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The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
- Plutarch

Tools for Parents

Children With Learning Delays

Books and websites that address how to help children with learning delays.

Dyscalculia Warning Signs in Children, Grades 3 - 8
By National Center for Learning Disabilities

Dyscalculia refers to a range of learning disabilities involving math. Everyone struggles with learning at times. Learning disabilities such as dyscalculia, however, persist over time.

WEB LINK: http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/dyscalculia/common-math-learning-disability-and-dyscalculia-warning-signs-childr

Dyslexia Symptoms: How to Recognize Dyslexia in Children
The word dyslexia means difficulty with words or language, and is frequently used to refer to a child who seems much brighter than what his reading and written work suggest. The symptoms outlined include: Directional Confusion, Sequencing Difficulties, Difficulties with the Little Words, Bizarre Reading and Spelling, Late Talking, Difficulties with Handwriting & Math, and more.

WEB LINK: http://www.audiblox.com/dyslexia_symptoms.htm

Dyslexia Testing
Information on dyslexia testing, lists of testing specialists, types of tests, and more.

WEB LINK: http://www.dys-add.com/testing.html#nottest

Eye Tracking Problems: Convergence Insufficiency & Dysgraphia
By Christine Montano

Recently my older son was diagnosed as having an eye tracking problem: convergence insufficiency. This posting, for the Classical Kids Library, contains both a file filled with links on eye tracking issues (diagnosis as well as therapies) plus a weblink to my blog that contains my son's own story. I am sharing this information now in the hopes that others might identify symptoms and get help for their children.

A little background: My son had symptoms for about 18 months, though they went undetected. All his symptoms could be explained away and justified as normal. Once I was alerted to his condition, however, I took him to an eye doctor that specializes in evaluating and treating eye tracking problems. This type of doctor is called a Behavioral Optometrist; they have special training to give exams and diagnose these conditions. Eye tracking is not something normally tested for using visual acuity exams, i.e. the eye-chart test that determines near- or far-sightedness or perfect 20/20 vision.

Could any of your children have an eye tracking problem and you don't recognize it? For example, if you have a child who is struggling to read, it may be due to convergence insufficiency. Here are some common symptoms:

  • skipping words,
  • losing one's place,
  • stumbling on words,
  • poor tracking from one line to another,
  • complaining that the words are too crowded or too small,
  • slow reading,
  • poor comprehension,
  • turning his or her head to read,
  • squinting or closing one eye to read.
    This is only a partial list. Please read my blog for a full list of symptoms.

    There is another condition, called dysgraphia, that can show up as hand-writing issues. Your child may have dysgraphia if your child:

  • has sloppy handwriting despite trying 'everything;'
  • mixes up upper case and lower case despite knowing grammar rules;
  • misaligns his math problems consistently causing errors in computation;
  • appears smart and can tell a long oral story or retelling of an experience yet resists/is unable to put that in handwriting (and seems to be an age that this should not be a fine motor skills issue).

    Dianne Craft, an expert in this field, has discerned that parents usually notice this condition at age nine, and most kids are ten years old when it is diagnosed and treated.

    Also contained in the file in this listing is her website, articles she's written, as well as other free information she offers, and even details about the free counseling services she provides to HSLDA members.

    DOWNLOAD FILE: Eye Tracking Problem Links.pdf

    WEB LINK: http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2008/04/ive-been-learning-about-convergence.html

  • HIS Help in School
    By Judith Munday

    HIS Place for Help in School is a site with unique, high-quality resources expressly designed to help parents of children with special needs. You will find links to educational resource sites for many disabilities, links to sites for legal information about special education students' rights and advocacy, and practical help both in links to suppliers and in tips for teaching and working with the special learner.

    WEB LINK: http://www.hishelpinschool.com/

    International Dyslexia Association Fact Sheets
    Topics include:
  • Gifted and Dyslexic: Identifying and Instructing the Twice Exceptional Student
  • Adolescents and Adults with Dyslexia
  • Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia
  • Understanding Dysgraphia
  • Testing & Diagnosis
    and much more.

    The International Dyslexia Association holds an annual conference.

    WEB LINK: http://www.interdys.org/FactSheets.htm

  • Learning Delays and Gut & Psychology Syndrome
    By Natasha Campbell McBride, British neurologist

    There's a British neurologist, Natasha Campbell McBride, whose son got autism. She went back to school, got a masters in nutrition and fully cured him with diet changes and detoxing. She is now running a clinic in the US successfully healing children on the spectrum.

    In a nutshell, she believes LD's, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, etc. have a common cause: bad gut flora that produce toxins and a damaged gut wall or leaky gut that lets the toxins into the blood and brain (e.g. candida produces alcohol in the gut). As a result children on the spectrum are all fussy eaters and will only eat starches (crackers, pasta, bread, rice, banana etc) and sweet things which feed the bad flora.

    She has written a book about it (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) and also has a DVD about it. Her website is

    WEB LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j-znlz8Xto

    Lyme Disease Assessment Tool
    By Dr. Robert Bransfield

    This worksheet is a useful assessment for symptoms related to Lyme Disease that may not be noted by a physician who does not specialize in the disease. Some learning issues -- in processing, recall, attention or concentration -- may be a result of undetected Lyme Disease.

    DOWNLOAD FILE: Lyme assessment.pdf

    NATHHAN National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network
    NATHHAN's goal is to encourage homeschooling families with special needs children, in ways that glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to find Christian homes for children with special needs.

    WEB LINK: http://www.nathhan.com/

    National Tourette Syndrome Association
    News, information, support, and advocacy for parents and those suffering from Tourette's Syndrome.

    WEB LINK: http://www.tsa-usa.org/

    Reading and Decoding for Children with Dyslexia
    By Rick Lavoie

    Rick Lavoie shows what reading is like for kids with dyslexia in this clip.

    WEB LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx5kr2T7rK8

    Reading by the Colors
    By Helen Irlen

    Reading by the Colors includes significant breakthroughs and new applications for use with the Irlen Method to aid in the treatment of reading disabilities. There is an entire chapter on dyslexia and what it is.

    WEB LINK: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399531564?ie=UTF8&tag=classkidshome-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=03995

    Reading Comprehension Spec Ed
    By Rick Lavoie

    Great clip on reading comprehension and processing deficits.

    WEB LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbLAt2Hc7Rw

    Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child
    By Jeffrey Freed

    The book, Right-brained chilren in a Left-brained World, may offer some help in the form of an at-home program and general information. The subtitle is about ADD, but ADD and dyslexia are significantly present in right-brained individuals, and is part of that gift. I was so impressed with this book...can't recommend it highly enough.

    WEB LINK: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684847930?ie=UTF8&tag=classkidshome-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=06848

    Special Needs
    By CT Homeschool Network

    A listing of links that offer services for teaching kids with special needs. The site also contains a listing of resources including legal advocacy.

    WEB LINK: http://cthomeschoolnetwork.org/home-schooling/special-needs/

    Super Duper Publication
    Education materials that include therapy tools.

    WEB LINK: http://www.superduperinc.com/

    The Frontal Cortex: The Advantages of Tourette's
    By John Lehrer

    Interesting article on Tourette's and how disadvantages can also cause individuals to develop amazing strengths to compensate. The article talks about the author's learned behaviors to compensate for the Tourette's, and also mentions the World Cup American Team's soccer goalie with Tourette's.

    WEB LINK: http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/06/tourettes.php

    Visual-Spatial Learners
    By Linda Silverman

    An article by Linda Silverman online with a list of characteristics of visual-spatial learners, as well as other books to reference for more information.

    WEB LINK: http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Visual_Spatial_Learner/vsl.htm


    Audio & Video

    CK Publications


    Homeschooling Organizations


    Tools for Parents


    NOTE: Descriptions of programs and resources have been submitted for your information. They are passed on to you as a service. No endorsement by Classical Kids or its administrators should be inferred.