ULPs – Unique Learning Profiles
A clear understanding of how a student learns best, based on a combination of an educational assessment, a cognitive ability evaluation and a social/emotional summary.
The assessment can then be used by parents, teachers and school boards to develop supports that work.
It’s not about what’s wrong – it’s about what’s right
A ULP isn’t meant to be a crutch. It’s meant to be a roadmap to learning different.
Traditional assessments uncover shortcomings. While it’s important to know where a student is weaker, we believe it’s more important to know where a student is stronger. The goal of a ULP is to identify those strengths and focus learning in those directions.
Every student has a gift
It may be in plain sight. It may be hidden. Either way, putting the student in the position to utilize it will help them enjoy learning more, and make them more confident in the learning process because they’ll see results.
For example, if a ULP uncovers “fearlessness in front of a crowd” as a student’s strength, perhaps the way he or she is evaluated could be changed from written to oral. Both would demonstrate an understanding of the material, but the latter would cater to the student’s strengths, making him or her more likely to be excited about showing what he or she learned.
The three parts of a ULP:
1. Cognitive ability evaluation – We measure reasoning and memory as well as language and information processing efficiency.
2. Academic Skill Assessment – We gauge the skills necessary to participate in learning. These include reading, writing, mathematics, note-taking and organization.
3. Social/Emotional Summary – We evaluate the student’s emotional state and how it may be impacting the learning process. This includes any pre-existing diagnoses like anxiety, and any circumstantial situations like home life and bullying at school.
The strengthening of weaknesses through one-on-one coaching, following a custom-created outline based on the ULP.
Strengthening weaknesses one-on-one
Think of this like a personal training program at the gym, but instead of working on the body, we work on the mind.
We’ll start by identifying the key components that are causing the academic difficulties. Then through a game-based program (which we have found works better than the traditional “drill and kill” approach) we help the student overcome their weaknesses.
If additional tutoring is required, Learn Different experts will come to your home regularly at $70/hour. If you can’t support your child’s remediation plan, Learn Different experts can train you to be that support.
The circumventing of weaknesses through technology or accommodations so the student can learn in spite of his or her learning differences.
Overcoming weaknesses by sidestepping them
When a student has impaired vision, they’re not written off. They’re sent to an ophthalmologist or optometrist and fitted with a pair of glasses.
We believe the same principles can, do and should apply to students with learning differences that can’t be remediated. If it’s evident that a weakness cannot be made stronger, the goal should be to find tools that let them get around that weakness.
As the Internet of Things continues to grow, facilitative technology is growing by leaps and bounds. This is giving formerly hopeless students a real chance to absorb the curriculum and advance educationally.
Some of the learning differences we can address through technology include the following:
•Struggling to read individual words: When we discover that the physical act of reading is standing in the way of understanding, we recommend a computer program that will narrate any text.
•Poor thought organization: If a student has great ideas; but, can’t distill them into a meaningful argument, we set them up with an online tool that creates flow charts for them.
•Ineffective note-taking: If a student can’t keep up, we have a technology that can. When the student goes back to review the lesson, they can simply tap or click on what they wrote and the missing pieces will be filled in.
•Bad spelling: Research shows that poor spellers will often choose words they know how to spell at the expense of building their vocabularies. We have software that can alleviate these challenges so these students don’t fall behind.
•Disorganization: We have tools that can help students find keys, wallets, textbooks or homework assignments.
Social, Emotional and Behavioural Therapy
Addressing non-academic issues that are impacting the student’s ability to learn.
As mental health professionals, we stress the importance of using the student’s learning and mental health profile as the core piece in any treatment so we understand the root causes that lead to anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental health conditions. We use a variety of evidence-based therapies based on the needs of the child and family. Learn more on our Families page.