Back to School Tips for People with Learning Differences
By Maura Baker
Back to school season is typically hard for most students, but it can feel especially daunting if you have a learning difference. Going back to school, it is important that you take steps to make not only the transition period easier, but also take steps to make the whole school year as great as possible. Here are a few tips for going back to school if you have a learning difference.
Get a Support System
Having a good support system can be essential for succeeding in school, especially when you have a learning difference. It is important that you have people you can go to when school work, extracurriculars, or social situations get to be too tough or stressful to handle on your own.
Manage Your Time and Plan Ahead
Time management is a good skill to have, but it can be especially helpful when you have a learning difference. Having a learning difference may mean it takes you longer to do work (such as worksheets, readings, etc) and you may need more breaks. This is why it is so important that you schedule time to work and schedule in necessary breaks. You can try using an agenda, planner, or any other method of time management that works for you.
Ask for Help When You Need It
Having a learning difference can mean you might have to work a little harder when it comes to school and academics. This is why it’s important that you get extra help if you need it. For example, if you are struggling in a class, it might be a good idea to ask your teacher to explain the content to you in a one-on-one setting after school, or you can ask a friend or family member to help explain class material to you.
Do Research On (And Speak Up About) Accommodations
If you have a learning difference, you might do well to ask for accommodations in school. Accommodations can be anything from extra time on assignments to having apps (or a designated person) to read texts for you. There are so many accommodations, so it is a good idea to do some research to find what type of accommodations would work best for you. Then, after you have done some research on your own, you can bring it up to your teachers. Accommodations are usually easy to get in school, but sometimes it can require testing for you to be eligible for them. Here is a good site for researching accommodations to get you started: Common Classroom Accommodations and Modifications | Understood - For learning and thinking differences.
These are just a few tricks to try to make school a bit easier, especially if you have a learning difference. As the school year progresses, it is important that you take note of what is working for you personally, since everyone is different. Then, you can change and adapt to use strategies that fit your own individual needs.