Blog: School Struggles, Learning Disabilities & Other Kid Stuff

  • Friday, March 6, 2015

    When children struggle with written expression, “OT,” or Occupational Therapy appears to be the go to recommendation that is often given. 

    Writing has been shown to be the single most complex skill domain of the academic process.   The following quote from “Developmental  Variations & Learning Disorders” says it well:

  • Friday, February 20, 2015

    Why Screen for Dyslexia?

    I continue to be amazed by the amount of misinformation out there on dyslexia related reading disabilities. Over the next few weeks I’m going to try and tackle some of the issues that are involved with screening and assessment.


    Identifying Children at Risk

  • Friday, January 30, 2015

    I met a mom and her kid this week,  a wiry nine year old giving the teacher the usual amount of stuff typically attributed to ADHD.  You know, calling out when he is not supposed to; talking too much; rushing through his work – those sorts of things.

    It sounded like the teacher was getting more and more frustrated and starting to reevaluate her career decisions.

  • Friday, January 23, 2015

    Hi Gang:

    A little news and updates:

    Dyslexia Screening Book Released

    I’m excited to announce the release of my new book, “Dyslexia Screening: Essential Concepts For Schools and Parents.” In paperback, the book is available through and will soon be available as an e-book on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

    I’ve had nice comments about the book:

  • Monday, December 29, 2014

    Lauren is an 8 year old child in the first half of the third grade who I recently evaluated, just before the start of her school year.  My evaluation found Lauren to be a somewhat inefficient reader, although almost all of the scores obtained on her fell solidly in an average range. 

    In the conclusion of the report I said something like, “While a formal diagnosis of reading disability (dyslexia) was not offered at this time…” and hedged my bets a bit.  I did recommend Orton-based tutoring to help solidify her skills.

  • Friday, December 19, 2014

    There are essentially two types of reading problems:

    Type I: This type refers to the child who has trouble decoding words and reading fluently.  They are typically viewed as “dyslexic.”  Even though they are typically called "dyslexic," I like to call them "Type I Readers."

  • Thursday, December 4, 2014

    As some states around the country have implemented new laws on dyslexia, some people have come to me to talk about how, “They have finally discovered dyslexia and this new method -  Orton-Gillingham.”

    Well, not to burst any bubbles, but dyslexia has been around for a while, long before the laws were formed.

    Dr. Samuel Orton (co-creator of the Orton-Gillingham method) wrote an article titled “Word-blindness in school children,” for the Archives of Neurological Psychiatry.  That article appeared in 1925! 

  • Friday, November 21, 2014

    I often think there is needless complication in the field relative to the varieties of issues that children present. From the perspective of having seen tons of kids over the years, I typically see two essential types of reading problems. Each one requires a different treatment approach.  I call them Type I or Type II Readers.

    Type I Readers

  • Friday, November 14, 2014

    Parents will bring various samples of material that their child is completing in school. Usually it’s the range of dreadful worksheets that seem to be quite popular these days. From where I sit, these sheets do nothing other than dampen children’s enthusiasm for school, but that is a discussion for different day.

    More to the present concern, the other day the mother of Brandon, age 8, showed me how he had done on two different worksheets. On the first sheet Brandon was given an exercise where he had to identify the predicate in a given sentence.

  • Friday, November 7, 2014

    Recently I had the good fortune of being able to interview Susan Zimmermann, author of The Seven Keys to Comprehension: How to help your kids read it and get it!  for the internet radio show as part of The Coffee Klatch Network.

    Within the interview, we talked about the challenges with comprehension, with Susan highlighting some of the elements that research has shown contribute to successful comprehension.

    As she discusses in her wonderful book, she noted that successful readers do the following:

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