Jan Horner not only has four learning-disabled children, she is learning-disabled herself. From her experiences as a child to working with her own children, she recently wrote, “A Parent’s Guide To Raising Learning Disabled Children.”
Horner said, “Why should I write a book? I believe God has been preparing me for my whole life to write this book. He has blessed me with many unusual life experiences and through them, I have learned a lot about what it takes to parent a learning-disabled child.”
The book is 10 years in the making. But Horner was able to complete and publish the book in December of last year — just in time for the holiday season and to give the book as a gift to her mother and family.
“I have a unique perspective because of my varied experienced. That is a gift,” said Horner, of Beecher.
Horner has an associate degree in early childhood but has only taken three classes dealing with special needs – and none of the classes trained her to deal with family troubles.
“As I attempt to convey in the book, sometimes life is the best teacher of all,” Horner said.
Horner recalls that even in kindergarten she didn’t catch on as quickly as the other kids and felt like she didn’t fit in. And by second grade, it was obvious she wasn’t learning as quickly as others her age.
In the 1970s, diagnosing and treating learning disabilities was still a new concept, but her test results revealed she had dyslexia. From that time until the fifth grade, she attended a clinic every morning and during the summer for special reading classes.
In high school, she worked very hard for her B-minus average.
“I might have been a late bloomer, but I believe that was all in God’s plan,” Horner said. “Sometimes learning-disabled kids just need more time to build confidence before they are ready to face the world.”
As an adult, Horner deals with her dyslexia and has since learned she has ADHD as well.
She and her husband, John, have five children age 30 to 18 – four are learning-disabled.
“Not one of our children learns the same as another,” she said. “Each has his or her different strengths and weaknesses. However, I have been better equipped to parent learning-disabled children because I was one.”
Today, each of her children are successful adults in their careers and school endeavors.
The scriptural-based book delves into disabilities and academic disabilities, how parents react, signs for parents to look for, early diagnosis and intervention, individualized education plans, working with schools and teachers, labels and diagnosis.
Horner also offers real advice suggestions and tips for parents of pre-schoolers all the way through high school and adulthood.
“Mostly, I want people to comprehend and find empathy for others around them,” she said. “I hope the book makes a difference.”
She was quick to point out that even as an adult, her dyslexia plays a part in her everyday life.
“I am unable to write out an email address. I just can’t. Other adults look at me like I’m an idiot,” Horner said.
“I hope this book helps other people open their eyes to look at kids, and even adults, who are struggling and just care.”
And this book is not just a guide for a parent of a child with disabilities, the book is for any person who loves or teaches people with disabilities.
“A Parent’s Guide To Raising Learning-Disabled Children” is available for $14.99 on Amazon. A Kindle version is also available.
Horner is also available to speak to mom’s groups, church groups and schools.