Stowell Learning Center

It’s Almost Time for the Holiday Craze!

It’s coming!  It’s inevitable.  So we might as well get on board and enjoy it!  I love the winter holidays, but they do come with their own special set of challenges. For kids with learning challenges, the excitement of the holidays may be laced with anxiety.  Schedules and activities at home and at school are [...]

At Wit’s End is a Lonely Place to Be.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear this phrase! “We’re spending 4 hours a night in tears over homework.  I’m at my wit’s end!” “I see how hard she tries, but no matter how much we study, she still fails her tests.  I’m at my wit’s end.” “My son hates to read and [...]

I’m Ambidextrous! Isn’t that cool?

Have you ever tried to write your name with your non-dominant hand?  It’s pretty funny, right?  And really challenging! So when we see a person who is ambidextrous and can use both hands equally to do things, it's seems pretty amazing.  In baseball, switch-hitters (players who can bat either right-handed or left handed) are in [...]

Different and Proud of It!

The Today show aired a fun piece today about a little girl who opted to wear a hotdog costume to her dance class on Princess Day! Now that’s confidence!  I love the individuality of little kids and I love it when people aren’t afraid to be themselves. Being different because you choose to be is [...]

7 Common Mistakes Parents Make when their Child has Difficulty with School Part 3

We’ve been looking at mistakes that parents inadvertently make when their children struggle in school.  The first 2 were Waiting too long before looking for help Assuming that learning struggles just aren’t that big a deal Here’s #3… Mistake #3 – Thinking  Students Will Grow Out Of Learning Problems Parents are often told or believe [...]

5 Tips for Empowering Kids and Building Self-Esteem

Most of the parents I speak to would put “Self-Esteem” at the top of their list of concerns for their children or teens with learning or attention challenges.  And rightly so, as confidence and self-esteem often take a beating when students struggle in school or with homework. You’re so awesome!  You’re so smart!  You’re an [...]

“I Don’t Get It. What Do You Mean?”

Understanding and Correcting Comprehension Challenges My daughter has learned that volunteering to wait for the next flight when hers is overbooked is a good way to add to her travel funds.  And since she has an insatiable desire to travel, she makes a habit of asking. When flying home from Japan a few weeks ago, [...]

Did Henry Ford Have it Right?

Henry Ford said,  “If you think you can, you can.  If you think you can’t, you can’t.” There’s a lot of wisdom and truth in that statement, but there are times when gutting it out just doesn’t work. I once knew a young man in his twenties who couldn’t read or spell. His dyslexia was [...]

The Common Core Controversy

Most teachers and parents seem to have strong, emotional opinions about Common Core, the current emphasis in school curriculum.   It puts a huge emphasis on working with information as opposed to memorizing and reproducing information. If we want children to become good problem solvers and self-initiating learners, they need the kind of thinking skills developed [...]

Conquering SATs, Test Anxiety, Senior Moments, and Learning Challenges

Tyler was a motivated high school junior, potential Ivy League football player, and solid AP (Advanced Placement) student.  But he was SAT-Challenged! Jessica was also an excellent student in her junior year in high school, but her test anxiety was so great it could only be controlled with prescription medication. Cheryl is a 50-something baby-boomer [...]

“Mom, I Need Adderall”

A parent recently shared with me that her high school son came home from school one day saying, “Mom, I need Adderall.”  Adderall is a medication commonly used to manage Attention Deficit Disorder / ADHD. It’s easy to blame attention for students’ struggles in school because that’s often what it looks like in class and [...]

I Think I Can! I Think I Can! I Think I Can!

One of my favorite childhood books was The Little Engine That Could.  I loved that little blue engine!  He never ever gave up.  No matter how steep the hill was, he always went after it – he always believed he could do it. “I think I can!  I think I can!  I think I can!” [...]

Walking In Their Shoes

5 Things Parents and Teachers Should Know About Their Struggling Learner AND 5 Ways to Support Them We recently held a Simulation and Strategies Event at Stowell Learning Center, Chino.  The parents and teachers who attended got the opportunity to see what it might feel like to be a student in class with dyslexia, auditory [...]

Learning Differences Don’t Really Make Me Different!

In Southern California, we are the very definition of a “melting pot.”  We have people of every color, culture, and religion from every part of the world.  I love that!  I think it makes us interesting. One of the things I’ve noticed, working with thousands of families who are dealing with learning and attention challenges, [...]

What Do I Say To My Child About His Learning Difference?

  A mom walked by with a baby who was wearing a soft helmet.  Being an unusual sight, I and most other people they passed glanced a little longer than typical at the baby. Why was a baby wearing a helmet like that? The question was quickly answered by the statement printed in large colorful [...]

Is Retention Ever a Good Idea?

We’re getting to that time of year that some parents are getting the news that their child is “in danger of retention.” “In danger” indicates that retention is a bad thing.  While it is something that should certainly be decided with careful thought, there are there times when retention is actually a good idea. Children [...]

Child’s Play Develops Attention

“Look at me!” “Watch me do a handstand!” “Look at me jump!” Young children love to show off their physical prowess.  What parents may not realize is that the antics kids use to get attention are often building blocks for developing attention! I had a momentous birthday last week so I don’t do a lot [...]

Information Overload or Filter Failure?

I don’t know about you, but email can be completely overwhelming to me.  Scattered among the truly important things, there must be ten times as many irrelevant items. Recently, my husband saved me from my inbox by going through and weeding out everything except the things I really needed to pay attention to.  He was [...]

I HATE Feeling Crazy!

My father-in-law loved instruction manuals.  He would pour over the manual for any item he bought because he wanted to know exactly how it worked, all the things it could do, and what problems and solutions to expect. But kids don’t come with instruction manuals.  So we all step into parenting a little blindly.  It’s [...]

I HATE Feeling Crazy! thumbnail

Multitasking or Scattered and Unfocused?

Is Social Media Helping or Hurting Attention and Executive Function? Have you watched a high school or college student do homework recently?  It’s quite a fantastic display of multi-tasking.  Or is it? I am amazed at how young people can switch so rapidly between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, and texting, all while doing an [...]

Multitasking or Scattered and Unfocused? thumbnail

Don’t Let Learning Challenges De-Rail Your Dreams

Saturday was a milestone day for my family.  Our son got married to a wonderful girl on a beautiful Southern California day!  We all have hopes and dreams for our kids, and this was certainly one of ours for our son. I speak daily with parents of smart, talented, wonderful kids whose hearts are breaking [...]

Don’t Let Learning Challenges De-Rail Your Dreams thumbnail

Life with an Auditory Processing Disorder Sounds Different

This is a big week for my family.  My son is getting married on Saturday and we couldn’t be more delighted! As I was thinking about the upcoming reception, I remembered the mom of one of our students trying to describe to me what she thought it must be like for her son.  She said, [...]

Life with an Auditory Processing Disorder Sounds Different thumbnail

Got Rhythm?

Rhythm and Timing May be a Factor in Reading, Attention, and Learning Problems Every week I take a Whole Body Workout class at the gym.  I think it should be called Whole Body – Whole Brain Workout because it not only takes muscle power, but brainpower to coordinate all the simultaneous movements: Arms opening and [...]

Got Rhythm? thumbnail

Toddler Techies

I Can’t Believe The Experts Overlooked This When Talking About Child Development And Technology These images are a bit disturbing to me.  First because I’m afraid some of these babies may be more tech-savvy than I am!  And second, because as cool as this is, I’m not sure we’re doing our kids any favors by putting them in [...]

Toddler Techies thumbnail

The Teacher Says My Child is Struggling. Now What?

The Teacher Says My Child is Struggling.  Now what? When I was teaching in public school many years ago, I happened to teach in an area where most of the parents spoke only Spanish.  Therefore, my parent-teacher conferences were held in my far-less-than-perfect Spanish.  I remember that the parents were so gracious about it. One [...]

Dreading Parent Teacher Conferences?

Loving Fall but Dreading Fall Parent Teacher Conferences? The East Coast does Fall right!  Crisp weather; brilliant red, yellow, and orange leaves on the tress, and pumpkins everywhere! There’s just something special about Fall.  A change in the weather - in most places!  (So. Cal. seems to be a bit stuck on the heat of summer).  [...]

Sports and Concussions

We love our sports, but parents beware Growing up, my mom flatly refused to let my brothers play football.  It wasn’t because my dad loved baseball so much, but because of the possible head injuries associated with football. We are a pretty sport-driven society.  Most of the children and teens I know play some kind [...]

Auditory Processing Problems Like Listening Underwater?

It’s Pool Time! From the time I was 12, I spent virtually everyday of the summer hanging out, or lifeguarding once I was old enough, at the high school pool.  Even now, the smell of chlorine at a pool brings back fond memories. If you’re an underwater swimmer, you know that sounds are very muffled [...]

You Get an A For Effort but You Need to Try Harder!

I’m having trouble writing my blog this morning because I’m sitting at Starbucks trying to write and everyone around me is talking about the Kings’ huge win last night. I’m a big Kings fan, so it’s hard to not engage!  For those of you who are not NHL Hockey fans, the Los Angeles Kings are [...]

It’s an Intervention Class! Intervene!

Attention challenges are really hard to understand – even for students who have them.  They have good intentions, and then find themselves daydreaming or doing something else when they should be working. A parent recently shared with me that her son, who has auditory processing, reading, math, and attention challenges, is in an intervention class [...]

High IQ and Academic Success

I once worked with a young man who was so dyslexic that he couldn’t recognize his middle name in print.  But he was also so smart, that he dated a reading specialist for several months and she never knew he couldn’t read! Smart children and adults who struggle academically are often pegged as lazy or [...]

Aren’t Our Kids Awesome!

When my daughter was 5 years old, she and her friend, Drew, decided they would play an April Fools joke on us, so they glued 3 pennies to the pavement right by our front door.  They thought they were so clever!  And they were! Don’t you just love the funny, creative things kids do? We [...]

Tippy Toes and Learning Challenges

Starbucks is one of my favorite writing spots because 1) it’s acceptable to sit there alone with your computer, and 2) there are no interruptions.  And okay, 3) I like the drinks! So I was sitting at Starbucks the other day when two different families came in with their toddler boys who were almost exactly the [...]

Just Call Me “Braben”

After repeatedly reversing the d in his name, Braden told his teacher, “Just call me Braben!” I laughed when I heard this because this young boy is so delightful and good-natured.  But on further reflection, this is the very last thing that I want for our dyslexic students – to have to spend their life [...]

Voracious Reader

Yesterday at a baby shower, I ran into the mom of a former student who shared with me that her son, now 31, came to Stowell Learning Center when he was 7. She said, “We’re so grateful.  I don’t think he would ever have learned to read if it hadn’t been for his time at [...]

Go Moms!

Perseverance is Not Just for Athletes!  Go Moms!   I normally try NOT to watch ads on TV, but I’ve been quite drawn to some of the commercials aired during the Olympics. I’m not even sure what they’re advertising, but I love the commercials that show athletes as children going through both the excitement and [...]

Brain Lessons from the Olympics

Aren’t our Olympians amazing!  I can’t begin to imagine flying down a hill on a snowboard, launching into the air, doing three backwards rotations, then landing flat on the snow at top speed in preparation for another trick. I marvel that anyone could learn to do that with all of the bumps, bruises, and breaks [...]

CNN Analysis

CNN Analysis:  Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders OK.  So now that the Super Bowl Hype and parties are over…Oh, wait, discussions of the game, the coaches the players, the ads ought to be worth another week, right? We love our sports and our athletes in this country, and having a son [...]

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass..”

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain… A friend of mine likes to put quotes following the signature line on her emails.  This was the one she used last week. Wouldn’t this be a great way to live?  Learning to take everything that comes and [...]

Awesome Even on Your Worst Day!

As a competitive ice skater our daughter, Christy, could be quite hard on herself.  We would say to her, “On your worst day, you skate circles around everyone else.”  I don’t know if it made her feel any better, but it was true.  She was (and still is) a stunning skater, even when she’s having [...]

LDA Conference

In the past few weeks, as the rest of the nation has hit record low temperatures, I have been extremely grateful to be living in Southern California where we believe 60 degrees is “freezing!” In So Cal, we not only have the mountains and the beach nearby, but we also have the “Happiest Place on [...]

Words to Self, Matter!

Socks and image can be found at www.notestoself.com   My mom is a great gift-giver (and a great gift-wrapper)!  This Christmas, one of the things she gave me was a pair of socks that says, “I am awesome!” If you’re like me, you’ve probably already disappointed yourself with regard to your New Year’s resolutions.  But [...]

Take a Break!

Recess is NOT just for school If you’re like me, you’re frantically trying to get presents wrapped and packages sent.  Here’s a gift you can give yourself and your kids in this last week before Christmas, and going forward into the new year:  a quick break to refresh and regroup. Learning to take a break [...]

Cyber Monday

Beyond Black Friday…Refreshing Gifts for the Whole Family Today is Cyber-Monday.  Apparently, the internet is loaded with amazing deals for the consumer that are available today only!  I can just imagine all those cyber signals pushing and shoving through space to be the very first in line to make their purchase. I don’t like crowds [...]

Success…Gratitude…Thankfulness

"No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. 
The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude. " Alfred North Whitehead Everyday at Stowell Learning Centers, we get the privilege of helping children and adults with learning and attention challenges achieve success. More aware…better at making friends…better readers…higher grades…more confident…easier to [...]

Fooled You!

I remember playing Hide-and-Seek as a kid. Our very best games were down at the state park by the beach because there were lots of fun places to hide.  We got such delight out of fooling our friends with a really great hiding place. In the right context, hiding can be fun.  But hiding your [...]

I Can’t Wait to Go to School and Use What I Learned!

Ten-year-old Hannah spent 6 weeks of her summer working 3 hours a day in an intensive learning program at our center.  As we sat down to begin her retesting, I asked her how she was feeling about what she had learned. “I’m very happy that I came,” she exclaimed.  “I can’t wait to go to [...]

Everyone Needs a Hula Hoop!

Have you ever known someone who repeatedly “invaded” your personal space?  They just stand or sit too close in conversation?  There is something really uncomfortable about that, even if the person is someone you know and like. Often I speak with parents who express concerns about their child’s social skills and ability to make and [...]

Welcome to Stowell Learning Center’s Blog!

For more information on Stowell Learning Center visit our website at www.learningdisability.com Information on our upcoming events can be found at www.learningdisability.com/upcomingevents If you would like more information about our services we invite you to attend our Parent Information Meeting. Meeting Dates and RSVP form can be found at the following links: Chino Parent Info [...]