hfHenry 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 so profound, that he could not write or recognize his middle name.  Howe`ver, he was bright and determined and had somehow managed to graduate from high school.  He had the most amazing collection of coping strategies I’ve ever seen.

Determination and a solid “I can” attitude got him a long way, but it couldn’t teach Tony to read.

Learning to read and spell easily and automatically depends upon a solid set of underlying learning /processing skills.  The auditory system in the brain has to be able to process the number, order, and identity of sounds inside of words (phonemic awareness).  The visual system has to be able to see and discriminate each letter and word on the page clearly and in the correct order.  The brain has to be able to notice and pay attention to small, common sight words such as the, of, and if that don’t always follow the phonetic rules and don’t connect easily with a concept or mental image.  The language part of the brain has to be able to understand, sequence, and associate the meaning of the words and sentences.

Without these critical auditory, visual, and language processing skills, reading just doesn’t work.  If any one of these areas is weak, learners will struggle more than they should with reading and/or spelling.

Believing in yourself and refusing to give up are huge factors in overcoming reading, spelling, and other learning challenges because they give the student the motivation and stamina to stay the course.

But the real deciding factor is correcting/developing the underlying processing skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.  Once these skills are developed, the brain has the information it needs to be able to learn and the affected academic skills can be remediated.

At Stowell Learning Center, we identify the underlying skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.  We look at exactly what is happening when a student is trying to read, spell, write, or do math.  Then, through specialized cognitive and learning skills programs, we help students develop the needed underlying skills and remediate the reading, writing, spelling, or math skills.

Bright, determined children and adults like Tony can and should become comfortable, independent readers and learners.  It takes more than positive thinking, but the brain research and our work with students with dyslexia, learning, and attention challenges over the last 30 years proves that it can be done.

If your child is struggling in school and you are looking for real solutions,

JOIN US for a FREE Information Night.

Intensive programs are available this summer to help your bright student make dramatic improvements before school starts in the fall.

For information and RSVP go to www.learningdisability.com

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