Students who are confused may quickly become frustrated in the classroom if they are pressured to perform. It may be the case that attention or processing difficulties have prevented a learner from understanding a lesson, or that the instructions for a particular assignment are not clear to them.
In some cases motor skills difficulties, such as problems with handwriting, prevent a child from demonstrating their knowledge.
When cognitive ability and creativity are present but productive and receptive language skills are compromised, such as by dyslexia, a child may feel frustrated with underperformance and/or a lack of progress.
Frustration can arise when a student works in a particular subject area. Some learners may become frustrated in English class whereas others find following the steps in math problems frustrating.
Frustration may also be related to students having high expectations for performance, such as wanting to get every answer correct or produce error-free writing that doesn’t need revisions.
Math facts are basic calculations that children can learn in order to help them do arithmetic more quickly. By committing math facts to memory, they can be recalled fluently so attention is freed for working on higher order math functions.
Drills are often the first thing that comes to mind, but the goal for parents and teachers is to help children automatize these facts in as painless of a way as possible - even better if it can be fun!
An auditory processing disorder can cause difficulties with understanding in listening. It is not an indication of hearing loss or impairment, but rather a disruption to how the brain makes sense of sounds, including language.
Kids with APD are often labelled ‘poor listeners’ at home and at school. This is because listening comprehension skills and memory for learning auditory information may both be impaired.
Not everyone finds spelling easy. Children and adults, native and non-native speakers, and individuals with and without learning difficulties alike can all struggle with the irregularity of spelling in English.
Reading is a crucial skill for children to master. Not only does it ensure success at school when classroom learning moves from learning to read to reading to learn, but it’s also critical for career success later on in life.
It is through reading that children acquire most of their vocabulary. It’s also an opportunity for parents and teachers to expand a child’s view of the world. Non-fiction introduces them to new subjects and fiction develops social-reasoning skills and empathy.
How a child develops literacy skills depends on a number of factors, including the individual, their early exposure to written text, the frequency with which they read, their vocabulary size, and the presence or lack of certain learning difficulties which can affect language processing – for example dyslexia is one of the main causes of reading difficulties.
What we know is that some kids struggle with reading long after their peers have mastered the skill. In fact, a 2015 Report from the UK Department of Education suggests that 1 in 5 children in England are reading at below grade-level (1). So what can parents do to help?
A guest post by John Hicks
As a parent of a daughter with dyslexia looking back over six years since her diagnosis, I can remember my daughter’s difficulty with reading words and spelling and how that got in the way of her being able to enjoy learning at school. Let me tell you about the signs that indicated that our child was dyslexic, how I was able to get her through the school system, and how she learned to thrive.
Augmentative and alternative communication is a general term used to refer to approaches, strategies, and tools, that enable children and adults with autism and speech and language disorders to communicate their wants, needs, thoughts, and emotions.
Augmentative and alternative communication is not appropriate for everyone with a speech or language disorder, but may be useful for people with apraxia of speech, stroke-related dysphasia and dysarthria, and other conditions that affect written expression and/or control of the muscles of the face, throat and mouth, such as cerebral palsy.
Sign language, pen and paper, and hand gestures are basic forms of augmentative and alternative communication, as is using a chart and pointing to pictures, letters, words or symbols.
Alternatives to speech can be as high-tech as specially fitted devices which allow people to communicate using custom buttons and pressure sensors, or as everyday as children and adults making use of a laptop computer and smartphone to meet their communication needs. On a computer or mobile device, written language can either be typed and displayed on screen or typed and read aloud by an automatized voice facilitated by text-to-speech technology.
Dyscalculia is a learning difficulty that affects an individual’s ability to do basic arithmetic such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Adults with dyscalculia often take longer when working with numbers and may be more prone to making mistakes in calculations.
They can also experience higher levels of anxiety and frustration. It may be harder for adults with dyscalculia to learn and recall math facts, such as times tables.
Estimation skills can also be affected. Dyscalculia is not a reflection of low intelligence, nor does it mean an adult will not be successful working through higher order mathematical reasoning. However, many people with dyscalculia believe they are simply bad at math.
Because math is involved in various areas of the school curriculum, from chemistry to physics, as children these individuals may have felt they were less capable of achieving success in the classroom. Over time these feelings can develop into low self-confidence and low self-esteem.
Adults with poor math skills are more likely to suffer in terms of career opportunities and management of personal finances. There’s additionally a greater chance they are struggling with more than one learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or ADHD.
Visual processing disorders can interrupt an individual’s ability to understand and navigate written symbols, which may cause problems with math/maths and learning to read at school. They’re not due to vision problems or any issues with the eyes, but rather with how the brain interprets visual information.
On the other hand, dyslexia is a separate condition that often makes it challenging to break spoken language down into its component parts. This, in turn, complicates reading and spelling. While the two conditions can look similar, they have different causes and thus children and adults who have one and not the other will require a different set of strategies and accommodations.
You may also encounter the term visual dyslexia, which refers to individuals who have a type of dyslexia that is not related to phonological processing – learn more about the different kinds of dyslexia. In visual dyslexia, a child experiences a type of visual processing disorder. He or she may be prone to reversing or transposing letters, have difficulty locating words on the page, and have a tendency to skip over them. In comparison to phonological dyslexia, rhyming ability and language recall are less likely to be affected.