Every one of us needs friends to support us on our journey, and this is especially true when you are teaching a special needs
child. Judi Munday can be that friend.
Using her knowledge, experience, and
passion, she will come alongside you
and help you on your journey. Judi is
the Special Needs instructor at School
house Teachers.com and shares monthly
articles to help equip families. We’re excited to be celebrating with Judi the release of her new book, Teaching a Child
with Special Needs at Home and at School.
I recently had a chance to talk with Judi
about her new book and about her heart
TOS: Why has writing this book been
one of your life’s dreams?
Judi: Ever since I first started working
with children with special needs, I realized they had a unique way of learning,
a unique set of needs. When I moved to
working with homeschool families about
sixteen years ago, there was more need
than I had imagined among the parents.
I wanted so much to equip them to know
what works because their hearts were
burdened and frustrated. It was like see-
ing somebody starving and wanting to
provide food to eat without having the
means to do it. There was one of me and
many of them. So for me, the book be-
came a way of providing that support—
the help and equipping they were long-
ing for—without having to spread myself
among all the people that I couldn’t reach.
TOS: What is the one thing you most
want parents or teachers to take away
from reading this book?
Judi: What I most want them to take
away is that they can learn to do what
works to help the child. Each child is a
matrix of different strengths and weaknesses, but there are hundreds of ways
to think outside the box and find what
works. I’m very much about finding what
works. I want them to read the book and
say, “There is a way for me to reach this
child, there is a way to help this child
make progress, and I’m willing to try
and experiment and find something that
works.” And, if it doesn’t work, to be willing to move on and try the next step.
TOS: Special needs encompasses a very
broad area. In your years of service, is
there something you’ve seen that all families with special needs challenges have
Judi: Almost all of the parents I’ve seen
of children with special needs feel like
they just don’t know what works. They
don’t feel like they’re equipped. The chil-
dren are struggling, and their needs man-
ifest in so many different ways. Once par-
ents are provided with insight into why
the child is experiencing this particular
area of special need, they can understand
how that impacts their education and
how the teaching needs to be tweaked or
adjusted. I think that’s the thing parents
often don’t understand—how to make
the necessary adjustments to the basic
instructional process and basic instruc-
tional materials. My book provides the
tool kit for them, showing them how to
try different tools and make adjustments.
Parents think they have to teach the
whole textbook exactly as it’s written, or
cover the entire curriculum because, for
example, it’s a fifth grade curriculum and
the child is such-and-such number of
years old. When they find out they have
the freedom as a homeschooler to make
the changes that work, it’s like liberation,
and you can just see the weight come off
TOS: What word of encouragement do
you have for parents and teachers reading this article?
Judi: As difficult as it may be to feel
like there is a way to meet all the needs
of a special child, the important thing is
to teach the child, to allow him to show
An Interview with
The important thing is to teach the
child, to allow him to show what he
knows in the way that he can show it.
View . . .
Bonnie Rose Hudson