The activities for children with learning disabilities allow help supplement treatments for dyslexia, ADHD, dysgraphia and dysgraphia.
Learning disorders (AT) have a major role today, as they are one of the most frequent causes of school failure.
The prevalence of AT is between 5 and 15% of the population in children, so we can infer that practically in all classrooms we can find some child with one or another learning disorder.
Activities for Children with Learning Disabilities
These are disorders, most of them with a biological and sometimes genetic basis, that condition a child with a normal level of intelligence.
These children, despite receiving adequate instruction in school, fail to advance any of the learning appropriately, and their results in some subjects may be far from what is expected due to their age, their effort and their level of intelligence.
AT can affect children very differently or in different areas. They can affect global language, writing, reading or mathematical calculation. The learning difficulties can also be expressed in the form of lapses, problems of attention and concentration, difficulties in organizing, impulsivity, nervousness…
Do you have any of these characteristics? Then it is possible that someone in your environment has learning problems.
What learning disorders are the most common and what can you do to help?
The dyslexia is a reading disorder that is found in virtually all ethnic groups, languages and geographical locations and is mainly characterized by difficulty reading.
What are the warning signs for dyslexia?
- The boy or girl was slow to start talking.
- Confusions often of sounds of similar words. For example, use plurals when they do not touch, change gender words when they resemble in their writing, invention of letters or exchanges of letters in words.
- Confusions of right-left, up-down …
- Difficulty finding words that rhyme with each other.
- Difficulties in the precise and fluent recognition of words.
- Difficulties when spelling or reading words that do not exist.
What can you do to help?
- Play with the child to games that help to know how words are spelled, and how the letters sound when they are joined. A good game would be El Ahorcado .
- Play games that help detect the syllables of words and their pronunciation. For example, the words chained or invent songs together.
- Reading with the child will always help him learn how the written symbols sound and how they are grouped. You can read yourself first and then read what you have read, so you will model. You can also ask him to read to you, while you supervise what he has read.
- Read invented words. When we read an invented word, we force ourselves to decode each letter in its brain, its union in syllables and its sound. This is very good for children with dyslexia.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Although ADHD is currently a committed disorder, the truth is that it is unquestionable that there are many children who have a common symptomatology, leaving aside if the causes are biological, psychological or social.
What are the warning signs for ADHD?
- Remarkable concern in all contexts.
- Usually leave things half.
- Difficulty to follow the instructions of the elders.
- He talks a lot and does not know how to identify when it is not appropriate.
- Emphasizes his impulsivity.
- You need to meet your demands immediately (for example, interrupt conversations, or games with your peers).
- He is continually distracted and seems not to listen when spoken to.
- Tends to have everything in between, in no order.
- Great difficulty to organize your things.
- Difficulties when organizing time.
What can you do to help?
- Mark routines. If you help him organize his day and be aware of time, little by little these routines will help to have a more orderly life. For example, you can make a weekly calendar together with the hours of getting up, eating, doing homework …
- Behavioral contracts. It is an agreement that you and the child take together of certain behaviors that you must correct little by little.
- Train the self-instructions. Help the child to stand up and decide what he has to do.
- Free recreation time. It is not good to limit the child constantly. Therefore, you should have a daily time to play outdoors, with other children if possible.
In writing many aspects are involved: A process of planning the message, the structuring and organization of the message to be transmitted, writing correctly the words, and the appropriate stroke of the letters on paper.
The difficulties in writing can affect any of these aspects mentioned above.
What are the warning signs for dysgraphia?
- Writing skills are substantially lower than expected due to their age.
- His writing significantly interferes with academic performance and activities of daily life.
- Despite his “bad calligraphy” or his poor performance in writing, the reading level is within normal limits.
What can I do to help?
- Review the position taken by the child at the time of writing, since in many cases the dysgraphia is caused by bad posture or a very strong tension in the muscles that go from the neck to the hand.
- The classic punch: We can provide the child with different drawings, lines and letters from least to most difficult to pierce the contours.
- You can work by cutting paper with the aim of creating decorative objects such as garlands or doing origami exercises from less to more difficult.
- Finally, we can teach the child to cross stitch, with all that entails: Threading the needle, follow a pattern and copy it on the fabric, aim when it comes to driving the needle …
The numerical sense is an innate ability that people have, and allows us to quantify the elements of our environment, as well as distinguish between quantities.
Dyscalculia is a great unknown among learning disorders, although difficulties in mathematics are the order of the day and it is not uncommon to consider this subject as the difficult subject. In fact, it is one of the subjects with the highest failure rate.
Logically, not all the people who are struggling with mathematics are dyscalculic. Surely, his difficulties with mathematics are due to unresolved elementary gaps. However, the difficulties of people with calculus disorder go beyond gaps that are not resolved, and mistakes are made in the most basic issues.
What are the warning signs of dyscalculia?
- Poor reading of the numbers, despite the fact that the school level is considerably higher.
- Changes of place of forgotten numbers or numbers. For example, write: 1.19 instead of 1.019.
- Difficulties when placing the figures in the correct position for the calculation.
- Do not distinguish between units, tens and hundreds, although the school level is significantly higher.
- Difficulties when it comes to saying if one number is greater or less than another. The quantities are not well distinguished.
- Difficulties when doing addition and subtraction “with leads”.
- Confusion between addition and subtraction.
What can you do to help?
- The most important thing is that you have a lot of patience, because most of the interventions focus on repeating, repeating and repeating certain exercises until the child automates their learning. The important thing is to repeat the tasks over and over again and make them fun.
- Use games that relate numbers and operations to real life. For example, go buy candy together or school supplies, and that the child has to take charge of adding the prices and check that the return is correct.
- The more senses are involved in their learning better. Therefore, a good way to learn the numbers would be, for example, with the number 3: the child writes the number saying it out loud, then draws 3 apples, then gathers 3 cubes, and finally gives three jumps. A good idea would also be to play the parchís, having to count aloud while moving the chip, and also doing the operations aloud.
How do children with learning disorders feel?
The vast majority of children with learning disabilities have some emotional problem associated with learning difficulties (Cheng, 2016).
A common problem among professionals in psychology and education is that the disorder is treated more than the child itself. Therefore, we must not forget that the difficulties that our child has, may be causing a significant emotional impact on him.
Next, you can find which emotions and signs are the most common and what to do to address them with the child.
It is common for boys and girls to feel nervous and tense when going to school and see that they do not perform like the rest of their classmates despite their efforts. This can be really frustrating and often leads the child to reject the subject in which he has difficulties or does not want to go to school.
It is very important to bear in mind that anxiety in childhood is not demonstrated as in adulthood, and that it can be expressed through tantrums, crying, attention calls or disobedience.
Therefore, you should always be patient and show the child that you will always accompany him in his learning and that he should not worry if he can not keep up with his peers, because each child has his own rhythm in all of them. things, and surely he has other skills that his teammates do not.
Under academic self-concept
If we put ourselves in the place of a child with dyslexia who can barely read, accompanied by classmates from 4th grade who already read without problems, we can imagine how many of the children with learning difficulties feel.
As an adult, it would be a good idea to focus the child’s attention on their other abilities and to enhance their development with respect to that area. For example, the child we mentioned earlier with dyslexia, may have the reading problems we have discussed, but may like athletics and be a great athlete.
In this way, their self-esteem will not be based so much on school, but on other skills that they enjoy and in which they are competent.
Some of the children with learning difficulties are overcome by the problems in school when they see that they can not improve, or that a great effort means very little improvement. It is very important that you pay close attention to the child with learning problems, since, like anxiety, depression in children is not expressed as in adults.
Children with depression tend to get angry, isolate themselves, have behavioral problems in the classroom or at home, or present physical symptoms such as persistent or tummy headaches.
The best thing for these cases is to have a lot of patience and affection with the boy or girl. Talk about how you feel and why, and ask what you can do to make you feel better. Children, because they are children, do not stop knowing what is happening to them or what they need, and we as adults have to make them feel that we are here to accompany them and help them.
What can you do if you suspect a learning disorder in the child?
The best thing you can do with suspicion is to ask a professional, such as an educational psychologist or a psychologist. He will know how to advise you, will tell you if your suspicions are based on dysfunctional factors, and if necessary will evaluate the child to make a diagnosis.
If the professional finally considers that the child has a learning disorder, he will advise you on everything you need. In addition, it would be good to make the diagnosis in the educational center, since it is necessary to take into account their difficulties and help the child in the classroom and school.