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Homeschooling A Child with CAPD

By Mary Arnold, of

I still remember how scared, happy, excited and bittersweet it was when my sweet little boy began kindergarten back in 1997. I went into our school year prepared for success. We took our time picking out his little Power Ranger backpack and matching lunch box. He had the cutest little velcro shoes with lights in the bottom that blinked when he walked.

Little did I know what was to come. You see, my sweet little boy didn’t catch onto reading and math like many of the other students in his class. At first, his teacher would reassure me that boys just take longer and not to worry, but about halfway through the year she began to share her concerns as well. While the rest of the class had memorized all of their letters and letter sounds, my Brandon was still struggling. I was often thrown off kilter because we would work hard at home and he would appear to understand the concepts completely, but the very next day he would forget all or portions of what we had learned.

I so badly wanted to help him, so I started him on a phonics-type product I had seen on an infomercial in the hopes that it would make a difference. Within four days, my child not only mastered all of his letters and letter sounds, but he also began to blend them into small syllable words. As I would watch his big blue eyes light up with confidence, I fell in love with being a part of his "aha" moments and thus began our home education journey.

I found that my child had lots of ups and downs our first couple of years of homeschooling. He would work so hard and seem to master a concept, to just wake up the next morning and have to start all over again. I am forever thankful to a dear friend who happens to be a speech pathologist for finally pointing out that there was something more severe going on. This was not the normal “boy needing to mature” delay.

After talking with my pediatrician, he sent me to our local All Children's Hospital for diagnosis and it was there that we found out that he and his younger brother had something called "Central Auditory Processing Disorder" (C.A.P.D.). CAPD is a learning disability that affects how a child receives and processes information. It must be diagnosed by an audiologist, but it is not a hearing problem.

The disconnect actually takes place in the brain. A child with CAPD hears fine, but their brain does not assimilate or process information that comes in through the ear canal. Many CAPD students thrive when strong visual graphics are involved. The medical community has found that visual stimuli adds 'glue' to information so that it goes into the brain, sticks and stays put.

What are typical signs of CAPD?

  • Trouble paying attention to and remembering information presented orally
  • Problems carrying out multi-step directions
  • Poor listening skills
  • Needing more time to process information
  • Low academic performance
  • Behavior problems
  • Language difficulty (e.g., they confuse syllable sequences and have problems developing vocabulary and understanding language)
  • Difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary

What do you do if you suspect CAPD?

Make an appointment with your pediatrician and share your concerns. Ask for a referral to have them tested.

How do you treat CAPD?

Please note that there are many options available. Our family found speech therapy to be a good first step, but we also have used Brain Integration Therapy. Visit for more information.

What type of curriculum works well with a CAPD student?

  • Strong visual content
  • Interactive with immediate feedback
  • Short lessons

Our family found that homeschooling a child with CAPD is easier with Time4Learning. We had the most success when we used their interactive, online curriculum. We had been homeschooling for 10 years with hits and misses when I first learned of this amazing program, though I had no idea yet just how amazing it was.

From day one my children LOVED Time4Learning. They couldn't wait to get up and log into their account. I worried that it was too good to be true and fretted as our year end testing approached. Imagine my shock and awe when they went up over TWO FULL GRADE LEVELS in math, their hardest subject that they usually made slow progress in.

Why? I believe it's because the strong visuals added that 'glue' for the very first time and information was able to go in, stick and stay put.

Time4Learning is a great tool for teaching students with special needs. If you have a child with CAPD or other learning challenges, Time4Learning is definitely worth a look. You have nothing to lose. For less than $20.00 a month (approximately 5 dollars a week) you can change your child’s life.

My little learner just graduated from high school and is now reading at a college level. Don’t lose hope. You CAN do this and so can your child. You've not done anything wrong, you just haven't found the right program yet. Let today be the very first day of something wonderful. It’s easy on mom, easy on the student and easy on the budget.Written by By Mary Arnold Homeschooling Mother of 4 Visit MamaMary on Time4Learning’s Parent Forum

About the author

The article was written byMary Arnold. Mary Arnold is a homeschooling mother of four in North Florida. Three of her children have CAPD. She would be pleased to answer any questions. You can reach her on the Time4Learning parent's forum as MamaMary..

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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