courtb8888's picture
courtb8888

Special Education Parent's Advice Needed!

My name is Courtney and I am currently in my last year of receiving my elementary education degree through Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Right now, I am taking a class through Southeastern Illinois College about children with special needs. This class discusses children with special needs and how every teacher needs to accommodate for every child. I have read a lot in the book, but I would really like to get some true advise from some parents. Right now we are discussing how the child's special need effects the family and also parent teacher collaboration. If you have any views, comments, stories, or advice I would love to hear about it! Thank you so much for all that you do!



2xstepmom's picture
2xstepmom

Rplied to "children with disabilities" post. Best of luck with your educational goals.

Only2boys's picture
Only2boys

Hi Courtney,

I was in your shoes years ago, then taught, and now substitute teach and am home for one more year with my youngest son. I also have two sons with special needs. My oldest is diagnosed, but youngest isn't officially as of yet. We were told to wait until he was 6 for testing, so that it is more accurate.

First of all, I will say that it is nearly impossible for teacher's to accomodate every child's needs. Not that effort isn't there, but more and more has been put on teachers. More children with needs are in our classes. You do the best you can and try to get parents involved.

My oldest son is diagnosed NLD (Nonverbal Learning Disorder), ADHD, and also disorder of written expression. My youngest we are pretty sure is NLD, but not sure anything else at this point. With my boys they continually try to be top dog and try to outdo you or each other. My husband and I have to be firm with them and we work with a child psychologist to give us support and advice. Children with NLD are weak in visual/spatial skills, social skills, and can have reading comprehension problems, math problems, gross/fine motor problems, etc. My son is also extremely bright (in the gifted program), so with the digressed social skills it makes it hard for him to interact with the other kids. I call him my absent minded professor. :) So we work closely monitoring his behavior with his teacher by emails and phone calls. My son struggles with handwriting, so we are working on meeting his needs by setting up accomodations. Some accomodations can be a scribe for testing or longer written assignments, and learning to type.

Because of this invisible disability, our family probably seems disfunctional to others. We have to work really hard at teaching social cues to our boys where other children pick them up, we have to teach them and constantly reiforce them.... such as saying thank you for things given to them, eye contact when speaking to someone, etc. Because these children are verbally advanced they are sometimes perceived to be understanding things they don't. Like I mentioned they don't read social cues... like when someone is upset, mad, or even just tired of them talking constantly... which they do. :) These children learn by talking through things, not by seeing things visually. They are auditory learners.

It is alot of stress on the family. Things in life aren't always the way you imagined them, but you make the best of it and keep going. My oldest son I taught to read by the age of 3, and taught him many other things, but because of my youngest son's disabiity and personality we have enrolled him in preschool. It wasn't what I really wanted, but we (my husband, our child psycholgist, and I) made this decision, because we felt it was what was best needed for our son. He needs to learn boundaries, social cues, etc. from someone else.

These children will probably be very difficult to raise to adulthood, but they are what God gave us and he has a plan for us all. So yes, I will be by their sides much longer then other parents, will be checking in with teacher's and the school more often, and will be stressed out too.

I wish you the best finishing your education courses and student teaching. The teaching field is challenging, but wonderful because you make the difference in children's lives. Good luck as you try to meet each child's needs!

Read up on NLD yourself. I never ran into a child with this disorder teaching, but am learning about it with my boys. It wasn't something ever discussed in a college class. Also read up on Autism spectrum disorders. I will tell you that there is an increase in NLD diagnosis, so you may run into one of these "special" children. Good luck.

Only

AMC2NLD's picture
AMC2NLD
Hello! I don't know if you check here often but my oldest child who's 9 was just dxed with NLD. The school psychologist came to that conclusion after checking assessment results for his re evaluation for his IEP. Before that he was considered adhd inattentive and dysgraphia. I'm still new to this world so I just hope all's going well for your boys. AMC2NLD Ps- there are a few fb pages for those affected by NLD. I believe one is called Parents of NLDers.