Discovering your child has a learning disability rarely comes as a shock. After all, you’ve been watching your child since the minute they were born. Once you hear the words “learning disability” and a diagnosis you’ll likely find yourself revisiting moments in the past and thinking “Well, that explains it!” In many ways a definitive diagnosis of a learning disability can be a relief. In today’s small world, the Special Education Resources available to you are vast. With your help, the help of your child’s school and help from outside sources like Special Education Tutoring there is every reason to expect your child will reach their full potential.
Learning disabilities are recognized by professionals and school systems as information processing disorders that are neurologically based. If you are reading this, you are probably all too aware that anything having to do with the brain is highly individual. This makes finding the best teaching methods for children with learning disabilities challenging – what works for one child very well may not work at all with another child with the same learning disability. Still, each learning disability shares distinct characteristics. The most commonly recognized learning disabilities are: Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalcula, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Language Processing Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Challenges, and Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit. Other challenges faced by many child with learning disabilities, though not officially recognized as learning disabilities on their own, are: ADHD, Dyspraxia, Executive Functioning challenges, and memory difficulties.
The good news for you and your child is that special education resources abound. As a parent, you have more options available to assist you in helping your child than ever before. And, more good news, your child is the same child they were before the diagnosis – only now you know something more about them. If you need it, take a day or two to have a pity party for yourself and your child. Then move on. With a motivated parent behind them, there is no reason your child will not get the education they deserve and the future you have always wished for them.
Should I Homeschool My Child With Learning Disabilities?
Today there are few barriers to homeschooling if you are open to the idea. Homeschooling no longer means giving up one income in the age of internet businesses and jobs. Special Education Homeschool Resources are readily available and tailored to help parents who are new to homeschooling and/or learning disabilities. You do not have to be a teacher or an expert in learning disabilities to teach your child at home. If you have questions about homeschooling a good place to get general information is the Home School Legal Defense Association (don’t let the name scare you – it’s a friendly site). Start there and follow some of their links to get increasingly specific information.
Resources To Assist Your Child With Learning Disabilities At Home.
If it makes more sense for your child and your family to keep them in the public school system, there are an incredible number of resources to assist with studies while at home.
One of the most fun things about kids, and also one of the most exhausting thing about kids, is that they are learning every minute they are awake. It’s not difficult to incorporate activities that help your child learn in the way that suits them best when they are at home. Take some suggestions from the homeschooling crowd at this link to Homeschool Resources.
In fact, homeschoolers have a name for creating this sort of home life – they call it afterschooling. You can do a lot to help your child by simply slowing down and re-ordering your priorities. For instance, kids pick up many lessons by helping you make breakfast or dinner. It’s slow and messy to get kids involved but, the benefits can be tremendous.
Math suddenly makes sense when it involves pizza dough or homemade ice cream. Life skills like cooking pasta, cleaning counters and learning how various appliances work will serve your child forever.
To help make this more possible, get yourself as organized as you can. Having a set routine and plan for each day of the week makes life a little more predictable for you and for your child. If you struggle with getting organized, a trial run of the Fly Lady method might be the key. This method takes a little time to get used to and to feel like you’re getting results. You’ll tweak it to match your own style but, give it six weeks and see if it makes a difference – it’s free and mostly painless.
Allowing Your Child’s Creativity To Soar Is Key To Unlocking Their Potential.
Although my child has (insert learning disability here), they are bored out of of their mind. When they get home from school they can’t wait to get to (insert special interest here) and will work at it non-stop. Learning disabilities are not an indication of intelligence. In fact, some of the greatest minds in history likely had learning disabilities. Children with learning disabilities, by necessity, think differently than the rest of us.
Encourage them to explore their interests outside of school. Connect with their teachers and/or counselors to see if these can be incorporated into their regular school work. If you are challenged with taking your child away from their outside interest and getting homework done, look into special needs tutoring. Often, these professionals can help your child devise ways to finish their schoolwork in a reasonable amount of time and in a way that helps them retain what they’ve learned. The side benefit? You child will still have time to do what they love.
Didn’t everyone’s mom (or dad) say “Life isn’t easy,” at least once in their lives? Well, now you’re the mom (or dad) and you’re having to tell your child the same thing. But, a learning disability is not the end of the world, it’s simply (ok, not so simple) a change in your world. You are not alone. The general public is much more attuned to learning differences. Your child’s future is bright. You’ve read all the way to the end of this article – you’re not the type of parent who is just going to sit around waving your arms wondering what to do. Use the special education resources above (and the resources you find within the resources and so on!) and take the next step.