In a traditional classroom with a high rate of average students, a delayed student is lost with the lesson. He is apathetic to do assignments, distant from schoolmates and invisible to everyone including the teacher. This student becomes frustrated with the whole school environment. He is usually left behind in a fast-paced chalk and talk setting. Everyone seems to understand straightforward instructions when given once, except him.
The delayed student cannot make sense of instructions. He takes long to process what the teacher says or writes on the board. He may not read and understand the words in the text book as fast as the other students do. Teachers may work with average students to maintain evaluation scores and ignore the needs of the delayed student.
Who is a delayed student
A delayed student is one who is challenged mentally, physically or behaviourally. A student can be mentally challenged severely as in the case of retardation and low-functioning autism. The student can also be slightly challenged. There are unnoticeable cases of mild autism, having a speech impediment, dyslexia or showing difficulty in understanding and communicating.
A physically challenged student is one whose body parts do not function normally. Challenged body parts include deformed arms, hands, legs, feet, eyes and ears that slow down students physically. Students who suffer from asthma, severe allergies, and heart problems miss a lot of school and learn the lessons sporadically.
A delayed student with behavioural issues can be identified in two extremes, the loud troublemaker or the antisocial scared-cat. The disruptive student uses most of his or her energy to disturb an entire class with ridiculous comments and jokes.
The timid student does not answer questions in the class or interacts with other students. This student prefers to remain lost with the lesson rather than socialise with others for clarification.
Both extremes of students with behavioural issues are usually linked to deeper issues outside of the school. Teachers must keep their learning needs in mind when preparing their lessons.
What the delayed student needs
A delayed students does not necessarily need to be placed in a different school with other challenged students. They simply need compassionate teachers to create an active environment that caters to their needs. An interactive environment is also beneficial to the other students who each has his or her own needs.
Teachers can introduce flash cards, charts, videos, music, costumes, skits, group projects, bouncing balls and hula hoops to the classroom. These resources can make every lesson more practical and interesting.