Supporting social and emotional well-being of students with learning difficulties
Alongside academics, social and emotional well-being of students needs to be a priority and doing so requires purposeful consideration and intervention. It is difficult to determine which of the two factors – academics or social and emotional well-being of students, are responsible for a good performance at school. Still, it is crucial to devise intervention strategies based on both these factors. Read about academic intervention here. Following are some strategies to support the social and emotional well-being of students in school.
- Make social and emotional well-being of students a part of their individual education plan (IEP). Special educators and counsellors may target specific goals in these domains.
- Make the student aware of their strengths and limitations and why they may be learning differently than their peers. If they take more time to read, or do maths, explain the reason. Demystify learning disability or ADHD. Do not let the child believe they are ‘dumb’ just because of a label or a diagnosis.
- Recognise and appreciate their strengths and talents, take time to praise them in the classroom to develop a positive self-concept and self-worth.
- Be sensitive to their needs and feelings in the classroom and at home. Ask them what they might be finding hard. Do not pressurise students to do things that are uncomfortable for them. For example, students with dyslexia or reading difficulties may not want to read aloud in front of the class, do not force them. Instead, provide them with an alternative task to show their skills and understanding.
- Foster inclusive practices and interactions in the classroom for supporting social and emotional well-being of students.
- Provide positive feedback before moving on to critique. Do not just find faults in their work or behaviour, instead appreciate what they do well, and recommend what they can do better next time.
- Encourage a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. Tell the students that their abilities and skills can change over time, as they learn and grow. There is always room to grow and do better; inculcate this mindset in your students. Learn more about the same through this video.
- Set them up for success and provide opportunities for the same. Set reasonable goals for them which are realistic and achievable within a given time frame. If the expectations are too high or unreasonable for their learning level, and all they experience is failure, they are bound to have a negative self-concept and dislike that skill/subject.