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Learning disabilities cover a wide range of disorders that negatively impact learning. GRA helps students overcome their learning disabilities by having instructors who are able to spend enough time with them to help them develop effective learning strategies

It’s estimated that 2-10% of children have a learning disability and 5% have attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Learning disabilities (such as dyslexia) cover a wide range of disorders that negatively impact learning, affecting speech, hearing, thought, reading, writing, spelling, and/or computing skills. ADHD affects behavior rather than learning ability, but it can also affect learning and school performance. ADHD may also occur alongside learning disabilities, compounding problems in the classroom.

The outlook for students with learning difficulties and disabilities, or ADHD, is disheartening. 45% of students with a learning disability are 3 or more grades below their actual grade level in reading skills and 44% are 3 or more grades below in math. 20% of students with a learning disability drop out of high school compared to 8% of the general population. 10% of students with a learning disability enroll in four-year colleges compared to 28% of the general population. However, these outcomes can be improved significantly when students are given the right tools.

How Learning Disabilities Impact Boys

Two-thirds of students identified as having learning disabilities are male. Additionally, not only are boys three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, they are also four times more likely to be prescribed Ritalin than girls with ADHD.

Learning disabilities can often be seen if a student consistently has trouble with a particular subject (reading, writing, math, etc.) or a certain style of teaching. However, students themselves may blame teachers for picking on them or intentionally failing them. They may claim that a class is useless. They may also exhibit a hopeless or uncommunicative attitude about schoolwork (e.g., “School is boring,” or “I don’t want to talk about it.”). Students with learning difficulties may try different ways of getting out of class, such as complaining about physical illness or getting themselves into trouble so they’re sent to the head office instead of having to sit through class.

Boys with a Learning Disability in High School

Sometimes parents and teachers mistake learning difficulties and disabilities for a lack of motivation, immaturity, or other behavior problems. In high school, it’s clear that boys fall behind girls in academics. Girls consistently outnumber boys on honor rolls by a wide margin, and girls also account for the majority of students in advanced placement classes. Improperly diagnosed or managed learning disabilities partially account for these differences.

If a boy does well in lower grades and then suddenly falls behind in high school, it could be a sign that a learning disability is present. Some students are able to compensate for certain skills in lower grades, but they are less able to cope with the added work in high school, causing a drop in performance.

Grand River Academy's Approach to Boys with Learning Disabilities

While students with learning disabilities may have more difficulties in class, that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of understanding the material. They simply understand the lessons in a different way. For this reason, students with learning disabilities or ADHD are well-suited for life at Grand River Academy's all-boys boarding school. What allows students to overcome their learning disabilities is having instructors who are able to spend enough time with them to help them develop effective learning strategies. They get just that at Grand River.

Our approach to boys' education is simple, yet effective; we maintain small class sizes, foster boy-centric classrooms, engage every student in active, hands-on learning, and dedicate plenty of time to after-class study sessions. With this approach, we've found that it's not even necessary to have designated special education classes. Students with learning disabilities or ADHD are able to learn alongside their peers because the needs of every child are inherently met by our system. Our expert instructors form close ties with students, allowing them to better understand how each boy learns and when a student needs more assistance with a lesson. Students may also participate in our Foundations Learning Program, an elective course that helps students develop highly effective learning strategies, organizational skills, time management skills, and more.

For more information on the types of support GRA provides to students with learning disabilities or ADHD, check out our resources on boys' education - which includes ADHD resources for parents - and contact a Grand River Academy admissions representative today.