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Specific Learning Difficulties


Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) is an umbrella term used to describe a group of difficulties that can frequently co-occur. They affect our ability to learn and process information effectively. These difficulties are not connected to our intellectual capabilities and are neurologically based.

The main SPLDs are known as:

Having an SpLD does not predict academic potential
However, the path to academic success will often require additional support and the opportunity for tutor and student to explore a variety of teaching methods and memory techniques to facilitate optimal learning. Students do not all learn in the same way. Often these students can be verbally bright and find it extremely frustrating and taxing to get their ideas down on paper. Most of these students learn in a way that does not fit neatly into the usual academic setting and additional support may include literacy, study skills, planning, organisation, exam techniques and subject-specific guidance. One-to-one tuition can be extremely beneficial for students with SpLDs. Where lessons can be tailored to the individual learner, multi-sensory teaching techniques can be used and time and attention can be paid to the student’s specific needs.

Individuals with Specific Learning Difficulties may often have low self-esteem and lack confidence. In addition they may experience depression, have mental health problems or experience emotional and behavioural difficulties if their learning differences are not recognised and supported appropriately.

‘Learning Difference’ vs. ‘Learning Difficulty’
At Osborne Cawkwell we prefer to use the term ‘learning difference’ as opposed to ‘learning difficulty’. Furthermore we believe passionately that every individual has their own special talents and strengths; usually ​because of their learning difference, ​not in spite of it. A learning difference of any kind does not define who a person is, it merely helps us to facilitate learning in the best way possible and also, crucially, to help us support emotional wellbeing. The tutors on our books do not generally hold accredited training in SpLD teaching, but many do have a wealth of knowledge and experience of working with children with SpLDs.

Please note that information included on our Learning Differences pages are intended as a guide only. Information provided is by no means exhaustive and further reading and research on the suggested websites is highly recommended. Every individual is different and will display their own unique learning profile.