Hello! This blog is about my daughter Hailey (currently 12 years old) and her experiences living with auditory processing disorder. Auditory Processing Disorder is Hailey's primary issue, however she has also been given the labels Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Visual Processing Disorder, Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder and Phonology Disorder at various points in her life.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs/Learning Disabilities Avoids A Lot of the Anxiety

I want to start by saying that I know many people cannot homeschool for various reasons (in some countries it is actually illegal) and others choose not to homeschool because they feel that school is best for their child.  I feel very fortunate that homeschooling was an option for us.

Here are some of the benefits of homeschooling my child with auditory processing disorder:

  • She is not forced to sit for 7+ hours each day at school trying to process auditory input.
  • She is not feeling judged or compared constantly by teachers giving grades or her peers making comments.  
  • She is not having to try to socialize with groups of her peers who do not understand her. (Yes she does run into social problems because of her APD, but it is not on a daily basis.)  
  • She has time to pursue her interests like art and baking or even watch a movie 3 times or more until she finally feels she has processed all of it and gained any wisdom from it she could. 
  • She learns at her own pace and her own style. (She is visual and auditory input must be kept limited.)
  • She reads what interests her and takes as much time as she needs to read it. (Just the other day, she read some poems by Langston Hughes and wrote a poem as a response to her readings, all of her own choosing.)
  • She writes because she enjoys it and takes as much time as she needs to write.
  • She does math problems because she actually likes solving them.  Yes, she likes math because she takes her time and does what interests her at that moment. (She is currently above "grade level" in math.)
  • She has me, her mom, available to her for help and guidance and support as needed.  
  • We can hand-pick friendships to pursue that are more conducive to success as well as I can be here to help her process what is happening as I too know her friends as well as their parents. (Hopefully these skills will transfer to her abilities to stop and question her reactions, to give people the benefit of the doubt, and to stand up for herself when it is needed.)
  • She can take breaks and just relax, be alone, go jump on the trampoline, eat something, etc. as she feels the need for them. (This I believe helps her learn to be aware of herself and her needs and how to deal with them.)
  • She can start taking community college courses at 15 years old (which she wants to do) and take them one at a time to start, then build from there.  Colleges seem to be more accommodating to special needs and learning disabilities than the public school system, so that is a big plus.
So I imagine this list can go on and on, but the real point is that she does not suffer from a lot of the anxiety and depression that I see so many others on our Facebook support groups going through. Sure, she does have anxiety from time to time, but it isn't a constant.  She also went through a period of depression when she was bullied by some homeschoolers at a co-op we belonged to and promptly quit. It took us a few years to rebuild her self-esteem after that bullying episode, but now she is happy with herself again and I believe/hope she is now stronger and more able to fend off any such attacks in the future should they occur.

So although homeschooling isn't an option for everyone, it is certainly worth considering if you have a child with special needs/learning disabilities.


  1. I totally agree! Homeschooling our APD girl is soo much better for us. Much happier child and Mum!
    Really suits us :)

  2. I am 17 and have APD. My parents have homeschooled me my entire life and I am so grateful for that. I truly do not think I would be doing as well as I am if they did not. Even with one or two classes with other homeschoolers, it takes a lot for me to focus and take everything in, so having one on one time, and the ability to repeat the same algebra problems day after day to remember them is priceless. My mom has been having me "read" some of my literature books as audio books just to constantly be working on listening, and it can be discouraging to go over things and realize how much I miss when only listening, and have to rewind and go over things many times. Having supportive, patient parents makes all the difference in the world!

    1. :) Homeschooling is wonderful and so are supportive parents! Thank you for sharing your story.