Learning Support


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Students with Specific Learning Difficulties are students of normal intelligence who have difficulties in specific areas of learning. A learning difficulty may affect one area or more of the following: reading, writing, spelling, math and personal organization. The condition is caused by differences in how the information is acquired, processed and understood in the brain.

Without proper identification and support, specific learning difficulties may lead to school failure, loss of confidence and possibly secondary maladaptive behaviours. However, with the right support, students can learn to overcome their challenges and stop it from being a barrier to academic achievement.

Assessment

Al-Masar provides educational assessments using formal standardized tools and informal tests to diagnose learning difficulties. The assessment is conducted by specially trained teachers and therapists in an interdisciplinary manner.

Assessment identifies the student’s underlying abilities such as: working memory, processing speed, phonological awareness, visual processing, auditory and language processing, as well as academic levels of achievement. Areas of strengths and weaknesses are identified including learning and problem solving techniques used by the student. Results are conveyed in a comprehensive report with recommendations to parents, and to schools when appropriate.

Support and Tutoring

In light of the assessment findings, a remedial educational plan is designed to help the student improve his/her academic skills, utilizing strengths to overcome weaknesses. The plan may be implemented through any of the following interventions:

Therapeutic Interventions:

Occupation therapy is offered to help students with underlying difficulties in visual processing, visual –motor integration, motor coordination, as well as fine motor and gross motor skills development. While Speech-Language therapy is offered to help students facing difficulties in phonological awareness, auditory processing as well as language-based processing skills.

One-on-one Tutoring:

Tutoring sessions are provided in an organized and structured way to help students bridge the gaps in their academic achievement. The sessions utilize a multisensory approach that links the auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic senses that is proven by research to help students achieve progress and succeed. State-of-the-art supplemental and remedial programs and curriculums designed for students with specific learning difficulties are also utilized. Examples of such programs include: Alpha to Omega, Units of Sound and Lindamood-Bell programs.

Small Group Tutoring:

Students work within a group of three to five students, whereby they receive one-on-one individual tutoring for some time, followed by work at various computer stations that use research based programs to enhance learning. The programs are chosen to build literacy, math and typing skills according to the individual educational needs of each student.

Courses for Building Skills:

Individual or group courses are arranged to help students develop positive strategies for organization and time management skills, study skills as well as test taking skills.

Tutoring services are available after school or on Saturdays/Sundays. Intensive concentrated tutoring during summer or long school breaks is often valuable in bridging academic gaps and boosting confidence of students.

Learning Support services at Al-Masar are conducted by specially trained teachers and therapists in an interdisciplinary manner. They are trained and qualified to help the students cope with their challenges and prevent them from being a barrier to achievement. We use ongoing assessments to monitor the students’ progress towards their set goals. Parents are notified of their children’s progress through formal and informal meetings, and follow up with the students’ school teachers may be conducted upon parents’ request.

With the right support, the students’ learning differences may actually turn into assets.

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