Teacher and KidWith 4 to 6 percent of all students classified as having specific learning disabilities (SLD) in our nation’s public schools, every teacher can expect to find students with learning disabilities in the classroom. Success for these students requires a focus on individual achievement, individual progress, and individual learning. Despite obstacles, recent research tells us that we can teach these students how to learn.  We can put them into a position to compete! 

Specific strategies apply to specific learning disabilities, and many are outlined here. You will also find tips for working with children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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General Tips


Here are some general tips that help benefit students who have learning disabilities:

  1. Provide directions in short manageable steps, 1. both in writing and in orally.

  2. Create a classroom environment in which all students feel valued for their individual strengths and for the individual progress that they make. Remember to give far more praise than criticism.

  3. Remember that students with learning disabilities have average or above average intelligence; they are not stupid or lazy. They need to develop a repertoire of strategies to help them learn and develop self-knowledge and advocacy skills.

  4. Seating a student with learning disabilities close to a teacher generally helps that teacher monitor a student's understanding of task directions, assignments and attention better. Seating the student close to a model work partner and allowing the student to ask clarifying questions is also recommended.

  5. Be responsible for good communication between home and school. Notebook systems in which teachers write short notes about a child's performance each day can be beneficial.

  6. Notebook systems in which teachers check to make sure students have assignments properly written down and have the correct materials in their backpacks raise the chances that homework will get done and handed in.