When applying for substitute teaching jobs, you are going to have a few challenges. Some of the students in your class are going to have learning disabilities, which are neurological disorders affecting the nervous system from receiving and processing information. Many children and young adults that have learning disabilities feel alienated around their peers for learning a certain way, however, many celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Alyssa Milano, and Whoopi Goldberg have learning disabilities and all of them have excelled in life.

Learning disabilities affect a student’s motor skills and academic skills, ability to speak properly, ability to spell, difficulty in communicating with others, difficulty in reading comprehension, difficulty expressing themselves and other affects. It is important to understand your role as a teacher when you begin to apply for substitute teaching jobs, you must take into consideration the level of difficultly it will be to teach many students with different types of learning skills.


A common learning disability that affects 10 percent of the United States population is dyslexia, or sometimes referred to as developmental reading disorder, affects a student’s short-term memory, his ability to read, write, and spell. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, their definition of dyslexia is based on activity in the brain that affects a person’s ability to read. The person’s leading level is significantly much lower than their peers are even though his intelligence is normal. Dyslexia is commonly inherited, meaning the learning disability is passed down in genes. Dyslexic individuals have difficulty in manipulating speech sounds, when writing, the student will mirror or reverse letters and have a difficulty reading aloud. There are many theories of how dyslexia is caused. Researchers say that dyslexia is caused by a brain injury.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Aspiring educators searching for substitute teaching jobs must teach many students with ADHD. ADHD affects a high percentage of children in elementary school and those symptoms continue to affect them once they reach adulthood. ADHD affects more boys than girls and it is one of the most difficult learning disabilities to diagnose. ADHD individuals have to take large amounts of medication, lifestyle changes, and modifications in behavior. Most ADHD individuals have a tough time focusing on one task, difficulty in completing a task, become bored very easily when performing simple activities, struggle to follow any directions or instructions, difficulty in listening to people when spoken to, difficulty remembering things, have difficulty standing still, sitting down or being in one place, and other symptoms that affect ADHD individuals. Researchers have not determined the causes of ADHD, however, it has been said that social environments, genetics and dietary issues have been some of the signs of this learning disability.

Other Types of Learning Disabilities

Many students may have difficulty getting good grades and their parents may believe their student is a high-risk student, meaning they have behavioral problems. That may not be the case; it may be that the student has a learning disability that was not diagnosed. Students with problems in math have a learning disability called dyscalculia. Individuals with dyscalculia have a difficulty comprehending and learning math. A student may have sloppy handwriting; this may be a case of him having dysgraphia, a deficiency in writing skills.


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