Imagine how you would feel going to school every day and not being able to understand your work, follow instructions or build meaningful relationships with those around you.
Perhaps you can’t read what the teacher is writing on the whiteboard, or you don’t understand the instructions they give for the next activity. Communicating your needs or asking questions is hard because you don’t want to be singled out or find it hard to express the challenges you’re facing.
So instead, you withdraw, stay silent and don’t engage at all. Or perhaps you start to act out as a way of hiding the fact that you feel different to your classmates. Over time, you fall further and further behind in the classroom, feeling more overwhelmed and left out every single day.
This can be the everyday struggle for the 15% of children or adolescents – that’s 3-4 in every classroom – who struggle with learning difficulties. These students may be having problems in the areas of listening, speaking, reasoning, literacy or numeracy. They may also experience difficulties understanding what they see or hear, as well as with memory, mood (anxiety and depression), motor skills and attention.
There are a number of things to look out for that may indicate that your child is struggling at school or in their early learning environment. Behavioural challenges, inability to follow instructions or avoiding taking part in activities are just some of the clues that might point to a learning difficulty.spee
Learning Links has been working with children with learning difficulties and disabilities for over 50 years, providing them with the services and family support to enable them to reach their full potential. The organisation was started in 1972 by parents who were concerned about the lack of appropriate education and support services to meet their children’s needs. They now have six Learning Centres across Sydney and directly support over 5,000 children each year.
Learning Links’ goal is to empower children to gain the specific skills and strategies they need to build confidence, expand their social skills, ignite a passion for learning and enhance their ability to cope with the challenges that life throws at us.
So how can Learning Links help your family?
Learning Links’ centre in Peakhurst has a dedicated multidisciplinary team of child psychologists, speech pathologists, education specialists and early childhood educators who offer a wide range of evidence-based, tailored services to empower children to learn, develop and thrive.
They also run webinars and programs that build the capacity of parents and carers to provide support in the home and put strategies in place to manage your own mental health and wellbeing.
Learning Links offers speech therapy sessions at their Peakhurst centre or online via Zoom, as well as Speech and Language Assessments. They are committed to helping children reach their speech and language goals and be confident to interact with others in a meaningful way.
Learning Links is offering free 30-minute speech and language screeners to assess whether children aged 3-6 years old are on track with their communication development.
Learning Links’ child psychology team is dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents, to ensure they have the best possible opportunities to gain the confidence and strategies to thrive.
The range of psychology services available includes assessments, individual counselling sessions, group social skills programs, and family counselling. Sessions are available at the Peakhurst centre and counselling is also offered online via Zoom.
Prep 4 Preschool
Prep 4 Preschool is a weekly early intervention playgroup at Oatley designed to help support families who are having difficulties transitioning to an early education service. With a range of specialised supports from early childhood professionals and therapists to help make your child feel more confident in themselves, and you more confident in your parenting decisions, it’s a win win!
If you want to speak to someone about support for your child, to book a free speech and language screener or explore what the Prep 4 Preschool program looks like, please reach out. You can get in touch here or on 1300 003 900.
To find out more about learning difficulties, visit Learning Links parent resource hub on their website here. The hub includes articles, fact sheets, videos and other useful resources. Their calendar of parent webinars can be found here.