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ADHD, Dyslexia, and Homeschooling
Q: My son is a junior in high school. He has ADHD and dyslexia. He's having problems in English and other subjects. I would like to consider homeschooling him next year. How do I go about it, and how do I know if this is what he needs?
A: Is your son receiving support in school? Does he have an Individual Education Plan that outlines the supports/modifications he needs to succeed in school? If you had told me he only had ADHD and not any learning disabilities, I would feel more positive about your prospects of homeschooling him. People who teach children with dyslexia should have the highest level of training and skill. There are many things you can do to support your child's learning, but I would hesitate to assume full responsibility for his schooling at home.
If you feel that he is not getting appropriate teaching at school, contact the International Dyslexia Association (www.interdys.org) at 1-800-ABCD123 or the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (www.aboutld.org) at 1-888-GR8-MIND to see if there is an advocacy group you can go to for advice in your community.
If your son is not being taught appropriately and not making progress in school, you may be eligible for funding for a professional tutor or even private school. You might want to look at attorney Lawrence M. Siegel's book, The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child. He has many resources that could be useful to you.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.