Thought I’d drop in again.
There are quite a few awareness weeks dotted around the calendar and this week is Learning Difficulties Awareness week. Before moving into this topic it is firstly worth noting not everyone is happy with the wording of this. I am happy with the wording learning difficulties, some people may prefer Learning Differences.
Learning Differences/Difficulties are things which can have a massive impact on people’s lives. According to Mencap:
‘There are many different types of learning difficulty, some of the more well known are dyslexia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia and dyscalculia. A person can have one, or a combination.
As with learning disability, learning difficulties can also exist on a scale. A person might have a mild learning difficulty or a severe learning difficulty. The same is true of learning disabilities.’
Not everyone has the conditions to the same extent, as mentioned above they exist on a scale and this can have a varying impact on persons day to activities. This can lead to feeling of frustration or anxiety which should never be underestimated when discussing ways to help the person.
Someone with Dyslexia may find it difficult when trying to follow directions. This is because they may struggle knowing the difference between left and right.
People who have Dyscalculia may find themselves getting frustrated when dealing with splitting a bill when out at a restaurant. This is due to them finding numbers really complicated
The emotional impact of learning difficulties can be overwhelmingly tough. It can take lots more energy to perform simple tasks because the person finds it difficult. This can lead to exhaustion.
Not using physical cash and using a bank card really helps me. This means I don’t have to deal with counting cash I just use my card or ApplePay to make the Payment and then that’s it. Although setting budgets its very tough because my head just won’t do numbers. This does lead to exhaustion and frustration when it comes to even the simplest things.
Making it easier for those with learning difficulties does not necessarily mean doing the task for them. It could be where you break the task down into smaller manageable chunks. Or make a change to something to adapt the task to suit the persons needs.
An example might be sitting somewhere quiet to read, or if they are really struggling but still want to read, use an audiobook.
For someone who has Dyspraxia they may find laces difficult. Try and put different laces in the shoes which are a little thicker so they can hold onto them. I did this with a pair of mine. It still takes me 5 minutes to do them, but I can do them.
One of the best pieces of advice for anyone who has a learning difficulty is to not be too hard on yourself. You’re trying your best and tats what matters.
I’m off now as I am a bit tired. My back pain is flaring up.
Thank you for reading.