What do learning differences mean when we talk about academic and life challenges?
Research shows that almost 70 million people think and learn differently, and may find standard school and work environments more difficult to navigate.1 What are some examples of learning differences, and how can we better help students who learn differently reach their goals?
It is estimated that 1 in 5 students has a learning difference,2 which is defined as having challenges with:
These differences are severe enough to impact performance in academics and daily life. Students with learning differences do not gain skill in these areas as easily as other students, and can benefit from multisensory instruction techniques and alternative learning environments.
The term “learning differences” is used to identify any students who are at risk of marginalization because of the way they think and learn. This allows teachers and parents to explore more diversified teaching strategies to address learning differences in the classroom and at home.
As we explore various examples of learning differences, be aware that many students have more than one of these challenges and that some are recognized conditions while others are characteristics associated with learning challenges.
Some examples of learning differences include:
Learning and thinking differently can be a frustrating experience for young people and their parents. There are still many people, including some educators, who believe that these challenges are due to a lack of effort, and that these processing differences do not exist. The fact is, learning differences are based in biology. With the right support and options, students with learning differences can achieve great things academically and in their adult lives.
Some parents of children with learning differences struggle to get a diagnosis that will allow their child to receive additional support in a traditional classroom environment. Instead of waiting and navigating that process of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and labeling, many parents choose to enroll their child in a private school that offers one-on-one instruction and flexible teaching techniques that help students overcome learning differences.
Some of the benefits of one-on-one schools for learning differences are:
Parents may be the first ones to notice that their child thinks and learns differently, or they may not recognize these subtle differences until a teacher or other professional brings it to their attention. The truth is we all think and learn differently from each other, but knowing that your child has a unique learning challenge allows you to offer the individualized support they need.
Consider these practical tips to help your child:
What do learning differences mean for students who are struggling in a traditional classroom? They may feel left behind, depressed, and demotivated. Because the way they learn does not align with the way the material is presented to them, it is essentially inaccessible. These students do not have the same opportunity to learn, and their grades often reflect this, despite a wealth of innate abilities and a desire to learn.
At Lydian Academy, our mission is to provide a one-on-one learning environment where every student can thrive and rediscover their passion for learning. By creating a flexible and individualized learning program that matches teaching styles to learning styles, we work with parents to help students become confident in their ability to achieve their goals.
Celebrating areas of strength and focusing on areas where growth is needed, we can create the best approach for each subject and develop tools that will help your child succeed throughout their educational journey. We offer the flexibility of rolling enrollment and in-person or virtual learning opportunities for all our students. Schedule a tour of our campuses or attend a virtual open house and learn more about the Lydian approach to learning differences.