YES! Learning ABLED Kids CAN Learn!
Did you know being ABLE to learn is part of the diagnosis for having learning disability?
A child must have an IQ in the low average IQ to a genius IQ range to be diagnosed with a learning disability.
That means, your child must be ABLE to learn. However, your child struggles in some area(s) of learning.
What can a learning ABLED kid learn?
Think about when your child was little for a moment:
- Did your child learn his name?
- Did your child learn to walk, talk, and eat?
- Did your child learn the names of objects?
- Was your child able to learn the names of people in his life?
- Was your child fascinated by subject and learned a LOT about it?
- Did your child learn to play some games or sports?
Learning ABLED Kids can learn all kinds of things when they are allowed to learn in their natural way. They can also learn well when they are taught according to their natural learning style.
Why do Learning ABLED Kids fail in school?
Think about this for a minute..
What do you think is the main reason Learning ABLED Kids fail in school?
We’ve already decided Learning ABLED Kids CAN learn, so why do they fail in school?
Simply put, Learning ABLED Kids fail because teachers fail to teach Learning Abled Kids like they need to be taught. The failure can be in one of several areas, but one thing is certain… It’s the adults failing the kids, not the kids failing to learn.
Reason #1 Learning Abled Kids Fail:
One common reason learning abled kids fail is because they are not taught using research PROVEN programs. Parents and teachers often pick programs based upon marketing hype. They don’t look critically at the research behind the specific program or they don’t pay attention to the child’s needs.
As an example, one program I know of had a ton of “research” showing that multisensory teaching works! And, it DOES! The problem was that the research did NOT show THAT program worked. In fact, the program was so low on the multi-sensory teaching scale, I would not have classified it as multi-sensory at all. Kids with tactile or kinesthetic learning styles didn’t have their needs met at all through the program.
Besides that, when you looked at research studies using the program, it showed that kids with learning disabilities did NOT make adequate yearly progress with the hyped-up program! Imagine that! The program was being marketed as a solution for learning disabilities, but it didn’t work for those kids. A lot of people fell for the marketing hype because they didn’t look at the original research on the program itself. They thought the program had a lot of research backing it because the research was proving a method, not the program itself.
Reason #2 Learning Abled Kids Fail:
Probably the second most common reason learning abled kids fail is because they are not taught in the way they learn.
Think about this: You have four basic learning styles in the VAKT Learning Styles model. They are visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile. MOST teaching in traditional schools is auditory in nature. Teaching is words, words, words. It’s all language based. Kids are taught through lectures or talking, reading words in a book, working worksheets, or speaking answers.
If the child with “learning disabilities” is a visual, kinesthetic, or tactile learner, then he is not being taught effectively through the use of words. Visual learners need images. Kinesthetic learners need whole body activities. Tactile learners need hands-on learning.
FIGURE OUT your child’s primary and secondary learning styles, then teach your child using that style. That is how your learning abled kid learned when he was little. He learned through his natural learning style before being limited to classroom teaching!
Reason #3 Learning Abled Kids Fail:
The third common reason learning abled kids fail to learn is inadequate teaching. Often, the teaching time is too little, not individualized for your child’s needs, or not intense enough.
Research shows that one-on-one up to one-on three teaching is the most effective way to teach a child. WHY?
Highly individualized teaching is the most effective model for teaching because the child is:
- More academically engaged,
- On-task with learning for longer periods of time,
- The teaching person can ask the child to see if he’s actually “got it,”
- Teaching goes at the child’s pace of learning–he never gets “left behind,”
- And a teacher is more encouraging to a child when he’s the only child being taught.
All around, individualized teaching is the best model. One research study even showed that children taught by a mom with a high school diploma make more gains than kids taught in a classroom by a teacher with a Master’s Degree. Think about that.
It isn’t the specialized teacher training that makes the biggest difference in learning. All the learning theory in the world doesn’t help if the child is not being taught according to his individual needs.
It’s NOT that there is anything “wrong” with the classroom teacher’s teaching. She is trying to teach a lot of kids, each with a different learning style or need. She can’t possibly teach every single child at the pace the child needs, using the materials the child needs, at the intensity the child needs, all at the same time. It’s an impossible task.
Let’s talk briefly about teaching intensity. For a child with a learning disability, it takes MANY repetitions for the child to remember. To get the needed repetition, you have to teach the same thing over and over. How much time does it take to do that? A LOT! Especially if you don’t use a specialized learning program to help with the repetition.
Once-per-week tutoring, 30-minute therapy sessions, pull-out reading resource classes, or any other teaching that involves a small amount of teaching each week is too little. Also, the more kids in the group being taught, the less individualized the teaching will be.
Learning Abled Kids don’t make GOOD progress with small amounts of help. Time after time, research shows that intense programs matter. SO, if you’re going to help your learning abled kid learn, you need to make sure your child gets an intense, individualized program.
How do you get the kind of program your Learning Abled Kid needs?
You basically have two choices. You can:
Click on your two choices above to learn more about becoming an effective advocate for your child or about the best way to educate your child.
We initially chose advocacy, but you can only force a school to do so much, and often it isn’t enough. When your school isn’t educating your child, you CAN! (You may not think so, and neither did I before I did, but now I know better. 😉 )