My favorite teacher growing up was my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Baird. Mr. Baird had a way of making every student feel like a million bucks and he made things kid-friendly. We did a lot of really interesting hands-on science activities and he turned boring things like memorizing all of the prepositions into fun contests.
Parents of struggling students are well-acquainted with how much a teacher can impact the kind of year their child has. Teachers who embrace the energy and creativity of their ADHD students and their out-of-the-box thinkers find ways to channel the challenges and support the strengths. This takes a lot of flexibility and often extra time and energy from the teacher, but those are the years that parents will say, “This was a good year because of the teacher.”
That doesn’t mean the learning or attention challenge went away. What it usually means is that the child felt accepted and valued in spite of the struggles.
So first, I want to give a huge dose of appreciation to all of the teachers out there who never give up on those kids in their classrooms that need extra help and require more energy and flexibility. Thank you to the teachers who recognize that the students whose brains are in hyper-drive and who struggle to read may also be the ones to change the world.
Now I want to address the question that so many parents of struggling student have: “Why isn’t the school correcting my child’s learning or attention problem?”
Answer: Schools work at the top of the learning skills continuum. Their job is to teach reading, writing, spelling, and math, and all kinds of subject areas. What they don’t do is work with the underlying learning/processing skills that need to be in place in order to learn academics comfortably.
At school and in traditional tutoring, students will get support to help them keep their head above water and get through the year. This is important, but ultimately, it does not solve the problem, because support does not address the root of the challenges.
What we know from the last 30 years of brain research and our experience with struggling students is that most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected by developing the needed underlying learning skills and remediating reading, spelling, writing, or math. This is our function at the Stowell Learning Center, but schools are not trained, funded, or staffed to do this work.
If your child struggles with homework, reading, learning, or attention and you’re ready for a change…
JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Night.
For details and RSVP go to http://learningdisability.com/parent-info-night/
“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
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.