By Dr. Stefanie Aronow, Chief Medical Officer
Our Tamarack family stands united with Israel and our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers, sisters, and Jewish community here and abroad.
Everyone learns in a unique way – some of us learn best through hearing (auditory), some by seeing (visual), some by hands on (tactile) – many of us need to use as many senses as we can to maximize learning. Understanding how we learn best and what makes us unique can be the key that unlocks our special talents. Let’s celebrate our differences and learn how to learn with the following resources!
National Learning Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
Students with learning disabilities continue to face barriers due to the lack of proper funding, accommodations, and resources to support their academic success. Understand the issues and how students with learning disabilities can achieve success commensurate with their peers. Read more at NCLD.org.
Fast-advancing technology has made the internet one of the best resources for discovering entertaining activities that teach as well as excite children. Educational websites assist children with learning differences master basic skills in reading and math or advanced concepts like calculus. To help with that process, the following are 12 Websites For Children with Learning Disabilities, including dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and visual motor deficit.
1. IXL Worldwide
Aligned with Common Core Standards, IXL Worldwide is a dynamic, immersive website offering adaptive learning for students with disabilities. From Pre-K through senior year, IXL will provide fun exercises for mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies. Children remain motivated by earning awards like stickers and balloon animals for each lesson mastered.
Featuring the kidSAFE Seal, FunBrain is an educational website managed by Sandbox Networks since 1997 with exciting arcade games. Children with learning disabilities in grades K-8 can watch lesson videos and practice their skills in attention-grabbing games like Penguin Drop. Game directions are conveniently illustrated to assist struggling readers too.
3. AAA Math
Children diagnosed with dyscalculia will particularly benefit from AAA Math, a website filled with free, easy-to-understand K-8 mathematics lessons. Interactive pages help remove frustration from tough concepts like division, ratios, exponents, and graphing. Practice questions and fun games like Countdown give students’ instant feedback to prevent learning incorrect methods.
4. Storyline Online
Published by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Storyline Online is an excellent resource for children with learning disabilities like dyslexia. This website records free videos of narrators, and sometimes well-known actors like Eva Longoria, reading children’s books aloud. Students develop their literacy skills by following along with text as the literature comes alive.
5. Into the Book!
The Wisconsin Media Lab created the Into the Book! website to provide engaging reading comprehension activities in English and Spanish. Elementary children with learning disabilities will benefit from dissecting books, such as The Wolf Who Cried Boy and A Pirate’s Life. Short, 15-minute videos are included to teach important reading strategies like visualization and summarizing.
Launched in 2002 by the Polis-Schutz family, Starfall is a free educational website with an optional low-cost membership program that teaches phonics. Young children diagnosed with learning disabilities will load fun activity lessons from letter recognition to reading full-length books. Students can also download swinging sing-alongs, including “Wheels on the Bus,” for fine-motor coordination.
7. The Exploratorium
Children with learning disabilities and a knack for science will enjoy The Exploratorium, a website that brings the San Francisco museum to your desktop. Youth can scroll through 55 pages of educational videos to illustrate key topics like climate change, electricity, and human anatomy. Also download the Total Solar Eclipse app to prepare for the upcoming astronomical event on August 21, 2017.
Attracting over 11 million views monthly, Do2Learn is an unparalleled special needs resource website started in 1996 through a NIH Small Business Innovation Research grant. Learning disabled youth access thousands of free elementary-level worksheets for literacy, math, visual discrimination, behavior management, and more. There are also printable picture cards available to promote functional communication in children with Autism.
9. Reading Rockets
Featured on PBS, Reading Rockets is a David M. Rubenstein Prize-winning website devoted to providing research-based activities that help struggling readers. There is an extensive library of lessons centered on fluency, oral language, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, and other literacy skills. Children can also incite their passion for reading with themed booklists, such “Young Detectives.”
Trusted by over 150,000 teachers, AdaptedMind was established by Stanford graduates for exercises that adapt to exceptional children’s needs. From first through eighth grade, students will discover hundreds of amusing reading and math activities illustrated by goofy monsters. Children will start with a quick pretest before engaging in video lessons and taking a confidence-boosting progress assessment.
11. Arcademic Skill Builders
Arcademic Skill Builders is an online educational video games hub that won an EdTech Magazine 2016 Cool Tool Award. Free, multi-player games are available for engaging students in tricky K-6 content from spelling to algebra and geography. Children with learning disabilities can compete for top scores while boosting their fact fluency. Plus, teachers or parents can access data tracking reports.
12. Learning Ally
For nearly 70 years, Learning Ally has been a leading nonprofit devoted to helping people with print disabilities, especially dyslexia. From kindergarten to college, learning disabled youth can access the website’s library of over 80,000 audiobooks with VOICEtext. Award-winning books, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland, are human narrated in clear voices to boost students’ comprehension.
It’s important that children with learning disabilities don’t lag behind. After all, the NCLD reports that 19 percent of learning disabled youth drop out before high school graduation. Keep your child or student progressing academically with these any of the above listed Top 12 Websites For Children With Learning Disabilities.
BONUS: Twice Exceptional (FULL TRANSPARENCY… SHAMELESS PLUG BELOW!)
Tamarack Alum, Josh Aronow, and Tamakwa Alum, Alex Bean, have started a business with a social mission to raise awareness and support for those with Learning Differences – check it out! The term “twice exceptional” or “2e” refers to intellectually gifted children who have one or more learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder. Twice-exceptional children think and process information differently.