Training on learning disabilities

for parents and teachers.

New strategies and methodologies

and ICT contribution.

2015-1-ES01-KA201-015806

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WORKSHOP FOR PARENTS OF PUPILS WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

1. AIMS/OBJECTIVES

  • Improve the parents´ knowledge about learning difficulties and the related educational and emotional needs of their children.
  • Provide the most successful strategies to help improve their child´s learning accessible to parents
  • Show the parents those products of the KA201 project that are most useful to them, especially those in the portal about learning difficulties and the videogames.
  • Improve the emotional atmosphere at home by teaching them strategies that will help them, as parents, to prevent stress and other negative emotions that often arise in children with learning difficulties and their families.
  • Promote a positive family-school relationship, adjusting their expectations of each other as significant educational contexts for the children.

2. CONTENTS

1.- Scientific update about specific strategies to favour learning processes in children with learning difficulties.

  • Characteristics and educational needs of children with learning difficulties: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dysorthographia, dyscalculia, attention disorder with or without hyperactivity and non-verbal learning disorder.
  • Pupils´ rights.
  • Services available for children and their families.

2.- Emotional education for children with learning difficulties and useful strategies at home: self-esteem, positive thinking, resilience, self-control, etc.

3.- Practical resources to help pupils with these difficulties to learn in a more effective way.

  • Compensation strategies to help these pupils improve their learning processes for each specific learning difficulty. Specific strategies to help them do their homework and study at home.
  • Experiences developed by associations that work with children with learning difficulties.
  • How to use the suggested videogames as educational tools.
  • How to work with the materials proposed in the project portal.

4.- The family-school relationship:

  • Guidelines to improve communication and collaboration with the school.

3. METHODOLOGY

Our proposal is to use a methodology which gives parents an opportunity to learn from experience, reflect on their problems at home and the decisions that they need to take related to their children´s learning difficulties and daily situations.

To do so, the work sessions with parents will provide an opportunity to:

  • Share information: the psychopedagogical professional helps parents to share information by providing facts, concepts and theoretical information about learning difficulties and educational processes within the familiy.
  • Acquire and develop skills to facilitate changes: through techniques such as role-playing, modelling and behavioural practice of these skills that will enable parents to have a better understanding of what to do and how to do it, than with a theoretical exposition.

Using practice sessions we will help parents to improve their ICT skills to be able to use them to help their children.

  • Changing preconceived ideas: on one hand, we will try to help them develop their awareness about parenting styles and their influence on their children´s development; on the other hand, we will try to review preconceived attitudes, values and ideas about child development and education as well as the children´s perception of their parents´ behaviour .
  • Problem solving: applying problem solving to daily life situations. We will provide parents continuous stimulation and feedback about their personal changing process. The activities to be done at home will have a follow up in the next session.
  • Empowerment and self competence: we will try to increase their parenting skills enabling them to use all educational resources available, as they gain progressively a sense of self competence and confidence.
  • Experience sharing: the educational experience of the parents is the basis for the reflection and growth of the group.

The following strategies will be used:

  • Group dynamics.
  • Role-play.
  • Viewing and discussion of videos.
  • Power point presentations.
  • Oral presentations.
  • Practice with new technologies to use proposed tools
  • Assembly and group reflection.

4. ACTIVITIES AND TIME SCHEDULE

Four sessions, of an hour and a half each, will be organised for the following learning difficulties groups: ADHD, on one hand; and dislexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and non- verbal disorder, on the other.

First Session: Introduction to the topic.

  • Presentation activity for participants.
  • Activity to check on their previous knowledge and expectations of the course.
  • Power point presentation and reflection about the characteristics and needs of pupils with learning difficulties.
  • Activities to “experience” some of these difficulties and improve their real understanding of the problems that their chilidren face up to on a daily basis.

Second session: Emotional aspects.

  • Activity to help parents to become aware of their children´s emotions and behaviour when facing their learning difficulties.
  • Group activity about strategies that improve problem-situations that parents shared in the previous activity (i.e. strategies to improve self-control in conflict situations, positive thinking, improving communication skills, etc.)
  • Activity to understand the effect that emotions have on school learning (and vice versa)
  • Educational guidelines to improve the emotional development of their children.

Third Session: School aspects.

  • Brainstorming activity on learning difficulties that the child and the family encounter on a daily basis related to school tasks.
  • Group work to propose helpful solutions related to the difficulties identified in the previous activity.
  • Power point about the most useful compensational strategies to help their children with learning difficulties.
  • Big group activity about support resources: in the school and at home.
  • Group reflection about the importance of family-school collaboration.
  • Role-play about family-school communication.

Fourth Session: Presentation of the resources available in the portal and the video game.

  • Presentation of the project products: portal about learning difficulties and videogames.
  • Guided practice on the use of these products.
  • Synthesis activity about the main aspects analysed during the course and other related issues that have not been analysed in depth.
  • Final evaluation questionnaire.
  • Assessment activity to close the course: “What do I take in my rucksack?”

5. RESOURCES

Bibliography available in the portal.

Digital board or projector.

Portable PC, mobile phones and tablets.

Internet connection.

The participants will be provided with documents about compensation strategies, access to the project portal and other materials used that parents find useful.

6. ASSESSMENT

At the beginning of the course there will be an assessment activity to find out about the parents´ knowledge of learning difficulties and their expectations about the course.

At the end, they will be asked to do an evaluation of the course, both through a group dynamic activity and an individual and anonymous questionnaire.

The assessment results will be included in the statistical data analysis of results that will allow us to evaluate our own intervention and will be included in the final project report.