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5 Tips for Supporting Neurodivergent Learners to Empower Success

Here at The Learning Room we are known for our individualized 1:1 instruction. Our staff of highly trained academic coaches meets every learner where they are and helps build up their skills, strategies, and knowledge to help them achieve their academic goals. With over 50% of our students being neurodivergent, we understand that supporting neurodivergent students goes beyond academics. It's about creating an environment where they feel emotionally safe, competent, and supported. It's about reducing the stigma surrounding asking for help and ensuring that they receive the assistance they need to succeed.

Our team of experienced educators, including neurodivergent individuals themselves, is dedicated to providing holistic support. We recognize that every child is unique and requires an individualized approach. We teach students not only academic skills but also essential life skills, such as effective communication and self-advocacy.

Consistency is key! Below are some tips to help you help your neurodivergent learner with academic, social-emotional, and essential life skills.

1. Teach Email Correspondence:

One valuable skill for neurodivergent learners is effective email communication. Many educational institutions and workplaces rely on email for various purposes. Teaching your neurodivergent child how to compose clear and concise emails can empower them to seek help, communicate with teachers, or engage in productive discussions. Provide guidance on structuring emails, including the subject line, greeting, main content, and closing. Additionally, emphasize the importance of polite and respectful language in electronic communication. This skill can boost their confidence when reaching out for assistance or engaging in collaborative projects.

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2. Avoid Overreacting to Repetitive Questions or Forgetfulness:

Neurodivergent students may ask the same question multiple times or occasionally forget instructions or information. It's crucial for parents and educators to remain patient and understanding. Instead of reacting with frustration, calmly provide the answer or gently remind them of the information. Overreacting can create anxiety and discourage them from seeking help or clarification in the future. Maintaining a supportive and non-judgmental approach creates a safe space for them to express their needs and challenges.

3. Promote Self-Advocacy Skills:

Encouraging self-advocacy is essential for neurodivergent learners. Teach them how to express their needs and preferences to teachers, peers, and support staff. Help them craft simple scripts or phrases they can use to request accommodations, ask for clarification, or communicate their feelings. By instilling self-advocacy skills, you empower neurodivergent students to take an active role in their education. Additionally, collaborate with teachers and school staff to ensure they are aware of your child's needs and provide necessary support.

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4: Find Routines That Work For Them:

Neurodivergent children and adults often need systems and routines to help them stay organized. Model how to plan, begin, modify, and maintain routines for your child. Pick an age and developmentally-appropriate routine to do together for home or school life to ensure early success. As your child becomes more confident in their routine, gradually release responsibility until they can complete it independently. Remember, they may need reminders or prompts even after they begin to complete tasks independently. Stay positive and supportive! If a routine isn’t efficient or stops working, check in with your child about what to change to maintain success.

5: Don’t Expect Too Much Too Soon:

Have realistic and reasonable expectations when implementing these skills and routines with your child. Expect them to need frequent support, repetition, and guidance as they learn, grow, and change. Helping your neurodivergent child navigate these skills early and often will only increase their success down the road!

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If your neurodivergent child is struggling, let us help you! At The Learning Room we help students reach their academic, social-emotional and executive functioning goals. We work closely with families to weave the many facets of learning together to maximize your child’s success!

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