Learning Differently

We all learn but each in our own unique way. Some of these individual methods do not work very well in school and where possible characteristics are grouped and help provided to people with certain common characteristics. No two people are the same and each will have their own ways of approaching a task so the following are simply guidelines to accepted learning differences.

 

Dyslexia

see our page on Dyslexia in Malaysia

 

Dyscalculia is akin to Dyslexia but the trouble is with numbers. It is characterized by an overreliance on counting, difficulty with remembering basic facts and recognizing symbols. Many of the same symptoms of Dyslexia are present. Determining if the child is dyscalculic is complicated by the fact that Math is a sequential subject and many of the individual’s problems may be a result of confusion in the early years.
At Hils Learning we start at the beginning again and move forward at the pace dictated by the individual’s learning. We provide training in different ways to approach learning basic facts – for example moving the whole body has been shown to be very effective in learning so we incorporate movement to help memory. In addition we play number and math games to take the fear out of Math and enable the child to be successful. Thanks to Dr Steve Chinn’s guidance and training our staff have all been trained to recognize and remediate for these children.

 

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by the combination of distractibility, difficulty sustaining attention (on what they are not interested in), hyperactivity, and most of all impulsivity. School is often a very difficult place for these children.
At the Hils Learning centre in Mont’Kiara, KL, Malaysia, we work with the individual child and focus on their abilities. With individualized attention it is easier to stay on task and focus. Attention has its limits – we cannot focus on everything – many of these children are focusing on so many things at one time that they are not paying detailed attention to anything. The child with ADHD needs to learn how to organize their attention and at Hils Learning we help them do this through games, developing an awareness of time, and helping them to think through consequences.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the term used to describe a group of disorders including Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Development Disorder ( Not Otherwise Specified PDD-NOS).
ASD – Asperger Syndrome is a difficulty with social communication. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to be socially awkward, often fixated on specific interests and have great difficulty with recognizing social cues, reading body language and communicating effectively.
At Hils Learning Malaysia, we work with children who generally fit the previous Asperger Syndrome criteria. We focus on improving social behavior through games, techniques developed by Michelle Garcia Winner and her program of Socialthinking, and working in small groups to foster understanding of everyday occurrences that create social issues. We play games to learn how to lose and win gracefully, we practice social conventions such as greetings, and we work with language to ensure complete understanding. If you do not understand emotions it is often difficult to comprehend what you read so we make sure that we include written material to help comprehension.

 

Individual Learning Support
Individual learning support is the magic key to unlocking the potential for many children who are not thriving at school.
At Hils Learning our screening process involves getting to know some background and knowledge of the child. Matching the child with the best possible facilitator to work with their unique personality is an important first step for the child’s learning. Success is what counts. Usually by the time a child finds her way to us her confidence has already been battered. A supportive adult who understands and can identify with the child’s difficulties is an invaluable support. Confidence, the key ingredient, is built through success and support. Our facilitators are all trained to identify what the child can do and they are able to help the child recognize and focus on her abilities. Given our one on one learning opportunities we are able to work with Individual Education Plans (IEP) for each of our students. The power of one on one learning is immense.

 

English Language Learners – ELL
Many children who have been unable to gain admission to international schools in Malaysia find their way to us. We have facilitators who are both qualified in teaching language and in working with learning difficulties. This is a powerful combination for we have found that many of the children who failed to gain admission to schools in Kuala Lumpur also had difficulty in school in the home country. Many of the techniques we have learned and use for learning difficulty are also appropriate for the ELL learner. Memory activities to remember vocabulary, listening activities such as the use of phonic phones to help pronunciation, clay work to create understanding of language, and rhyming games for sounds. We work one on one or in small groups of not more than three children to develop language and we avoid if at all possible putting a child in a group with another from the same language group. We use movement and games to enhance learning and we provide a language rich experience for the child to progress as rapidly as possible.

 

Home Schooling
There are many reasons for homeschooling – there are families who, for social or religious reasons do not wish to send their children to the schooling available to them here in Malaysia. There are children with learning difficulties who refuse to go to school for fear of ridicule or bullying. There are children who have been refused entry into international schools and there are children who may need occasional credits to finalize their college entry requirements.
Our belief is that homeschooling is largely managed by the home. The parent takes responsibility for the education of the child and we will provide guidance and instruction. We will take a child for a maximum of 15 hours a week and will supply part of the home school program but the remainder will be covered by the parent/tutor at home. At Hils Learning we provide for two aspects of homeschooling. We have an advisory for home schooling and this supplies many of the answers to questions parents may have such as: Should I use a Canadian, American UK syllabus? What happens when I can no longer help the child myself? How does my child sit for exams? Is the program accredited? Can he attend College from this program? etc
Our advisory service involves working with families to help them to choose an appropriate homeschooling program for their children. We organize a proctor for exams and if needed we help parents liaise with institutions.
We also cater to number of children who are being homeschooled. Because we take children for a maximum of 15 hours we are not able to conduct the whole program part of it has to be completed at home.
In addition to our Special Needs and language qualifications we have facilitators who can provide specialist help in: Law, Fine Arts, English, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Business, Economics, Psychology, IT, Linguistics, Spanish, Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin, and Social Studies.