Homeschooling a Child
with Special Needs
Homeschooling a Child
with Special Needs
One of the mom’s in our group has graciously put together a lot of good information for any family that has a child with dyslexia or dysgraphia: My oldest son, John Henry, has dyslexia and dysgraphia. He struggled to learn to read, still struggles to spell and to write. He and I have traveled a long road, and I wanted to share some of the resources that helped us along the way.
Dyslexia and Dysgraphia
Resources and Intervention
Studies have shown that dyslexics learn best using a multi-sensory approach. There are many programs out there that use this approach. Including:
Barton Program- Bright Solutions
Dianne Craft – a special education teacher who developed a program specially for use at home and she is a special ed advocate through HSLDA
Davis Dyslexic Solutions – this is the Huntsville, AL branch
The DuBard Program – A program developed by a professor at USM in Hattisburg, MS.
This site: Guide to Overcoming Dyslexia has a myriad of other helps, games and activities for helping with dyslexia.
Books and Testing
Books to read:
Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
The Gift of Dyslexia
Testing in the Jefferson County Area
You can have your child tested at the local school, but the Alabama state department of education does not recognize dyslexia as a valid learning disability, therefore, your child might only receive a diagnosis of “reading disability”.
The Alabama Scottish Rite Learning Center provides free testing and tutoring for children with reading difficulties, specifically dyslexia.
There are also a few independent evaluators in the area. You can find them through the International Dyslexia Associationʼs Find A Provider function.
There is a private school in Huntsville whose students are all dyslexic and some have ADHD as well. It is called the Greengate School and is a valuable resource for finding testing and tutoring all over the state.
In Huntsville, there is an agency called TASC-Technology Assistance for Special Consumers– They are an arm of the United Cerebral Palsy and provide adaptive technology for people who have a disability making reading or writing difficult. Their services are free as well and worth the trip to Huntsville. They will show you all the software, hardware, and resources available for children with print disabilities and provide you with demos to try for free.
Bookshare is a program begun in response to the Americans with Disabilities Act. It provides books, textbooks included, newspapers, magazines, and other print items in ebook and audio-book format. The child with a print disability must be deemed eligible by formal diagnosis, but once you provide written proof of the issue, your child can have access to this program for free.
Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic is a program also providing audio books to people with print disabilities. You must also provide written proof, but it is not a difficult process.
Using Spelling, Handwriting and Keyboarding
All About Spelling is a multi-sensory approach to spelling, with a reading component, too. I am using this with all my kids and it seems to be working.
Sequential Spelling is a spelling and reading program published by AVKO, a foundation started by a dyslexic man.
Handwriting without Tears is a program I have used this since the beginning of our homeschooling journey. It was the only handwriting program recommended by the evaluators after John Henry was diagnosed with dyslexia.
Keyboarding: (Weʼve tried several and have finally had success with this one.)
Ultrakey is a A very basic and straight – forward program that does not use a game format to teach typing.
There are so many good math programs to choose from, but for dyslexic students, it is really necessary for the program to use a hands on approach. The one that has worked for us is Math U See
Times Tales is a supplemental program that teaches the multiplication tables using silly stories and funny cartoons. It is AMAZING that it works so well; but honestly, it does. If you follow the exact steps and really work the program as instructed, your child will learn his times tables easily and not forget them!
Timez Attack is a fun and good review of multiplication in a video game format. This program is wonderful! I have been so pleased with it.