VERIFYING SPECIAL NEEDS
Children with special learning needs generally fall into two main categories: (1) those with specific learning problems and (2) those with attentional difficulties. These are actually two distinct learning difficulties, even though they are often confused. However, a student with a specific learning problem can also have attentional difficulties and vice versa, but this is not always the case.
A student with a specific learning problem demonstrates a processing weakness in at least one of the following areas:
- oral or language expression
- listening comprehension
- reading decoding
- reading comprehension
- math computation
- math reasoning
- written expression
Specialized testing for these students reveals an average or above average I.Q. with a 15 to 20 point discrepancy between achievement scores in one or more of the above seven areas and their I.Q. scores.
A student with attentional difficulties has characteristics that are persistent and displayed before age 7. If your child has at least 3 of the following 4 characteristics, and they affect his/her everyday academic success, you can be sure that he/she has attentional difficulties.
These characteristics are:
- problems with concentration, listening, following directions, and completing tasks
- acting without thinking, shifting from one activity to another, or having a difficult time with organizational skills
- difficulty with sitting still, waiting his turn, or always being "on the go"
- seeming "distant", "spacey", or "in his own world"
We have devised two separate guides specifically for parents of homeschooled students with learning problems and attentional difficulties respectively. Most books on the market approach learning problems and attention difficulties from a traditional classroom standpoint. Homeschool parents must adapt those suggestions to meet their own needs. Our books approach these special needs from the homeschooler's standpoint, offering definite and helpful guidelines for daily success.