A parent was sharing with me recently about her son’s struggles in school. He dreads going to school and comes home almost daily saying, “I’m not smart enough.”
The school has offered this boy a 504 Plan, which will allow him to have accommodations in the classroom, such as fewer spelling words, taking tests in a quiet room, and a copy of another student’s notes in order to study.
The parent was told, “These accommodations will make things easier for your son.”
In despair, Mom says, “I don’t want the school to make things easier. I want them to actually BE easier!”
Most people believe that if you have a learning challenge, you simply have to learn to live with it and get around it. More and more parents are looking at their smart but struggling students and saying this is just not acceptable. A life of hiding a learning problem, of sweating blood to compensate, of unrealized potential, and of feeling “not smart enough” is not OK anymore. “I want a different story for my child.”
In spite of the fact that we all go into parenthood a little blindly, I find that parents, especially moms (sorry guys), know. They know their child is smart enough; that laziness is NOT the problem; and that the child is trying hard and does care, no matter what it looks like. And, they know that it doesn’t make sense for their kids to have to live this. They believe that things actually can be easier for their child.
And they are right. Most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically changed or completely corrected. Reading, writing, spelling, math, and school skills are supported by numerous underlying learning skills. If one or more of these underlying skills is weak, it will cause the student to have to work harder, longer, and less effectively than expected.
But the brain is amazing! We know now through 25 years of brain research and our 30 years in the trenches actually working with these challenges, that these underlying learning skills can be developed. The brain can change. New, more efficient neuropathways, or connections in the brain, can be made so that learning can be easier. Once the brain is getting the information it needs, it can do the job it is meant to do – to learn!
John had dyslexia, an auditory processing problem, and a brain injury. At 12, he had very limited reading, writing, comprehension, and math skills. He struggled to listen, pay attention, and verbally express himself. His parents were relentless in pursuing the kind of help for John that would actually address the underlying issues causing the learning problems. Today, John is working independently and getting good grades as a high school senior, and is looking forward to starting at Arizona State University in the Fall.
Are you ready to write a different story for your child?
Do you or your child struggle with dyslexia, learning, or attention challenges? 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 that are causing the student to struggle and remediating the affected academic areas. Need to know more??
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For information and RSVP go to www.learningdisability.com
“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