Every child’s learning journey is unique. Many children encounter hurdles that can impede their progress and it is important to identify these challenges early to seek the necessary intervention. Implementing effective strategies can significantly aid children in overcoming these obstacle and assist them in achieving great results at school. Here are some common learning difficulties kids face and ways to address them: 

1. Dyslexia: Children with dyslexia struggle to read, write, and spell. They might struggle identifying words or remembering how to spell certain words. 

2. ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder): Children with ADHD struggle with focusing for long periods of time, impulse control, and hyperactivity, making it challenging to concentrate in the classroom. 

3. Dyscalculia: Dyscalculia affects mathematical abilities, leading to difficulties in understanding numbers, calculations, and mathematical concepts. 

4. Auditory Processing Disorder: APD affects how the brain processes auditory information, leading to challenges in understanding spoken language and following instructions. 

5. Visual Processing Disorder: Visual processing disorders hinder a child’s ability to interpret and make sense of visual information. 

6. Executive Functioning Issues: Executive functioning issues affect planning, organization, time management, and self-regulation skills in children. 


Effective Solutions: 


1. Individualized Education Plan (IEP): Creating personalized learning plans tailored to the child’s specific needs. These personalized plans are constantly modified to suit the child’s learning needs. 

2. Multisensory Learning: Use methods that engage multiple senses simultaneously, such as incorporating visuals, auditory aids, and hands-on activities to reinforce learning. 

3. Specialized Instruction: Seek specialized tutoring or interventions targeted at the particular difficulty the child is facing, such as reading specialists for dyslexia or math interventions for dyscalculia. 

4. Positive Reinforcement and Support: Encourage and celebrate small achievements, fostering a positive learning environment that boosts the child’s confidence and motivation. 

5. Structured Routines and Organization: Establish consistent routines and provide organisational strategies to help children manage tasks and stay focused. 

6. Collaboration and Communication: Maintain open communication between parents, teachers, and specialists to ensure a cohesive approach to addressing the child’s learning difficulties. 


Understanding and addressing these learning difficulties requires patience, empathy, and a collaborative effort between parents, educators, and professionals. By implementing tailored strategies and providing the necessary support, children can navigate these challenges and thrive academically and personally. 


Catch Up Kids designs programmes that specifically target your child’s skills deficits. Our aim is to assist your child with their learning difficulties and to ensure that the difficulties they are facing do not hinder their progress or lead to grade retention. Our specialised one-on-one sessions will assist your child in reaching their age-appropriate developmental milestones. 


Children with common learning difficulties struggle in the classroom and tend to always fall behind. To avoid grade retention, get your child the support that they need by contacting Catch Up Kids. 

Remedial / Extra Classes – classes within a school setting- have aspects of traditional schooling, but focus on providing individual instructions, instead of giving instructions to the class as a whole. Teachers who teach remedial classes have specialised training that allows them to understand the individual needs of students with Autism, ADHD, other neurological conditions, and learning disorders. Due to their training, these teachers are often more patient, as they have learned about the behaviours which these children may display.

Remedial / Extra Classes also tend to be quite a bit smaller, but still focus on the social and communicative areas of peer-play and teamwork. These classes are more accommodating for the sensory needs of the children by often allowing frequent breaks for regulation and sensory input.

The four main steps of remedial teaching/classes are:

  • Prepping and collecting supporting materials that are specially for the abilities and capacity of the students.
  • Adapting the educational curriculum to the abilities of the children, especially through organising the resources in a way that is easier to understand for differently wired minds. This also includes making sure that the work is challenging (to prevent boredom, and thus non-compliance), but not so challenging that the child no longer wants to attempt the lesson.
  • Choosing appropriate teaching strategies, and teaching at a slower pace than in traditional classes. One of the strategies includes starting the lesson with an achievable goal, so that the child is motivated and willing to attempt a more demanding task.
  • Organising teaching materials, including materials that provide multi-sensory learning, interesting methods of learning, engaging colours, images, and themes.

In remedial classes, there is also a primary focus on rewarding trying, not just rewarding the desired outcome. This is the most important aspect of special needs education, as there is no incentive for the child to try if they do not know it is safe to make a mistake. Children with special needs often struggle can heavily impact their confidence and sense of self-worth, so it must be ensured that the environment is a calm, engaging, positive space for each individual.

Sometimes children can attend remedial / extra Classes independently, and other times, the child might require facilitation from a tutor, instructor, or therapist. School facilitation is the process in which the child is accompanied by a special-needs professional. The professional may be simply a supportive measure, or the needs of the child may be more intensive. Intensive support may look like running a toileting programme, showing the child how to complete activities and completing it with them, teaching communication methods, assisting social interaction, applying consistency in regard to complying with classroom rules and schedules, and explaining situations that the child might not understand or might be distressed by.

Remedial classes are an option for children with special needs, even if they are a higher-needs child. Should these needs require even more support than just a remedial class, school facilitations are an option to create the optimal environment of learning and trying!

Article by: A. Pascoe (2023)

There are various tutoring companies around the world that specifically teach tutors how to tutor for children with learning and/or neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and autism. There are also companies through which tutors with special needs tutoring freelance and have experience doing so.


The core principles of learning disabilities are an important thing to understand and must be discussed to decide if this is a suitable route for the child. The first principle is understanding that children who need this extra assistance often have information processing deficits and are doing their best. Their brains simply process information differently. Often, if a child is non-verbal or has different educational needs, there is often the assumption that these children have less potential than they do. tutor trained in remedial work is often able to recognise thew child’s personal abilities and potential, and through doing so, challenge the child with realistic goals. This mode of tutoring is so important, as not only does it support the child’s needs, but it also assures that the child is not underestimated. In fact, it is essential that these children are not underestimated, as they made get bored with the task at hand, not complete the task properly, refuse to engage in the task, and feel discouraged because they do not feel as they are achieving anything. This leads to increased behavioural problems, and a deep-rooted frustration at not being understood or catered for.  It is also so important that the child is not given work that is above their current abilities, as they may also lead to that frustration, frequent feelings of failure, and a lack of motivation. Remedial tutoring is designed to make sure that these children do not encounter these disappointments, but also that if they do feel this way, they are properly communicated with and supported.

Any disability a child does possess does not mean that they have a low-level of intelligence. Tutoring cannot “cure” disabilities- it is simply a tool in the toolbox of managing these difficulties.


Some indicators that your child may need learning disabilities tutoring include, but are not limited to: struggling to write, difficulty speaking, having a challenging time translating their thoughts and requests into words, reading deficits, reading too early for learning milestones (this is also often paired with verbal communication deficits), struggling to form letters, or even not being able to write on the lines of the page. If your child has special needs, being non-verbal for example, these tutors will know how to form a connection of two-way communication, in whichever manner is needed for the child to have their needs met.

Learning disabilities tutoring can be a wonderful, helpful addition to remedial schooling, occupational & speech therapy, and medical treatment.

There are so many different options that can be chosen to support a child with Special Education Needs (SEN)I n need of extra learning and everyday help. The South African government defines special needs schools as schools that “caters for students who have special educational needs due to severe learning disabilities, physical disabilities or behavioural problems. The South African constitution states that every single person has the right to accessible education, and special needs schools are an important way of ensuring this right.


Schools for learning disabilities are schools specifically designed for children on the neurodivergent spectrum or children with various learning disorders. Special needs schools are meant to help the child feel safer, more understood, understand information taught to them, and helps children build confidence in their skills and their education.


Unlike mainstream education systems, special needs schools focus on individual education so that the educational goals for each child considers their abilities and their learning styles.

Classes at these schools will be smaller, and the child will be given a safe environment in which they do not feel out of place. The smaller classes also prevent sensory overwhelm from a class full of 20 or more students, allows teachers time to explain and answer any questions in detail, and makes the child more likely to ask questions and communicate if they are not overwhelmed by the number of people listening to them. This is in addition to the benefit that the teacher who is working with your child is going to be specialised in understanding the child’s needs and the way their mind works. When in a space where they are validated, supported, understood, the child feels safe to try even if they make a mistake, which is a pillar of learning support.


A school for learning disabilities is also more likely to cater for the child’s sensory needs and boundaries.  This creates a classroom that lets the child use stim toys, provides frequent breaks, presents visual schedules, alongside having clear, visible class rules, and strict routines that are followed daily.  There is the worry that going to a smaller school may prevent the child from reaching the full extent of their social skills, but it is actually going to reduce the stigma the child experiences around their disability in a time where they are learning skills they need without the pressure of performing at a level that does not cater for their unique abilities. By socialising with children who may understand their experience of being neurodivergent, the child is likely to develop confidence in social interactions.

Applied Behavioural Analysis, a psychology-based learning process, is a very important part of Special Education Needs tutoring. The core premise of ABA is that the child will always give their best try if the reward is large enough. This reward can range from snacks to verbal reinforcement (which is usually a given in the ABA process), or being given a break to engage in their interests. It improves skills and behaviour through being firm, but kind, patient, and following the child’s personal programme. The Star Academy is an ABA-based academy that works one on one with children with autism, to teach fundamental skills. ABA is not a cure but is a method that has changed the lives of many children and families in regard to the management of autism.


The Star Academy is currently expanding their tutor-based solution that can assist the child and their family from the home of the family, in the United Kingdom. SEN (SEN stands for special education needs, and goes hand in hand with ABA), instructors at The Star Academy are well-equipped and trained to work with your child through Zoom. The reach to the UK is being expanded through the exploration of the potential development of recruiting Psychology students in the UK to be trained in ABA and placed in the homes of the families.


There is also the understanding that if the parents of the child have a UK-based Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst on their team already, The Star Academy would be thrilled to join them on the team of the child. There is also the potential development of recruiting psychology students from the United Kingdom to train them in ABA and place them with the parents, just as The Star Academy started in South Africa.


Home-based Zoom sessions work through ensuring that the instructor is well-prepared and ready to run through the programme. Often, the child will have a parent, nurse, nanny, or caregiver with them. The instructor will run through the child’s programme, guiding and directing the caregiver on how they can help the child in their current environment. Zoom and in-person lessons not only cater for cases of autism, but also ADHD and other learning disorders. If all parents, therapists, and supporters of the children work together and support the child, the wonders of ABA therapy can be shared with international families and children.


The frequency and length of the sessions will depend on the result of the intake and assessment of the child, to ensure that they get maximum benefits from their individualised programmes. Home-based ABA programmes are a wonderful way for a child to learn all sorts of new schools, from a safe and supportive space.

Article by: A. Pascoe (2023)

Conduct Disorder poses unique challenges, impacting individuals with persistent disruptive and antisocial behaviours. While there is no cure for Conduct Disorder, there are institutions that provide therapy for Conduct Disorder, including Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), which plays a pivotal role in fostering positive changes and empowering individuals to navigate life more successfully.


Exploring Diverse Approaches to Therapy for Conduct Disorder


Therapy for Conduct Disorder encompasses various evidence-based approaches tailored to the individual’s needs. Recognizing the absence of a one-size-fits-all solution aligns with the broader medical understanding that neurodevelopmental conditions have no cure but can be effectively managed through targeted interventions. 


  • Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA): ABA is a structured and data-driven therapeutic approach that addresses behaviour by breaking it down into smaller components. This method is particularly effective in teaching new skills and reinforcing positive behaviours. ABA interventions are designed to be systematic, individualized, and measurable, providing a clear framework for behaviour modification. For more information about ABA visit www.thestaracademy.co.za
  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): As a cornerstone of therapeutic interventions, CBT targets negative thought patterns and behaviours. By instilling healthier coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills, CBT equips individuals with Conduct Disorder to navigate life’s challenges more effectively.
  • Family Therapy: Conduct Disorder often impacts the family unit. Family therapy fosters collaboration to improve communication, set boundaries, and strengthen relationships. Creating a supportive family environment is crucial for sustained positive changes.
  • Individual Counselling: One-on-one counselling provides a safe space for personal exploration. Therapists work with individuals to identify triggers, develop emotional regulation skills, and instil a sense of accountability in managing their behaviour.
  • Social Skills Training: Individuals with Conduct Disorder may struggle with interpersonal relationships. Social skills training focuses on developing appropriate communication, empathy, and conflict resolution skills, essential for building and maintaining healthy connections.


Early Intervention: A Crucial Component of Therapy for Conduct Disorder


Early intervention is vital in addressing Conduct Disorder. Early engagement with therapeutic approaches, including ABA, increases the likelihood of positive outcomes. ABA, in particular, emphasizes early and intensive intervention, focusing on improving socially significant behaviours and enhancing overall adaptive functioning.


A Lifelong Journey of Coping and Growth


While therapy for Conduct Disorder may not offer a cure, it serves as a powerful tool for managing the condition and facilitating positive growth. Coping with the challenges associated with Conduct Disorder is a lifelong journey, and therapies, including ABA, play a vital role in equipping individuals with the skills necessary to navigate various life stages successfully.


Breaking Stigmas and Fostering Understanding


Challenging stigmas surrounding Conduct Disorder and its therapies, including ABA, is essential. Promoting awareness and understanding contributes to a more compassionate and supportive society, encouraging individuals to seek help without judgment.

In conclusion, therapy for Conduct Disorder, including the impactful ABA, represents a comprehensive and individualized approach to positive transformation. While there may be no cure, the combination of evidence-based therapies empowers individuals to manage their condition effectively, fostering a future of adaptive behaviours, healthier relationships, and overall well-being. Early intervention and a supportive community further enhance the potential for positive change, emphasizing that the journey towards a fulfilling life is possible for individuals with Conduct Disorder.

The term “remedial” stems from the term “to remedy”. This is not the implication that the deficits the child presents due to developmental and learning disabilities can be cured, but rather the assistance to manage these life-impacting symptom. The true aim of remedial tutoring to improve core learning skills to the point where learning and completing daily tasks is not a debilitating process for the child. Remedial teaching can take place one-on-one, or in small groups. 

This is not only a process of teaching, but also the focus of teaching essential developmental skills that may not come naturally to the child. Remedial tutoring is a one-on-one teaching method for children who may need additional educational support. Remedial tutors range from being very hands on- seeing the child frequently to recap what they have been learning in other avenues of their education- or used as an additional support tool when needed. 

Remedial tutoring is one of the many holistic tools available that can better the quality of life for the child with the developmental condition. 

Unlike occupational therapy, there is focus on motor skills, coordination, muscle development, and generalised life skills, but it is important to note that both these practices develop the areas of the brain that are responsible for structure, organising information, pre-handwriting/handwriting skills, comprehension, language, and numeracy skills.

The remedial tutor is frequently in contact with the child’s teacher in order to clearly understand which areas of the child’s education must be focused on. It also allows the tutor to know when certain class work needs to be caught up on. The tutor can help the learner understand what’s expected of them academically and help them understand the steps and goals needed for them to complete their tasks and reach their potential. 

For older children or teenagers, remedial tutoring can also include teaching the child how to study, how to summarise, revise, and take their examinations or tests. The tutor may also be present during the child’s examination to either help them with the reading or writing aspects of taking the test. The tutor may supervise an examination in which the student has extra-time needs. 

When searching for a remedial tutor, there are some things to look for, and some things to avoid. Avoid tutors that believe that remedial tutoring can “cure” the child from their disorder. The disorder will always be present in the child’s life, but the tutor must understand that the goal is to teach the child fundamental learning skills for them exist and learn in a way that does not constantly cause excessive distress. 

Avoid tutors that use punishment to “fix” mistakes. Rather, find a tutor that focuses on firmly correcting the child’s error by making them aware of the mistake, letting them know it is okay to make mistakes, and encouraging them to try again. 

 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can disrupt daily functioning. ADHD is diagnosed by psychologists, paediatricians, and psychiatrists. A diagnosis of ADHD and its symptoms can impede a child’s academic progress, causing the child to not do well at school. This may result in teachers recommending that the child repeats the grade. 

It is important to understand that ADHD symptoms vary among individuals, but it is generally classified into two primary types: inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive. Symptoms include: 

1. Lack of sustained attention: Difficulty with paying attention, frequently making too many mistakes, difficulty organizing tasks, forgetfulness and losing items. 

2. Hyperactivity: restlessness, fidgeting, and excessive talking. 

3. Impulsivity: impatient behaviour, interrupting others, and difficulty with patience. 

When left untreated, ADHD can have profound consequences. In children, it can lead to academic difficulties, low self-esteem, and impaired social interactions. Untreated ADHD can also increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. 

ADHD is not curable, but it is manageable. Treatment plans typically involve a combination of interventions tailored to the individual’s specific needs, these may include: 

1. Behavioural Therapy: Behavioural interventions teach individuals with ADHD strategies to improve focus, organization, and impulse control. These techniques help develop coping skills for daily life. 

2. Educational Support: In children, teachers and school counselors can implement classroom accommodations and support to help manage symptoms. This may include a modified curriculum or extra time for assignments. 

3. Medication for ADHD: In some cases, stimulant medications are prescribed to manage ADHD symptoms effectively. However, for individuals who do not respond well to stimulants or have contraindications, non-stimulant medications may be recommended. 

4. Lifestyle Modifications: Encouraging healthy habits such as getting adequate sleep, engaging in regular exercise, maintain a balanced diet and practicing stress management can significantly contribute to better ADHD symptom management. 

At Catch Up Kids, we provide educational support to children with ADHD to assist them with managing the symptoms of ADHD in their day-to-day lives. We design individualized programmes that serve to assist the child with the academic pressures that they face. The programme is not only limited to assisting the child with their academics but also assists in addressing any skills deficits that the child has. Our expert tutors are available to do sessions at one of our centres, at your home or at your child’s school. To find out more about the services offered at Catch Up Kids, contact us today! 

The challenges caused by ADHD that children face when in the classroom setting, can delay progress and cause the child to produce work that is not on par with their grade requirements. Understanding the symptoms that autism presents and how to manage these symptoms is essential for parents and educators alike. To foster an environment that is conducive for the child to learn and to help manage ADHD and school challenges, it is important for teachers to acknowledge the unique needs that children with special needs have. 

Most children diagnosed with ADHD struggle with the following: 

1. Lack of Attention: One of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD is inattention. Students with ADHD may find it challenging to focus on lessons, tasks, or assignments for sustained periods. This can lead to missed instructions and incomplete work. 

2. Irritability: Students with ADHD may become easily frustrated or overwhelmed in a classroom environment, especially when tasks require prolonged concentration. This irritability can affect their interactions with teachers and peers. 

3. Inability to Follow Instructions: Processing verbal instructions and organizing tasks can be particularly challenging for students with ADHD. They may struggle to follow multi-step directions, leading to difficulties in completing assignments or staying on track during lessons. 

In most mainstream schools, educators are not trained to work with children with neurodevelopmental issues. To accommodate children with learning challenges, these are the schooling options that parents can opt for: 

1. A mainstream school with special education services and individualized accommodations to help them succeed. 

2. A remedial school with a smaller class size and a more structured environment, which can provide additional support. 

3. A special needs school in the case that the child’s ADHD is accompanies by another disability. A special needs school specializes in providing tailored education and support for students with a range of disabilities. 

Benefits of an individualised education Programme: 

Catch Up Kids designs individualized education programmes for children with learning challenges. Catch Up Kids also provides school facilitation services. We will assign a team of expert tutors who are trained to work with children with special needs, and a case manager to supervise the child’s programme. The benefits of having an individualised education programme designed by Catch Up Kids include: 

1. Extended Time and support: Providing extra time for assignments, tests, or exams to accommodate slower processing and to provide the child with the necessary support. 

2. Frequent Break: Allowing short, frequent breaks to help students manage restlessness and refocus. 

3. Reduced Distractions: Creating a quiet and organized workspace within the classroom. 

4. Modifying assignments: Simplifying or breaking down complex tasks into smaller, manageable steps. 

5. Behavioural Interventions: Implementing strategies to address impulsive behaviour and improve self-regulation. 

6. Regular Communication: Maintaining open communication between teachers, parents, and special education staff to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments. Having frequent meetings to discuss the child’s progress. 

Navigating school with ADHD can be difficult, but with the right support and strategies, students with ADHD and school challenges can thrive academically. Whether in mainstream, remedial, or special needs schools, the key is to create an inclusive and understanding learning environment. An individualized play a pivotal role in tailoring education to meet the specific needs of each student, ensuring they receive the necessary accommodations and support to overcome the challenges associated with ADHD. To find out more about the services we provide, contact Catch Up Kids today! 

Remedial Help for Neurodivergent children is a simple concept; it is designed to teach a child the basic skills that they may not have developed independently due being on the neurodivergent spectrum. Some children may need basic help, whereas other children may be more high needs, but remedial help can benefit children with a range of needs and assistance. The different types of remedial teaching include:

Small group tutoring

Small group teaching is an imitate gathering hosted by an educational professional (whether a remedial teacher, tutor, therapist, or instructor), who is dedicated to teaching these children in a manner that mainstream education cannot. Two to five students can be part of this group for it to be considered as tutoring a small group.  

One-on-one tutoring

One-on-one tutoring, as in its name, is where one educational professional will work with one child at a time. This is a method that allows the professional to build rapport with the child, to know what learning works for them, what motivates them, while also limiting distractors (and preventing the child from distracting others). This method may work for some children, but others need the social and interactive stimulus of a busier setting. 

Multi-sensory learning

A form of learning that benefits children, especially neurodivergent children, is learning that engages all the child’s senses to better their understanding of the material being learned. The purpose of this learning is to engage more than one sense at a time (through using the auditory and kinaesthetic-tactile pathways) to enhance the child’s memory and mental approach to learning.

Technology-based resources

Technology, in all different forms, can provide an access to the world for neurodivergent people that they would not have had without it. Any tool that can be used digitally to assist with any form of remedial education, an example being programmes that have pictures of the child’s favourite objects or requests, which allows the child to click on the picture of what they need in that moment. 

Positive reinforcement

The most important part of all education is positive reinforcement- this is one of the pillars of remedial help. Patience and encouragement of the child and their personal goals should be one of the main takeaways from understanding remedial help. 

Remedial help can be as simple as explaining something in a clear manner as opposed to using resources that were not designed with neurodivergent children in mind. It is about creating a space where a child feels safe enough child to make mistakes and learn from them. 

Aspects of remedial teaching include:

The basis of remedial help is understanding the differences in way so understanding, thinking, and perceiving the world, and assisting the neurodivergent person with their specialised strengths and weaknesses, to allow them to perform in a more well-rounded way, and to reach their highest potential!

Article by: A. Pascoe (2023)