5 Strategies to Prevent Regression in Learning-Disabled Students During School Breaks

As students prepare for school breaks, parents and educators worry about the regression that can occur during extended periods away from the classroom. For students with learning disabilities, this regression can be particularly pronounced, making it challenging to catch up once classes resume. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help prevent regression and maintain progress and support learning-disabled students during school breaks.  

Why Does Regression Occur for Learning-disabled Students During School Breaks?

While the school year can be challenging for learning-disabled students with many obstacles and difficulties to overcome, they also have structure and plenty of support. But, when the school year ends and summer break begins, it's common for these students to regress in their learning progress. This setback can be attributed to several factors. 

One of the primary reasons for regression in learning-disabled students is a lack of consistent practice and reinforcement. During the school year, students are typically provided with regular opportunities to practice and reinforce the skills they have learned in the classroom. They don't have these opportunities during extended breaks from school. Students may experience a decline in their abilities, making it tougher for them to pick up where they left off once school resumes. 

Another factor contributing to regression in learning-disabled students is a lack of structure and routine. Many students with learning disabilities thrive in structured environments where routines are clearly established and consistently followed. But, during school breaks, these routines are often disrupted or eliminated, leaving students disoriented and unsure of what to do with their time. This lack of structure can lead to a loss of focus and a decrease in motivation, leading to a decline in learning progress. 

Learning-disabled students may experience regression during school breaks because they have fewer opportunities for social interaction and engagement. Many students with learning disabilities benefit greatly from social interactions with peers and teachers. These interactions can provide learning, growth, and development opportunities. But, during school breaks, these interactions are often reduced or eliminated, leaving students feeling isolated and disconnected.   

Tips and Tricks from New York’s Learning Differences School to Keep Students on Track

Students with learning differences face unique challenges in school, and summer breaks can lead to regression in their progress. It's important to implement strategies to help these students maintain their skills and avoid falling behind. Here are some tips and tricks from a learning differences school in New York that can help keep students on track.  

Enroll the Learning-Disabled Student in a Summer Program

Summer break is an exciting time for most students. They look forward to a much-needed break from schoolwork. But, for students with learning differences, this break can lead to regression in academic and social skills. They can lose the progress they made during the school year. One solution to this problem is enrolling the learning-disabled student in a summer or extended school year (ESY) program. 

ESY programs are designed to help students with disabilities maintain their academic and social progress during breaks. They offer continuation of services, such as tutoring, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, which students may receive during the regular school year. The school district or private organizations can provide these programs and be a valuable tool in helping students avoid regression. 

Summer programs are also an excellent way to help students with learning differences maintain progress. These programs offer a variety of activities to engage the student's interests, provide opportunities for social interaction, and encourage the development of new skills. Many summer programs also offer academic support, such as tutoring or study skills classes, to help students keep up with their academic progress. 

Another benefit of summer programs and ESY programs is they provide structure and routine. Many students with learning differences thrive in structured environments, and these programs can give a sense of normalcy during a time of change. Summer and ESY programs can improve students' self-esteem and confidence by providing a positive and supportive environment. 

Leverage Technology to Maintain Progress

Technology has become essential to education, especially for students with learning differences. With the right apps and tools, students can access resources and practice skills at their own pace and in a way that works best for them. Here are some ways technology can be leveraged to maintain progress for students with learning differences: 

  • Educational Apps: Many educational apps are available that cater to students with learning differences. These apps provide a fun and engaging way to practice different skills, such as reading, writing, and math.  
     
  • Text-to-Speech Software: Students with reading difficulties can benefit greatly from text-to-speech software. This software reads the text aloud, allowing students to hear the words and follow along with the text simultaneously.  
     
  • Speech Recognition Software: This software is an excellent tool for students who struggle with writing. It allows students to speak their thoughts and have them transcribed into text. It can be especially helpful for students who struggle with spelling or have difficulty with fine motor skills. 
     
  • Mind-Mapping Tools: These tools are an excellent way for students to organize their thoughts and ideas. These tools allow students to visually represent information, which can help them better understand and retain the information. 
     
  • Virtual Learning Platforms: These platforms allow students to access resources and assignments online and communicate with teachers and peers. These virtual learning environments can be customized to meet the needs of each student, ensuring they are getting the support they need to maintain progress.  

Take Field Trips into the Community

Field trips to local community spots such as the zoo, museum, or park can help students with learning differences to stay engaged and prevent regression. These visits provide opportunities for students to learn in a new environment, which can be especially beneficial for those who struggle in a traditional classroom setting. For example, a trip to the zoo can provide hands-on learning experiences for students interested in biology or animals.  

Visiting a museum can spark a student's curiosity about history or art. Many museums offer interactive exhibits that give students a more engaging experience than just reading a textbook. Hands-on learning experiences are great for students with learning disabilities. 

A trip to the park allows students with learning differences to engage in physical activities such as hiking, playing on playgrounds, and participating in sports. Physical activity has been shown to help with cognitive functioning and can improve attention and memory. 

In addition to providing learning opportunities, field trips can also promote socialization and teamwork skills. Students can interact with their peers and learn to work together on group activities.  

Creative Play Helps Maintain Skills for Students with Learning Differences

Creative play is another effective way to maintain skills during school breaks. There are a variety of fun activities students can engage in to improve fine motor skills, promote creativity, and improve memory and attention skills. 

Here are some creative play activities parents or caregivers can try: 

  • Building with blocks can be a great way to improve fine motor skills and promote creativity and can help the child develop their spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills. 
     
  • Creating art is a great way to encourage self-expression and help the child develop their creativity and emotional regulation skills. 
     
  • Memory or matching games can improve memory and attention skills. These games can help the child develop their focus, attention to detail, and working memory skills. 

Creative play is an effective way to maintain skills for students with learning differences. It provides a non-threatening environment where children can experiment and learn at their own pace, encouraging them to develop confidence and self-esteem. Parents or caregivers can provide fun and effective learning opportunities during school breaks. 

Register the Learning-Disabled Student in a Sport

Sports can be an excellent way for learning-disabled students to stay active, make friends, and improve their physical and mental well-being. Participating in a sport can help them maintain their skills and prevent regression during school breaks. 

Physical activity can help improve coordination, motor skills, balance, and overall physical health. Sports can help boost self-esteem and confidence, leading to improved academic performance. Joining a sports team can also give learning-disabled students a sense of community and belonging. It allows them to interact with peers with similar interests and build relationships based on teamwork and shared goals.  When choosing a sport for a learning-disabled student, it is essential to consider their individual needs and abilities. Some sports may be more suitable than others, depending on physical limitations, attention span, and social skills.   The benefits of sports participation go beyond physical activity. Being part of a team can help students develop social skills such as communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution. They can also learn valuable life skills such as time management, goal setting, and perseverance.  

Reach out to The Gow School: Learning Disabilities School in New York to Prevent Students from Regressing

The Gow School is a boarding school in rural western New York that has served students with learning disabilities and their families since 1926. As a private school for learning disabilities, the school's mission is to provide a structured, supportive environment where students can learn and grow academically, socially, and emotionally. 

One of the ways that The Gow School can help prevent students from regressing is through its summer program. The summer program is designed to help students maintain the skills they learned during the school year and prevent regression. Our learning disabilities school in NY offers academic classes and activities like sports, arts and crafts, and field trips. 

Learn More About The Gow School Summer Program 

The Gow School provides a supportive environment where students with learning disabilities can thrive. It offers a summer program, individualized instruction, assistive technology, social skills development, college preparatory curriculum, and small class sizes, Gow, a boarding school for learning disabilities in NY, can help prevent students from regressing and ensure their academic success. 

Contact The Gow School today