Over the past ten years, I have learned about a whole array of classifications for disabilities. There are so many! One could get the impression that children are getting more and more broken, and we are developing more and more detailed labels for describing them.
All children fall somewhere on a spectrum from left-brained dominant to right-brained dominant in how their brains are wired to learn. It will benefit both children and teachers to understand the child’s unique wiring.
It helps to understand ahead of time what will be hard for struggling readers. After working with struggling readers for several years and taking the time to consider what they have in common, I have come up with a list of skills that are hard for them.
Learn to distinguish between effective lessons and busy work.
Much of what filled our day in the classroom (yes, when I was teaching) was busy work with minimal gains made by the child. You can tell which activities fall into this category because the child is simply not enjoying it and is not engaged.
What was true about how children develop 20 years ago is still true today. If children are failing it is because we have not adapted our teaching materials or our teaching style to what we have learned about kids.