T4L & Special Needs Students
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  1. #1
    MarilynM is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default T4L & Special Needs Students

    After using the program for only three days, it may seem premature of me to post this recommendation. However, I wanted to help those who may be considering the program for their special needs children. I normally can evaluate products quickly for my son.

    My son, 15, has numerous special needs issues: autism spectrum, Speech/Verbal Apraxia, auditory processing problems, mild CP, fine motor problems, sensory difficulties, and more. He has a very involved medical history as he was born with an Omphalocele with many other issues secondary to it. It was a long five years of medical issues. More importantly is the fact that he learns something new every week. It is unusual for someone his age to improve so much.

    While I anticipate having some issues later due to my son's splinter skills, I love the program! He has always been homeschooled, however, ds rarely initiates the daily lessons. The past three days have been so exciting for us. Ds is eager for the "work" to begin and I have not once found myself prodding him to continue the lessons. I had to ask him to rest his eyes!

    In addition, the program leads him to the next level and requires less intervention on my part. The independence is important to my son and yet I have the ability to check on his problem areas. I am also nearby to help with quizzes or other questions. I am hoping that the program will help with his retention level, also.

    I would highly recommend T4L to anyone! In fact, I plan on discussing this program with my son's therapists (OT, PT, and ST) on Monday. Whether they can use it in therapy or pass the info along to the parents of patients, I really hope that it can help other children/teens like my son. I have a few friends whose children need it, also.

    I believe that the special needs percentage of T4L subscribers should be higher. My only reservation for those with older special needs is that they must not be offended by the juvenile characters in the program. This is not a negative response regarding the program, but merely is an issue with some older students who need to be on the lower level.

    I have more to say, but I will spare you!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    cherra is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I wholeheartedly agree that T4L is a great program for special needs kids. Our 13-year-old son has ongoing medical issues which have had a large impact on his ability to maintain appropriate progress with his education and that also impact his abililty to concentrate, maintain mental and physical energy, and his short-term memory. The past couple of years have been quite difficult, and I have spent countless hours searching for and trialing various materials in order to try to maintain some level of education while we work towards getting some recovery. It has been extremely frustrating for him. I discovered T4L a couple of weeks ago, and thus far it is the best fit for him in every way, by far. He is not resisting sitting down and working on it as he finds it as enjoyable as school work can be for him. We can also for each subject work on the grade level that is most appropriate for him as he has gotten quite far behind his grade level in the process. Up until now almost every single thing he has done school-wise for the past couple of years has been one-on-one with him and me. The way the lessons are structured with T4L he is able to do much more of it on his own. That is wonderful to see and needless to say makes him feel better about things as well.

    I, too, plan on passing on information about T4L. I think it should be in the special ed department of every school!! Every situation and kid is different and what works for one does not necessarily work for another, but I think this program is one that could benefit a lot of struggling kids and should at the very least be available as one of the many tools in any given special ed department.

    Like Marilyn, perhaps I'm a bit premature in making such strong statements as we've only been using this a couple of weeks, but we are already finding it so helpful that I felt compelled to share, especially in light of Maryilyn's post as we seem to share an awful lot of common ground.

  3. #3
    MarilynM is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    There are many similarities! I am becoming more and more convinced that this program is great for special children. I do believe that there will be additional hurdles once we move to the older grades. That still remains speculation on my part since I haven't seen the higher grades. I'm just assuming that the directions or writing requirements may interfere.

    My son does have some auditory processing difficulties and the directions are sometimes lost due to the wordiness. It's "wordy" at times for "him". However, on the lower scoring work, we go back and listen to the directions. At that point, I clarify it for him and he completes the work, again.

    This satisfies two goals:

    1. He can maintain his independence by completing work on his won.

    2. I cam able to check his scores and take the time to review with him.

    Kelly helped me reason through some of this, although her children aren't special needs. I was able to take the situation and figure out how to make it work for him. I didn't realize that he could repeat the lessons.

    I print out worksheets when I see that he cannot grasp a concept or just needs the input from a different direction.

    The program showed me some deficiencies that I was unaware of because they were presented in a different manner or used different terminology.

    I received your pm and will reply.

  4. #4
    cherra is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Yes, when my son has difficulty with an activity or does not show he has mastered the material on a quiz, I go back through it with him the second time, with further explanation, etc. The repetition helps clarifiy the areas of difficulty and when he repeats and does better the second time it also builds confidence and makes him feel better about himself.

    I am utilizing worksheets for reenforcement some, too. Speaking of which, I would love to hear any recommendations regarding sites that have been found the most helpful for worksheets. I don't even mind if it is a site where you pay to be a member. I've just not found one that seems to give consistent ones that I like.

  5. #5
    PegLou55 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default How much work...

    How much work does any body get done with a child that has ADHD?
    How much work would have to be done to get the school year done and be able to go on to the next grade?
    This is all new to me and I would like to know how to just chat with some one too. I live in Maine.

  6. #6
    witchly's Avatar
    witchly is offline Senior Member Guru
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    Default

    My son does not have ADHD, but Bipolar, and there are a lot of overlapping things with those. Every child is different though. My son is 13 and able to work on T4L for up to 4 hours a day if need be, but we do take breaks also which helps a lot. He can take a 5 minute break anytime he needs, plus we break for lunch. A timer is very useful to help keep things on schedule. We have one that goes both up in time and counts down.

    Don't worry so much about going "up a grade". Do what works best for your child. We just started T4L in January and my son won't finish everything in the regular grade level before we break for summer. I plan on still using the same grade level when we start again in the fall. With social studies we are already bouncing around using 5, 6, and 7 grade levels based on his current interests. As long as there is enough of a challenge for your child, the grade level number doesn't really matter (just like our age doesn't really matter). You can also add supplemental activities to make it more challenging if you need to.
    Robyn
    Secular homeschooler of 1 son (14)
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/RobynsOnlineWorld.1.gif

  7. #7
    Sandy is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchly
    My son does not have ADHD, but Bipolar, and there are a lot of overlapping things with those.
    It seems we share the same son (lol) - mine is also ADHD and Bipolar, and boy is that a challenge. My son is 13 (14 at the end of this month). I do wish he showed an interest in homeschooling, but he is resistant to it. I absolutely DETEST his school. They do not know how to handle bipolar children when they get manic. OMG I could go on and on (started typing a book out here but decided against my rant lol)....

    Needless to say, I am still working on the hopes he will want to homeschool. Actually all it will take is one more manic episode at school and he will be ready. After each one, he wants to quit school... because of how the staff reacts when he gets manic. I've seen first hand what they do, and that is why I detest the school.
    Sandy
    Tallahassee, FL
    Mom to... 18 year old daughter
    13 year old son (ADHD & Bipolar, not homeschooled... yet)
    12 year old son (homeschooled)

  8. #8
    witchly's Avatar
    witchly is offline Senior Member Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy
    because of how the staff reacts
    I think lots of us who have tried public school with Bipolar kids have had this problem. We pulled my son out last spring because of the schools inability to do anything except suspend my son for the most part. My son is so hard on himself when he does something "wrong" because once he is back to a more stable mood after the event, he knows exactly what he SHOULD have done instead. Then the school comes along and just keeps suspending him and treating him no so nice (to say the least) and it just was such a blow to his self-esteem constantly.

    I run a email group for folks homeschool their bipolar kids also if anyone is interested in taking a look - it is free of course
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HS-Bipolar/
    Robyn
    Secular homeschooler of 1 son (14)
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/RobynsOnlineWorld.1.gif

  9. #9
    2beagle is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Another praise for T4L and special needs kids!

    My 7 yr old ds has been doing T4L for about a month now, and all I can say is WHY oh WHY did no one tell me about this program this past winter, when I was getting ready to pull him from public school?! After doing a bit of research on various traditional homeschool curriculums, I settled on a "literature-rich" program--my family LOVES books, and I thought it would work well for my son, due to the absence of textbooks. Well, in addition to his sensory issues, ds also is quite the perfectionist, (and has difficulty attending to the task at hand, without someone right there to prompt him), and one page on a workbook would take FOREVER--either he would zone out, or he was busy erasing/coloring in his letters to make them PERFECT! It drove me nuts! And, my schedule was crazy--dd, 3rd grade at our local Christian school, younger ds in pre-K in the Early Childhood program at yet a different school, older ds homeschooled, I'm in grad school full-time (2 days/week), which means trying to get a bunch of homeschooling in on the other days, while I study as well...

    Well, as much as I love all the books, I spent hundreds of dollars to find out that it just wasn't working for him. We still do the readers, though, and my kids will enjoy reading reference books just for fun (really, they do)! But, while it was like pulling teeth to get my son into schoolwork with the previous program, he now ASKS to start his schoolwork! He never actually gets to the "playground", because he's enjoying the lessons so much! (I also have to ask him to rest his eyes!) Instead of spending 10 minutes erasing and re-writing an answer, he's doing an entire quiz--I'd much rather know how much he understands than see how perfectly he can write a "t"! When I'm at school and dh is home, ds can log onto T4L and work on his own! No more catching a 7:15 a.m. bus, when he is barely awake--ds can do T4L anytime! We can run errands in the morning, and ds can do school in the afternoon or evening!

    I'm currently waiting for an appointment to have my ds evaluated by a nearby child development center (I suspect Asperger's, maybe ODD, CAPD, and he already has sensory processing disorder and Klinefelter Syndrome), and I will mention how T4L seems to be a really good fit for him! The only thing I need to get back into the habit of doing is working on handwriting with him--he still needs to learn that! (We're doing Handwriting Without Tears.) Oh-I'm going to grad school to become an OT, so this will be a fabulous resource for my future clients, as I plan to go into pediatrics!

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