Kids with learning difficulties can find it particularly challenging to learn a new topic or subject in the same way as other children. However, this is not to say that learning is impossible. Quite the opposite in fact. All it means is that you must find unique ways to create a working environment that is most conducive to their abilities. So here are what we believe to be 10 incredibly useful tools to help kids with learning difficulties.
Tablet devices, such as the Kindle and iPad, are amongst some of the most beneficial tools currently available to children with learning difficulties. They are an interactive piece of technology that makes learning fun and engaging again. But why?
Well, it’s because of the almost limitless array of apps that have sprung up in recent years. In fact, many of the tools that follow are only made possible through tablet devices. As such, they are a good place to start for children with all manner of learning difficulties, including dyslexia, ADHD, dysgraphia, visual motor deficit and many more.
One of the biggest issues kids with learning difficulties face is maintaining a calm, composed self all throughout the day. The challenges and frustrations associated with a typical learning environment can often be overwhelming. This is where Stop, Breathe, Think comes in.
It provides a range of meditative and soothing activities that allow children of all ages to focus. This lets them regain composure and focus. In turn, they are much more able to engage with and benefit from the lesson going on around them.
This is a computer and mobile-based application that helps kids with learning difficulties to communicate. It does so by using a very simple and straightforward layout of images. Children simply tap the sequence of images that they like.
You can configure the layout of images, sounds, and words to best suit your child’s communication pattern. As such, they have a completely personalized way with which to speak with those around them.
Those kids that suffer from writing difficulties will absolutely love Co:Writer. It works by predicting the words they are trying to spell as they are writing them. If necessary, these predicted words can also be read aloud and then selected.
The app can also offer built-in support with grammar as well. Allowing children to better learn how to structure sentences, as well as how to spell each individual word. All-in-all, Co:Writer has access to a whopping 4 million words and is surprisingly effective at predicting text.
Rather than overloading your child with new words, it is best to slowly advance their vocabulary over time. Well, Action Words is the perfect tool for exactly this. It is a very straightforward application that houses more than 100 useful, real-world action words.
These are each broken up into different categories. And certain words can be turned off or on each time they practice a round of words. Each word comes with accompanying audio and images to help them actually understand and recognize each word before moving on to another.
For children whose learning difficulties relate to speech, this is a wonderful app to try. It works by allowing the child using it to record their own voice and then dub it over different characters in an animated play.
Then, they can watch the play and hear their own voice in action. They can pick up on how they are actually pronouncing their words and whether it is the same as in their mind. Puppet Pals is a wonderful blend of game and learning experience, allowing children to improve their speaking patterns over time.
Scanmarker is a versatile tool designed to solve a number of real-world problems. Most notably amongst them, dyslexia. Its advanced technology allows users to scan over text on a page and then transfer this instantly as written text to another device, such as a laptop. At the same time, it can also read this text out loud.
Which is, of course, incredibly useful for children who suffer from dyslexia. No longer do they need to stare endlessly at a page hoping for the words to make sense. The Scanmarker provides an effective solution that allows them to immediately hear the text, digest it and thus keep up with their learning.
Toca Nature is another wonderful tool for kids with difficulties as it allows them to immerse themselves in their own world. It provides them with an environment where they have complete control over their surroundings. They can design it how they like and then include a variety of trees and animals. Children can choose where to place mountains and where to dig lakes.
They can then bring in the sorts of animals that live in these habitats, such as deer, beavers, and fish. They can then pick fruit and feed them and start to develop an understanding of the animal kingdom. Parents report how much their children love the app because of how in control they are and how fun it becomes to learn.
One of the most underrated tools for kids with learning difficulties are variable speed recorders. Sure, they’re not exactly as high tech as an iPad, but they are an almost essential tool to have. The child can simply turn it on at the start of each class and then have peace of mind that the whole lesson is being recorded.
Then, they can go through it more slowly later on either by themselves or with parents or a tutor. Allowing them to work at their own pace and to properly understand what was being taught. This can help by greatly reducing stress and anxiety during lessons and avoid children from missing out on valuable learning time if they are unable to follow the speed of the class.
BrainHQ happens to be a great learning tool for all kinds of people. This is because their online exercises can test you on your intelligence, attention, people skills, brain speed and memory. And these are all areas in which children who have learning difficulties could greatly benefit from.
And once again, all exercises are carried out digitally and are made to be fun and engaging. BrainHQ is also backed by a number of different studies that have tested its claims and validated what they say they can do. The sorts of exercise your child is presented with are based on their past performance and can be as short as 5 minutes.
With so many wonderful tools on offer, kids with learning difficulties have never before had so many opportunities to learn. As a parent, you can help by trialing a variety of the tools mentioned above to find one that best suits their needs. Which, in turn, will make learning a fun and enjoyable task each and every day.