The ArborBridge Approach to Learning Differences

Learning differences/disabilities are common, affecting up to 1 in 5 young people in the United States alone. Students with learning differences make up an important part of today’s education community, and with the right support and instruction, they can reach their goals inside and outside the classroom.

What we do

ArborBridge uses a 3-part process to prepare these students for success:

  1. The initial conversation. The staff member who sets up your tutoring program will ask you for extensive information about your student, their needs, and the learning methods that work best for them. We welcome any documentation, learning plans, and teacher notes that you think will help us customize your tutoring.
  2. The tutor matching process. While all ArborBridge tutors are trained to work with learning differences, we factor in the full picture of your student’s needs and goals—both in the context of a learning difference and beyond. We match them with the tutor who most closely fits that bill.
  3. The work itself. ArborBridge tutors use specific, customized strategies to support students with learning differences. For specific examples of strategies for students with ADHD, check in next month when we post Part 2 of this series.

 

What our tutors do

At ArborBridge we empower all of our tutors to provide individualized instruction for students with learning differences. For example, I just finished running a specialized training with all of our tutors on how to best work with students who have ADHD, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder, and dyscalculia.

When I asked tutors what they enjoy most about working with these students, many said they appreciate the chance not only to introduce students to new ways of thinking, but to learn from their students as well. Students often know their own needs best, and it’s exciting to expand our repertoire of strategies by listening and learning alongside our students, even as we coach them through the tried-and-true steps of test prep.

ArborBridge tutors also recognize that two students with the same diagnosis can manifest their learning differences in completely different ways. Furthermore, even though students with learning differences may have circuitous methods of attacking test questions, those processes might work very well.

For these reasons, our tutors know it’s important to be patient and flexible, adjusting instructional approaches to each student’s individual needs and remaining strategic about the content and skills we prioritize with each student.

 

Check in over the next few months as we explore four of the most common learning differences and how they affect test prep.

About Erin Ohsie-Frauenhofer

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