Most of the time, parents bring their kids to us because they’re struggling with reading, math, or some other aspect of school. But because the underlying skills that are needed for easy, efficient learning are the same skills that support behavior, attention, social skills, and overall functioning, there are many great changes that occur for kids and families in addition to the academics.
I just have to share a couple of stories parents shared with me recently. They made my day!
No More Wedding Craziness!
In (happy) tears, a mom came up to me and said, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s working! Pete is so much calmer. Last week we went to a wedding and he was still a kid but in control instead of being a wild child. I didn’t have to say, ‘Sit down! Stop! Don’t embarrass me!”
Pete wasn’t being a “wild child” on purpose. Now that his underlying learning skills (sensorimotor integration, auditory processing, spatial awareness and orientation) are improving, he is getting more confident, reading better, and able to feel more settled and in control. This makes everyone happier.
Collette Taylor, a teacher and one of our parents, shared this story with us and with you…
I’m lying down with Aidan as we tell bedtime stories. Hard to imagine a year ago we didn’t snuggle like this. His sensory processing disorder made snuggling uncomfortable for him. Now he’s resting his head on me and going on about good guys (or Ninja Turtles) saving the day from the Naughty Man & his robots. And when I kiss him, he doesn’t pull away anymore. (For the record, we have never let him watch a Ninja Turtle show, but he seems to know all about them). I don’t care how silly his stories get, I appreciate how bright he is and the fact we can cuddle like I know other parents do with their kids. Aidan has a long way to go, but the improvement in one year is so astounding I have to remind myself how hard it was last year when we have a difficult moment today. Happy mom! Happy family! Happy Life!
Coping is Not Enough
When capable individuals struggle with learning or attention, it can affect their success in school, at work, and/or socially. Self-esteem takes a beating and families become distressed as they rally around the struggling learner, providing support but often not finding solutions.
Struggling learners and their families are told to cope with the learning challenge and find ways to get around it. Most parents that we speak to refuse to believe that coping is the answer. And they are right!
Academic and social success depends upon a solid foundation of cognitive learning skills. If you think about these skills like a ladder or a continuum, academics and school subjects are at the very top. Many other skills must be in place in order to learn easily at the top of the ladder. When the underlying skills, or skills lower on the continuum are weak, they may keep children and adults from learning and functioning as well and as independently as they should.
Addressing the weak underlying skills on the Learning Skills Continuum has a profound impact on students’ lives, increasing their confidence, academic success, and options for the future.
If you have a struggling student, changes are possible.
JOIN US for a parent information meeting. Go to www.learningdisability.com for details and RSVP.
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