A Moment with The Homeschool Minute ~ Raising Real Men – Hal & Melanie Young
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Think through social situations. What’s required by the class, co-op, event, or activity you’d like your child to do? Will there be reading aloud? Writing? What about at check in–how will they sign up? Things that are no big deal for most kids can be huge roadblocks for struggling learners, even when they are perfectly able to participate in the class.
Get their siblings on board. Our son said his heart sank every time he saw a stack of name tags, “It’s like making a billboard saying, ‘I’m dyslexic’ and sticking it to my chest.” It was a big relief when his brother started just casually writing both tags at once. An alert sibling can intervene in difficult areas for their special needs brother or sister and build a lifelong bond in the process.
Clue in the adults in charge. Something as simple and friendly as Vacation Bible School can produce tremendous stress when they might get called on to read aloud or to write something for other people to read. Just explaining things to the authorities can smooth the way for your child to enjoy the event without fear of embarrassment.
Ask for accommodations. Our son thought he’d never be able to win academic awards like his brothers, until we thought to ask if he could dictate his essays instead of write them by hand or type. The next year, he won first place among all secondary students in a statewide essay contest, of all things! Asking for accommodations isn’t cheating; it’s allowing your child to work at his full potential.
Use legal language when you ask for help. If you say, “My son has a learning disability and we’d like to request accommodations,” often program organizers will be legally required to help you out under the Americans With Disabilities Act. In fact, most folks are delighted to do so! Our severely dyslexic and dysgraphic son is taking a class in essay writing and keeping an A average because he got the accommodations he needed to succeed.
Don’t let a learning struggle stop you. Anxiety, both theirs and our own, can keep us from trying outside activities that our children are well able to do– activities that may bless their lives. Speak up and get the help they need, and then encourage them to get out there and do it. It’s so worth it!
Yours in the battle,
Hal & Melanie
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