How to Diagnose and Cope with a Brain Based Diagnosis

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

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What is a Brain Based ? A brain based diagnosis is a broad category of disorders, which can vary in symptoms and can include any condition that affects your brain.Today I am joined by Natalie Vecchione, Podcaster at FASD Hope and co-author, with Cindy LaJoy,  of the new homeschooling book: Blazing New Homeschool Trails, Educating and Launching Teens with Developmental Disabilities.

Natalie explains how the book was born out of desperation, as she and her husband were parenting and raising a FASD student. FASD (Fetal Achhol Syndrome Disorder). This is a brain based diagnosis, and like many brain based diagnosis is on a spectrum, meaning people with this disability, has a range of manifestations, which can include physical, emotional and intellectual.

What is a Brain Based Diagnosis? A brain based diagnosis is a broad category of disorders, which can vary in symptoms and severity and can include any condition or disability that affects your brain and can be caused by:

  • Illness
  • Genetics
  • Traumatic Injury

Brain based Diagnosis can include:




OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)


Learning Disabilities, including Dyslexia, Dyscalcia, Dysgraphia, etc

Processing Disorders.

How to determine and cope with a Brain Based Diagnosis:

  1. Figure out why you suspect something: Take detailed notes including medical conditions, genetic components, how students are not keeping up; write down detailed deficits, needs and strengths
  2. Find a practitioner who can do a Neutral Typical Evaluation (also called a Psychological Evaluation or an Educational Evaluation), usually done by a Psychologist. These can be very pricey, so check with your local University and Clinic with a Sliding Scale).
  3. Understand the Dysmaturity or “gap” of your student. This is quite different from immaturity. Dysmaturity is a gap between a person’s chronological and developmental age. This gap, depending on the disability, can be between a few years and up to half of the students’ age.
  4. Make accommodations

Resources Mentioned

SPED Blog posts:


SPED  Podcasts:

Communication Skills with Struggling Learning with Peggy Ployhar

Special Needs and Critical Thinking Skills




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