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Tutor in Dubai – My Child is Struggling in School – What help is available ?

January 12th, 2015 by Tony Barlow

Tutor in DubaiIf you are considering hiring a Tutor in Dubai you may have been to the school for the parent teacher meeting and have been told that your child is having difficulties with the schoolwork, or you have noticed yourself that your child is struggling with homework and losing confidence.

In some cases the school may have recommended or insisted that you take your child for a ‘learning difficulties’ assessment from an educational psychologist.

Trying to help them yourself hasn’t worked and you can’t understand what the problem is and you are considering hiring a tutor in Dubai.

This article will discuss the typical options out there such as tutoring, study skills programs, brain training programs and of course my approach, NLP Coaching. And I will also give my view on ‘learning difficulties’ assessments and the amount of over diagnosis that occurs.

Keep in mind that the number 1 reason I have found why students struggle in school and look for a tutor in Dubai is that they have never been taught HOW TO LEARN. How specifically to use their own thinking process. See the article the missing piece in our educational system. Teaching a student HOW TO LEARN is about showing them the SPECIFIC thinking strategies that work for each of the learning tasks we are asking them to do.


Lets assume that you’ve tried to help your child improve but to no avail and you’re looking for some help, what are your options ?

1) Private tutor 2) Tutoring Center 3) Study Skills program, online or at school 4) Brain Training program 5) NLP Learning Coach

Extra Tutoring:

Tutoring from a teacher, older student or tutoring center may be available to you. This can be a good option if the difficulties are very mild and you can’t be there to help with homework. Keep in mind though that hiring a tutor in Dubai is just basically more school, more practice of the same thing they are struggling with.

So if your child has an ineffective thinking/learning strategy for something like spelling. They will still be using that way to think with the tutor and just practicing more of what doesn’t work.

What needs to be done is to find out WHY the student is struggling. In my experience 9 times out of 10 its the way they are thinking while trying to learn. Whether its spelling, reading, math there are effective ‘thinking strategies’ that work and plenty that don’t. A quick example would be a student who tries to guess the spelling of words by ‘sounding them out’ instead of recording words as mental pictures.

The problem is that the tutor / teacher at school can’t see what your child is thinking so it’s assumed they are doing the right thing inside their mind.

Study Skills:

The typical study skills courses that may be offered in schools or colleges by a helpful teacher or by a visiting company are usually all based at a behavioral level and not at a mental skills level.

What to I mean by this ? Well most students who struggle are having problems because they have never been taught how to use their own mind / thinking process to get their brain to learn and memorize well.

So teaching them things like, take notes like this, study this amount of time, organize your papers like this, keep a schedule. (Which are all important by the way and I teach them all) are all at a behavioral level and will only take you so far.

What students really need to be taught is the mental skills that top students unconsciously use to learn and memorize quickly. Only then will their learning ability be transformed and their belief in their own abilities will turn around.

Brain Training:

Recently I’ve seen some brain training programs popping up that are primarily computer based mental exercises in order to build your brain in the same way that you build muscle with weight training.

I would say these programs are useful for building general cognitive ability and may help some students who are late developers neurologically, but the verdict is still out on exactly what the benefits are.

NLP Coaching:

There is a new option now available to parents of struggling students as opposed to hiring a tutor in Dubai. Find an NLP practitioner who has specialized in helping students, which is my approach. There is only a few of us around but I truly believe that NLP is the ideal skill set to transform the learning ability of any student and create a huge impact in their lives.

The NLP approach as you may have read in other articles of this website is all about ‘modeling excellence’, which means, find someone who is outstanding at a particular task, find out exactly what makes them so good and then teach that way of doing it to other people.

The huge advantage of NLP over hiring a tutor in Dubai is that it gives you a way to uncover the normally unconscious thinking process of the person in front of you. By observing them and knowing what questions to ask.

What I’ve found is that when I uncover a struggling students thinking process, it becomes blatantly obvious why they have been having trouble and I can then easily show them a more effective way to think. The results are often immediate and dramatic. Contact me to find out more or book a session.


If a teacher notices that your child is having more extreme difficulties in school they may suspect a ‘learning difficulty’ such as Attention Deficit, Dyslexia or other. The standard approach of most schools is to recommend a specialist who is normally an educational psychologist to do an assessment session with your child.

The specialist will take your child through a series of tasks and questions and if they are showing enough of the ‘symptoms’ of having a learning difficulty they may assign a label such as ‘Dyslexia’, ‘Mild Dyslexia’, ‘ADD’, ‘ADHD’, ‘Auditory Processing Deficit’ or other. Or they may tell you that they did not find any ‘learning difficulty’.

Keep in mind that the diagnosis of ‘Learning Difficulties’ is highly controversial and among the world’s leading researchers in the field you will here everything from there is no such thing as Dyslexia or ADD to people who are convinced its a neurological or bio chemical deficit.

In the USA it’s estimated that over 1 million students are misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, any student who is unmotivated and bored with what’s being taught seems to now pick up this diagnosis.

The diagnosis of a learning difficulty does not help you to overcome it, the only benefits I have found is that some schools will give students with a diagnosis extra time to complete school tasks and exams.

My view on ‘learning difficulties’ assessments:

Should I take my child for a learning difficulties assessment?

If your child is having extreme difficulties I would say yes, by all means take them for an assessment as it could rule out more severe conditions such as Autism etc.

After working with over 3000 students in the last 14 years here is my view on ‘learning difficulties’, hopefully its a balanced point of view.

I have seen hundreds of students over the years who have been diagnosed with one of the typical labels such as Dyslexia, ADD, Dyscalculia etc.

‘Learning Difficulties’ and Ineffective thinking strategies LOOK THE SAME !

My experience is that about 80% of these students simply have extremely ineffective mental strategies for learning that can be corrected, or in some cases their mind is over active and thoughts are racing through their mind, this lack of focus can also be worked on and brought more under their control.

Other students with ‘dyslexic’ issues typically have visual hallucinations where letters and words actually appear to mix up and move on the page and / or inside their thinking process. This is not usually something to be concerned about and in most cases can be corrected using NLP. See the article Dyslexia Solutions with NLP.

To give a balanced view here, I am not a miracle worker and there are some students that I cannot help with NLP. When learning difficulties get to an extreme level and the person has no control whatever over their own thinking process sometimes my approach produces only small improvements if any.

My recommendation to you is to give NLP Coaching a try as the vast majority of the students I see with a diagnosis of learning difficulties can easily be helped and I believe there is lots of over diagnosis.

Its not so much that I’ve found ‘a cure’ for Dyslexia and ADD its just that these labels in most cases are not what the educational system thinks they are. It was assumed for a long time that they are neurologically based. What I’m saying is that a great many of the issues are thinking based and can be turned around.


Umayr loves the learning coachFinished all his assessments in time with minutes to spare !

My son wanted me to let you know that he finished all his assessments in time with few minutes to spare! Can I add it’s the first time ever. He used his ‘Fingers Anchor’ before every assessment which made him start with a buzz (he said!). Above all your sessions more…

Tony has helped Andrea's daughter studyTony helped my daughter handle the stress of year 12

I really wanted to thank you as I have seen a great improvement with my Daughter. She is handling the stress of year 12 really well and is slowly improving all her grades and has passed her last maths test and assignment which is amazing. Way better than hiring a tutor in Dubai. Her wall is covered in more…

booksI have referred many students to Tony

Over a 2 year period I have referred many students to Tony as a tutor in Dubai ranging from good and average students to struggling learners. Tony has produced excellent results both in the learning ability and the general attitude of the students I have sent to him. I consider Tony to be more…

Please feel free to ask a question or contact me for more information. I want to hear from you and I always respond.
Click here
to go to the contacts page.

Please leave a comment below because I’d love to hear what you think!
Thanks again, and good luck!

Recommended Book:

Rediscover the Joy of Learning

2 Responses to “Tutor in Dubai – My Child is Struggling in School – What help is available ?”

July 29, 2017 at 7:13 pm, Clare cullen said:

I LOVE your site and what you have to say. I’m hooked!
We are considering a move to Dubai however we are concerned about the education for our ten year old son Aaron. Aaron’s an awesome kid but really struggles with learning. He has been diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalcula and ADHD. He has a specialist teacher here in the uk who is working wonders by teaching him in a way his wiring ‘gets’.
I’ve looked into schools in Dubai and it seems support is limited so I’m considering home schooling with the use of experienced tutors.
I would love to hear your opinion on this. Your opinion on any good schools? What you could potentially do for Aaron etc.
I trained in nlp myself at a practitioner level and used to live in Qatar teaching hypnobirthing. I’m a big fan of nlp!!
Thank you in advance
Clare x


September 06, 2017 at 6:56 am, Tony Barlow said:

Hi Clare,
I think I mistakenly did not reply to your message on time as funnily I had another student called Aaron contact me at the same time. I’ll email you now and we can set up a Skype chat.


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