You may not ask the student if they have a learning disability, nor is it a requirement that they volunteer this information. If you feel the student has a learning disability and you are unsure how best to assist your student, or if you feel they would benefit from a referral to the CCNY Accessibility Center, refer the student to the Writing Center Director. It is not the tutor’s responsibility to broach this conversation, nor is it appropriate for a tutor to diagnose a student.
Students may or may not know or acknowledge a learning disability. Some students with learning disabilities will seek additional help, such as writing tutoring, though many may not realize that they have a learning disability. Others may choose not to self-identify as having a disability. If your student self-identifies as having a learning disability, especially if it is a long-term student, you may want to educate yourself about the disability and research teaching techniques to accommodate the student. You may wish to simply try varying your teaching style (see learning styles section below). Ask the director and tutoring coordinator for guidance.
Learning disabilities include any condition giving rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills, resulting in impaired communication function for those people of approximately the same age, caused by difficulties or inconsistencies in processing, integrating, or applying information (Merriam-Webster).