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Recommendations to the School
The first thing the school administration should do is to ensure they modify the learning environment to suit Mike’s needs. This might include ensuring Mike has a special sitting place in class. However, this position should not make Mike feel more vulnerable or isolated. The school can also make an exception when it comes to tests. Mike’s tests should be untimed. This will help him deal with his anxiety when it comes to tests. The school can also reduce Mike’s workload and compensate this by arranging private tuition for Mike. Another approach that the school can take is by getting directly involved in Mike’s condition. This means that the school takes a lead in ordering new tests and employing experimental therapy. This might include equipping Mike with special tools such as talking calculators. The school can also have a teaching assistant to help Mike and any other student with a similar condition.
Recommendations to the Teacher
As for Mike’s problem with math (a condition also known as dyscalculia), the teacher should understand how this problem is manifested (Mazzocco, Feigenson & Halberda 2011). This condition falls under the non-verbal learning disabilities category. Among the signs exhibited by Mike are difficulties with math, poor social skills, and inability to understand simple game-strategies. One remedy to this disability is by using computer-assisted methods to teach math. This might include using specially made calculators. Another method that can help with this problem is by using multiplication tables to help Mike understand basic multiplication and division. The teacher can also use an assistant to ensure Mike gets close attention during Math lessons.
Mike’s problem with note taking is often referred to as Dysphasia. This learning disability makes it hard for Mike to master writing skills. This is in spite of the fact that Mike has strong word recognition and oral skills. This disability is often occasioned by grammatical, punctuation, and spelling mistakes in written works. In addition, such students have excessively poor handwritings. Mike’s teacher can help him overcome this disability by offering technological tools that can help with note taking. This might include notepads that have spell-checkers, proofreaders, computers, and other such gadgets. The teacher can also employ the write-say method. Using this method, Mike can write a misspelled word several times while saying it aloud. The teacher can also link Mike with another student who does not have this disability. Mike can use this student’s notes and act as his/her homework buddy.
Mike’s trouble with social skills falls under the non-verbal learning disabilities. This disability makes it hard for him to interact with other children. The reason this interaction is hard for him is because he has trouble interpreting the body language of others and taking their perspective (Rourke 1989). The teacher can handle this problem by enrolling Mike in a social skills training program. There are also therapies the can help Mike overcome this hurdle. The teacher should also avoid victimizing or criticizing Mike because of his poor social skills.
Recommendations to the Parents
The most important thing for Mike’s parents is for them to understand the he is not “stupid”. In fact, many people with learning disabilities have above average intelligence. The only thing that is different about Mike is that his brain processes information different. This means that he has to be educated differently in order for him to achieve the necessary skills. Mike’s parents should also consider the therapy options that are available to him. This is especially important for him to be able to overcome his social interaction problems (Galway & Metsala 2011). They should also encourage him to socialize. Finally, his parents need to establish a stronger relationship with Mike’s teachers. This is necessary to ensure Mike progresses education wise.
Galway, M., & Metsala, L. (2011). Social cognition and its relation to psychosocial adjustment in children with nonverbal learning disabilities. Journal of learning Disabilities, 44(1), 33-49.
Mazzocco, M., Feigenson, L., & Halberda, J. (2011). Impaired acuity of the approximate number system underlies mathematical learning disability (dyscalculia). Child Development, 82(4), 1224-1237.
Rourke, P. (1989). Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: The Syndrome and the Model. New York: Guilford Press.