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Why Film Studies is a Good Subject for Children with Learning Disabilities



Life can be challenging for children with learning difficulties and choosing the right subject to study can be tricky. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why film studies is a good subject for children with learning difficulties.

Children with learning disabilities can often struggle when it comes to school and college learning without the correct support. In the UK, special educational needs solicitors can ensure parents have the correct support and knowledge when choosing the right education path.

Many children will drop out before their course finishes due to difficulty in keeping up. Because of this, choosing the right course for a child with learning difficulties can be a tricky proposition and, in this article, we’ll explain why Film Studies is a good subject choice for children with learning disabilities.

What are Learning Disabilities?

A learning disability is the term used to describe a person who has reduced intellectual ability and who, therefore, struggles to cope with everyday tasks and with learning within a regular school environment.

A child will often be born with a learning disability when the mother has suffered an accident or illness during her pregnancy which subsequently affects the unborn child. There are various severities of learning difficulties which means that, while some children are able to function on a high level, others need more support – often throughout their entire lives.

In some cases, children with learning difficulties will be able to function independently but may need additional support in some areas of their lives such as during school.

While there are specialist schools available, it’s thought that a child with learning difficulties will be more likely to thrive within a regular school environment.

Why is Film Studies a Good Choice?

A child writes their name on a white board as a teacher watches

Film studies has long since been a popular choice for those with a keen interest in film. It can be a really great choice for children with learning difficulties for a number of reasons and, some of these are as follows:

Inspires Creativity

The medium of film is extremely popular worldwide and studying film allows a child with learning disabilities to stretch his or her imagination within a safe space. Creative subjects often work extremely well for children with learning difficulties who may otherwise struggle to cope with other, more rigid curriculums.

Visually Stimulating

A film camera with an image on it's screen

A large part of the film studies curriculum centres around visuals and imagery. For a child or teen with a learning disability, this can be a lot easier to follow and to engage with. This can be a better option than a subject which focuses largely on reading and writing which many children with learning disabilities can struggle with.

By their very nature, learning difficulties mean that sufferers may be slow to grasp traditional learning such as reading, writing and arithmetic. However, this does not mean, that the person is incapable of learning new skills sometimes.

A more visual and hands-on type of learning tends to greatly suit those children with learning disabilities. Not only that, but it can often be used as an engagement tool by parents and carers of these children at home too.

Equality with Peers

Children with learning difficulties will often feel that they are different to other children or young people and these differences are often highlighted in day-to-day life. It was once noted that, during a screening of Duck Soup, the autistic children present were laughing at the same scenes as the other children.

Films and film studies are something which are, by their very nature, extremely inclusive and these can help children with learning disabilities to feel more equal and engaged with their peers.

Feeling equal or the same as other children can provide a boost of confidence to children who may otherwise be reluctant to join in with activities for fear of not being able to keep up or to be ridiculed in some way.

A Rewarding Career

Traditionally, career opportunities for those with learning disabilities have been limited to say the least. This means that, over the years, these people would often work at menial and repetitive jobs which do not provide any stimulation, which can lead to a worsening of their condition as well as mental health issues.

Film studies opens up opportunities to exciting and rewarding careers such as filmmaking and can significantly help to keep those with learning difficulties stimulated and engaged. Having a qualification in film could provide a rewarding, lucrative and independent lifestyle down the line.

Film study offers inclusive Opportunities for all…

As awareness of learning disabilities grows in the UK, it’s vital that the focus is on inclusivity for those with learning difficulties. This is championed in the film industry by the Oska Bright Film Festival, a four-day event held in Brighton which is programmed, managed and presented by people with learning difficulties.

The event screens films which are BSL interpreted, subtitled and audio described to accommodate those with learning disabilities. In the past, film studies were something that was only available to students at colleges and universities, which tended to somewhat exclude young people with learning disabilities.

The good news is that, in 2022, more schools are recognising the value of adding film studies to their standard curriculum, meaning that many more opportunities are available to children with learning disabilities.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on special educational needs. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.


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