top of page

Learning Disability Tutoring. Learning with Dyslexia.

Updated: Dec 12, 2023




What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability is a neurological disorder that affects some of the brain’s abilities. A learning disability is often permanent but shouldn’t be considered as a hindrance, if we shift our mindsets, it is rather a challenge to overcome. Some people are born with their brains wired a little differently than others and deal with that throughout their lifetime, or will develop a disability later in life, typically due to a trauma. Regardless of how the brain decodes information there is an equal opportunity for success we just have to grab it! People who have a learning disability navigate their academic life differently than most who do not. This should not be a setback however. This only means that there are additional tools that are given to those that need them, in order to succeed. Support and intervention can help those who struggle with a learning disability to manage it for a successful career and life.



What does a Learning Disability look like?

Those who are neurodivergent see, hear, and understand things differently than someone who is neurotypical. This can lead to a more difficult time learning new information, skills, and techniques, and then subsequently putting them to use. The most common types of learning disabilities involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking.

A list compiled by Help guide.org outlines some common “signs and symptoms” that help to determine if someone has or is developing a learning disability at a young age. The list consists of

“Problems pronouncing words, trouble finding the right word, difficulty following directions or learning routines, trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds at a young age, confusing basic words when reading, slow to learn new skills, consistently misspells words, and makes frequent errors, difficulty remembering sequences, difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills, trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems, strongly dislikes reading and writing and will avoid reading aloud, poor organizational skills, and trouble following classroom discussions and

expressing thoughts aloud,” among many others. Learn more Learning Disabilities and Disorders - HelpGuide.org.



What is classified as a learning disability?

There are many disabilities and disorders that affect the learning process. Some common learning disabilities include Dyspraxia, a learning disability in motor skills affecting hand and eye coordination, this often overlaps with non-verbal disabilities. A Non-verbal disability affects interpretation of nonverbal cues. Learning disabilities in language, named Aphasia/Dysphasia, affects reading comprehension. Dyscalculia – Is a disability relating to a difficulty with math, understanding time management, and making monetary transactions. Dyslexia – One of the most common learning disabilities, produces a difficulty with reading, writing and speaking, we’ll dive a bit further into this topic below. Some more to mention are Visual Processing Disorders- a difficulty with interpreting visual information like maps and charts. Auditory Processing Disorders- difficulties hearing differences between sounds and languages. And Hyperlexia - a disorder where people have advanced reading skills but may have problems understanding what is read or spoken aloud. They may also have cognitive or social problems.


One disorder that most people hear of and often joke about is adhd, while adhd is at the end of a joke sometimes, it does however, make life more challenging for the people who actually struggle with it daily. ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a disorder that disrupts learning. ADHD is not considered a disability but should be noted as something that hinders the learning process. A person with adhd typically has trouble with following directions, and instruction. They might have a hard time sitting still and/or are inattentive, but not hyperactive or impulsive. Some present as hyperactive and impulsive, but able to pay attention. And others, inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive which are the most common forms of ADHD, according to the help guides assessment of this disorder. Autism should be noted as well, this is a developmental disorder, such as Asperger's syndrome and is common in regard to a learning disability. Some with autism spectrum disorders may have trouble communicating, reading body language, learning basic skills, making friends, and making eye contact.

An interesting fact about those who have adhd is that about 20 percent of children with learning disabilities also have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children with learning disabilities may easily become frustrated, have a shortened attention span and will lose interest in school related topics easily, they are also prone to avoid certain challenges. It is documented that they may exhibit low self-esteem and emotional problems in addition to their academic challenges. These emotional regulation issues include, withdrawal, anxiety, depression, or aggression. Because of the lack of emotional regulation, and the lack of the tools to help them, it is common for children with learning disabilities to have social problems as a direct result. Children with undiagnosed learning disabilities can become distressed and frustrated, which may lead to these previously stated emotional problems further down the road. This stresses the importance of early intervention.

Focusing on Reading Disorders.

Reading disorders are most common in students that have a harder time processing school related subject matter, some of these include, Word decoding: an issue with word decoding affects people who have a level of difficulty sounding out written words and struggle to match letters to their proper sounds. Another struggle is Fluency. People who lack fluency have difficulty reading quickly, accurately, and with proper expression and often have a choppy and uneven rhythm when reading aloud to others. Poor reading comprehension affects those that have trouble understanding what they read. Most reading problems are present from the time a child learns to read at a developmental stage, but some people lose the ability to read after a stroke or an injury to the area of the brain involved with reading. This kind of reading disorder is called alexia


Dyslexia.

“By definition, dyslexia is a learning disorder that includes trouble recognizing language, sounds and how they relate to written language, also known as “decoding.“ According to the School of Education’s assessment of dyslexia, a conclusion is drawn that students who have dyslexia may struggle to keep up with their peers. Their basic skills needed for most of the learning material presented in their classrooms can fall below grade level, as do their reading comprehension and analysis skills.


Diving further into dyslexia and what it looks like.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that is a result of certain areas of the brain being responsible for the correspondence between the sounds and the letters that directly correlate to them. This part of the brain functions differently than those who do not have dyslexia. Dyslexia does not impair development, but does produce a level of difficulty for those who have it. This is why it is important to provide early intervention at the first signs of any symptoms related to this disability. Dyslexia is present in those who have difficulty with reading, reading comprehension, writing, spelling, and verbalizing their responses to questions. Directional confusion is also common: this can be identified in those who have trouble with left-right orientation, which can affect reading, writing, and understanding directions. Difficulty with sequencing is another factor, this person may struggle with tasks that involve sequencing, such as, the order of letters in words, days of the week, or steps in a process. Trouble remembering Sight Words is another sign of dyslexia, this is when someone often finds it challenging to recognize frequently used words by sight. Letter and Number Reversals are also very common for people with dyslexia. This presents itself by frequently reversing or confusing letters and numbers like "b" and "d" or "6" and "9". While this is typically noticed in the academic sphere, its impact on those who struggle with it often becomes involved in all aspects of their lives, having social and emotional impacts.


Social Impacts.

Our social lives are as important as our academic lives and often coincide, here are some areas in which the social life of someone with a learning disability, gets impacted by their ability or their disability to learn. “Frustration and Low Self-Esteem, Emotional Outbursts, Avoidance of Reading/Writing Tasks: Withdrawal from Social Activities: Negative School Experience: commonly associating it with stress, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy. Perfectionism: Depression and Anxiety: Peer Rejection: struggle to keep up with classroom activities, leading to potential social isolation and peer rejection. This, in turn, can contribute to feelings of loneliness and sadness. Loss of Interest in Learning: If the learning environment is not supportive, some children with dyslexia might lose their enthusiasm for learning and education. This can impact their overall motivation to engage with school-related tasks.”


This article has additional insights into the social aspects of a learning disability. Learn more Dyslexia Tutoring (neurodivergentinsights.com)


How do we help to empower the students that have a learning disability, such as Dyslexia, to thrive?

Providing additional tools and resources is essential to empower those with a learning disability. It is important to emphasize that these students are not less than, but rather that their brains work differently than the “average. ” There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, in fact there should be more versatile learning plans universally, because no one person is made the same, we are all unique and different in our own right, and that should be accounted for. Luckily in 2023 we are seeing more light coming to this topic and less stigmatism. Many organizations are heading the charge in developing techniques and programs for all students that are personalized to their needs.

https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/ lists some ways in which their organization implements strategies for those who struggle with dyslexia. I'll list a few below.

  • Phonological processing: using sounds (phonemes) to process spoken and written language.

  • Working memory: the amount of information that can be held in mind and used in doing tasks.

  • Processing speed: the pace at which we take in information, make sense of it and begin to respond.

  • Developing inclusive and supportive learning environments.

  • Create a supportive and collaborative classroom culture.

  • Use multisensory input and activities.

  • Offer learners choices.

  • Present new language in small and manageable chunks.

  • Use concept-checking questions.

  • Offer lots of opportunities for learners to recap and review language.

  • Try different approaches to giving feedback.

  • Remember that assessment should be ongoing.


Where to find help.

Navigating life with a learning disability does not have to become a difficult process, there are resources out there tailored to the individualized needs of those who are struggling. This is where tutoring, and online tutoring services come in. With a tutoring service comes customizable and collaborative approaches to each person's learning style. Tutoring gives additional resources, tips and tricks to those who are seeking out help in their academic life career-orientated goals, and personal aspirations. Online tutoring for dyslexia in my opinion, is the best tutoring for dyslexia. I am someone who has a family member that used to struggle heavily with dyslexia but unfortunately lacked the resources due to proximity issues. I have seen the emotional toll that it may take on someone depending on their mindset, that being said this person in my life is incredibly gifted in many other areas, so having additional tools to help you thrive in all aspects in your life is tremendous. Now proximity is not as much of a problem as it used to be with everything now being virtually at our fingertips. Because of technology, we hand-pickedcan meet online at our convenience with hand picked tutors that strive to help us through this journey. Smith Learning Services reaches these expectations, our goal is to see you thrive, if you are interested in learning more, check out our website and the blog post section on our page.


References



21 views0 comments

Comentários


bottom of page