Friday, February 19, 2010

The ABC's of ACC

Please keep in mind that not all kids who have
Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum are alike in
terms of how they are affected or how they learn.

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum has a very broad
range of how it can affect a person.

With that being said, hopefully The ABC's of ACC
will help give teachers some insight and offer a
quick reference of key things seen in some kids who
have ACC.

ABCs of ACC - printable version

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum
Definition: Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum is a congenital defect.
A child who has ACC (or a corpus callosum disorder) is born with it. Agenesis = missing or absent. Therefore, a child who has ACC is completely missing their corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is the largest commissural pathway in the brain consisting of over 200 million nerve fibers and allows for communication between the two hemispheres of the brain.

Abstract reasoning is often very difficult.
Abstract humor is often challenging.

Be Observant.
Breathe and begin teaching.
Be ready to take a detour as often as needed.
Behavior challenges may be present in some kids.
Broad range of how ACC can affect a person.
Believe in the child's abilities.
Break tasks down into small steps.
Build a child's confidence.

Confidence helps a child learn.
Celebrate the uniqueness of each child.
Confusion comes with too many directions at once.
Communication with parents is crucial.
Computers can help a child express knowledge.
Concrete thinking is common.
Communication can be a challenge.
Calculators used for math are common.
Counting money can be a challenge.

Don't put limitations on a child's ability to learn.
Diligently explore ways to help a child learn.
Depth perception issues may be present.
Detours are often helpful teaching avenues.
Decoding what a child says may be necessary.
Demonstrating what they know can be difficult.
Delayed response time is common.

Encourage a child often.
Expect they do their best.
Every child can be affected differently.
Eagerly find a doorway to the child's learning path.
Extra time to process info and answer a question.

Fix your mind on positive thoughts.
Find what works even if it takes all year.
Find methods that speak to their strengths.
Find creative ways to express what they know.
Focusing may be difficult.
Fine motor skills may be weak.

Graciously give respect to the child.
Give a child every opportunity to learn.
Give extra time to process info and answer questions.

Headaches or migraines happen in some kids.
Handwriting may be difficult.
High Pain Tolerance is common.
Homework log with teacher or aide's assistance helps.
Have Patience.
Have fun.

Instant responses may be difficult.
Irony and idioms are often very difficult.

Just try one more approach to help a child learn.
Just when you think it won't happen, it clicks & they learn.

Keep the door open to what a child can learn.
Keep trying new teaching methods until one works.

Listen to the child.
Let the child be the guide.
Literal thinking is common in kids who have ACC.
Loud noises may bother/scare some kids.
Language: finding the right words can be difficult.
Learning some new skills often happens slowly.

Motivation is a must!
Marvel at the miraculous ways a child is learning.
Music: singing words may teach more easily.
Math is often very challenging.

Never give up.
Neuropsychological Evaluations are very helpful.
Non-Verbal Learning Disorder may apply to some kids.
No progress for long periods before they learn it is common.

Observe a child's learning style carefully.
Organizing assignments and homework can be difficult.
One-on-one aides can help a child stay focused,
on task and organized.

Patience is a must.
Praise promotes confidence & learning.
Pre-teaching can be very helpful.
Present information as concretely as possible.
Processing information takes time.
Pragmatics-language used in social context-is often weak.
Parent/Teacher communication is essential.

Quiet work areas may help some kids.
Quick on the spot responses may be difficult.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!
Reading Comprehension is often difficult.
Recalling & Retrieving information may be easy one day;
the next day the child may struggle to recall or
completely forget it.
Remembering homework and assignments can be hard.
Reading social cues in others is often difficult.
Renewal for everyone is rewarding.

Self-Esteem is SO important.
Seek creative, fun ways to help a child learn.
Staying focused and on task may be difficult.
Stumble upon a new teaching method when least expected.
Slow response time is common.
Social Skills are often weak and behind.
Sensory issues may be present in some kids;
Sensory Processing Disorder.

Think outside the box.
Take a break when needed.
The child may easily recall info one day and struggle or
forget it the next day.
Tying their shoes tends to be terribly difficult.
Taking tests often requires additional time.
Taking notes can be easier when typing.
Teacher/Parent communication is essential.

Understand that every child who has ACC is unique.

Victory on the mountaintop is worth all the effort!
Verbal expression may be challenging.
Verbal words may come slowly and get mixed up.

Welcome a child's input and feelings.
Writing can be difficult for some kids.
Words may not come easily for a child who has ACC.
Word play is often very difficult.

X-ray a child's mind and learn how they think.

Yes they can and they will learn.

Zestfully believe in the child and all their potential.
Zestfulness for teaching a child makes learning fun.

ABCs of ACC - printable version

Did you think of something else to add to this list
that applies to your child who has ACC?

Please take a minute to add your own ABC thru XYZ comment
or you can send me an E-mail if you prefer.

I can't wait to see what else you come up with.

If you prefer to have a copy of this document in
Word version please send an E-Mail request.


  1. Emotions change at the drop of a hat. Can be mad about something one minute and happy as can be the next.

  2. Excellent job! Concrete, concise and useful! We, parents of childern with ACC might be willing to read verbose texts describing the condition but most people don't. This presents MANY facts of ACC in a way that is not overwhelming.

  3. My experience with a son with complete ACC has been almost entirely positive. The one down side is that he sleeps little, and that can be exhausting for parents and grandparents. While I have only the one example as my guide, I do not see slow responses -- I see lightning fast responses both in making decisions and in playing physical games. I do not see trouble with reading comprehension -- I see great understanding and memory.

    The comment that "Self-Esteem is SO important" is entirely counter-productive. Self-esteem derives from skills and successes. Self esteem is built through teaching and practice. When "Atta boys" and "Good Jobs" are given as rewards for missed goals, to prop up self esteem, the result is distrust of authority and a diminished incentive to achieve. This is one of the key mistakes of public schools. I have a nephew in 9th grade who cannot write as well as I could in 4th grade. The schools fail to circle every error and give him good grades for fear of hurting his self esteem. However, low self esteem is an accurate assessment of his skills. His teachers and mother fear hurting his self esteem more than they fear failure. However, their result is both failure and perpetual self esteem issues -- the kid thinks he is "dumb" but really he is just not educated.

  4. To: The Anonymous poster on February 24, 2010

    Thank you for your very kind comment. It was very nice of you. I am so glad that you find "The ABC's of ACC" useful.

  5. Hi Sandie, I'm Anna from Italy. I have traslated this post for the ACC italian forum. The article is here . Can I put this article and the article about the social skills in Raggio di sole? Of course I will mention your blog and your credits.
    Sorry for my english.

  6. Hi Anna, Your English is excellent. I am thrilled that you want to translate "The ABC's of ACC" post to Italian. Thank you so much for your interest. Thank you very much for taking the time to put so much hard work into the translation of the document from English to Italian. And yes, you may put both articles on your blog page. I am honored to be included on your own Raggio di sole blog (Ray of sunshine) blog. You are definitely a ray of sunshine in my life today and it's a blessing to know you, Anna. Thank you.

  7. My name's Donyelle and I'm currently 19 years old born and living with ACC. I wish this page was available growing up so my parents, teachers, friends and I could understand. There were times growing up that I really wished that I was NORMAL. In High school I was in remedial classes when I knew I was capable to be in honors but their lesson plans go so fast I couldn't keep up.


I am very interested in reading your comments and
look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.