Blog: School Struggles, Learning Disabilities & Other Kid Stuff

  • Thursday, October 9, 2014

    A dad came in this week to talk about his struggling 8 year old, Anna, who just started third grade.  Anna has reading fluency issues, with particular difficulty managing words that are “low frequency.”  Even in this early part of the school year Anna is welling up with tears feeling that she is dumb.  She is starting to break down each night during homework.

    A recent worksheet gives us a glimpse into why Anna feels the way she does:

  • Friday, September 26, 2014

    It’s an admirable goal that parents want to be kept informed of their child’s academic and behavioral progress.  In the “Way-Back Machine” before email (yes, that time did exist ), parents were periodically informed about how their child was doing in school by different means, such as notes being sent home to parents or other ways of communicating.  If there was big concern, parents were called in to discuss the matter. 

  • Friday, September 19, 2014

    By the upper elementary school grades, parents are given the message from the school that their child needs to do school work on his or her own without the parental support that was offered in previous grades. For many children, that’s exactly what should be happening. By about fourth grade or so, these kids should be independently steering their own boat, so to speak.

  • Friday, September 12, 2014

    A very common question that parents will ask me of their child who is showing signs of dyslexia is “Why?  Where does it come from?”

    As suggested in International Dyslexia Association definition of dyslexia it states that it is likely to be of “neurobiological origin.” 

    Sometimes I will hear parents confusing that term, “neurobiological” with something like “neurological dysfunction” or some type of brain disorder. 

  • Friday, September 5, 2014

    This week I glanced at my Twitter page and found that I was at 4,999 total tweets!  

    Over the 5,000 tweets there are themes that emerged that are fairly consistent.  These themes were summed up in my book, School Struggles, but I thought they would be nice here as a reminder as I hit this special milestone of 5,000 tweets.

    Smooth Road/Rough Road

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Franklin, age 8, can build wonderful Lego cities.  A creative and thoughtful child, he is also a wealth of information when it comes to anything about nature - he can talk about swamps like no one’s business.  The problem is Franklin is having trouble keeping up in school.   For him, completing worksheets, carrying out multiple-step tasks and performing any writing activities are a laborious and challenging process.

  • Friday, August 8, 2014

    It’s that time again.  Another summer slips away.  They just don’t make them like they used to.

    Soon you will be bombarded soon by all of “top tips for having your child to have a great school year.”  They will be in all of the magazines and the evening news.

    Even with the tips, that pit in your stomach will start to form with all of the concerns you have about 504 Plans, IEP’s, Common Core, and whatever else is lurking out there in school land.

  • Friday, August 1, 2014

    Every 10 years or so in education and psychology there is a trendy hot topic or new term that was essentially unheard of the previous decade. Before learning disabilities became a hot term in the 1970s, these were virtually unknown in the public. The same was true with ADHD, which became a hot term in the mid-1980s into the 1990s. (I know, I know, I am dating myself.)

  • Friday, July 25, 2014

    Many struggling kids have considerable trouble with facets of the language that many of us take for granted.

    Take Allison, age 8. One night Allison was told by her mother that her father was, “tied up in traffic.” Allison burst into tears. “Why is daddy being tied up?” she sobbed.

    It took her mother some time to explain to Allison that her father wasn’t actually being tied up and that this was an expression – a way of getting one’s point across with words that show picture images.

  • Friday, July 11, 2014

    Eli’s parents are concerned. They think that their twelve-year-old child lacks social skills, as they rarely see kids coming to the house or calling on the telephone. Eli, himself, seems not to be concerned. He thinks he has lots of friends and plays with them all the time.

    Eli's version of playing with his friends all the time and his parents’ version are quite different. To his parents playing meant going outside with a group of kids and engaging in some type of physical activity. They expect Eli to play for hours on end, based on memories of their own childhood.

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