'Normal' tuition harmful for kids with learning disabilities

'Normal' tuition harmful for kids with learning disabilities

Students with mild or moderate learning disabilities in mainstream schools are struggling in their studies. All primary schools and many, if not all, secondary schools have allied educators trained to provide learning and behavioural support for these students. Their parents also enrol them in tuition centres or hire private tutors to coach them.

While it is understandable that these students need additional help to cope with their studies, tuition may end up doing more harm than good. Classes offered by regular tuition centres do not cater to students with disabilities, especially those with dyslexia, autism and other learning and behavioural conditions. Private tutors not trained in special education or specialised pedagogies may not know how to coach them either.

For instance, some students with autism manifest limited ability to understand context or see the big picture. Parents should be aware that regular tuition centres are not equipped to help students who need specialised intervention. If they want to hire private tutors, they should consider only qualified special educators.

Noel Chia Kok Hwee

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