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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

nonverbal learning disability


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Aug 08, 2002 at 5:53:21 AM
Subject: nonverbal learning disability

<HTML>Hi--we're new to the LD circuit, as our 5-year-old was just diagnosed last week. On the other hand, we're (relatively) old hands on the homeschooling trail, as we've planned to homeschool since he was a toddler, and actually started with 'preschool' last year. We were all set to go on to kindergarten at home, with preschool for our 3-turning-4 younger son, but this diagnosis has really rocked us. Not so much the academic and physical aspects (poor gross and fine motor, difficulty learning letter and number shapes because of poor visual memory, despite great auditory strengths--we can seek out therapy and better materials for those) but the third part--poor social skills. We'd become increasingly concerned about his interactions (or lack thereof) with other children over the last year, and now we know we're not just imagining things.
Here's the rub: homeschooling for us, despite belonging to an active local support group and despite active efforts to change things on my part, has all along been somewhat isolating for the children; it's not uncommon for a week to go by with no playdates, no visiting or being visited. And now, in addition to my sons' own frequent requests for friends (heartbreaking enough, as you can imagine) we've learned that 'isolation is the kiss of death for these kids.'
So, despite grave reservations about the social scene in the public school, and fears about Ian's being rejected (with all that could mean in terms of self-esteem) because of his decidedly deficit social skills, we're seriously considering sending him just so he can have a greater chance, through seeing the same group of children regularly, to practice those social skills and (we hope) to develop friendships . And yet, if only we could solve the social void, homeschooling seems to be indicated in so many ways!
I'd welcome any advice, suggestions, wisdom . . . thanks, Rachel</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 17, 2014
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Posted:Aug 08, 2002 11:15:58 AM

<HTML>I've known *lots* of NVLD folks wiht social skills issues (think back through your life, you have too :-)). Going a week without a playdate is *not* isolation to the point of being a kiss of death.
In my experience, public schools are like the deep end of the social skills pool. If you've got the skills or can figure it out quick enough on your own, you'll do fine. If you're a kiddo who has to be told what's going on and why this social behavior creates that reaction, things are just changing too often for you to make sense of any of it. The rules change every time that bossy girl walks in or out of the room...oh, and of course, for the folks in *that* social group, the rules are *totally* different... Oh, kids learn to cope -- but often those "coping skills" aren't the best ones or come at a high emotional cost.
See if you can get a hold of Mary MacCracken (not sure of the spelling) "Turnaround CHildren" (or it might be "turnabout children"). She talks about five or six kids including some with serious social skills issues (I keep loaning my copies out :-)) and has some neat constructive ideas -- but it's mainly a great book just for encouragement.
Speaking as a former ps teacher, school & child psych type professionals very often have an idealized vision of social development at schools - and often an even more distorted version of homeschooling. They have to defend their own institution, so they've built this mental model of how much better it is. So -- if you've got people who know your family and situation well who are telling you it's too isolated, give it due consideration. If it's the NVLD dxer, consider his/her perspective. (And some of those folks are just dead-set against homeschooling -- how could it possibly be better than the great and wondrous institution they work for?)</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 17, 2014
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Posted:Aug 08, 2002 10:46:49 PM

<HTML>Ok, there are many many issues here and no simple answer. But public school isn't a simple solution either.

One thought: this takes work but is worth it for *many* reasons, not just deficient social skills. Sign him up for *at least three* out-of-the-house activities that are age and developmentally appropriate. Sports: swimming lessons, Little League, skating/hockey lessons (please do skating skills before hockey), soccer league, basketball league, gymnastics lessons, judo/karate/self-defense lessons, etcetera. Arts: painting class, pottery class, kids' photography class, kids' drama class (this one is exceptionally good if available), carpentry class, music lessons both singing and instrumental, choir. Other: kids' computer class, book club/reading circle, Sunday School, Scouts, 4H. And so forth.
There are many activities arranged especially for homeschoolers, as well as those for after-school and weekends.
Most community-based activities are fairly inexpensive -- I'm talking about community-center classes, not high-power professional classes unless he later shows a talent to be encouraged.
By the way, although my daughter chose to go to public school, she was in at least two and often three of these activities most of the time from age five to fourteen (at fourteen she was in high school and that took over provision of activities); she needs a *lot* of activity and stimulation, and yes, it was good for her social development too.

If you have your child out of the house to five or six meetings of various activities at least four days a week, he will be getting much more positive and productive social stimulation than he would be getting in a public school classroom. These activities are planned for social development and so are more suitable than a classroom anyway. You can help things along by talking to coaches and instructors, explaining your child's needs, and making sure the instructors are supportive -- pull him out of negative situations.

This doesn't solve everything else needed for homeschool, but takes care of one aspect.</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 17, 2014
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Posted:Aug 13, 2002 6:03:44 PM

<HTML>We didn't know my son had visual and auditory processing problems when he was little. So we sent him to a preschool 2 days a week. He wasn't doing well with the activities so the school asked if he could go 5 days a week. I told them, "no, because I was staying home to be with him". They told me that they were so concerned about him that they would not charge me for the extra days. This really worried me, so I did what they wanted. My son became very nervous and withdrawn. He then went to K-1st grade in the local public school. He started to hate learning. When I found out that he had LD's I looked into what the schools had to offer and couldn't find what my son really needed. I started home schooling him in 2nd grade. I had to first teach him that learning could be fun and pull back the son that I loved. Now sometimes I wished we would have never had him in school, but the one thing we get out of it is that we know that the school couldn't do better than I can. I have him in many sociable groups and activities. In our area there are many home school groups. If there are some around you, go see what they have to offer. Many groups have field trips, co-op activities, educational get togethers and classes. My son also joins basketball and my house is the neighborhood playground. Yes, I am the mom who phones many many kids to come over for a swim or a fun science.

Try homeschooling, I think you will love it!
Brenda</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 17, 2014
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Posted:Aug 16, 2002 8:59:31 PM

<HTML>We live in a multi-cultural society, we tend to gravitate toward those people that we feel comfortable with, the problem here is just that, your child would probably be with those kids like yourself. It is a shock to kids when they see different kids from different cultures unless he is with them in school. I had this problem with my daughter, going to school in a small college town with very few minorities. Just remember this when you make your school plans for him. I know that the discision is hard.</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 17, 2014
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Posted:Aug 25, 2002 2:59:03 PM

<HTML>I have homeschooled my dc for the last 8 years. I have noticed that if I want my kiddos to have social interaction and it isn't happening then I must do something about it. I seek out those who can play, go on field trips, go swimming, or do whatever. Yes it can be tiresome to be the one to instegate these activities, but your children will be better for it. Even mom needs to get out and socialize too!!

I have been blessed to find a speech and learning therapist for my middle child. The program she has undergone is not available in the school system where I live. I feel for now that I cannot be involved in the local homeschool co-op for I cannot give the time to prepare and teach classes. Yet there are many in the same boat as I (homeschoolers in my area), so they are the ones I reach out to for my support. A friend of mine is getting her son with mine so they can have a science class together. Both boys need the friendship, but they will be learning together too.

HTH,
Jan P.</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 17, 2014
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Posted:Aug 26, 2002 1:42:46 AM

<HTML>Shay --

My daughter grew up in two countries and two languages with a wide variety of cultures. I made a point of keeping her exposed to all sorts of different people. Her high school group of friends included one of almost everybody, and we tried to avoid saying anything negative about any group.

So, one time when she was in high school, we were all acting in the community theater, and I threw the cast party. A black lady who was in the play happened to mentioned a racial slur in conversation and Grace looked blank and said "What was that?" The lady repeated it to the same blank look, and then tried out several others. Turns out Grace didn't know *any* racial insults towards any group. Considering she is linguistically gifted, if they'd been around she would have known them. We patted ourselves on the back that we had done a pretty good job over that issue at least. The old "Don't make it an issue and it won't be one" mehtod, helped by a social group that was so mixed that nobody made that kind of negative comment.</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 17, 2014
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Posted:Aug 28, 2002 10:27:59 PM

<HTML>Rachel,

I'll join the crowd here and say that socialization in the public schools will have far more negatives than positives for an LD child. They soon learn that they are different and self-esteem plummets. I'd not wait for that to happen. Go ahead and follow your heart and homeschool since that was your plan.

It's already been posted, but by all means let him try some outside activites with the homeschool group or local community...sports, scouts, music, 4-H, church, or whatever. That way you can shape the peer group he will be with. And he will not be comparing himself to them academically.

Janis</HTML>

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