While there are many techniques to support greater focus, study tips for neurodivergent students can help you find the most effective approach for your situation.
Brain maps, time lining, active listening, and writing down what the teacher says can be helpful to you and your neurodivergent student. Read on to discover some strategies that will help you maintain a focused state during a class. And remember to keep a journal!
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If you’re a college student with a learning difference, there are some study tips for neurodivergent students you should consider.
Whether you’re a nerdy nerd or not, a neurodivergent student needs support and accommodations to succeed.
It’s important to be organized and review the syllabus early, so that you know what assignments are due, what the grading standards are, and how to prepare for tests.
If you have a disability, talk to your school’s disability support office to learn how to get the accommodations you need to succeed. You can find a disability office on the campus of your chosen school or go online to find the right resources.
It’s also a good idea to talk with an advisor about your rights on campus. If you have any concerns about accommodations, make sure you inform instructors of them at the start of each term.
It’s also important to talk with professors about your accommodations early. This will ensure that you have the support you need.
Another good study tip is to look at brain maps. Brain mapping helps identify where certain areas are dysregulated or dysfunctional. Overactive brain regions can cause symptoms of autism,
while underactive areas can affect a student’s ability to complete tasks. In these situations, the brain may experience under or overstimulation. The results will not be perfect, but they should be remarkably helpful.
And with the right tools, students can use brain maps to boost their learning performance and improve their memory.
It is a proven fact that neurodivergent students do not learn well when they are asked direct questions in front of an audience. This is doubly true in an online classroom.
Students who feel intimidated by lecturers might even write down their reflections in a private diary. It is important to be aware of neurodivergent students’ needs and accommodate them appropriately.
Here are some tips to help you teach and learn to make your classroom a welcoming place for neurodivergent students.
The authors of this book have personal experience with both autism and ADHD. While the recommendations described here can be helpful for other neurodivergent students, there are likely to be additional reforms required to make the situation work.
This document is also based on a Canadian and U.S. context, so it may not be applicable to other countries. Nevertheless, the authors have shared their experiences with others who are dealing with the same issues.
The strengths-based approach is not a panacea, as it has been difficult to implement in many classrooms.
Despite its apparent advantages, neurodivergent students often struggle with integrating into mainstream classrooms. As a result, they often spend extra energy to try to blend in. While this approach helps them gain acceptance, it is also a major contributor to anxiety, stress, and burnout.
In fact, many students may even use masks to fit in, such as forcing eye contact, reading out loud, or leaving the classroom when others are chatting. All people in a social setting filter their instincts to some degree, but neurodivergent individuals do this to a greater extent.
The benefits of active listening extend beyond academic success. In addition to improved retention, students with strong listening skills are less likely to feel unprepared or frustrated in class. It can even boost their self-efficacy.
This study tip for neurodivergent students can make all the difference. Listed below are a few benefits of active listening. Read on to discover more about the benefits of active listening and how it can improve your studies.
If you find it difficult to pay attention in a lecture or classroom setting, try sitting near the front of the class. This way, you can maintain eye contact with the instructor and have fewer distractions.
Instructors will likely feel more comfortable giving you the benefit of the doubt if you sit near the front of the classroom. Also, active listening will help you respond more thoughtfully to what you are hearing.
Active listening requires you to actively process the speaker’s words. You must be aware of the speaker’s feelings, body language, and language. This requires concentration and work, but the rewards of active listening will be significant.
This study tip is particularly useful for neurodivergent students, who may struggle to focus on details. A student should be able to identify key junctures in the speaker’s speech, as well as determine whether active listening techniques helped.
Writing Down What the Teacher Says
Neurodivergent students have a harder time understanding and retaining information, which is why they need more than one method of studying.
They often need to hear and repeat information to make sense of it. Luckily, there are ways to make this easier for them. Here are some tips:
First, write down what the teacher says. You may be surprised to learn that a lot of students find this helpful. It’s even more helpful if you’ve written down everything the teacher says.
It’s impossible to be in a classroom that has only neurotypical students, so it’s helpful to have an extra set of hands. If you want to maximize your learning, you can also use the sensory-safe area in the classroom.
When in doubt, write down everything the teacher says. If the teacher explains something in an unusual way, jot down what he or she says. Neurodivergent students may have trouble understanding what the teacher is trying to say.
By taking the time to listen to what they say, the teacher can create a welcoming environment for all students. Ultimately, it will empower neurodivergent students to take charge of their learning journey.
Adapting Learning Structure
Adapting the learning structure for neurodivergent students may present additional challenges. For example, students may have difficulty processing complex concepts due to executive function issues.
Students may be unable to hear the instructor because of multiple tabs open or if a pop-up notification appears.
Moreover, neurodivergent students may have trouble ignoring irrelevant or superfluous information. These factors may prevent neurodiverse students from processing primary information.
While base training is important to all students, adapting the learning structure for neurodivergent students may prove beneficial. For example, reteaching lessons and assignments can be used if the students do not understand the material.
Other learning structures may include paired work or on-the-job training with a peer mentor. By tailoring the learning structure, students can adjust their pace to the pace of their understanding.
Active listening is a powerful method for promoting psychological safety. During the course of a discussion, educators use body language to convey that they are attentive to their students’ needs.
Similarly, students with neurodivergent characteristics may have difficulty expressing themselves verbally. Therefore, teachers must be sensitive to these students’ needs, protecting them from feeling overwhelmed and rushed.
Providing them with different communication options is an effective way to build trust between students and instructors.
Different students respond to various teaching strategies, and teachers must be prepared to adapt their teaching styles. Teachers should monitor student progress and spend sufficient time monitoring student practice.
Adapting the learning structure for neurodivergent students can benefit both students with different learning styles and teachers. The following strategies will assist teachers in accommodating neurodivergent students.
Once you have identified these strategies, the next step is to tailor the structure to the learning styles of neurodivergent students.
Finding a Study Partner
As a student, it can be daunting to find a neurodivergent study partner, but there are several strategies that can help. These include a diversity of learning styles, having multiple study partners, and looking for neurodivergent study partners.
In addition to these tips, the community of practice is a great place to find more information on neurodiversity. In addition to these tips, this site contains several resources that can help you find a neurodivergent study partner.
A positive experience for a neurodivergent student will come with the understanding that they are unique. When they find a neurodivergent study partner, they may discover that they work better together.
While a neurotypical student might be able to work out her own study schedule and set her own study habits, neurodivergent students might not have that luxury.
Finding a study partner for neurodivergent students may seem like an impossible task, but it is possible and can even increase your chances of succeeding in class.
When a neurodivergent student feels bullied, they may attempt to hide their differences. This is called masking, and can improve social acceptance but also cause additional stress, anxiety, and burnout.
Masking may include forcing eye contact, leaving the classroom, and not reading aloud. While everyone filters their instincts in a social setting, neurodivergent people often filter theirs much more than others do.