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New board name, new subforum...


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What's with the ads?

#1 Susan Wise Bauer

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:19 AM

Folks,

In the last years, the range of this board has expanded dramatically. It's been suggested to us multiple times that the original title of this board ("special needs") has too narrow a focus. So we've decided to widen out the range of this forum by retitling it "Struggling Learners."

At the same time, I think that parents who are working with students who have severe and diagnosed disabilities do need a forum of their own, so we've created a subforum called Special Needs.

Which forum should you post in? Well...it seems to me that, as a parent, you should pick the board that feels right to you. I think that the community will sort this out in time. And, if not, we'll be happy to step in and clarify.

Suggestions welcome!

SWB

#2 Crimson Wife

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:47 AM

There is a discussion of the name change in this thread if anyone else has thoughts.

#3 rafiki

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:49 AM

Folks,

In the last years, the range of this board has expanded dramatically. It's been suggested to us multiple times that the original title of this board ("special needs") has too narrow a focus. So we've decided to widen out the range of this forum by retitling it "Struggling Learners."

At the same time, I think that parents who are working with students who have severe and diagnosed disabilities do need a forum of their own, so we've created a subforum called Special Needs.

Which forum should you post in? Well...it seems to me that, as a parent, you should pick the board that feels right to you. I think that the community will sort this out in time. And, if not, we'll be happy to step in and clarify.

Suggestions welcome!

SWB


SWB, There are many different spectrums seen on the special needs board.

1. true special needs - Those with medical issues, who are struggling to learn basic life skills, need transitional support, and may never be able to live independently. I agree that they deserve a board where they do not have to sift through higher functioning talk when they celebrate simple milestones that most take for granted.

2. From there you have people that find the board because their children are struggling one way or another, they have questions about seeking a diagnosis, things they can try with teaching technique, scheduling, nutrition, therapies, and what to do with the evaluation results.

3. After people figure out what is going on, you have twice-exceptional children, who are "bright, but often struggle with basics" - these folks discuss learning styles, teaching strategies, resources, and the "now what" for moving beyond seeing the "dys" labels.

4. Then you have those with developmental delays across the board who simply have "different abilities" - while this is a smaller group, it's still one of which needs support as their needs are quite different. Some may say this goes under true Special Needs, really though, they simply have different abilities.

People come to the Special Needs board because their child is having challenges with learning or they are finding it challenging to teach their child. Seeing more severe SN's scares away those who are 2E. Seeing 2E posts, keeps away those who have true SN's.

Special Needs does need it's own board. I think it should be a subforum, not a main board though because the title alone carries stereotypes for some and they do not consider ADHD, 2E, Spectrum, etc to be Special Needs.

What if the main board was "Educational Challenges" as that is the the main reason people find there way over here, both challenges in teaching and challenges in learning.

So Educational Challenges for the newbies.
Special Needs for special needs involving medical or lifelong challenges.
Different Abilities for those whose are past the what is going on stage and are focused on
meeting the educational needs of their child who learns differently.

#4 rafiki

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

Mind if I ask something Susan, Why doesn't the Accelerated Learner Board specify doing classical education, yet the Learning Challenges Board does?

Depending on the needs of the different learner, some are able to tweak a classical education to fit their educational challenges, but others are not. It's no offense against classical education, your products, or you personally. That child simply has different needs. Many of the members on the special needs forum came from other WTM boards and have tried many of your products, use some of them, or use them with other children in their home.

I understand you are providing these forums for free. There is nothing many of us would have liked more than for classical methods to work for our kids. When they don't, we have to face what is. When a parent is frustrated because classical education is not fitting, they feel bad enough about having to change their mindset to new dreams, I don't think it's helpful to specify classical education when you are talking special needs.

#5 FairProspects

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:35 PM

What? :confused:

Which board do I post on for 2E issues? I don't want to offend anyone, but we still have struggles here with some things and no doubt these will continue as ds gets older.

I'm already super disappointed, because it seems like most of the posters who had expertise and could help me out left after realizing how public this board actually is. Honestly, this forum has had the most dramatic change of all the forums since the switchover, and I'm not sure the same kinds of discussions will occur again, because everyone is running scared about college admissions and the privacy of their kids now.

#6 Pen

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:49 PM

I definitely prefer "Learning Challenges" to "Struggling Learners". I assume dyslexia issues go here, not under "special needs" now. ?????? "Special Needs" can mean many things--more than mentioned above. As a foster parent, in my state it could mean being a child of certain ethnic background, or from certain parental background, or even above a certain age and still in the foster system, for example, as well as possibly meaning having a diagnosed severe medical issue.

My inclination was to take its meaning loosely as regards these forums.

Since I found this site and WTM by way of first discovering that SOTW on audio read by Jim Weiss worked wonderfully to allow my nonreader 8 year old to learn at his interest level, I will assume that some form of Learning Challenges as applied to WTM seems to fit.

I personally think a sub-forum specifically for 2E would be helpful, since that fits us and some others most closely, and, while it incorporates both sides, it is still somewhat different than either Learning Challenges or Accelerated alone. So often my real underlying question is really how can I help my ds to learn at his interest level when certain skills are hampered by dyslexia type problems.

Or, put differently, what is like SOTW on audio for all the other areas we need, and for now being past 4th grade.

Many things for a 2E child end up both seeming babyish and intellectually stultifying, at the same time as they are too hard due to the area of difficulty.

That said, just thinking that through may help. I am considering that perhaps where ever I post, I may mention the 2E aspect of the problem as part of my questions so as to try to elicit 2E relevant suggestions.

#7 Pen

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:50 PM

What? :confused:

Which board do I post on for 2E issues? I don't want to offend anyone, but we still have struggles here with some things and no doubt these will continue as ds gets older.

I'm already super disappointed, because it seems like most of the posters who had expertise and could help me out left after realizing how public this board actually is. Honestly, this forum has had the most dramatic change of all the forums since the switchover, and I'm not sure the same kinds of discussions will occur again, because everyone is running scared about college admissions and the privacy of their kids now.



Could you explain the running scared issue, please?

#8 FairProspects

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:00 PM

Just that once the linking to Facebook thing occurred, a lot of people realized that their WTM profiles might get integrated with their real lives, and they did not feel as comfortable posting about their dc's issues since the veil of anonymity had been lifted. The board had always been public, but realizing all our posts about our kids and their needs are Google searchable until the end of time, and that anyone could put them together with our kid's real identities which could impact their futures has understandably made people more reluctant to share any difficulties.

#9 OhElizabeth

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:10 PM

Well I'm super glad I missed the ugliness over the name change! That initial name was, well, not cool. But this is a nice name. And I think your logic that we can have a place where EVERYONE can talk about learning challenges (2E, not diagnosed, diagnosed, etc.) makes sense. It's sort of the inverse. The 2E/quirkie people thought they needed a subforum, and others don't want to be thrown in a subforum. I think it's nice though that we can open it up a bit to people who *needed* a place but didn't know where that place was. Me, I barge in and make a place. It's the nice part about missing social cues; you don't notice they didn't want you there. ;)

But for the people who were looking for a place, now they have a place. So then what is the SN subforum? That becomes, like Rafiki was saying, medical and the non-school stuff? I guess it will evolve. And I think that opening will give people who have been lurking some encouragement to come out and start posting. When there are a lot of threads in one vein, it sort of tamps down other directions things could go. Like Rafiki explained, I think there's room for LOTS of discussion in lots of directions and that this could really give it the chance to grow (by subdividing a bit).

So I hope people embrace the change. It should be good. Gives people room to talk about what is on their mind and not get it lost in other categories of conversation. Might even make it more personable, if the LC (learning challenges) board can open up to more of the reality talk and not just be medical and diagnostic, if that makes sense.

As far as the FB stuff, I hope people read over the other threads on the other boards and found their options. There are settings you need to tweak in your FB profile and something called Disconnect that you can download. I think we're going to bounce back and be fine.

#10 rafiki

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

As far as the FB stuff, I hope people read over the other threads on the other boards and found their options. There are settings you need to tweak in your FB profile and something called Disconnect that you can download. I think we're going to bounce back and be fine.


The thing with FB is, just when you think you've figured out your settings and they are as private as private can be in the virtual world, they change things. It's annoying to have to frequently sift through and keep up with their forever changing rules and privacy settings.

For those on the regular forums, it may not matter that their face and real life is attached to this board, but for the former SN's board often topics of medical, mental, physical, therapy, testing, and educational issues came up. That is quite personal and sensitive in nature. However, it was the process that most needed to work through with some sort of support group to reach where they are today. Many people on the SN's board have shared things there that they haven't even disclosed to close friends and family. Having a virtual place to lean on and the transparency many showed while taking similar journeys was invaluable. Also keep in mind that many of these issues are genetic in nature and some felt comfortable here because of the perceived privacy. Many here are are introverts and wouldn't have had these same conversations face to face with someone. The WTM has now put faces to this board, literally which creeps some out having their private and virtual lives intertwined. I also can see being allowed to change your board handle once since the forums are now more out there, however with that and the frequency one can change their handle, we no longer know each other at a glance and have that same level of comfort of knowing the backstory of who you are replying to and is responding to you. Much is lost on this board, IMO, and it's sad because many lives and relationships were changed because of the support it previously offered.

#11 OhElizabeth

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:42 PM

The thing with FB is, just when you think you've figured out your settings and they are as private as private can be in the virtual world, they change things. It's annoying to have to frequently sift through and keep up with their forever changing rules and privacy settings.


Oh I know! It's crazy the way they do that. :smash:

#12 Mukmuk

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

Thank goodness for the new new name! I do love the nifty changes to the overall forum, but not for the old Special Needs one. In using this new format, I can't help thinking it's overly sub-divided. I have a 2E kid but learn best from a variety of posts as the behavioral issues can be similar. Hope this adds to the call for a change back into one forum.

And about FB, fergedabbouddit for us - we really need our privacy.

#13 DyslexicParent

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:38 PM

For those on the regular forums, it may not matter that their face and real life is attached to this board, but for the former SN's board often topics of medical, mental, physical, therapy, testing, and educational issues came up.

So linking one's account to Facebook and other social media sites is not a good idea if you want some privacy? I try to be careful about posting personal identifying details that the entire online world can search for, but it is a fine balance of sharing and learning information.

#14 Canadian Mom of 2

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:11 AM

nm