Founder's Circle: News & Events

What Makes a Great Special Needs Tutor?

I was in the third or fourth year of my special education parent journey when we hit a road block. I had been paying for our child’s extra tutoring for a couple of years, but he wasn’t progressing. He was as far behind his peers as he had been when we started. At the suggestion of another mother, we went to a tutor who specialized in learning disabilities.

Until that point, I had no idea that there was a difference between a tutor with teacher credentials and a learning disability specialist. That year was the turning point for us. Our child started catching up and as his confidence grew, my anxiety and worry decreased.

General tutors are wonderful for most children. They are usually very skilled in the area of academics they are tutoring and their services are content based. This extra attention and expertise is invaluable for a child who does not have learning disabilities. But for those children that do have a learning disability, this type of help does not create the same academic gains. Unfortunately, it can even create tremendous frustration for all involved when hours and dollars are spent without the child’s academic performance improving.

At SEALKIDS we try very hard to match each child with the right type of tutoring and resources. Our learning disability specialist tutors are trained to understand the building blocks of learning, the roadblocks that learning disabilities present, and the interventions and techniques to overcome them. Only after the roadblocks are removed can content be learned. They not only understand why the child is struggling, they know what to do.  I asked one of our service providers what they look for when hiring learning disability tutors:

  1. Training- Intensive and specialized training in learning disability interventions and therapies
  2. Organization- Organized tutoring creates more confident students and allows accurate reporting to align with IEP requirements and goals
  3. Temperament- The ability to remain calm and patient is essential when working with children with learning disabilities
  4. Intuition- The ability to discern underlying issues that may be creating negative behavior and roadblocks to learning
  5. Authentic Empathy- They care deeply. If there is not a good match between tutor and child, the child won’t feel accepted and real learning will be impossible.

I am forever grateful to the LD tutor who changed our lives. I remember that I could tell there was a difference during the very first session with her. She seemed to know things and see things that other tutors had not. She showed us the way and walked with our son until he no longer needed her. I wish this for every LD child…and for every parent. It is wonderful to know that SEALKIDS’ service providers can meet the needs of every child AND every different type of learning disability. We are blessed by their excellence and their care for NSW children.


Wishing your families great blessings and health,

Suzanne and the SEALKIDS Team