Graduation Gift Ideas + Learning Differences | 159

Graduation Gift Ideas + Learning Differences | 159

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How to Support Teens with Learning Differences

Learning differences, also known as learning disorders or disabilities, can make academic settings particularly challenging for kids and parents.

Understanding these disorders, recognizing their signs, and knowing how to support teenagers with them are crucial steps toward ensuring their success in school and in life.

What are learning disorders?

Learning disorders encompass a range of conditions that affect a person’s ability to acquire and use academic skills effectively.

Three common types include dyslexia (difficulty with reading), dysgraphia (difficulty with writing), and dyscalculia (difficulty with math).

Approximately 5 to 15% of school-age children experience these challenges, with dyslexia being the most prevalent, affecting around 80% of people with learning differences.

Recognizing the Signs that a Teen Has a Learning Difference

Identifying the signs of learning differences early on can pave the way for timely intervention and support.

Some common indicators include:

  • difficulty telling right from left
  • reversing letters, words, or numbers, after first or second grade
  • difficulties recognizing patterns or sorting items by size or shape
  • difficulty understanding and following instructions or staying organized
  • difficulty remembering what was just said or what was just read
  • lacking coordination when moving around
  • difficulty doing manual tasks, like writing, cutting, or drawing
  • difficulty understanding the concept of time

Understanding Treatment

Treatment for learning disorders typically involves specialized instruction tailored to the individual needs of the child. This often includes extra help and support within the educational setting, potentially through special education services and the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). An IEP outlines specific goals and support services necessary for the child’s academic success.

Common Misconceptions about Learning Differences

There are a lot of common misconceptions surrounding learning disorders. Dyslexia, for example, is not a disease but rather a condition you are born with, often running in families. It’s crucial to emphasize that having a learning disorder does not equate to being unintelligent or lazy; it simply means that the brain processes information differently. Furthermore, learning disorders do not disappear over time.

Early intervention and ongoing support equip students for a lifetime of success when it comes to learning new skills and managing the challenges they may face.

Supporting Teens with Learning Differences

Supporting teens with learning differences requires empathy, understanding, and proactive measures. Here are some ways to help:

Extend Grace

Be patient and understanding, recognizing that each child’s journey is unique.

Seek Support

Reach out to educators, specialists, and support groups for guidance and assistance.

Utilize Tools

Explore tools and technologies that can facilitate learning, such as voice-to-text software, spelling and grammar checkers like Grammarly, or text-to-speech applications like Speechify.

When we create a warm and inclusive environment, we help all teens thrive and reach their full potential. Everyone is different and has their own path to follow, but with the right support and resources, every child can succeed.

Graduation Gift Ideas

  • Cash
  • Gift cards (gas, target, restaurants where they’re going, Netflix)
  • T-shirt Quilt
  • Clothes/shopping spree (especially if starting work)
  • Practical: laundry detergent, toiletries bag, microwave-safe ramen bowls, power strip, Tide pen
  • Chia pet
  • Journal
  • Towel
  • Notes/Advice from influential adults in their life.

Tip: if you have a lot of seniors that you love, pick a couple a month and mail them a small gift card once they get to college.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources about graduation gifts and learning differences

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

About Us

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Tobin Hodges

Tobin Hodges

Program Director

Caleb Hatchett

Caleb Hatchett

Podcast Host

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More Resources You Might Like

Episode 34: ADHD & Thanksgiving
Ep. 119 Diverse Families- Multi-Cultural/Multiracial Families
Episode 55: End of School & Graduation Gifts

Ep. 55: End of School & Graduation Gifts

Ep. 55: End of School & Graduation Gifts

 Listen & Subscribe


The end of the year is a busy, sometimes stressful time for students, teachers, and parents alike. As everyone wraps up another school year, we’ve got tips and tricks for finishing the year strong, out-of-the-box graduation gifts, and keeping in touch after commencement.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources:

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey


Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and has always had a heart for teenagers and the vulnerable life stage they are in. She has a wealth of experience to share from working with teens in ministry and leading support groups.

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