We are finally heading into the new year! It is with great pleasure that I share my Top 10 posts for parents of children with learning differences for this past year. 2020, I can’t say I am sad to see you go…
Every year, I compile my Top 10 posts for the year.
I do it out of curiosity. More importantly, I do it because it makes me feel less alone.
Let me explain.
When I see that thousands of other moms clicked through and read about feeling lonely or struggling with their child’s struggle to read, it feels a little bit like validation.
I am not the only mom. My child is not the only child. My family is not the only family dealing with these types of issues.
Every year, I share this type of post because I want you to know the same.
You are not the only mom. Your child is not the only child. Your family is not the only family dealing with these types of issues.
It is my hope that as you read this list, you will feel the same sense of belonging that I feel every day here at Different By Design Learning.
My Top Ten Posts For Parents Of Children With Learning Differences (2020)
#10 – This Is Lonely Work
“The more he struggles, the more I realize I have been clinging to the idea that I will still have a “normal” experience of motherhood.
A child who easily fits in and freely socializes.
A child who eats food without anxiety.
A child, joyful to be with friends, easily enjoying the day.
But more and more, this is just simply not my reality.
I am mourning the loss of motherhood as I hoped it might be. And in my mourning, I am often a very lonely mom.”
#9 – When Your Child Isn’t At Grade Level
Grade level means nothing to my children.
My oldest is reading at a college level proficiency, but cannot perform sequential tasks requiring even the most basic executive function.
My youngest is several grade levels ahead in history and science, but couldn’t read the word ‘said’ yesterday.
I cannot use grade level as the standard.
I know this. And yet I long for it. I want progress to be faster and more linear. I want grade level so much it hurts sometimes.
#8 – Sensory Issues and Bathing
“My child’s need for shower increased, just as his ability to tolerate one decreased.
In desperation, I asked the more than 10,000 parents on my Facebook page what to do. Their responses changed our bathing game and I am sharing them today!”
#7 – The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard About Parenting A Child With ADHD
“It may sound simplistic, but please, hear me out.
This is by far the most helpful, real life, make a difference in the actual things happening in my home today advice I have ever been given about parenting a child with ADHD.”
#6 – The Best Homeschool Curriculum Choices For A Child With Learning Differences
“What about curriculum?
There’s just so much. I don’t even know where to start!
Should it be different because of my child’s learning differences?
Maybe I should just do online public school first.
I’m overwhelmed and ready to give up before we have even started homeschooling!
I totally, 100% understand.”
#5 – When Your Husband Just Doesn’t Get It
“I want him to have all the information and know how to deal with this. But it’s like I am the wrong person to give it to him. He needs another father, or his own access to the therapists, or something. And the really hard part is that less he knows, the less he is equipped to really parent and help our child.”
“And the less he can help you,” my friend said quietly.
“Yep,” I said, tears welling up. And then I changed the subject.
#4 – My Child Won’t Wear Socks! Dressing A Sensory Kiddo
“When my son was in the second grade, his last year in public school, he would burst into tears when it was time to leave.
There were a lot of reasons for this struggle to get him out the door and into the classroom everyday. Bullying, boredom, smells, loud noises – they were all difficult for my little guy.
But the one thing that panicked him most as we left each morning?
#3 – The Best Homeschool Schedule For A Child With ADHD
“Although the need for a consistent schedule is obvious to me, it is not to my son.
In fact, most of the time, he actively resists my attempts to create a schedule that works for him.”
#2 – 100 Fun And Effective Ways To Practice Sight Words
This year, I have proactively put together a list of every single thing I could find to help with practicing sight words. This is the one aspect of reading that we have to keep fun. He has been practicing sight words for seven years, y’all. Seven years. He deserves a little creativity for the sheer tenacity he shows every single time we pull out the word list!
#1 – My Ten Year Old Can’t Read
Not being able to read is a big deal for for my son.
It’s a big deal for the doctors and therapists that see him regularly. It’s a big deal for me, trying to encourage him, helping him practice every day, and acting as his translator when needed.
The most difficult part is this –
He is now aware that being ten years old and not able to read is unusual.
There you have it! The Top 10 posts from 2020. Thousands of parents, just like you and me, needed the help, encouragement and information, just like you and me.
As we head into 2021, please know how grateful I am for you and how much I am looking forward to another year together.
Happy New Year to you and yours!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.