The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why we should help students with learning disabilities

** This is being re-shared from a previous blog post because the school year is just starting and I honestly feel that some teachers do NOT understand that some students will NOT ask for help.  Please, oh please care about making sure these students are learning and supported.  FYI they are NOT lazy!!!!

Did you know that drowning victims rarely flail around or call out for help?  In fact, the person drowning is often unable to call out for help and just slips underneath the water and dies.  If you saw a boy silently slipping under the water would you just stand there watch him die and then say, “Well, all he had to do was ask for help,” or “geez if he would have just swam he could have survived.”  Of course no one would actually do that would they?  No one would really just stand by, offer advice but no real assistance or help and then blame the victim when he doesn’t survive. 

This actually happens all the time in school settings.  The student feels overwhelmed and completely “under water” with the assignments and tests and just gives up.  Teachers stand by watching the student not complete these assignments and fail the tests, yet blame the student for not working harder and not asking for help.  Some of these students even do ask for help but the support isn’t enough or consists of words not actions, so the student only slips further and further below the service.  Once the student is so far below, he drowns.  Even if resurrected he will never be the same again, he is now damaged. 

When students fail in school because they are not completing the homework, studying, and failing tests~ this is a cry for help.  This is not the student just being lazy and unmotivated this is the student drowning.  

Teachers can save these students from drowning by:

~noticing that they are avoiding assignments - these are difficult for them

~ provide positive support and encouragement

~ present information via explicit instruction - it is systematic, direct, & engaging

~ comply with the students IEP's or 504s 

~ Be consistent don't just offer help once and then stop offering help-- consistently provide assistance until the student is no longer failing and fully understands the materials.  

~ A student who is giving up and drowning no longer has effort and energy to keep his head above water so provide as much assistance as necessary until the student has the ability to do it on his own.

~ Provide the student's parents with up-to-date progress so they are aware of these difficulties and can provide support from the home side as well.  Since the student is drowning in school and not at home parents may not even be aware of the problem until it is too late.