3 Tips: Boosting Success for Students with Additional Needs

This stat needs to be voiced more often. Over 20% of students in Ireland have additional needs including dyspraxia, dyslexia & ADHD. I’ve been teaching Maths for over 13 years and have had the privilege of working with over 1,000 students. 

I’ve witnessed the challenges that students with additional needs, such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, and ADHD, face in the classroom. I’ve also seen the incredible progress and success that can come with proper support. 

Take Fionn McCarthy, for example. I’ve worked with Fionn for 7 years and have helped him work around his autism diagnosis to find the most effective methods for him to learn and succeed.

Check out this video for more info

Diagnosis is not a prognosis. School is everything to children growing up. Let’s take the fear away.

Here’s my 3 tips for boosting academic success for students with additional needs. 

  1. Slow it right down
  • Patience is key. Go at the child’s pace. There is no need to rush. Instead of studying for 1 hour on a topic, just do 10 mins, focussing with no phones. 
  • Start slow, start small. Let the child drive the learning (speaking out the question, saying what to do next). 
  • Don’t push them, don’t rush them. Do what you can do, and come back again to the topic later that week. 
  • Wednesdays and Saturday mornings are great days to study. Make them habitual study days for your child.
  1. Confidence is key
  • Build habits. Students are creatures of habit. They begin to love the process, especially if you build in some extra rewards for them.
  • Encourage the behaviour. If you see your child working harder in school, say it to them. Don’t worry or comment on results. They will follow. Focus on your child’s attitude. 
  • Focus on building the right habits. Encourage and build their confidence around what they can do. The results will follow.
  1. Find heroes

We all need heroes. Give your child something to aspire to. Sometimes, having additional needs can make you feel a bit lost and lonely. Having heroes, or people you aspire to be, is the answer here. So many famous people have overcome their struggles to achieve so much:

  • Richard Branson (dyslexia)
  • Steven Spielberg (dyslexia)
  • Albert Einstein (dyslexia and dysgraphia )
  • Daniel Radcliffe (dyspraxia and dysgraphia)

People with additional needs see the world differently. They create things that others could not imagine. Work around the needs and build up your child’s confidence. Opportunities are boundless to those with belief!

T.J – CEO of Breakthrough Maths

Need help in Maths? Contact the Breakthrough Maths team here.

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