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 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.

 ADHD presents many challenges, but it is essential to recognize that a team of experts can significantly reduce the symptoms and empower children to lead fulfilling lives. In this article, we’ll explore the essential components of a comprehensive support system for children with ADHD and how organizations like Catch Up Kids can make a significant impact. The first step in empowering children with ADHD is to create a tailored treatment plan that accommodates their unique needs. Each child with special needs is different, so it’s crucial to have a team of ADD & ADHD experts, including paediatricians, psychologists, and educators, working together to determine the most effective strategies. The primary goal is to provide a supportive environment that aids in the child’s development while managing their ADHD symptoms. 


At Catch Up Kids, we understand the importance of a holistic approach to ADHD management. We actively collaborate with your child’s school to facilitate the child’s learning and development. This support extends to parents as well, equipping them with the necessary knowledge needed to provide a nurturing environment at home. The liaison between the parents and the school and Catch Up Kids, ensures that the child receives consistent care and understanding. 


Equipping your child with essential life skills is our number one priority at Catch Up Kids.


These skills include: 

1. Executive Functioning Skills: These skills help children plan, organize, and complete tasks. Catch Up Kids offers specialized training to enhance executive functioning skills, making it easier for children to manage their daily lives. 

2. Motor Skills: Improving fine and gross motor skills can help children with ADHD participate in physical activities and develop better coordination. 

3. Adaptive Skills: These skills help children become more self-sufficient, teaching them to manage daily tasks like personal hygiene and self-care effectively. 

4. Social Skills: Social skills are vital in building relationships. Children with ADHD may struggle understanding social cues, and the programme at Catch Up kids will assist your child with navigating social situations with confidence. 

5. Cognition: Enhancing cognitive abilities to improve the child’s problem-solving and decision-making skills. 


Support at home and in the school setting is crucial for children with ADHD. Catch Up Kids’ school facilitation services are designed to bridge the gap between home and school, this coordination between home and school is essential for the child’s progress. By focusing not only on symptom management but also on developing critical life skills, Catch Up Kids goes beyond the conventional approach to ADHD care. If you are looking to empower your child, don’t hesitate to reach out to Catch Up Kids. Our expertise and tailored programs can make a significant difference in your child’s life, helping them overcome the challenges of ADHD. 

Learners who have difficulty keeping up with mainstream schooling are often directed to schools that cater for learning disabilities. There are many reasons why learning disabilities arise. They can be caused by developmental delays associated with Autism, Asperges, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, ADD, ADHD etc. Learning disabilities can be caused by physical delays associated with poor vision, motor issues, seizures, hearing loss etc. They can concurrently be attributed to emotional setbacks such as abuse and neglect. Learners with learning disabilities are identified through a medical professional or learning disabilities schools who refers parents and their children to a medical professional. These learning disabilities impede on a child’s ability to cope with the school’s curriculum. To further expand, the following developmental and physical delays can cause some of the following learning disabilities:

The inability to sustains one’s attention to what is being taught in the classroom. This can include simple concepts or concepts that require a variety of steps. This causes further implications as the learner is therefore unable to recall what is being relayed or retain what is being taught.


      • The inability to copy what is being presented on the chalkboard or projector.
      • The inability to comprehend the questions posed and by extension providing answers to the questions posed.
      • The inability to imitate peers due to a lack of imitation skills which impedes on incidental learning.
      • The inability to form interpersonal relationships with the teacher or peer which prevent the learner from incidental learning through play.
      • The inability to read or write due to weak motor skills and impaired vision.
      • The list is unfortunately endless.

Learning disabilities are rife and affect a child’s ability to keep up academically. The best outcome is to find a school that caters to learning disabilities. They are equipped to best assist a learner with the difficulties and challenges they face. The school (that provides for learning disabilities) should isolate why the learner is experiencing challenges with learning. Sometimes it is imperative that a diagnosis is made to prepare the school on how to manage each learners needs. When a student has a learning disability, it is important to be sensitive towards them so as to not impair on their self-esteem and self-confidence. The teacher in this school setting is responsible for making sure that a learner who possesses learning disabilities are comfortable in their newly placed environment to promote effective learning.

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. 

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! 

Many children that are predisposed to developmental delays, physical, cognitive, emotional and visual impairments have learning disabilities. These impairments hinder their abilities to keep up academically and with mainstream schooling. Therefore, it is imperative that learners with learning disabilities seek tutoring. A teacher is most likely able to identify students with learning disabilities. They are able to do this as they administer assessments throughout each term. Based on the performance of each assessment, the teacher is able to decipher students who possess learning disabilities. The teacher therefore directs the child and parent to seek further assistance. It is likely that a tutoring service is recommended.

The aim of the learning disabilities tutoring is to assist learners with concepts /skills that they have difficulty with academically. After a consult with a tutoring service, they are able to identify areas that warrant concern and where deficits in learning lies. Thus, the tutoring institution draws up a program to cater for those specific needs. A professional tutoring service is well – equipped to provide the necessary aid for learners with learning disabilities as this is something that specialize in. It is advantageous to use a private tutoring service as they offer the time and attention that a teacher with many other students would not be able to offer. Usually learners with learning disabilities that utilize tutoring services do so as they offer one-to-one assistance. This is ensures that the student with a learning disability receives undivided attention, learner-specific resources and learner-specific teaching methods. Undivided attention is essential to effectively learn a concept. This means that the tutor can spend ample time on a concept based on the child’s pace. Learner-specific resources are simultaneously essential as learning material should contain characters/ language that is easy to understand.

Resources used in tutoring consist of, but not limited to:

  • Appropriate text and image size.
  • Appropriate font (cursive may be difficult to understand/read).
  • Appropriate use of color.
  • Touchscreen devices to cater to students who do not have motor control and are unable to use writing utensils.

Learner- specific teaching methods can consist of, but are not limited to the following:

  • Usage of Acronyms.
  • Usage of Pneumonics.
  • Usage of step-by-step learning.
  • Usage of Patterns.

If one-to-one private tutoring institutions are not within reach or a viable option for students with learning disabilities, remedial schools are an option. They too concurrently have teachers that can offer tutoring in specialized areas. Caregivers should do research when applying to /registering with a tutoring institute to ensure it will effectively assist the learner.

Teachers play a major role in deciphering which students require remedial help. They identify learners that require remedial help through various forms of school-based assessments and standardized testing. Students that have difficulty keeping up academically with the school curriculum are often redirected to ascertaining remedial assistance. The school liaises with the child’s caregiver and possible remedial help options are provided. Remedial help is offered through remedial classes. Teachers that are best suited for remedial help are placed in remedial classes as they are equipped with assisting learners with a variety of limitations that prevent them from reaching their full academic potential. Remedial help can be provided to learners on a one-on-one basis and concurrently in small groups. This allows educators to provide more attention to each learner in order to increase their capacity for grasping concepts or ideas that they have difficulty with.


Remedial support consists of the educator breaking down concepts into parts. These parts are taught according to the learner’s pace and comfort level to inevitably understand the whole. Teachers that provide remedial assistance use various methodologies when providing assistance to learners who have subscribed to remedial classes. Of course, each methodology is child-specific and therefore has to be tailored to suit the needs of each learner and their limitations. When providing remedial support, it is imperative that teachers are well – versed in the language of the learner. Some learners are bilingual and thus English is sometimes a second language. Teachers therefore have to be sensitive when providing instruction. If English is the official language utilized by the school, teachers should provide lesson plans in a manner that are easy for the learner to comprehend. Learning aids are another essential factor when providing remedial aid. Teachers are expected to use learning aids that will enhance the memory and retention of concepts. Practice and repetition prove effective. Through this method, students tend to retain what is taught and apply themselves appropriately.

Remedial aid is an effective form of assistance as learners put into effect everything taught to them using a variety of methods to gain comprehension. It is imperative that learners who have difficulty with keeping up with the school syllabus seek remedial help immediately. Without remedial assistance, their learning can be hindered and continue to cause further academic delay. With intensive remedial help, learners can, after a short while regain momentum in their learning and rejoin mainstream learning.

In every classroom, teachers want their students to all study and progress at the same pace. However, this is not possible due to students having various limitations and levels of understanding. After adequate assessments and standardized testing, students that have difficulty keeping up with the schooling curriculum are referred to remedial classes by school. Thus, remedial classes and specialised teaching methods are essential in all schools to cater to those students that are not able to stay abreast academically. Some remedial classes entail one-to-one instruction. Whilst other remedial classes entail small group instruction. The key to successful academic support include active and increased support and attention from the remedial teacher. Remedial education consists of a remedial teacher that teaches and practices concepts at a slow and steady pace. The teacher during remedial classes concurrently identifies methods and strategies to make learning more effective by breaking down concepts into smaller bits of information in order for their students to understand. These compensatory lessons require effort and patience from the teacher as some students will take long periods of time in order to grasp certain concepts. A positive of remedial classes is that it is student dependent and learning can go at the slow and comfortable pace of the learner. Remedial classes require adequate learning material in order to facilitate effective learning. The material utilized in remedial education should consist of instructional language that is easy to understand by the learner. It should also consist of visual aids for learners that learn to retain information more visually rather than through auditory stimulation. Visual aids in remedial classes can consist of pictures, graphs, symbols, patterns, colours, shapes etc. Various teachers that facilitate academic support utilize various teaching methods. This can consist of, but is not limited to:

  • Pneumonics
  • Acronyms
  • Repetition
  • Sequencing
  • Step- by-step learning
  • Practice

Not all methods work for each child and thus teaching becomes child specific. The teacher therefore has to be flexible to work with each learner accordingly.

Many children benefit from extra classes and later on are able to continue with mainstream schooling once they are able to catch up with their peers. Some students are referred to remedial schools especially if they unable to stay on par with mainstream schooling. It is unfortunate that many schools do not possess reinforcement classes as this causes students to be redirected to other facilities that can cater to their needs. There is a need for remedial classes and more advocacies should be placed on their existence.