WHAT DOES YOUR CHILD NEED IN A CURRICULUM?

Most children fare better when several senses can be used at once. This may or may not be true for certain children with learning disabilities. Sometimes the weak links (areas with disabilities) overpower the strengths. But sometimes the strengths are strong enough to overcome the weaknesses. Since you always want to teach to the strengths, it is time to analyze your special child’s curriculum needs.

Learning Syles:

·         If not, what seems to hold his attention the longest?

·         Visual learners tend to work well with shorter workbook pages. Children with visual- processing problems do better with explanations accompanied by demonstrations with manipulatives, even if you need to explain the manipulative step by step.

·         Auditory learners thrive on tapes, explanations, and explaining things themselves—better known as chattering. Children with auditory- processing problems require the opposite—short, simple, and to-the-point explanations. The longer the explanation, the more potential for problems. Manipulatives and examples only work if they make sense without much explanation.

Other Considerations:

·         Computers: Does he like working (not playing) on your computer? Can he touch type/keyboard? Computers stimulate all senses, often providing the best opportunity for many LDs to absorb new knowledge. Unlike people, computer software is great because it is willing to do the same task thousands of times without a complaint. An appropriate choice in software can save your sanity.

·         Assignments: Is he easily frustrated or overwhelmed by assignments? Does a full page of work bring on tears? Do you shorten assignments to alleviate this? Can he follow an assignment sheet (a checklist or other organizer method), or does he need you to keep him on track (e.g., “You’ve finished math. Now do spelling.”)?

·         Preferences: If he could choose a curriculum format, what would it be? Are workbooks his favorite? (He likes short assignments and can make an A+.) Does he avoid writing or coloring at all costs? (He is resistant to paper/pencils and has poor motor control.) Does he like doing crafts and activities, or does he view them as a time waster? (Some children prefer to finish their work quickly, so they can do what they want.) Does he prefer doing everything with you watching over his shoulder, or does he have the abilities and stick-to-itiveness to do the task on his own (self-motivated)? Pay special attention to his interests and where he is successful.