NVLD CM homeschool

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  • Karen Brown

    I wanted to stat  thread for using SCM with NVLD students, just in case there are some other moms out there who have gone before me. If you have a Hyper-verbal child (spoke very early and uses lots of big words correctly) with sensory processing difficulties they could be NVLD.

    Our DD7, nearly 8, was diagnosed NVLD (Nonverbal-Learning Disorder/Disability/Syndrome) a couple of weeks ago. It’s a relatively unknown syndrome very similar to Asperger’s. Major difference is where Aspergian’s have strong visual-spatial processing skills, NVLD kids have very strong verbal processing (they cannot learn without verbal explanation–an too much visual data at one time is paralyzing) with super weak visual spatial information processing–otherwise there are a few areas where the NVLD child has a bit more skill–expressive emotion in the face and areas of special focus are not as focussed. NVLD’s are left-brain strong, where most special needs are right-brained.

    We’ve been slowly converting to CM methods over the past 2 years and trying to tweak for symptoms pre-diagnosis (SPD, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and what I thought was dyslexia)  and while I was spot on in some of my observations I was not quite bringing what was needed. DD is behind in all of her skills: reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.

    We are about half way thought Delightful Reading Level 2 which we used in conjunction with some additional strategies this year. DD can read simple readers, but struggles significantly when the font decreases and the sentences get longer on the page, also when the margins decrease. She does better with more with space. DR Level 3 has a reader, but I wish I could get a PDF version or that I could somehow get a large print version like they do sometimes for the visually impaired. I have a book that suggests using materials designed for the visually impaired or ESL students as they better meet the cognitive needs of an NVLD child.

    We started Delightful Handwriting, but the grapho-motor and visual-spatial challenge were too much mentally ad emotionally. Writing on lined paper seems especially challenging. I’ve discovered handwriting actually goes more smoothly with unlined paper, so we will be working more formally next year on that using DH as a reference. And may do vision therapy for tracking and visual processing.  Copywork may be okay if it is large, transcription will be more difficult as DD lacks the ability to create pictures in her mind right now, she can hold a picture for a short period if it isn’t complex. Dictation was extremely difficult when we tried it with a couple of simple 3 letter words as part of the first reading program we used. And it is specifically mentioned as an area of difficulty. So we may not get there.

    For math we are in Baburina’s book 1, stalled at 10–again, trying different things supplementally to support her understanding of the quantities of 1-9…we stalled at 6 the first year, she does understand the concepts of addition, subtraction, and division quite well-multiplication is more challenging. It’s been suggested to try a different method, but I do feel with the heavy auditory component CM Arithmetic will work better than many programs out there. DD has difficulty with tactile perception and visual-spatial organization. So using manipulatives is somewhat helpful, and yet can also cause confusion as she doesn’t easily integrate the visual and tactile data with the verbal explanation in longterm storage, and has difficulty retrieving that information.

    We’ve been advised that she will need as many experiential learning opportunities as possible. I know CM encourages experiential learning for history and geography, handwork and habits are also very experiential. there seem to be more experimental opportunities in the lower grades and fewer for older students.

    So, I am looking for ideas to tweak SCM and CM to make it work for this type of student. I welcome all thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and encouragements.

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