Are there laws or special provisions to support kids with different learning styles?
My daughter has had "disciplinary problems" all of her school and pre-school years. I found out about kinesthetic learners, and I now know why she is the way she is. This has given me insight on how to handle things with her better, but I feel like the school and I are constantly battling each other. I would like to know what their responsibility is to my daughter in adjusting to her learning style. She is above average most of the time, and until the settings in school became more "sit and listen" and less active learning, she was recommended several times for the gifted program. The testing for that, sadly, is "sit and tell". I am frustrated that the teachers who are educating my children are not educated themselves on how to deal with different learning styles. They want to categorize everyone in visual or audio. If something is not done to correct this stigma that most teachers have, I am afraid that too many students will be left behind. Would that not violate the "No child left behind" law? Or will the teachers see it as a problem to their standards to be met and shove all of these children off to the side in remedial classes, or worse reform schools. It would seem to me that if there are special provisions for dyslexia should there not be special provisions for all learning styles? If anyone knows the law behind this please let me know. `
You may wish to see if there is a local parent educational advocate in your area who is well versed in special education law. They often are supported financially through an agency, thus offer services for free or a minimum payment. Also, each state should have a state education office where questions, such as yours, can be posed.
I wish you much luck and please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
Louise Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
This is a really sad situation. As a teacher I know your daughters teachers are not doing all they can. There is no law requiring them to teach your daughter to her best learning style, unless she has an IEP, but it is more of a moral issue. Teachers are always trying to adapt their lessons to meet the needs to every child, but it can become very hard. For instance, I have a certain way of teaching that does not work for some kids. I am very open and foster a democratic classroom. Some kids thrive in that environment and others do not do so well. We make accommodations as teachers and sometimes the children need to be moved into a class where the teacher is receptive to a child's learning style.
I have also had students tested for the gifted program, but fall short because they didn't apply themselves on certain areas of the test. Don't give up on your daughter or the educational system. Ask around and see if there are schools in your area that are built on the philosophy of teaching children based on their specific learning style. I believe all schools should be set-up this way. There might be other teachers in the school or district who have more open classrooms where kinesthetic learning is appreciated.
Finally, I want you to know that it is against the law for teachers to make any diagnosis of a child. Remind your daughter's teachers because this is illegal and ethically wrong.
I applaud you for being a great strong advocate for your daughter! Hope it works out, and I hope I provided some insight.