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Learning Disabilities & Adult Education

Undiagnosed or unmanaged learning disabilities can be a detriment to adults returning to school. Especially for older adults, for whom learning disabilities were not as openly talked about or readily diagnosed while they were school-aged, learning disabilities can be a silent challenge they’ve dealt with all their lives.

These adults might have been told that they weren’t good students when they were younger or were yelled at by people who didn’t understand what was going on. Such an experience likely influenced not only the person’s education, but their self-esteem and attitude towards learning.

That’s why it’s important that adult educators be aware of the unique challenges people with learning disabilities may face.

Adults without learning disabilities can have a hard enough time returning to school after being away for years. Adding a learning disability to their circumstances can complicate the experience. Even if the adult had good habits to cope with their situation, they might have forgotten or fallen out of practice. And trying to recall skills from many years ago can be a difficult task all by itself.

The challenge then lies in helping a person manage and succeed despite their learning disability. Teaching the student useful techniques to adapt or incorporating a variety of learning styles into teaching are two of the most effective methods for helping a person learn to work through their difficulty.

Helping a student unlock their potential and adapt to their own personal needs will be different with each individual, and sometimes it takes a bit of cheerleading. A person who’s struggled with learning can sometimes believe that they’re incapable of success, but a taste of achievement goes a long way. Encouraging words can help a person realize how much they can learn.

It might be an added challenge, but that’s all right. Here at Seeds of Literacy, facing challenges head-on is what we — and our students — do every day. You can help by volunteering or making a donation to Seeds today.