Our Journey Overcoming Learning Disabilities
I wasn’t sure if overcoming learning disabilities is possible, but I KNEW I must try for the sake of my son! An administrator had just barked at me in an IEP meeting:
“He may never read well, and he certainly is NOT college material! You just need to lower your expectations!”
Our Story: From BAD Public School Experiences to Overcoming Learning Disabilities
When we sent my oldest son off to kindergarten at our public school, he was a bubbly, talkative, outgoing child who loved learning.
My son was a walking encyclopedia of Science, and he loved learning. My son knew all kinds of facts about animals, nature, and he knew more about dinosaurs than anyone else I knew.
Sadly, after five years in public school, my son became sullen and depressed. My son wouldn’t look people in the eye, and he hardly spoke a word to anyone. My son began believing he was dumb, and we could hardly motivate him to work on his homework anymore. Tears and frustration began appearing every time he was expected to do schoolwork.
What happened between Kindergarten and the end of fourth grade?
During the summers after first and second grade, my son received diagnoses of having multiple learning disabilities. We thought the school would help him, but we were wrong.
Additionally, kids kicked my son on the playground and they shunned playing with him because of his disabilities. My son had his head bashed into a concrete wall to “knock some sense into him.” His classmates called him “moron.” His teacher told him not to bother to do assignments because he couldn’t do them anyway. The kids watched Braves baseball in reading resource class and played games because the teacher wanted them to “like coming to class.”
When I expressed concern because my son was going into fifth grade and still couldn’t read, an administrator said my son would probably never learn to read well. Clearly she didn’t believe overcoming learning disabilities is possible.
Our Last Straw
In an IEP meeting, the administrators and teachers literally laughed out loud when I said I thought my son was gifted and told them he wanted to go to college.
One 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. Furthermore, he made no meaningful educational progress during his five years in public school.
My son couldn’t read after five years, and his joyful, eager-to-learn spirit was crushed.
We reached the end of our rope and we withdrew our boys from public school. We wanted our boys to have a better chance in life than the school’s limiting beliefs would allow.
I had my doubts as to whether overcoming learning disabilities was possible, but I knew I had to try for the sake of my son.
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. Thankfully, God answered my prayers in a way that was far BIGGER than I ever anticipated.
Learning Abled Kids 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 have:
- positive encouragement,
- to be seen as a capable learner,
- to be given tools and technology to help him learn,
- and to receive teaching according to his individual needs.
Do you want to know how well homeschooling works for Overcoming Learning Disabilities?
After eight years of homeschooling, every college to which he applied accepted my son for admission. My son 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.
When my son began attending college, he ranked as a college SOPHOMORE. He completed his freshman year of college while he was being homeschooled through high school. He earned 39 credit hours through dual enrollment and CLEP credit.
My son was on the Dean’s list almost every semester. During his senior year in college, my son made straight A’s, which put him on the President’s List for the entire year. Three National Honor’s Societies at college invited my son to join, and he is now a member of two of them.
My son graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in a STEM field.
CLEARLY my son IS “college material.”
My son needed exactly what every child needs: teaching with love, encouragement, patience, and compassion.
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. It’s a national disgrace that many people fail to see the potential in learning abled kids.
The proper identification of a child’s needs, proven instructional programs, proper teaching, and lots of positive encouragement makes overcoming learning disabilities possible. Your child may accomplish beyond expectations of others if his or her learning needs are pinpointed and properly addressed.
There are no guarantees that your child will be able to overcome his or her learning disabilities. However, it’s worth trying to homeschool if you are willing to take matters into your own hands!
If your child is experiencing educational neglect or abuse at school, I recommend taking matters into your own hands. You might find a lot of comfort in my Book, Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling. The book shares what it’s really like to homeschool a learning abled kid, and it’ll help you get past homeschooling stereotypes.
I’ve also 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.
Overcoming Learning Disabilities at Home is Possible
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–to help your child. He’s counting on you!
Doubt you can homeschool?
Please DON’T dismiss the idea of homeschooling without reading: Overcome Your Fear Homeschooling. Even if the thought terrifies you, homeschooling might be a LOT easier and more rewarding than you expect!
The thought of homeschooling made me shake in my shoes, but it was actually quite different from what I expected. You can always give it a temporary try just to see how it goes for you and your child!
Each child is a gift from God and raising your child is an opportunity for you to learn and grow. I have grown in countless ways by teaching my child. You may grow in patience, love, and understanding too, if you look at meeting your child’s needs as an opportunity to build a great future for your child. 😉
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?