Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Joy of Homeschooling ADHD and Dyslexic Children

My oldest daughter was diagnosed with ADHD a couple years ago. Her scores were pretty high on the chart. We expected this diagnoses because, from a very young age, she had exhibited the a-typical symptoms of this "disability".

I hate that word, "disability". That label is what turned my husband off from the beginning. He has only recently begun to be responsive to her, shall we say, difference when it is referred to in a way other than "disability". Can you blame him?

Studies show that dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, and other visual/spacial anomalies in learning are on the rise. I personally think it is a gift from God. These "disabilities", that I will instead refer to as "giftedness", coincide with a period in time when the jobs in high demand have to do with concept. Visual/spacial learners can "see", within their minds, the concept of how something functions and how it should act. In a highly technological society, this ability is very advantageous. You can't "see" the World Wide Web or the functions of a mother board with your eyes. You can only grasp their concepts in a more figurative/imaginative way. The way that children, like mine, grasp things most naturally.

So what does this have to do with homeschooling? Well today as an example, my "gifted" children can not attend to any one activity for an extended period of time. Especially my ADHD child. We are trying to do charts so they can visualize some information on the solar system. But it does require some more reality based/logical attention that just does not come as easily to these two. In their past public school days situations like today would coincide with a call from the teacher. You know, the one where you are told your child had to be set at their own private area because they wouldn't sit still. They were held in from recess because they couldn't focus to finish the tail end of 3 hours straight of school work. All the calls and meetings that I dreaded. Even when they had the diagnoses and would still look at me like, 'what is wrong with your child... why can't they act "normal"'.

But they are normal. They are wonderful. And today, when they just couldn't sit any longer to work on their math/science, I could easily say.... "RECESS"!! After all, we had been working for almost an hour straight with great results. That is a lot for one child whose eyes tire from the strain of dyslexia and another whose body emanates with ADHD.

And so, as they gear up for some snow play and I type this blog, I have peace of mind knowing that when they get back in with their energy somewhat spent, we can re-focus and finish our work for the day. AND, I will not be getting a call from the school or a note home from any teachers stating that my kids couldn't focus today.... 'please do this additional homework tonight so your child is ready for class tomorrow' when we will likely go through it all again!

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