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Learning disabilities are sneaky. For many kids they do not show up until a child is at least school age and, even then, it might take a couple of years of your child lagging in one or more areas until it all gets sorted out.
You may discover learning disabilities as you are homeschooling your child. You may just as easily discover learning disabilities after one or more years of watching your child struggle in the local school system. Either way, you’re faced with a challenge. You know your child is capable of learning anything, but finding the right way to help your child can be time-consuming. If you are or have decided to homeschool your child, creating a network of Special Education Homeschool Resources for learning disabilities that directly relate to your child is a key component for homeschooling success.
Special Education Homeschool Resources For Learning Disabilities; Basics
- Start at Learning Disabilities Association of America for general information and direction to specialized sources.
- Visit the Natural Child for some intriguing ideas about learning disabilities and how to best address them.
- If you suspect your child may have a learning disability, the Home School Legal Defense Association is great starting point if you want to know the laws in your state as well as options for homeschooling and buying the right curriculum. You do not have to be a member to take advantage of their comprehensive website.
- Before you jump into homeschooling, read a little about the pro’s and con’s. For many children with learning disabilities, homeschooling is by far the optimal choice. However, reading about the ups and downs before you change your entire life can be eye opening.
Once you have a handle on what type of school, what type of approach and what form of education best suits your family life, it’s time to move to the next step. Keep in mind that what works for one family may not work for another. Likewise, if you have multiple children, the sooner you can get your child working semi-independently the sooner you regain control of your life.
Once you are certain of your rights and obligations, it’s time to fill your special education homeschool resources for learning disabilities folder with that relates specifically to the needs of your child.
Special Education Homeschool Resources For Learning Disabilities;
- Dyslexia – The severity of dyslexia varies from child to child. Children with dyslexia struggle to read and interrupt written words. Because many children switch b’s and d’s, forget to use vowels and encounter other struggles in learning to read, dyslexia is often not diagnosed until children are far behind their peers in upper elementary or even middle school. If you are planning to homeschool your child and they have dyslexia, a great place to start is a resource called Homeschooling With Dyslexia. This site will help you get started and answer questions you have along the way.
- Dysgraphia – dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects a person’s ability to write words. For kids with dysgraphia, school in a traditional setting can quickly become demeaning and discouraging as the years progress. For more information and tips on homeschooling a child with dysgraphai, start with the first in a three part series of articles at The Well Trained Mind. Karen’s daughter has dysgraphai. She knows her child’s frustration and, importantly, her own frustrations.
- Dyscalculia – Discalculia in a neurological disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to work with or understand numbers. Discalculia is often referred to as dyslexia but with numbers. Explanations of discalculia and tips for helping your child can be found at Understood.org. Although dyscalculia is not as widely known or understood as dyslexia, it is increasingly believed to be as real and as common as dyslexia. If not recongized and addressed, dyscalculia can affect social development, a grown child’s ability to live responsibly as an adult as well as creating a feeling of low self-esteem.
- Dyspraxia – dyspraxia covers a number of motor skill delays or challenges. The challenges range from speech to physical movement (gross motor skills). These challenges are not outgrown, and occupational, physical and speech therapies are often the only solution. If you are planning to homeschool your child with dyspraxia, contact your local school district. In many areas, homeschooling does not disqualify your child from receiving services through the local school district. If your child has dyspraxia, visit Hoppin’ Homemaking for some thoughtful, practical tips.
- Visual challenges – Best Homeschooling has a great description of what to look for if you suspect your child has visual challenges. For these kids, homeschooling is often the best option because you can set reasonable time frames for reading and still allow time for any needed therapies. If you suspect your child is struggling with seeing all the words on a page, seeing double letter or words on a page or anything else that is unusual, see a developmental ophthalmologist.
- Auditory Processing Disorder – If you child has been diagnosed with APD, you will find yourself searching for ways to help them with their memory, focus and avoiding over stimulation. If you are new to homeschooling or if your child has been recently diagnosed, start out that the Homeschool Cafe for pointers and links to other special education homeschool resources for learning disabilities.
- Non Verbal Learning Disorders – NLD is a neurological disorder that causes a person to struggle with things like body language, eye contact and and tone of voice. In addition to being unable to read social cues, a person with NLD often has a hard time with balance and visual-space organization (e.g. they cannot judge how far away something is or how heavy something is). Homeschooling is a way to develop a personalized program to address your NLD child’s specific struggles without having to fight the school district for the right help. If you suspect your child has NLD or if your child has recently been diagnosed with NLD, start at Raising Small Souls for general information and helpful book recommendations.
Learning disabilities can make day-to-day life a nightmare depending on your child. Bringing your child home for school and addressing your child’s specific issues is often the solution to bringing calm and peace back into your home. Take time to collect the special education homeschool resources for learning disabilities that will most help and support you and your child. Accept that you will most likely have to experiment a bit until you hit on the right curriculum and teaching method for your child. You, the parent, are your child’s best teacher. You know your child better than anyone else. Trust your instincts and use advice only if it makes sense for you and your child.
Many homeschool parents of children with special needs are turning to Special Education Tutoring as a way to assist in their teaching efforts. A special education tutor typically takes the curriculum you’re already teaching your child and helps to mold it to fit your child’s unique learning needs. Working with a special education expert in a one-on-one setting, can help to significantly increase the rate in which your child learns and retains information!
Whatever educational path you choose, there are plenty of Special Education Resources to help ensure your child reaches their academic excellence.