Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT LEARNING DISABILITIES

How do I know if my child has dyslexia or a learning disability?

To find out if your child has dyslexia or a learning disability, you will need to have your child assessed and diagnosed by a psychologist who does a complete psycho-educational assessment. There are different types of learning disabilities including dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (writing) and dyscalculia (math). If you are in the early stages of wondering, you could review the warning signs checklist.

Why is it so difficult for my child to write down their answers?

There are so many foundational skills that need to be accessed in order to express yourself in writing. First, they need a functional pencil grip and the visual-motor ability to physically form all the letters. Then they need to understand sentence structure and remember all the punctuation and grammar rules. And finally, they need to gather all their thoughts to know exactly what they want to say and in what order. When all of this is too overwhelming, your child may avoid writing altogether. This could be a sign of dysgraphia.

Why can’t my child just focus and do their work?

Not all children are the same. Not all brains are alike. There are many factors that could influence why they’re having trouble focusing, other than ADHD, like anxiety, learning difficulties, visual or auditory distraction, or just being overwhelmed or bored. Educational therapy can strengthen your child’s foundational weak areas to give them the support they need to be the best they can be.

Is it even possible to homeschool a child with a learning disability?

Yes. A child with a learning disability thrives best with one-to-one instruction. Homeschooling allows your child the time and space to learn at their pace, without the distractions of peers and the pressure to keep up with their class. With intentional support and intervention, your child can succeed and reach their potential and beyond.

Should I get my child assessed? What if I don’t want to label them?

Assessment is the key to understanding why your child’s hard work isn’t working. Once you and your child understand how their brain learns, you can use their strengths to support the weaknesses and your child can improve their output ability. With assessment in hand, you can access accommodations and interventions to help your child rise above their challenges. The label helps everyone know how to proceed with confidence!

Doesn’t every child learn at their own pace? Will my child eventually catch up?

While it is true that each child develops at their own rate, it is important to see a progression on this learning journey. When the growth is stalled, your child lags behind their peers and learning failure sets in. Dr. Reid Lyon, a leading professor in reading development states that 75% of children will have difficulty learning to read throughout high school if they don’t have intervention before the age of nine. Early intervention is key.

Is my child just lazy when it comes to academics?

Perhaps the work they are being asked to do is just too hard for them, or perhaps it just takes too long for them, or perhaps there are too many distractions. Dr. Mel Levine in his book, The Myth of Laziness, shares that our kiddos are not lazy. Instead, their minds are forced to strain excessively to meet production demands. When we, and them, discover the ‘why’, through assessment, the lightbulbs go on and your child can make their work, work for them.

Is it true that you either get math or you don’t?

False. This is a math myth. Math is part of our everyday life; a part of everything we do. Your child can learn math if given the opportunity and time to understand concepts and make connections. If your child has a diagnosis of dyscalculia, it can mean that they struggle with math, but the good news is the brain is able to change, make new connections so that your child can make strides in mathematical understanding. We teach these foundational skills in both Rx 4 Math and in NILD Educational Therapy.

My child tries so hard, but it just doesn’t click. Why?

As parents, we are our child’s greatest cheerleader. We see their effort and their desire to succeed. But when their hard work isn’t working it is so discouraging for them and for you. This is why we, at GeerLINKS, do what we do! We are passionate about helping a child move from where they are now towards their potential, so that their confidence and their competence can soar.

What kind of resources/curriculum/training would be helpful?

We believe that knowledge is power and that as you and your child understand more about how they learn best, you will become their greatest cheerleader and advocate. GeerLINKS offers consultations to help you choose curriculum suited for your child. NILD Canada offers training in reading, writing and math for parents and educators.

ABOUT GEERLINKS PROGRAMS

What is the difference between tutoring and educational therapy?

Tutoring typically focusses on content while educational therapy builds efficient learning processes. Educational therapy is individualized program that strengthens the underlying causes of learning difficulties, rather than just treating the symptoms as tutoring does. NILD Educational Therapy teaches students how to learn, to find strategies so they can learn and retain content and become independent learners.

Can I enroll my child even if we can’t get to your centre?

Yes, at GeerLINKS, we offer a few enrollment options, depending on the needs of your child. We have two at-home interventions, Interactive Metronome and Integrated Listening, that can be implemented by the parent. And, if suitable, we also offer online NILD Educational Therapy, which we call teletherapy.

What training do GeerLINKS therapists have?

All our therapists are trained educational therapists by National Institute for Learning Development and renew their registration yearly. This training is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association. Each therapist has many years of educational experience in various settings, including homeschooling.

What if my child doesn’t like educational therapy?

We understand that these kiddos have often had negative academic experiences and are not very excited to try another new program. In fact, some come quite defeated and discouraged. Our therapists are empathetic, yet ready to challenge your child to take the next step towards independence, encouraging them along the journey, each step of the way.

What is the path to get started at GeerLINKS?

Call now to schedule a screening and assessment to determine your child’s needs, followed by a consultation to discuss which program at GeerLINKS would be the best fit for your child. Our director will then match your child to a therapist. You, the parent, will sign a contract with us for a pre-determined number of sessions. We are committed to journeying with you to support your child.

How quickly will I see results?

While we would love to say our program is the magic answer, we realize that real change takes time and hard work, from your child and their therapist. Many of our parents will tell you that they saw change almost immediately, particularly in their child’s confidence and self-esteem. Improved thinking skills in academics and in planning and organization followed soon after. Most of our students stay with us for an average of three years.

Are there timeslots for afterschool or weekend sessions?

We believe that your child is using so much of their energy during school hours. Many of our therapists are available before school or afterschool, but we are not open evenings or weekends.

Are there any interventions that can be done by the parent at home?

Yes, both Interactive Metronome and Integrated Listening are excellent intervention programs that can be done at home. Both are individually planned and supervised by one of our therapists. Sometimes these programs are recommended before NILD Educational Therapy is offered.

What kind of homeschooling support do you offer?

We believe that homeschooling a child with learning differences is the ultimate Individual Education Plan. Each of our therapists have homeschool experience and are committed to supporting you on this journey. We offer private homeschool consultation as well as parent support through our Facebook community.

Does GeerLINKS offer assessments?

We believe assessments are the key to understanding your child’s needs. We do academic assessments and screening for visual and auditory processing. We also work with a local psychologist who is available to administer psycho-educational testing.