Learning & Development

Learning Disability Week with Montessori Care Allied Health

By Montessori Academy09/07/24

On Wednesday 19th June 2024, Montessori Academy hosted a collaborative workshop with their disability and allied health sister company, Montessori Care. Building on this year’s theme “Do you see me”, over 300 educators attended the informative workshop to expand their knowledge on learning disabilities and identify strategies to best support families.

What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability is a neurological condition that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. It can impact skills such as reading, writing, maths, reasoning, listening, and speaking. Importantly, learning disabilities are not indicative of a person’s intelligence level; rather, they reflect how an individual processes information differently.

 “Learning difficulties are neurologically-based processing problems. In simple terms, a learning disability results from a difference in the way a person’s brain is wired.”

Mireille Chrabieh – Neurodiverse Specialist and Trainer at Montessori Care Allied Services

Common Types of Learning Disabilities

  1. Dyslexia: Difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling.
  2. Dyscalculia: Challenges with maths and number-related concepts.
  3. Dysgraphia: Problems with writing, including handwriting, typing, and spelling.
  4. Auditory Processing Disorder: Difficulty in understanding and processing sounds.
  5. Visual Processing Disorder: Challenges in interpreting visual information.

Identifying Learning Disabilities

Early identification can make a world of difference to your child’s early learning journey. Common signs include difficulty following instructions, trouble with reading and writing, problems with maths, and issues with memory.

If you feel your child might need extra support with learning, it might be helpful to consider a professional evaluation. The sooner you act, the better your child’s chances of reaching their full potential.

“People with learning disabilities tend to have more difficulties if left to figure things out by themselves, or if taught in conventional ways.” – Mireille Chrabieh

Tips for Supporting a Child with a Learning Disability

  1. Create a Supportive Environment:
    • Positive Reinforcement: Celebrate achievements, no matter how small, to boost confidence.
    • Routine and Structure: Establish a consistent routine to provide stability and predictability. The harmony and order within a Montessori classroom or prepared environment and daily routine is excellent for this.
  2. Tailor Educational Approaches:
    • Individualised Learning Plans (ILPs): Work with educators to develop an ILP that addresses specific needs.
    • Multisensory Techniques: Use visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic learning methods to engage different senses.
    • Assistive Technology: Utilise tools such as audiobooks, speech-to-text software, and educational apps designed for learning disabilities.
  3. Encourage Open Communication:
    • Communication with Educators: Maintain open lines of communication with educators to monitor progress and discuss strategies.
    • Encourage Self-Advocacy: Teach your child to understand their learning disability and to communicate their needs effectively.
  4. Provide Emotional Support:
    • Build Self-Esteem: Encourage activities where your child excels to help build self-esteem and confidence.
    • Be Patient and Understanding: Show empathy and patience, acknowledging that learning can be challenging.
  5. Engage in Educational Activities at Home:
    • Reading Together: Spend time reading with your child to improve literacy skills.
    • Interactive Learning Games: Use educational games to make learning fun and engaging.
  6. Seek Professional Help When Needed:
    • Therapies: Occupational therapy, speech therapy, and counselling can be beneficial. Montessori Care offers an array of Allied Health services for individuals of all ages.

Supporting a child or family member with a learning disability requires understanding, patience, and tailored strategies. By fostering a supportive environment, utilising effective educational approaches, and providing emotional support, you can help individuals with learning disabilities thrive.

Remember, every child has unique strengths and abilities; recognising and nurturing these can make a significant difference in their educational journey and overall well-being.

Montessori Care is a registered NDIS provider offering disability, aged-care, and services to support individuals.
To enquire, visit their website or contact their team on 1300 918 000.

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Montessori Care is dedicated to providing exceptional and personalised in-home aged care and disability support services. Grounded in the transformative Montessori philosophy, Montessori Care delivers family-like support and programs that nurture independence, personal growth, and a profound sense of belonging. 

Montessori Care is dedicated to providing exceptional and personalised in-home aged care and disability support services. Grounded in the transformative Montessori philosophy, Montessori Care delivers family-like support and programs that nurture independence, personal growth, and a profound sense of belonging.