A few weeks ago I had a student come in who I am almost positive had a learning disability. I of course didn't ask her about it or mention anything, which would have been rude, but it was turning over in the back of my mind during our entire session. I wasn't really sure how to handle her. The ideas that her paper was trying to portray were strong, but it seemed as though she was unsure of how to communicate them to the reader. I didn't really know how to handle her. I don't know a lot about different kinds of learning disabilities, but I thought that there might have been a social protocol that I should have followed. I know that we aren't allowed to try and mentally diagnose our tutees, but it's hard to ignore it when the person is sitting directly in front of you. I wasn't trying to dig into her personal life so much as I just wanted to have a better understanding of her situation so that I could be a more helpful tutor for her. I hope that before the end of the semester we will have the opportunity to talk about students with learning disabilities in class and maybe even talk about different ways of handling them. I think that this would help me to be a better tutor to all different kinds of students.
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