By Susan Richardson. Purchase from Church Publishing. Read ADNet's book review.

LD Online. The educator's guide to learning disabilities and ADHD.

 Related topics

 Opening Doors

 Connections