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

Hooray For Dads!

Jill Stowell General Information, Learning Disability

DAD

Last weekend was Father’s Day, and so, naturally, I was thinking about my dad. Good memories.

When I was growing up, my dad was very supportive, but was never really involved with my homework because homework was done and dinner ready by the time he got home from work.

For many years after I started the Learning Center, I dealt almost exclusively with moms. Dad’s didn’t seem as involved in their children’s schooling and homework, and in fact, they notoriously felt that if their struggling students would just try harder, they would do just fine.

 

These days, I get the privilege of seeing lots of dads (and grand-dads) at Parent Information Nights, in the waiting room, and sitting-in on sessions. They are very involved in their kids’ education and homework and they “get it.” Some through personal experience.

Previously, we have talked about the “gifts” and talents associated with the dyslexic thinking style. We have many SLC dads who have put these talents to work by creating their own very successful businesses.

 

But they also carry some scars, because being smart, creative, and innovative but struggling in school is confusing and just plain hard. And these dads don’t want their kids to have to suffer as they did.

So today, I just want to appreciate all the dads and grandfathers.
Your support, understanding, and presence are
absolutely invaluable in your kids lives!

And a very special thank you to those who are making the investment of time and finances to help correct their child’s or teen’s learning challenges. We know that this is a big commitment for any family, but it is truly an investment in the child’s future.

Do you want to better understand your child’s learning or attention challenges and what can be done to make a real change?

Join us for a FREE Parent Information Meeting.

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