Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop: 5 Days of Homeschooling Children with Special Needs - Learning Disabilities

Why was it taking my son two hours to write two sentences? Yes, he had been diagnosed with ADHD but I felt as though we were missing something. Momma, never doubt your inner voice. You know your child best. Ask questions. Seek answers. Advocate for your children. The answer to my question: my son cannot write two sentences because he has a learning disability. Knowing that, I am able to help him Instead of writing out answers, I allow him to verbally answer questions. Technology is also a huge benefit as programs like Dragon Speak allow my son to verbalize his responses while the program types them out.

Learning Disabilities are neurologic processing issues. In other words, the brain doesn't want to manipulate data in the typical manner. Learning Disabilities not only interfere with learning reading, writing, and math but they also interfere with organization, time management, reasoning, and memory. Most commonly known Learning Disabilities are Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia. Other Learning Disabilities include Auditory Processing Disorder, Language Processing Disorder, Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit, and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities.

Dyslexia affects reading and language skills. Students who have dyslexia can have difficulty with reading, spelling, reading comprehension, and handwriting. Dysgraphia affects written expression. Dyscalculia affects math computation and numbers.

In addition to Dysgraphia, my son also has been diagnosed with Dyscalculia. We have determined that because math is not of interest to him, he places math concepts in his short-term memory. Then, he dumps them once we are done working on that particular concept. Because he doesn't store the math facts in his long-term memory, we have to teach him the same math facts all over again. At first, it was very frustrating for both of us. Once we understood the Dyscalculia and some strategies to help him learn better, math became easier for both of us. One strategy is repetition. We work on math facts all year long. Another strategy is to help him break a large problem down into workable smaller problems. When he sees a large problem, he would become overwhelmed. He would say, I can't do this. Now, he knows how to break down a problem into smaller, more manageable problems.

Knowing there is a problem is your starting point. Once the Learning Disability has been identified, a strategy to help your child succeed can be implemented. Throughout this post, I've linked to several sites I think you will find helpful. They list symptoms as well as provide strategies you can utilize with your children. If you are concerned that your child has a Learning Disability, you can ask your local school district to perform testing even if you are a homeschooling family. They are required by law to provide your child with access to such testing as well as resources such as Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy. For more information on your Legal Rights, visit HSLDA.

Remember, dear ones, you are not alone in your journey. Others have walked very similar paths. Don't be afraid to reach out. Local Homeschool Associations and Co-Ops are good sources of information and support.

The Homeschool Review Crew's 5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop 2017. Join us April 17-21, 2017. Check back here on my website for new posts throughout this week as well as the Homeschool Review Crew's website to see what new posts crew members have shared as well.

You can join in the fun. If you have a homeschool post that meets the criteria, please feel free to use the link-up below to share your post.
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