Christina is a woman with Turner Syndrome, a wife, and a teacher. In this post, she shares her perspective on what unique educational challenges children with Turner Syndrome might face. She also discusses some strategies to support your child so they can achieve success.
I would like to start by thanking you for taking the time to read my post. Here I will discuss educational challenges for children with Turner Syndrome (TS), especially in the new environment of virtual learning.
Individualized Education Programs
Students with TS can suffer from challenges in school due to a lack of focus, non-verbal learning disability (NVLD), dyslexia, and other issues common to all children. As someone with TS and a background in education, I cannot stress how important early intervention is. This means, as a parent, really focusing on how your child learns. If they seem to struggle, become frustrated, or not meet developmental marks with their peers, they may need special services. These services can include occupational or speech therapy or an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a personal learning plan set by the school. IEPs contain goals for the student and when and how they will meet them.
Usually, a teacher will work with parents to set up IEPs. However, parents know better than anyone what their child needs that a traditional class setting cannot provide. The earlier a student receives these accommodations, the earlier they will learn to adapt to their learning style and overcome educational challenges.
For example, when I was in elementary school, I received small-group instruction for math and reading. A teacher came to my homeroom daily and took me and a few other students to a separate room and worked with us for about an hour on math and reading skills. The goal was to help us learn the material in a way that worked best for our learning styles.
Tips for Virtual Learning
Educational challenges for children with conditions like Turner Syndrome can intensify when their normal routine is disrupted. When it comes to the ever-changing world that we are living in today, several parents have asked me for best advice for managing virtual learning. First and foremost, remember that less is more. You do not need to have your child read hundreds of books or work for six to eight hours per day. That will just frustrate them (and you), and they will not learn anything.
Also remember that, in school, teachers spend a good portion of their day on administrative and clerical tasks, like announcements and attendance. They say you should do about five minutes per grade for each subject. For example, a child in second grade should try to spend 10 minutes a day on each subject.
Click here to learn more about educational challenges and resources for children with TS. If you want to learn how to advocate for your child in school, please view the webinar recording: “The Rights of Children in School.”
Also, stay tuned to this blog throughout September for more articles on education.