Top Teaching Tips for Children with SEND

Top teaching tips for children with SEND, picture of coloured pencils

This post is sponsored by Tutor House

As lockdown continues and many parents are still struggling to teach their child with additional needs, Elise Pearce from Tutor House gives us her top tips to make homeschooling a little bit easier.

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Teaching Tips for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Teaching children with special educational needs (SEN) can be tough. When you’re working with students who have a variety of learning difficulties and/or behavioural challenges, it’s only natural to expect some trying days at home or in the classroom. Additional learning needs call for a little extra patience, understanding and compassion. 

Every student learns differently and this principle is no different for children with learning difficulties. It’s important to remember that the teaching methods that are traditionally used in mainstream classrooms are not always suitable for SEN students. And with the huge variety of learning tools out there, the teaching methods most suited to students with learning difficulties can often be hard to find.

Tutor House, a UK based tutoring agency that specialises in providing tutors for SEN students, has developed the following list of teaching tips to assist the parents and teachers of students with Dyslexia and other learning difficulties. 

1. Be as visual as you can with your teaching. Visual learning is more accessible; try to include diagrams, flow charts and pictures wherever possible.

2. Think about the level of distraction around the classroom and how you can reduce such disruptions. Working in a quiet, comfortable room with as little to distract the brain as possible will allow students to focus.

3. Play to the strengths of dyslexia whilst teaching. Really think about the positives - creativity, imagination and a hands-on approach - and integrate them into your teaching techniques. 

4. Use mind maps when teaching new and intimidating subjects. Mind maps work the way the brain works, which isn't in nice neat lines. Mind maps are a very visual way of teaching, and because the brain best memorizes keywords and images, they are ideal for teaching students with dyslexia. 

5. Help to develop organisational skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Use colour coded folders to separate different subjects or subject topics and encourage them to implement and stick to a daily routine. Schedules are very useful for students with SEN as they help them know what to expect and what is coming up next.

6. Use approved specialist software to diversify teaching techniques and encourage a willingness to learn. Software such as word and grammar-based games, word processors and digital voice recordings are useful for teaching dyslexic students. Get creative and make it fun, and your student/child will respond to these new and exciting teaching techniques. 

7. Students with dyslexia may struggle with short-term memory and concentrating for long periods of time. Be aware that you may have to repeat yourself often and try to divide up lesson time with short breaks including learning games, discussion and active learning techniques.

8. Focus on verbal reasoning. Don't just hand out sheets of paper for the student to read, as they may struggle to absorb and understand the information. Discuss the topics with them and engage them in conversation; it's a much more effective way of teaching.

9. Remember the power of praise. Positive reinforcement is the best tool of encouragement for any student. Praise can help build self-confidence and increase your child’s motivation to learn.

10. Do not be critical. Criticism can really knock a child with SEN’s confidence. Criticism or negative comments may cause your student to shut you out and create a negative atmosphere around their learning environment. 

11. Don’t ask them to read out loud or copy text from a whiteboard. Dyslexic children will really struggle with these activities. Instead, encourage them to discuss topics out loud and introduce highlighters to help them easily find the most important pieces of information. 

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to SEN teaching. SEN can present themselves in different ways and Tutor House works closely with families to figure out the perfect plan for each individual student. For this reason, one-on-one tuition can be an invaluable tool in helping a student with SEN  to fully grasp their school work. 

Tutor House SEN Tuition

What benefits come from working with a Tutor House private tutor?

  • A personalised and specifically designed course of specialist study skill sessions.
  • Students will learn new ways to break down information into manageable chunks, this will improve their learning and information retention.
  • Students are taught memory techniques to improve recall.
  • Tutors can help dyslexic students to improve their organisation skills.
  • Sessions can be solely focused on dyslexia learning or can be incorporated into other forms of tuition that the student may require, such as subject-specific tuition and coursework / exam preparation.

If you are interested in the additional educational support an experienced SEN tutor can offer, please visit the Tutor House website: https://tutorhouse.co.uk/a/dyslexia 

This post is sponsored by Tutor House. Read more about sponsored posts on SNJ

Also read:


  • SEND Community Alliance Join us
  • Books SNJ recommends
  • Neurodiversity Celebration Week
  • SNJ FLOW CHARTS

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