Troubleshooting: Special Needs

Kristen wrote:

So our youngest son was just diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. Any advice on homeschooling and special needs? Both for the child with special needs and how it affects homeschooling other children…

And Sara wrote:

I second the request for advice/resources for homeschooling special needs children. I have 3 girls. My first (age 5) has auditory processing challenges, aspergers and sensory processing disorders and probably some ADHD thrown in there. My 2nd has just turned 3, and sharp as a tack, loves learning, and is beginning to read and while I’m drawn to just jump in with both of them at the same level, I can’t seem to teach both of them at the same time! Then I have an 8 month old and one on the way in August (you understand that!), so while I was imagining myself officially “starting” homeschooling this coming fall, I’m completely overwhelmed at the thought! You are always so full of wisdom and grace. Any advice, encouragement, direction, resources would be wonderful!

And Michelle wrote:

Hi Kendra,
I’m pretty sure that my son has some sort of learning disability. He is almost unable to read and comprehend written instructions. Oral explanations of more complex things must be numerous and stated many different ways in order for him to understand if he can at all. He is nine now but didn’t even speak well until he was 4+. (Early on he was tested and autism, hearing impairment and ADD were ruled out.) He and I both have learned coping strategies (I’ve been teaching him for 3 years) but he’s no where near his grade level in most subjects and I am getting to feeling very desperate. Testing isn’t what I’m looking as we live in a very small town and resources are few and far between. I was wondering if you or your readers know of any homeschooling sites here on the web or of books that deal with teaching kids with auditory processing issues/language issues?? I’d so appreciate reading of other homeschooling moms’ experiences and advice who are in this situation. Thanks!

I was thinking, "How do I help these women? Where do I send them for help?" Our foray into special needs is just beginning, and as we do not know the extent of Mighty Joe's "issues", we will have some learning to do ourselves.

God is SO good. All the time. He provides when we ask for wisdom: "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

First, I was reminded of an old post my friend Caroline wrote about life with her daughter Gillian, who is retarded. There's encouragement and wisdom there.

Then, in the comments, Kathy wrote:

To Sara & Michelle–

When the Brain Can’t Hear by (Terri James Bellis) and Like Sound Through Water (by Karen J. Foli) are excellent books for Auditory Processing Disorder. There is also a Yahoo group called AuditoryProcessing that has regular moms as well as professionals. What you describe very much sounds like Auditory Processing Disorder. Check the Dyslexia warning signs list at Bright Solutions . Click on the “Symptoms of Dyslexia” link at the top. Many children with APD also have the most common form of Dyslexia (the same section of the brain is used in both). Many people are not aware of the symptoms.

For those homeschooling children with Sensory Processing Disorder: You can come visit my blog for some homeschooling ideas :) If you only have one book, get The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Kranowitz. It’s filled with great ideas to work into your childs sensory diet. Also, Carol Barnier is my favorite person ever. Her books, The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles and How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and on to Learning are filled with great ways to encorporate learning with activity. There is also a Yahoo group called sensoryhomeschool.

I have a bookmarks page on my blog that I tried to break down into categories. You can scroll down to whichever category interests you. Chances are I have at least a half dozen links ;) I really need to put together some blog posts addressing homeschooling special needs kids. Anyone want to come babysit while I type for a week? ;)

~Kathy (mom to 3 special needs children with too many diagnoses to list, but here are a few: dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, etc., etc., etc.)