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Learning differences are neurologically-based processing deficits. These processing deficits can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing, and/or math. They can also interfere with high level skills such as organization, time management, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention.

The Vanguard School specializes in learning differences of varying levels. We offer individualized pathways for every student. This, along with our small student to teacher ratio, enables students to get one-on-one attention. Our students may have a specific diagnosis like: dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADD, ADHD, or High Functioning Autism (Asperger's). Whatever their diagnosis, our students are whole individuals with more than just challenges to remediate. At The Vanguard School, we create an environment where differences are acknowledged, strengths are celebrated, and students are empowered to overcome challenges. With our specialized faculty, Vanguard students often find academic success for the first time in their lives.

Want to learn more? Please e-mail our Admissions Team or give us a call at 1 (863) 676-6091.

Below are a few examples of how our students learn differently and how The Vanguard School can help. Please click on a Learning Difference to read more information.


Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Dyscalculia

Dysgraphia

Dyslexia

High Functioning Autism (Asperger's)

Helpful Links




Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Definition

A disorder that includes difficulty focusing, staying on task, paying attention, and difficulty controlling behavior.

How Vanguard Can Help

At the Vanguard School, teachers present concepts in mini-lessons which are structured, short and to the point, using a variety of teaching methods and strategies to address all learning styles. This includes visual aids such as color coding concepts and graphic organizers. Our students work in areas that are comfortable and free of distractions with a small student to teacher ratio. We teach the use of technology to aid with completing assignments/projects/due dates.


Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Definition

A disorder similar to ADD but has difficulty controlling behavior and hyperactivity.

How Vanguard Can Help

Through the use of proximity control, visual cues, subtle reminders such as notes on desk or a slight touch on the shoulder, we help remind these students to get back on task without causing them embarrassment of being called out in front of their peers. Other strategies are listed under ADD accommodations.


Dyscalculia

Definition

A disorder that affects the ability to understand numbers and learn mathematical facts. Students with this learning difference may have poor comprehension of math symbols, numerical memorization and organization, difficulty telling time and counting.

How Vanguard Can Help

At the Vanguard School, teachers use math games, reduced amount of written assignments, one-on- one instruction as well as small group instruction. Other tools include using graphing paper to help students line up numbers in order to reduce errors, using concrete examples, and visual aids. Students learn to use calculators and have extended time as needed to reduce the amount of stress.


Dysgraphia

Definition

A disorder that affects fine motor skills and handwriting abilities. This is inclusive of unintelligible handwriting, inconsistent spacing, poor spatial planning on paper, poor spelling, difficulty in composition, and difficulty in writing and thinking simultaneously.

How Vanguard Can Help

Tools utilized at the Vanguard School include assisting technology such as speech-to-text programs. Additionally, teachers will provide hard copy of notes, students may photo notes via their smart phones and tablets, use spell check and talking dictionaries. Other strategies include teaching through the use of graphic organizers and teaching the steps/procedures for each writing type.


Dyslexia

Definition

A general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence. The severity can differ in each individual from mild to severe.

How Vanguard Can Help

A variety of programs and methods are employed at our school. Students who have struggled for years trying to learn phonics are taught how to “chunk” words by prefixes, base/roots, and suffixes. This allows the student to increase comprehension due to possessing a plethora of morphgraphs or chunks of words that have meaning. Additionally, students enjoy daily teacher read aloud and rich discussions which is always a young adult novel that other students their age have read, but our student do not yet possess the skills to read independently. Students are encouraged to listen to audio books, use technology such as kindles, nooks, and eBooks. Students are allowed to go to the reading classroom at their request to have materials, tests read to them by the reading teacher. Strategies such as note taking, visualizing, paraphrasing, and summarizing also aid in the comprehension of text. Students are NEVER singled out to read aloud in class but rather read privately during one-on-one instruction.


High Functioning Autism (Asperger's)

Definition

Asperger’s Syndrome is related to autism and characterized by higher than average intellectual ability in conjunction with impaired social skills and restrictive, repetitive patterns of interest and activities.

How Vanguard Can Help

Our students with Asperger’s Syndrome have the opportunity to enter an Honor’s Academy on-site, as well as qualify for dual enrollment (college & high school credits) at Polk State College. Students are provided social skills training as well as an independent life skills class. In the classroom, students are taught to understand figurative language as well as how to read facial expressions and body language. Students with this type of learning difference are extremely literal. A social pragmatic counselor is utilized as well as a certified mental health counselor. Our specialist in executive functioning skills is available for one-on-one instruction, as well. Students have a highly structured day so routines are taught and adjusted as needed.



Helpful Links

If you are interested in more information about any of the aforementioned, please feel free to visit the follow excellent resources.


www.helpguide.org

www.understood.org

www.idonline.org



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