Getting Your Child Up to Par Without Hiring a Tutor Forever

Briana Hurst Classroom, Development, General Information, Homeschool, Homework, IEP, Learning Challenge, Learning Disability, Poor grades, School, Tutoring 0 Comments

Most things in life get better with practice.  A learning challenge is not generally one of them.

  • A 10-year-old with a 1st grade reading ability
  • A perpetually distracted student
  • A teen who studies like a maniac but never fails to fail his tests
  • A child who constantly says, “Huh? What?” Who is falling behind in school because she can’t seem to understand what the teacher is saying

These are among the many, many learning and attention challenges that will not typically go away with time, tutoring, or special education. 

When students struggle in school, parents turn to special education, traditional tutoring, and hours and hours and hours of parent support and re-teaching at home.  And at some point, most parents become discouraged.

Why aren’t things changing?  Are they going to be paying a tutor forever?  Will the parent have to sit right next to their child and go through school all over again in order to get them through?

If Not Practice, Then What?

All the supports that we can put in place for our children are great.  We should pull out all the stops to help them.  But when smart, otherwise able students struggle in school, support is not enough.  They deserve and are capable of MORE!

If we want to get to the more, we have to get to the root of the problem.

There are numerous underlying processing/learning skills that support a person’s ability to learn academics and perform at their potential in school.  These are skills such as memory, attention, auditory and visual processing, neurodevelopmental visual and motor skills, language comprehension, processing speed, and executive function.

These skills are not addressed at school or in tutoring and it is assumed that these skills are in place when kids start school and that they continue to develop at an appropriate pace.

When these skills are weak or inefficient, even very bright students will struggle – having to work harder and longer than they should.

To make permanent changes in learning or attention challenges so that students can become comfortable and independent learners, we must identify and develop the weak underlying skills that are at the root of the problem.  Once these skills are working as they should, the brain can get the information that it needs to learn and retain the academic skills.

At Stowell Learning Center, we do not want your child to need help forever.  We do not want smart children and adults spending a lifetime compensating for their learning or attention challenges.  The brain research in the last 30 years and our experience with thousands of students has proven that most learning and attention challenges can be permanently corrected by developing the weak underlying skills and remediating the affected academic areas.

Alexis loves school and is now at the top of her class, but it wasn’t always that way.  As a very bright, precocious 3rd grader, Alexis couldn’t read.  When the auditory confusion and visual disorientation that caused her severe dyslexic symptoms were eliminated, Alexis was able to learn to read and become the independent student she is today!

THAT is the picture we have for our students.  It is possible and exciting and life-changing.  Students with learning and attention challenges CAN get up to par without hiring a tutor forever!

If this resonates with you and you want more for your child…

JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Night.  Learn what’s going on when bright kids struggle in school and what can be done to change it.

Click here for details and RSVP 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

Why Does the School Say He’s Fine When He’s Failing 2 Classes and Barely Passing the Rest?

Briana Hurst Auditory Processing, Classroom, Comprehension, Development, Dyslexia, General Information, Homeschool, Homework, IEP, Learning Disability, School 0 Comments

Good question!

Is it because as a teenager, he looks mature and like he should have the skills to be doing better?

Is it because he’s now so discouraged that he acts like he doesn’t care?

Is it because his work doesn’t reflect his intelligence, making it look like the issue is just a lack of effort?

A therapist in our Learning Center Network brought this student to my attention.  He’s not one of our students, but he could be.  Because this incongruity comes up all the time:  Poor grades, poor test scores, but the parent is told that the student is doing fine.

This particular high school student – let’s call him Zach – was found to be dyslexic and have both auditory processing and comprehension delays based on my colleague’s testing.

I think these kids’ struggles get missed or overlooked for a variety of reasons.

  1. Students with dyslexia or other learning disabilities often look and act just like their peers, so the poor performance is mistaken for what might be lack of effort or motivation in a typical student.
  2. Parents help their struggling students so much with homework that the poor grades are a reflection of low test scores, leaving the perception that the student is not studying hard enough.
  3. These students are masters at hiding or compensating for their struggles so it may look like they’re “fine” but they’re not.
  4. It is a common belief that dyslexia and learning disabilities are a permanent condition, so barely passing with a C or having to retake a few classes in the summer becomes “acceptable.”

When students struggle in school, we need to ask the question, “What is causing this otherwise bright, capable student from reading, learning, or performing as well as he should?”

To find the answer, we have to identify what underlying learning/processing skills are weak or not supporting the student well enough.

Then we need to sweep away the old myth that says that learning and attention challenges cannot be changed – that the person must just accept and learn to live with them.

Thirty years of brain research and our experience working with 1,000s of children and adults with learning and attention challenges, has shown us that by identifying and developing the weak underlying learning/processing skills that provide the critical foundation for learning, most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected.

If you are being told that your child is doing “fine,” but you see signs that tell you he is struggling, you are probably right.  And the way to change that is by getting at the real root of the problem.

Need to know more?

JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Night.  Learn what’s going on when bright kids struggle in school and what can be done to change it.

Click here for details and RSVP: 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

What if “Try Harder” isn’t the Answer?

Briana Hurst Auditory Processing, Classroom, Development, General Information, Homeschool, Homework, IEP, Learning disabilities, Learning Disability, Low test scores, Processing Speed, Reading, School 0 Comments

Ashley was a bright, popular, engaging 11th grader who was failing History and barely scraping by in her other classes.  Her parents and teachers were extremely frustrated with her underachievement and were adamant that if she would just try harder, she would get better grades.  Her parents were fearful for her future as her apparent lack of effort was going to impact her chances of getting into college.

When we tested Ashley, we found that she could read, write, spell, and do math, but her auditory processing, processing speed, working memory, and reasoning skills were weak and inconsistent.  As a result, she didn’t always hear the instructions or get all of the lecture information.  She rarely finished her tests or homework and when she did, her grades were discouragingly low.

Ashley said that she tried very hard for her first two years in high school, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. By 11th grade, she had pretty much given up and put her energy into being social, an arena where she could excel.

Ashley did a program with us to build her processing skills.  Before her 12-week program was completed, her attitude about school, as well as her grades, completely turned around.  By the end of the semester, this former hater of History, had the highest grade in the class.

Many parents share with me that their kids are so smart and try so hard, but in spite of all that effort, they fail tests or get low grades anyway.  They and their children are incredibly discouraged.

If trying harder gets you results, then it’s worth the effort, but for many students with learning and attention challenges, trying harder just ends in disappointment.  All the motivation and effort in the world won’t get you the results you want if you don’t have the skills to do the job.

There is a whole continuum of underlying skills that support easy, efficient learning.  These are skills such as memory, attention, and auditory and visual processing that are not really taught anywhere, but just assumed when kids go to school.  If any of the critical underlying skills, or mental tools, are weak or not supporting the learner well enough, he will likely have to work harder and longer than he should, and often with lesser results.

It’s not fair and it’s frustrating, but thankfully, these underlying skills can be improved – often dramatically or completely.  It’s not a quick and easy fix.  Strengthening weak underlying processing/learning skills for a student with learning or attention challenges is a turning point in their life.

If your child is struggling with underachievement, attention, or learning and you are ready for a real change…here is your next step:

JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Night.  Learn what’s going on when bright kids struggle in school and what can be done to change it.

Click here for details and RSVP: 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