Side by Side’s learning support is flexible in nature and tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. Learning support is also known as early intervention for younger children. We work with students who have a variety of individual learning styles, learning levels, and difficulties, ranging from mild learning disabilities to severe needs.
Programmes may include language, mathematics, social, behaviour, attention, or communication targets, or a combination of these. The materials used are often home-made, adapted or based on ordinary games and toys, household items, or modified academic materials. Some materials are specifically made and used for the issue, or issues, being addressed.
There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ session. Some sessions involve 10 activities, some involve two activities. A child will very rarely be doing only one thing, or sitting in the same place, for the entire session. Depending on the client’s needs, sessions may include targeted play, sensory integration techniques, specific learning programmes, behaviour management, writing, reading, memory games, multi-sensory instruction, or targeted conversation – the majority of session incorporate a combination of these, using a range of techniques and materials. Work on the computer and/or the iPad can also be incorporated into sessions, but this will only be for a maximum of 20% of the session time, as we believe that parents can be trained to work with computers and iPads at home, and that for the majority of session time at Side by Side, students should be actively involved and engaged with the specialist, rather than with a computer or iPad.
All activities aim to work towards achieving specific goals. Learning support can guide those with:
- expressive and receptive language delays
- difficulties with organisation
- attention or executive function difficulties
- difficulties in the area of study skills
- difficulties with focus, attention or concentration, such as ADD or ADHD
- Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disorders
- Down Syndrome
- sensory disorders
- auditory processing difficulties
- memory difficulties
- vocabulary development
- writing difficulties, including dysgraphia
- selective mutism
- communication disorders
Progress reports, which include recommendations to reinforce and support our work at home and/or school, are sent home approximately every 12 sessions.