– Piya Marker, Director – Head of School, The Aditya Birla Integrated School
Exams mean different things to different people. For students it is an ordeal, and for parents it is a gateway to their child’s career. During this stressful time, students with learning difficulties may be prone to suffering from exam stress. They can experience worry, inattentiveness and cognitive obstruction, and often need a little help to overcome these obstacles and be confident while appearing for an exam. On the occasion of World Happiness day, ahead of the exam season, here are four techniques to help destress your children with learning disabilities and keep the smiles going even while they are under pressure
Creating a study schedule
As the exam dates approach, children tend to become overwhelmed with the burden of the entire syllabus that they need to study. A well-planned routine to prepare for tests ahead of time can make kids with learning disabilities feel less overwhelmed. A study schedule for the days leading up to the exam can help children organize themselves with enough time to prepare, reducing anxiety to a great extent. A timetable will make sure children prioritize important elements of the content that they have left to cover or revise and hence be well-prepared for their exam.
Using relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques may help children with learning difficulties lower their anxiety levels. Deep breathing exercises and a positive attitude can make a significant difference for youngsters with learning difficulties. Taking sufficient breaks between studying helps reduce stress and prepares the mind and body for further activities, including resuming studying. A quick power nap, a walk or a jog outside in the open air are just some activities that children could do to relax.
Improving lifestyle choices
A proper sleep schedule helps improve concentration and fact recall in children. At this point, it is also very important to be mindful of your children’s dietary intake as many food items can trigger their anxiety which will affect their concentration to study. A nutrient rich diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help boost mental focus and keep their energy levels stable. It is also recommended to keep the use of electronic devices to a bare minimum, and only when absolutely necessary, for studies. Exercise is also a great antidote to stress.
Make studying fun
Irrespective of whether or not a child has a learning disability they all have their own unique learning style. As a parent, you can help your children to identify their primary learning style- visual, auditory or kinesthetic. Once you have identified this, you need to approach whatever challenges they might face with optimism, hard work and humor. By doing so, your children will see it as a speed bump rather than a roadblock. You need to make learning fun for your children through stories, facts, situations and real life objects that will also help increase recall and relatability to the subject matter.
As seen, exams can be a time of positivity and focus too if you follow a few simple steps to ease out the stress!