As a parent, when your child is struggling, you may feel like you can hardly breathe.  You search for answers and will do almost anything to help, if only you knew what to do.

When we got to the end of our parent night last week, one of the moms said, “Now, I can exhale!”

We had talked about how smart kids who struggle in school are not lazy, or unmotivated, or, most importantly, not doomed to a life of continued setbacks and frustration due to learning and attention challenges.

Traditional tutoring and help at school, while supportive, does not generally solve the problem, and parents are routinely told that their bright child is just going to have to find ways to cope with or compensate for their learning challenge.

What we know from the brain research and our over 30 years working with children and adults with learning disabilities, dyslexia, and other learning and attention challenges, is that most of these struggles can be dramatically improved or completely corrected.  A lifetime of accommodations and working under potential is simply not necessary.

Here’s what it takes:

The skills needed for learning can be placed on a continuum, with academic and school subjects up at the top.  Building up to and supporting those skills are whole sets of underlying skills that need to be in place.  When the underlying skills are weak, it can cause you to have to work harder and longer than expected and it will most likely affect your attention – even if you’re smart and even if you’re motivated.

In order to make permanent changes, we have to identify and develop the weak underlying skills that are not supporting the student well enough, as well as remediating the reading, writing, spelling, math, speaking, comprehension or whatever higher areas are affected.

As a 7th grader, Giana was unfocused and unable to complete her homework without constant prompting and support from her mom.  She was squeaking by academically, but was not nearly performing as expected for her ability and was not at all independent.  By identifying and developing her weak underlying auditory and visual processing skills, processing speed, and attention, Giana was able to move on to 8th grade as a confident, independent student.  Years later, Giana came to visit us at the Learning Center and shared that the changes she made there allowed her to go on to be a very successful student in both high school and college and to enjoy a carrier in the medical field.

With the right kind of help, most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically and permanently changed.  Parents, it’s time to exhale!


Does your child struggle with homework, 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 identifying and developing the weak underlying skills and remediating the affected academic areas.  Are you ready for a change?

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“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

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