Written by Shivaun Pereira, Educational and Developmental Psychologist
Jake was in Grade 6 and getting suspended for misbehaviour; he was constantly leaving the classroom and giving his teacher ‘attitude’. Through investigation, we worked out that Jake actually didn’t know a large number of the letter sounds. He couldn’t read directions on worksheets or even write a coherent sentence. His misbehaviour was his way of avoiding challenging work in the classroom. Intervention around reading made a real difference to Jake’s schooling and his self-esteem.
We know that students learn at different paces, but how do you know whether a child’s slow progress is actually due to a learning difficulty? How can we tell if there is something that we could be doing differently to help a child succeed and thrive in school?
Here are some things that are often reported about children with learning difficulties:
It’s important to note that many students will experience some of these difficulties - it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have an underlying learning problem. However, working to understand your child within their individual context can assist you to isolate the cause of slow academic progress. Students with a number of the characteristics listed above may benefit from further investigation around their learning.
Psycho-educational assessment by an experienced professional is aimed at analysing the student in a holistic manner and understanding learning ability, strengths and weaknesses to provide the most effective way of supporting learning.
Have a conversation with your child’s teacher if you have concerns about their learning abilities so appropriate intervention can be put in place.
If you require additional guidance regarding your child's learning and behavioural challenges, an Educational and Developmental Psychologist can advise on the most appropriate course of action to suit your child's particular circumstances.