The Beginning of Our Journey in Overcoming Learning Disabilities
“He may never read well and he certainly is NOT college material! You just need to lower your expectations!” an administrator barked at me in an IEP meeting.
Our Story: From BAD Public School Experiences to Overcoming Learning Disabilities
When I sent my oldest son off to kindergarten at our local public school, he was a bubbly, talkative, outgoing child who loved learning.
He was a walking encyclopedia of Science. He loved learning about animals, nature, and all things dinosaur.
After five years in public school, my son was sullen and depressed. He cried in the evenings after school. He wouldn’t look people in the eye, and he hardly spoke a word to anyone. He was convinced he was incapable of learning.
What happened between Kindergarten and the end of fourth grade?
My son was diagnosed with learning disabilities. He was kicked on the playground, had his head bashed into the concrete to “knock some sense into him”, was called moron by his peers, and told by his teacher not to bother to do assignments because he couldn’t do them anyway.
When I expressed concern that my son was going into fifth grade and still couldn’t read, one of the administrators said my son would probably never learn to read well. It was obvious she had no belief that overcoming learning disabilities is possible.
In an IEP meeting, the administrators and teachers literally laughed out loud when I said I thought my son was gifted and wanted to go to college.
An administrator snapped at me, “He is NOT college material! You just need to lower your expectations!”
My son was bullied, belittled, and devalued almost every day at school.
He made no meaningful educational progress during his five years in public school. He still couldn’t read after five years, and my son’s joyful, eager-to-learn spirit was crushed.
After that, we withdrew our boys from public school. We wanted our boys to have a better chance in life than the school personnel’s limiting beliefs would allow. At that time, I had doubts that overcoming learning disabilities was possible, but I knew I had to try for the sake of my son and his future.
Although I had no background in education, I figured I could do no worse than the public school.
Homeschooling Made Overcoming Learning Disabilities Possible
I read everything I could about my child’s disabilities, his learning style, and about the best way to teach him. I prayed–a LOT.
God’s placement of the right people and tools in my path was an important part of our success story. God answered my prayers in a way that was far BIGGER than I ever anticipated.
Overcoming learning disabilities was born out of knowing my son was ABLE to learn and seeking God’s guidance. I believed in my son’s ABLED-ness. Educationally, he needed what every child needs:
- to feel encouraged,
- to be seen as capable,
- to be given tools and technology to help him learn,
- and to be taught according to his individual needs.
Do you want to know how well homeschooling works for Overcoming Learning Disabilities?
After eight years of homeschooling, my son was accepted at every college he applied to. He enrolled at a large state-run research University where he received an Honors Scholarship and fully paid tuition.
On the ACT college entrance exam, my son’s composite score was at the 95th percentile. He scored at the 97th percentile in math and at the 99th percentile in Science.
He started his first year of college ranked as a SOPHOMORE with 39 credit hours earned while he was being homeschooled through high school.
My son was on the Dean’s list almost every semester. During his senior year he made straight A’s, putting him on the President’s List for the entire year. He was invited to join three National Honor’s Societies at college. He joined two of them.
My son graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree!
CLEARLY my son IS “college material.”
He just needed to be taught with love, encouragement, patience, and compassion, just like every other child needs. There is no doubt in my mind that God set me on the right path to rescue my son from a terrible educational outcome.
It’s sad to me that our school couldn’t see my son’s potential. I also think it’s a national disgrace that many people fail to see the potential in learning abled kids.
Our schools need to realize overcoming learning disabilities is entirely possible with proper identification of a child’s needs, proven instructional programs, proper teaching, and lots of positive encouragement.
If you need to save your child from educational neglect, I recommend you take matters into your own hands. I’ve written about the methods we used in The Dyslexia Help Handbook for Parents: Your Guide to Overcoming Dyslexia Including Tools You Can Use for Learning Empowerment.
By meeting your child’s educational needs, you will give your child his very life–A life full of hope with a future where the sky is his limit. Your passion for your child’s education will make a difference for your child’s future. You may even find success overcoming learning disabilities like we did! 😀
Please become an advocate for your child, believe in him, and teach him according to his needs–not by doing what is easy. Don’t let your child flounder in school year after year. Please DO something–anything–you can to help your child. He’s counting on you!
Doubt you can homeschool? DON’T dismiss the idea without reading: Overcome Your Fear Homeschooling. It’s a LOT easier to homeschool a Learning Abled Kid than you may think!!
Each child is a gift from God and an opportunity for you to learn and grow. I know I have grown in countless ways by teaching my child. You too will grow in compassion, patience, love, and understanding if you look at your child as a precious opportunity to build a future for your child and family. 😉
Best of Luck and BELIEVE that Overcoming Learning Disabilities is POSSIBLE! 😀
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Story: From BAD Public School Experiences to Overcoming Learning Disabilities
- 2 Do you want to know how well homeschooling works for Overcoming Learning Disabilities?