Learning Difficulties

Learning Difficulties


Everyone has difficulty learning on some level sometimes, but when it starts interfering with your everyday life, it can often become a diagnosable condition. The most common one known is dyslexia, which can come in many forms. Other learning difficulties can stem from things like autism.

People learn at their own pace, and often schools don’t understand that. You shouldn’t feel bad if you’re taking a class, and it’s going faster than you’re necessarily comfortable with. After all, you might be able to learn the material just fine if it was going a bit slower. Other times, it might be because you don’t have a whole lot of interest in the subject; plenty of people find it hard to learn about things they don’t care about, especially when it’s required of them rather than something they voluntarily signed up for.

Challenges Faced Through Learning Difficulties

If you are having learning difficulties because of a learning disability such as dyslexia, or because of other factors like autism, it can be frustrating at the best of times. You know that you want to learn, and you might even enjoy it, but it just doesn’t come easy to you because your brain doesn’t work the way other people’s brains work. Often if your problem is a diagnosable condition it’s easy enough to get treatment and help, but many schools, because of funding, often cut things like special-ed first just because it isn’t a program that’s used by a majority of the students.

When you have difficulty learning but there’s nothing inherently wrong, it’s often because you’re in a class that’s going too fast for them. Schools will usually offer different levels for each grade, such as AP, Honors etc. If you enjoy a subject and think you’ll do well in it, you might end up in a higher-level class. However, just because you enjoy something doesn’t necessarily mean that it will come easy to you at this higher level, and because of that, you suffer. If you’re a good student otherwise, though, you might feel pressured to be at this higher level, and even told that there’s no reason you shouldn’t succeed there.

Social pressure can also play a big factor against people who are having learning difficulties; if your parents expect you to succeed, and they put a large emphasis on you doing so, you might end up fizzling out and doing worse than you otherwise might have.  In this case, you aren’t even necessarily struggling with the material so much as the expectations, but your performance still suffers.

How Learning Difficulties Affect the Family

Even if you’re experiencing learning difficulties because of a condition, it can still be difficult to get your family to understand. Many people who are struggling in school often find that their loved ones don’t quite get that it’s not that you don’t want to learn, or it’s not that you purposefully flunked a test; you just couldn’t quite do it. Family can often get angry at you because they feel that you aren’t trying hard enough, or that there’s nothing wrong with you and you just don’t care.

On the flip side, family can make it worse as well; sometimes they will want to help you, and it ends up that the help is just them doing your work for you instead of sitting down and talking through a math problem or an essay topic or the lecture notes of the day. The absolute worst thing that can happen to someone having learning difficulties is to have someone who wants to do their work for them, because that means you aren’t getting past whatever’s causing it, and in fact the person is enabling you to continue like that more than anything.

How Therapy Can Help

If you have dyslexia or another condition that is causing you to have difficulties, therapy is the best bet for getting through it. There are psychologists specializing in learning disabilities, and with a little talk and explanation of what goes on, they can figure out what’s up with you and the best course of action for dealing with it. You won’t just be talking; you’ll also be doing activities to help you, such as reading activities if you’re dyslexic and have a hard time deciphering letters correctly.

On the other hand, if your learning difficulties are because you’re at a higher level than you should be, you don’t necessarily need a therapist per se. Talk to your guidance counselor or academic advisor. They’re invested in making sure that you get through school and be the best that you can be, so if you’re struggling, then they aren’t doing their job. Tell them that you think the class or classes you’re in aren’t quite right for you, and ask them about options for changing around your schedule. You should push your limits, but you should also know what you’re capable of.

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