The Most Common Learning Difficulties
If you’re thinking of becoming a teacher aide or early childhood educator, understanding learning difficulties will help you support students to make the most of their education.
Enrolling in a course such as the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support will qualify you to work in public, independent, and community learning settings, where you’ll be responsible for optimising learning outcomes for students with a range of learning needs.
Learning difficulties refer to persistent issues with specific areas of education, such as reading, writing, or maths. No matter what type of learning difficulty a child has, educators have an extremely important role to play in improving their school experience.
To ensure you’re prepared to work in education, this article will explore some of the most common learning difficulties.
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects a person’s ability to identify speech sounds and how they’re related to letters and words. Having dyslexia can make reading and writing very difficult. Due to poor definitions of dyslexia, it’s often overlooked in children. According to Learning Difficulties Australia, between 10% and 16% of school students are estimated to have dyslexia.
A diagnosis of dyslexia does not mean a child is incapable of learning. When teaching kids with dyslexia, educators may need to provide them with additional support with reading and writing.
Dyscalculia impacts a student’s math capabilities. From struggling to order numbers correctly to reduced problem-solving skills, it can show up in a variety of different ways. Although many students struggle with maths at some point in school, those with dyscalculia will typically have ongoing issues with concepts such as time and measurement.
Breaking math problems down into subsets may help students overcome some of their dyscalculia symptoms. Students with this learning difficulty often find maths very stressful and may require more time to complete their work.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can cause above-average levels of energy and impulsive behaviour. Kids with ADHD generally experience a range of symptoms, including:
- Struggling to sit still for long
- Difficulty following instructions
- Easily distracted.
Both adults and children can have ADHD, but it’s often diagnosed in childhood. It can be treated with behavioural therapies and in some cases, medication.
People with dysgraphia have problems converting their thoughts into writing. This learning disability can impact all aspects of a person’s writing, include spelling, grammar, letter spacing, and fine motor skills. It’s usually identified in children while they are learning to write.
Unlike dyslexia, dysgraphia doesn’t typically impact reading abilities. Treatments include modifying writing materials (using a bigger pencil) and allowing students extra time for writing activities.
All these learning difficulties can make school more difficult for children. As an educator, you’ll have the opportunity to help kids make the best of their education regardless of their learning needs.