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Crimson Wife

Special Needs Board Name Change

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I'm not thrilled with the new "Struggling Learners" name because I don't think it is as accurate as the old "Special Needs" one. There are children with disabilities and/or medical issues who have special needs but who don't necessarilty struggle to learn. "Special Needs" is more inclusive because it covers struggling learners and also those who are doing okay academically.

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Take a look now, we have a specialty sub-board called "Special Needs" now under "Struggling Learners"

 

Probably should be the other way. Struggling Learners should be a sub-board under Special Needs. (Former Sp. Ed. teacher here.)

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The big title that leaps off the page is "struggling learners". I agree with Oak Knoll Mom that it should be the other way around.

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Probably should be the other way. Struggling Learners should be a sub-board under Special Needs. (Former Sp. Ed. teacher here.)

 

:iagree: My son struggles with his muscle delays. The use of a computer and other equipment helps him in his day to day moving and physically writing. He however does not struggle to learn! The school told me he would never get pass grade 3 in Math. He will be completing 5/4 Math this month.

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Probably should be the other way. Struggling Learners should be a sub-board under Special Needs. (Former Sp. Ed. teacher here.)

 

I would agree. I know this probably is just a semantic issue to some but I don't think so.

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I think I'm concerned about this change as well. What it's called doesn't bother me so much. I'm just worried that it is going to split the attention of the already fairly small subgroup of people who frequent the Special Needs board and we need as many perspectives as we can get over there.

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I think I'm concerned about this change as well. What it's called doesn't bother me so much. I'm just worried that it is going to split the attention of the already fairly small subgroup of people who frequent the Special Needs board and we need as many perspectives as we can get over there.

Probably should be the other way. Struggling Learners should be a sub-board under Special Needs. (Former Sp. Ed. teacher here.)

 

I also agree. My Aspie has lots of issues but none of them are connected w/struggling to learn (at least academically.) I have btdt all the way through high school w/him b/c he is now almost 21. I won't frequent that board at all if the focus is on academic struggles. I typically only read posts on that forum about dealing w/transitional issues for older children or about Aspergers in general.

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"Special needs" has a very specific meaning. We've heard from numerous parents that they feel uncomfortable posting on the Special Needs board because their children have various learning challenges but don't fall under the heading "special needs." I'd like parents of both groups of learners to feel comfortable. Let's give the new division a chance.

 

However, point taken about "struggling." That might be unnecessarily hurtful.

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"Special needs" has a very specific meaning. We've heard from numerous parents that they feel uncomfortable posting on the Special Needs board because their children have various learning challenges but don't fall under the heading "special needs." I'd like parents of both groups of learners to feel comfortable. Let's give the new division a chance.

 

However, point taken about "struggling." That might be unnecessarily hurtful.

 

Susan,

 

I appreciate you seeing the "struggling learners" as unnecessarily hurtful. I am active in several local and one national groups for autism and its related disorders. The struggling learner comment is a major peeve among everyone.

 

We often say that there is no such thing as a struggling learner, it is just someone who learners differently. Kind of like what is normal.

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"Special needs" has a very specific meaning.

 

 

True, but I was offering a suggestion if you were set on keeping those names. I do agree that "Struggling Learners" is off-putting. I'm tired and fresh out of better suggestions though. :)

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"challenging" can also apply to accelerated and gifted kids. It's definitely challenging to keep feeding them interesting stuff to learn. Yet it's not the purpose of that forum. So it's neither 'struggling' nor 'challenging'

 

I do like the description of the board though. I like "nontraditional learning styles" as it would definitely fit my daughter - who isn't special needs, but has the weirdest mind I've ever encountered...

 

I played around on google and found something I like but I can't figure out how to use it for a board name. There's a book called "Understanding Your Child’s Puzzling Behavior" I like the use of Puzzling there. It puts the emphasis on the homeschool parent, and not the child. Are you puzzled by your child's differences in learning ? But I can't find a board name. Maybe someone who's a native English speaker would have a better go at it.

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I like "learning challenges."

 

I'm not sure we needed a subforum since the special needs board didn't move all that fast. For someone looking for ideas as to what might be causing undiagnosed learning problems, it was good to see the range of topics others were posting on. Also, how do I know what is and isn't a "special need"? What exactly is the definition of "special need" for this purpose?

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"students who have severe and diagnosed disabilities": by this phrase, I assume you mean those students who fit the definition of "moderate to severe disabilities" as used in the special education world. These are the students who are likely to not be able to live independent adult lives, or will at least need some support in life and/or job skills. Their curriculum needs to be drastically modified from grade level and there may need to be a greater focus on life skills than on academics in the teen years.

 

I question putting the words "severe" and "diagnosed" together as that leads to less clarity. Children with severe disabilities will pretty much by definition also be "diagnosed" with something. However, many children with relatively mild disabilities will also have a diagnosis. My son is a 2E learner. He his academic achievement is high, and he should ultimately be able to hold down a high level job. Yet, he also has learning challenges for which he has a diagnosis.

 

Therefore, you may want to tweak the language in the description.

 

I do thank you for trying to address some of the questions that have come up over the last couple of years relating to the highly varied needs of students who need to have their curriculum modified in some way or another in order to learn to their highest potential.

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"Special needs" has a very specific meaning. We've heard from numerous parents that they feel uncomfortable posting on the Special Needs board because their children have various learning challenges but don't fall under the heading "special needs." I'd like parents of both groups of learners to feel comfortable. Let's give the new division a chance.

 

However, point taken about "struggling." That might be unnecessarily hurtful.

 

 

Are the majority of the posts on the SN forum oriented toward academics? My perception might be off b/c I don't spend as much time on that forum as on others, but I see the majority of the posts discussing behavioral issues or how to seek evaluations/therapies/medical issues/meds/diet, etc. Putting "learning" in the title seems to shift the focus toward academics which is not something I needed help w/though I definitely needed help. For example, Ottakee gave me invaluable advice for journaling my ds's reactions to various meds. I really needed to hear that advice. Her children's issues have absolutely nothing to do with Aspergers and her children are impaired academically while my ds can make high As w/zero effort. I wouldn't have posted on the forum b/c I wouldn't have felt like my question fit and I would have probably mentally imploded. THose yrs w/my ds were the worst time in my life (I am not making that statement lightly.) The support I received from several of the women on the SN board really helped me.

 

I personally think that the SN community is very small and that by sub-dividing the forum valuable resources will be missed by those who really need them. If you want a sub-forum, I would usggest making the sub-forum for those w/2E issues.

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I responded on the SN's board to SWB, but am cross posting here.

 

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.

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Probably should be the other way. Struggling Learners should be a sub-board under Special Needs. (Former Sp. Ed. teacher here.)

 

Absolutely!!!!!! My special needs-- diagnosed dyslexic son-- is NOT a struggling learner. He is by all measures (college credits, state testing, assessments by certified teachers and my own assessments) not struggling. He works harder and differently, but I don't call that a struggle.

 

ETA: Haha! I had not read any of the other previous posts. I just went back to read these, and I see that others share my response.

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How about just "Learning Challenges Board?" "Challenges in Learning Board" doesn't quite roll off the tongue in the same way.

 

I agree that this makes more sense. "Challenges in Learning" sounds like educationese. I'm not crazy about the name change either way. There was enough diversity in the posts that I think it was pretty clear the board was inclusive of a variety of special needs, but maybe there were a lot of behind the scenes complaints or concerns.

 

My interpretation of the name change is that they're trying to steer the focus of the forum back towards education, rather than the general behavioral stuff. I respect that. Since my son struggles with OCD and some medical conditions, I probably won't have a whole lot to say about "learning challenges." We'll see how it works out though. My guess is that the forum will become centered on learning disabilities, rather than general special needs.

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My guess is that the forum will become centered on learning disabilities, rather than general special needs.

 

I think so too, and that's why they're keeping a subforum for 'the rest of the challenges'. it may also be that the subforum will get more traffic than the main one. Doesn't really matter. I do like the split though, one forum for everything that's "pure" schooling and the other for all other types of challenges. Some families belong in one group only, others in both.

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......

I'm not crazy about the name change either way. There was enough diversity in the posts that I think it was pretty clear the board was inclusive of a variety of special needs, but maybe there were a lot of behind the scenes complaints or concerns.

 

My interpretation of the name change is that they're trying to steer the focus of the forum back towards education, rather than the general behavioral stuff. I respect that. ..... My guess is that the forum will become centered on learning disabilities, rather than general special needs.

 

 

I agree with these main pts. I also respect that if education vs. help w/behaviors is the way they want the forum to go, then that is the way the title should be worded.

 

I would add, though, that homeschooling SN kids encompasses far more than educating them.

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Homeschooling our square pegs? Homeschooling unique kids? I'm cool with "Educational challenges" too - and maybe there should be more subforums: academic delays; 2E; Evaluations and therapies

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“Struggling learner†has many different interpretations. Would your child struggle if in a public school classroom, where the instruction was less individualized and tailored? That is what many consider a struggling learner, those that do not learn best by traditional methods. Some parents naturally know how to adjust the materials and approaches to fit their child, others need more support in doing so. That is why I don’t care for the term struggling learner and see it as just needing a different approach to learning.

 

There is also a process one goes through as they realize they have a different learner and that it’s okay to be different. First they seek the why - what I suggested as the Educational Challenges board because something seems off that causes people to reach out. Then you go through the reading or evaluation phase, which leads to the interpreting of the what. The time that takes will very with each individual. Eventually one is able to focus on their child’s strengths, accept them for who they are, and work together towards the child’s goals. This is where I suggested the different abilities board.

 

You have some members who like to give advice and would frequent the educational challenges/newly officially or unofficially diagnosed board and others who are simply past that point and have a different focus, their child’s abilities vs disabilities.

 

It’s not splitting between education and behavior. It’s finding a category that more closely matches your needs.

 

If you don’t know where to start, visit the Educational Challenges board.

 

If you are past all that and focused on their different abilities, go to the different abilities subforum.

 

If you need medical help, transitional support, help with life skills, etc. go to the special needs subforum.

 

If you read about all the various labels, so many have symptoms that overlap. I don’t see the need for a delayed board, 2E board, spectrum board, ADHD board, really within each label there is a spectrum. The focus of the different abilities board is embracing how your non traditional learner, their goals, their strengths, and locating resources no matter what or if they have a diagnosis.

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What do you think about the new title?

 

I have felt for a while now that there was a need for some kind of change on the SN board and I like the change but I don't really like the new name either. At some point I had mentioned the name "Special Learner" which seems to be a term that is used these days often in place of Special Needs (especially where education is concerned). In any case, I would prefer something other than "Struggling Learner".

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How about just "Learning Challenges Board?"

 

I hadn't seen this yet. I prefer this name. Glad to see it was changed to this already!

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We've heard from numerous parents that they feel uncomfortable posting on the Special Needs board because their children have various learning challenges but don't fall under the heading "special needs."

 

I don't think we need a subforum. Can't we discuss the educational/therapy/life issues all in one place like we have? Or do my autistic children need to be shoved into a corner (subforum) to make people from the main boards "comfortable"?

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I don't think we need a subforum. Can't we discuss the educational/therapy/life issues all in one place like we have? Or do my autistic children need to be shoved into a corner (subforum) to make people from the main boards "comfortable"?

 

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

 

Or the kids with MR, CP, Down Syndrome, etc. :thumbdown:

 

If any subgroup of SN kids needs the "safe place" of a sub-forum, it's the 2E kids. My child with a major developmental delay I knew which forum was best to post to about (old SN). My older two kids are the ones who don't fit neatly into either the SN or the Accelerated Learner board as they are a bit of both.

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I do like the description of the board though. I like "nontraditional learning styles" as it would definitely fit my daughter - who isn't special needs, but has the weirdest mind I've ever encountered...

 

I

 

I often lurked on the SN board, but rarely posted. Ds is VSL, but with no diagnosis of LDs. I've used many of the suggestiions, but feel like I'd be more comfortable in a sub-forum of the Special Needs forum, as our struggles relate mainly to certain areas of academics. Although that may get missed by some who would find it useful.

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