Tips for Teens with Learning Disabilities
*Strategies to Deal With LD’s
*Hacks for Homework
*Social and Behavioral Tips
Teens with LD’s can struggle in and out of school. In addition to daily frustrations with
homework and school work, you may also suffer from low self-esteem or have problems with
social relationships. Here are some things that can help you.
Strategies to Deal With LD
1. Learn all you can about your specific LD. Learning Disability is a general term and
encompasses many different types of LD’s. Some of the main types of LD’s are associated with a
person’s ability in the areas of language, math, reading, and information processing (visual or
auditory). Although there are a number of common symptoms, each type of LD provides unique
difficulties and challenges to individuals. Knowing what you’re up against is the first step to
2. Talk openly and honestly about your LD with your parents. Engage in regular dialogue about
the problems you may be experiencing, and most importantly, ask for their input on what steps
they think can be taken to help overcome any difficulties you are having.
3. Let your parents watch you do homework so they can determine what helps you the most.
For example, do you work better on a computer rather than writing work by hand? Would books
on tape help for reading assignments? What about a tutor to help with certain subjects? Allowing
them to observe will help you find the solutions you need.
4. Be open with your parents about what is working in school and what’s not. Ask your parents
to talk with your teacher about accommodations and modifications in the classroom that can help
you stay focused and learn better.
Hacks for Homework
1. Teens with learning disabilities can be easily distracted, or can have a hard time focusing on
completing homework. Create a quiet place to do homework, free of distractions and clutter. Be
sure to turn OFF the television and your cell phone.
2. Make a plan. High school students with learning disabilities may face problems planning for
long-term projects. Use a large calendar to help plan the project in steps, setting realistic goals.
For mid-term or final exams, ask your teacher for study guides several weeks in advance to help
you study for the test in increments rather than trying to cram it all into one to two days.
3. If you are consistently frustrated, have your parents talk with your teacher. There may be
some modifications teachers can make to the homework so that you don’t fall behind.
4. Apps for smart phones are good “hacks” to helping with homework and staying calm in
school. Here are a few good ones:
Mod MATH. This is a free app for the iPad, targeted at helping students with dyslexia and
dysgraphia do math. It was created by parents of a child with dysgraphia, and remains focused on
providing a clear tool to solve math problems without ever picking up a pencil.
MyTalkTools Mobile. This is an innovative app which enables students with communication
difficulties to say what they want, using a sequence of words, sounds and images. It can be
configured to feature certain images and play certain sounds, so it can be set up for a particular
student to best aid them.
Dyslexia Toolbox. Marketed as being “by dyslexic people, for dyslexic people”, this toolbox
features a whole host of assistive technology features for K-12 students with dyslexia. Type pads,
word prediction, digital overlays and text readers are all included, along with many more neat
features designed with dyslexia in mind.
Stop, Breathe & Think. Fantastic for students with anxiety and stress disorders, this is a
meditation app which encourages users to think about how they’re feeling, while also providing
short mindfulness and meditation exercises tailored to their mood.
Voice Dream Reader. For children and adults with reading disabilities and ADD/ADHD, this
app allows a student to highlight text which will then be read to them. For a learner who
comprehends things better aurally, Voice Dream Reader will give you a real boost.
Social and Behavioral Tips
1. Make sure you have down time. Teens with LDs can feel pressured to keep up with
classmates or feel burned out from the amount of effort it may take to complete class work and
homework. Make sure your daily routine includes down time and activities for fun. These can
include playing sports, listening to music, getting together with friends, or simply being with
2. Interact with people on a daily basis. The more social interactions you have with friends or
even with your parents’ friends, the more practice you will have in proper social interaction and
etiquette and the more comfortable you will feel in social situations.
3. Shake hands or make eye contact when you speak with someone. It’s simple, but it makes
you present and focused – and people will think you are polite.