The American Dream and LD

flagYesterday was President’s Day and it brings back memories from my childhood of my parents saying, “If you work hard enough, you can do anything.  You could even be president of the United States someday!”

What a great message for our kids!

As parents spend hours and hours and hours wading through tears, avoidance, and arguments to get homework done each day, it may not seem that “if you work hard enough, you can do anything” applies to their kids.

And that seems so unfair.  Why should kids who are as smart or smarter than their peers, be limited in what they can do because of dyslexia or other learning or attention challenges?

The answer is, they shouldn’t!  But in a world that requires reading, writing, and math skills, a learning disability can feel like an unscalable barrier.



College Professor

College Student

At 13, Michael was failing all of his classes in school due to an auditory processing disorder.  Who would have thought he could ever be a physician?

At 11, Hector had a language delay and serious attention problems.  Today he is a pharmacist.

In third grade, Jessica was a non-reader.  Now, with her doctorate, she teaches teachers how to teach reading!

Tessa spent most of her schooling in special educational classes due to dyslexia and math disabilities.  She is now thriving in her second year of college!

Hard work can go a long way in this world, but for students with dyslexia, learning disabilities, and struggles in school, hard work may not be enough.  My experience with this amazing population of students is that they actually work extremely hard (regardless of how it might appear), but their efforts don’t pay off as expected because they simply don’t have the skills to do the job.  And while reading, writing, spelling, and math skills are critical; those aren’t the only skills that I’m talking about.

I spoke with a college student the other day who is really struggling with his classes.  He shared with me that he has always had trouble reading, and he has spent a great deal of time forcing himself to read the longest, hardest books he could find, but more reading has not solved the problem.

That is because there are many underlying processing/learning skills, such as memory, attention, auditory and visual processing, processing speed, sensorimotor integration, and language processing and comprehension, that provide the foundation that is needed in order for students – even very bright ones – to learn comfortably and efficiently at their potential.

It is a very common belief that if you have a learning or attention challenge, you just have to try harder, be more motivated, and find ways to work around your challenges.  Ask any parent, person, or family dealing with learning or attention challenges and they will tell you that this is not acceptable.  And it’s not!

The brain research over the last 25 years and our experience with thousands of children and adults with learning challenges assures us that the underlying skills that support efficient learning can be developed, paving the way for true and permanent remediation of reading disabilities and other academic struggles.

Bright students with dyslexia and other learning challenges do not have to be limited and their hard work really can pay off.

Do you or your child struggle with speaking, reading, learning, or attention?  These challenges can be changed.  While there are no simple, overnight solutions, most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected through developing the weak underlying skills and remediating the affected academic areas.  Need to know more??

JOIN US for a FREE Information Night.

For information and RSVP go to

“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
Author:  At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers

Recent Posts



Ready to take the next step?

Speak to a Learning Specialist to learn more about the results from students and parents at Stowell Learning Centers.