This is a topic that every teacher comes across, and it’s also a topic that can be very sensitive for some people. We at LionWhale proudly teach students of all ages, all learning styles, and all learning abilities. Many of our teachers have training, have attended seminars, and have done their own research on teaching special needs students.
Sometimes, when we start teaching a student who is on the Autism Spectrum, has ADHD, or another formal diagnosis, their learning difference is very clear from the first lesson. The parents often discuss the diagnosis, treatments, and goals with us so that we can all be on the same page. This is the ideal situation.
When a parent is aware of a classification of a student (auditory processing disorder, ADHD, ODD, autism spectrum, partial hearing or vision loss, & etc.), it is really essential to share that information with all of the student’s teachers, including the music instructor! There are few situations that we haven’t dealt with before, and if we come across something new to us, we will absolutely do our research to be the best teachers that we can be for any student.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, we are often kept completely out of the loop regarding a student’s classification. There have been times when it has been months or YEARS into working with a student that we find out about a diagnosis that the student has had all along. This is so frustrating for us! We know how to deal with special needs students! We know what techniques and practices are recommended and work well with various types of students. When we are unaware of a diagnosis, we may treat the student as if he/she has a behavior problem, or lacks respect for the teacher, instead of a medically diagnosed learning difference! This is so unfair to the student and the teacher.
Please, if your child has a confirmed or suspected learning, processing, or behavioral disabilities, share that information with us! LionWhale keeps this information completely confidential.