How did you feel when you first heard about your child’s learning disability? Maybe you felt shocked, angry, or sad. Perhaps you felt validated because your suspicions were confirmed, or reassured that your child’s struggles weren’t the result of a failure in parenting or teaching. But after those initial moments, your mind may have flooded with questions, worries, or even panic about the future. The good news, besides God’s all-conquering love for your child, is that plenty of resources are available for homeschool families with special needs children.
The Burning Question
You may be wondering, “Can I still homeschool my special needs child?” Of course you can! Every child learns differently, and often even children without learning disabilities require a tailored approach for particular subjects.
To homeschool a child with a learning disability, you may have to alter your style and adjust your expectations; and you’ll certainly need additional tools and training. But if homeschooling is something you strongly believe in, you can continue to guide your child’s education in meaningful ways.
Support for Parents of Students with Dyslexia
Marianne Sunderland runs Homeschooling with Dyslexia, a blog dedicated to students who face challenges with dyslexia and dysgraphia. This blog makes a wonderful starting point for families homeschooling a dyslexic child. Explore the resources Marianne offers to ensure that you have a handle on your child’s unique gifts and challenges. Marianne also discusses some of the more difficult choices you will face in your homeschool journey with children with dyslexia. Courses, books, blog posts, a newsletter, and a supportive Facebook group are all available through her website.
Help for Parents of Students with ADHD
Marcy Goodwin offers her knowledge and experience of handling issues with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in her blog, Ben & Me. Her posts offer tips for teaching math, managing with or without medication, and overcoming distractions throughout the school day. You’ll also find tips for refocusing attention and coping with emotions that accompany learning struggles.
Additional Support for Special Needs
For severe disabilities, such as autism or Tourette’s Syndrome, you should consider supplementing your skills and techniques with those of a professional. Therapists and some tutors are specifically trained to work with especially gifted children. If you need to pursue this type of help, don’t think of it as a failure—it’s just one more way you can give your child the best possible education.
The Importance of Assessment for Special Needs
If your child is struggling despite your best efforts, you might want to schedule an assessment. It may be a question you don’t want to face, but it’s better to know upfront whether there is a deeper issue that your child doesn’t know how to handle yet. Having your child assessed can be emotionally distressing for you, but it’s vital to future success! The earlier you know about the issues, the faster you can educate yourself and address those needs for your child’s sake. Don’t wait too long!
Remember, God loves your child with an everlasting, all-powerful love, and He has something special in mind for that young soul. With His help and the wisdom of other parents and professionals, you can do this!
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Rebecca is a work-at-home freelance writer, novelist, wife, and the mom of two bright-eyed little ones. She credits her success in writing and her love of books to her own mom, who homeschooled three kids from pre-K through high school.