Source : Marie Huntington , ehow.com
Learning-disabled students learn and process information differently than students in general education classrooms. Although there are various forms of learning disabilities, there are certain signs to determine if a child has a learning disability. As indicated on the West Virginia University website, a learning-disabled student has trouble with memorization, coordination, reading and problem-solving. There are strategies to teach children with learning disabilities. Essentially, the strategy should focus on showing the student how to construct meaning when they read.
- Choose reading material with few words. For example, "The Don't-Give-Up Kid," by Jeanne Gehret, is an excellent book. Also, at the bookstore, there are options to choose age- and ability-appropriate books. A student with a learning disability may become confused with large amounts of reading material. This strategy allows the student to focus and retain the information. It increases the student's confidence and joy with reading. As a result, you're able to help the student reach success and increase his motivation to learn to read.
- Introduce the reading in a way to help the student learn how to think while reading. This can be accomplished by reading aloud and taking notes from the text. Also, you may help the student learn to visualize and create mental images from the words. For instance, ask the student to place himself in the story and become one of the characters. If the story contains animal characters, the student can become the character by acting like the animal. Similarly, this helps the student stimulate imaginative thinking. In the same way, you're helping the child link his own experiences with the words and ideas in the text.
- Engage the student in guided practice questions. As the student reads, you can ask questions to help the child learn to understand and rationalize the information. For instance, you can ask the student to explain the beginning, middle and end of the story. Also, you can check her understanding of the material by asking her to predict the outcome of the story. Moreover, this can be accomplished by reviewing and summarizing the material. Correspondingly, you're able to monitor the student's comprehension of the material.
- Utilize graphics, pictures and diagrams to enhance the child's understanding of the words. Furthermore, this can be accomplished by using overhead transparencies and the chalkboard. For example, you may show a picture of a word and tell the student to say the picture. This should be done on a routine basis to increase memorization. This approach helps the student increase his retention of the concept. By using this approach, you will help the child make connections between the word and the picture. Also, it helps the student organize and construct meaning to the text.
- Practice using sight words to help build the child's vocabulary. Review the sight words as often as possible. Sight words are words used in school books or library books. These words are used to reinforce a child's learning. Moreover, they increase the child's fluency in reading. The words may be posted in the classroom or placed on flashcards, and the student can sound out and repeat the words daily. Sight words can be used with rhyming games and poems. For a learning-disabled student, begin with two- and three-letter one-syllable words, such as "am" and "all." As the student begins to develop his comprehension, increase the letters and syllables. Also, you can encourage the student to utilize the words during conversations with peers.