What is learning support, and how does it empower children to overcome learning obstacles? Schools which offer learning support help children achieve academic success by offering them a safe, supportive environment to identify and overcome any learning obstacles they may have. We invite parents to read on to see how learning support may benefit your children.
In the 21st century, new ways of learning are emerging. Most schools make use of methods which are being developed with a focus on giving children academic knowledge and skills they can use later in life. But what if we went beyond that? What if schools helped young learners grow as people rather than just test takers? What if schools helped students develop character and overcome obstacles instead of just accommodating their academic learning? Japari is a school which offers learning support with a view to cultivating the holistic progress of your child.
Environments which foster learning support
Learning support environments are places that offer students with learning difficulties a safe and supportive environment. They can be either public or private, and are usually considered an extension of the mainstream education classroom, which makes it easy for parents to transfer a child from one setting to another. A learning support school should also have a strong focus on character development to help children learn how to overcome obstacles and live a meaningful life. Many learning support schools offer extracurricular opportunities like sports and creative projects that help students develop their social and creative skills.
Why identify and overcome learning obstacles?
Learning challenges arise from a complex interplay between biology, psychology, and life experiences. The best a parent can do for a child with a suspected learning difficulty is to identify any condition that can be diagnosed and treated.
Through a learning support environment, students can feel supported enough to be open about their challenges and engage in the path towards overcoming them. Although learning challenges are not always visible, they can have negative impacts on children’s ability to learn and thrive.
They can make children feel different or even worthy of shame, but when teachers, parents, and peers are aware of these challenges, they can provide extra support and accommodations to help students overcome them. Regardless of the level of severity of a child’s learning challenges, they can overcome these challenges with the right support and encouragement.
5 Obstacles that learning support schools help students to manage
Communication Deficit Disorder (CDD)
Communication Deficit Disorder (CDD) refers to a communication gap that arises from the inability to understand or interpret non-verbal communication (facial expressions, body language).
Students with CDD may have a hard time expressing themselves verbally and non-verbally. This makes it difficult to connect with peers, which in turn can make it difficult for them to fit in at school.
Learning support schools can help students with CDD feel more connected by providing them with visual symbols and tools to interpret their classmates’ expressions and non-verbal communication. Learning support schools can help these students by providing them tools to communicate their ideas and feelings, like using pictures or symbols, and other methods for improving daily communication.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that has a large impact on both a person’s social and academic life. Students with ADHD have a hard time staying focused, which can make it difficult for them to finish their work. ADHD can also cause impulsive or hyperactive behaviour, which can make it difficult for students to sit still or follow rules.
Learning support schools can help these students by organizing their workspace and providing them with extra support to complete assignments. Learning support schools can help students with ADHD manage their feelings by encouraging them to express themselves and providing them with tools to calm down when needed.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a complex neurodevelopmental condition that has a significant impact on both a person’s social and academic life. Students with ASD have a hard time connecting and communicating with their peers, which can make it difficult for them to fit in at school. Like ADHD, ASD can also cause impulsive or hyperactive behaviour, which can make it difficult for students to sit still or follow rules.
Learning support schools can help these students by making their classroom a safe space and providing them with sensory breaks and visual tools to communicate their feelings. A learner with ASD needs to feel that their classroom is a safe space where they can express themselves freely.
Depression or Anxiety
Depression is an emotional state that causes a person to feel sad, hopeless, or defeated. Anxiety is a state of worry or fear about an uncertain outcome. Both can cause a person to feel emotionally drained, and have a hard time managing their feelings. Students with depression or anxiety have a hard time concentrating in class, and may have trouble finishing their work.
Learning support schools can help these students by encouraging them to talk about their feelings and providing guidance and tools to manage their emotions. A good learning support school will work closely with the child’s parents and therapist to help alleviate root causes of depression and anxiety.
Language or Literacy Difficulties
Language or literacy difficulties refer to a complex combination of conditions that cause a person to have a hard time understanding, expressing, or remembering things. They may battle to clearly communicate ideas through writing. Students with language or literacy difficulties may have a hard time understanding their teacher, which can make it difficult for them to learn in class.
Learning support schools can help these students by providing them with better scheduling and resources to complete their work and helping them find alternative ways to communicate their ideas.
Schools which offer learning support can be places where children feel accepted, regardless of their learning challenges. In a school like this, parents may feel comfortable disclosing their child’s challenges, because they know that staff will provide the support they need.
Depending on the needs of each child, schools can provide learning support in different ways. There are various degrees of support schools can offer, from providing extra time for assignments to special accommodations like extra breaks or a reduced workload.
Knowing what these options are can help parents decide which is right for their child. If you are looking for a school offering learning support in Johannesburg, consider Japari, a school with a great t rack record of providing a safe and supportive environment where they can learn to overcome challenges, and grow as people.