Learning requires the combination of attention and concentration, language, memory, problem solving, organisation, and the ability to plan and sequence thoughts. When learning is challenging, the most immediate indicator of difficulty is often poor behaviour, reflecting avoidance or rapid and extreme disengagement.
Occupational and Speech Therapists are trained to help children develop the foundation skills that allow learning (in all it’s forms) to occur. This includes physical, language, play, attention/concentrationand behaviour.
Children who have learning difficulties can struggle with:
- Maintaining attention resulting in them being easily distracted
- Using appropriate behaviours resulting in challenging behaviours (or avoidance)
- Recalling skills that been learnt previously to then use the skills
- Applying the knowledge that has been learnt, or using the same skill but in a new way or in a new situation
- Understanding new concepts
- Remembering concepts/consistent memory
- ‘Seeing’ the similarities between tasks or concepts
- Using or applying information from one task or activity to another
- Getting their thoughts on paper, even though they may be able to ‘talk it out’
- Using language in an ordered and logical way to give instructions, tell a story, to re-count an event or express ideas and thoughts.
- Learning to read, write and spell (e.g. get stuck on the same sightwords for a long time)
- Organisation skills (awareness of time frames, materials)
- Learning from their mistakes
- Collecting the materials needed for school or play activities
- Appearing interested (they might even be accused of being lazy or rude)
- Seeing the ’big picture’ of a task or situation and instead gets very fixed on small details
- Predicting what might be going to happen next
- Planning out a story or school project (eg essay)