By Dawn Spence, SPED Homeschool Teaching Manager
Homeschooling a child with special needs and medical needs can provide many challenges. Yet, provide wonderful challenges for teaching your student more creatively.
When I started homeschooling my daughter with special needs, I knew she had multiple needs. I also knew not one curriculum or way of teaching would meet all her needs. Her brain and mind were bright, but learning was challenging. My daughter’s multifaceted learning disabilities called for a wide variety of tools.
To learn how to teach my daughter, I started reaching out to experts who were willing to help me teach my daughter.
To learn more about how I could use neurodevelopmental strategies, I spoke with Dr. Jan Bedell, the President of Little Giant Steps. Jan helped me find which of the learning tools she developed would work best in helping me address my daughter’s auditory processing issues.
I also spoke with Dr. Carol Brown, the founder of Equipping Minds, and found her games could help my daughter improve her working memory and executive functioning.
But, my daughter needed more, so I turned to Dianne Craft and from her Right-Brained Learning Approach, I realized my daughter also needed visuals to learn sight words.
From there, I learned from other experts and uncovered more strategies and tools that I use for teaching my daughter.
Using multiple strategies can be overwhelming for a homeschooling parent, but I can confidently say all my research was worth it, because my daughter is learning! She is reading AND retaining information.
If you are frustrated and find yourself saying, “I need to find a new curriculum. What I am using is not working.” You are not alone.
When things are not working, it is best to start by figuring out what your child needs and then research how you can help teach to those needs. Once you figure out what your child needs, you open the door to approaches, tools, or curriculum that will unlock your child’s unique learning path.
When your child has so much going on with medical or learning needs, unlocking the puzzle can take time and lots of trial and error, but fear not, you are not alone and there are lots of people who people who are more than happy to help you learn how to best meet your child’s learning needs, but you need to be willing to ask for help, learn new strategies, and combine multiple approaches. The time and effort it takes to figure out what your child needs is worth it.
Every day I see my daughter striving and thriving and learning more than I ever could have imagined just a few years ago. I encourage you to keep searching and learning. You won’t regret the investment you made in helping your child strive to their full learning potential.
Dawn Spence is the SPED Homeschool Teaching Manager and a former public school teacher who has a passion to help all children to learn and to help parents find what their children need to succeed.