Special Needs Education has many societal biases, I have been told that I must be a saint, incredibly patient, or have a heart of gold. All of which are quite complimentary but honestly its been the most exhilarating career thus far. With google serving a vast platform of information teachers, guardians, parents and the concerned have made diagnosis just based their child’s behavior, which in most cases is quite normal. A child that appears just a little hyperactive may be singled out as potentially having ADHD,sloppy handwriting as a sign of dyslexia.. the list goes on.
In schools children with learning disabilities are unconsciously targeted,closely monitored for any slight behavioral changes. Their academic expectations for the most part are unrealistic to be achieved all at once.On the other hand it is important to monitor their behavioral changes and support these children closely to achieve goals but an awareness that the route taken may not be the expected one. These children have their way of understanding and it works for them.
I once worked with a group of students with mixed abilities including a child who receives learning support. All the other children had been taught a method of where to place the point/period in decimal notation. The answer they got was incorrect due to the placing of the point. The student who is receiving support however explained that the placing of the period didn’t make sense, he deducted that his product had to be much higher due to the numbers he used to multiply with. His explanation led the other children to understand a basic fact about multiplication which they overlooked due to a new trick in placing the point.
Children with learning disabilities usually take a longer route in understanding concepts and require step by step explanations in order for the dots to connect. They are the hardest workers and deepest thinkers and leave no blank spaces in understanding information. When a child with a learning disability understands that inaccurate measurements in math due to not using a ruler for example, would be as though building a lopsided house with unequally measured windows. They begin to see the value of using accuracy in math.
My lessons are exploration expeditions into deeper understanding of the basic. I am always challenged to see things through various lenses and have been challenged to always broaden my explanations in order to provide wholesome instruction.