Should My Child Be Tested for a Learning Problem?

Briana Hurst Classroom, Development, General Information, Homework, IEP, Learning disabilities, Learning Disability, School 0 Comments

Moms are very astute when it comes to their children, so when something is not right, moms usually know.

Typical children feel overwhelmed or unhappy about homework at times. They may even come home saying they feel stupid or hate school once in a while. But when an otherwise happy, energized child routinely whines, sobs, and wilts at the thought of homework or school, or berates himself for his stupidity, it is very likely that learning is harder than it should be.

While doing homework with their children, parents often notice things that don’t seem quite right and wonder if this is typical or if what they are seeing is a sign of a problem.

Here are some “red flags” that may indicate that learning is harder than it should be for your child.

Reading:

  • Doesn’t recognize words that they read earlier on the page
  • Has to sound out every single word when reading
  • Adds, changes, omits, or repeats sounds in words
  • Skips or changes small common words like the, of, and to
  • Has trouble sounding out words for reading
  • Can’t remember or tell about what they read

Spelling:

  • Can remember words for the spelling test but can’t spell them correctly the next week
  • Has to spend an excessive amount of time trying to learn spelling words

Writing:

  • Takes forever to do writing assignments because they can’t think of anything to write
  • Has great ideas when speaking but can’t seem to put them on paper
  • Writes with much simpler vocabulary than they use when speaking
  • Has terrible handwriting
  • Has a killer grip on the pencil
  • Has extremely dark or very light wispy writing
  • Has poor letter formation when writing

Speaking:

  • Words or ideas get out of sequence
  • Has trouble expressing themselves so they give up
  • Has poor articulation
  • Mumbles or slurs words

Comprehension

  • Has to reread and reread
  • Often says, “What?”
  • Need instructions repeated
  • Asks questions that were just answered
  • Tries to change topic or direction
  • Answers don’t match the question
  • Answers are vague or not specific enough
  • Too wordy – talk around something – sounds good but not really saying anything

Math:

  • Can’t remember math facts
  • Doesn’t understand math concepts
  • May seem like they’ve got it one minute and then act completely confused the next
  • Makes many “careless” errors
  • Gets steps out of order

General:

  • Not keeping up in school
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Low confidence
  • Spends hours longer on homework than their classmates
  • Can’t do homework unless a parent is sitting right there
  • Forgets to turn in assignments
  • Anxious

If your child has consistent challenges in one or more of these areas, testing should be considered.  This will help you better understand your child’s struggles and learning needs and is a first step in getting help.

Functional Academic and Learning Skills Evaluation

At Stowell Learning Center, we do a Functional Academic and Learning Skills Evaluation to explore the student’s basic academic skills as well as the underlying thinking/processing skills that provide a critical foundation for learning and paying attention. The testing allows us to:

  • Help you understand why your child is struggling
  • Create a plan for solving the learning difficulties that is geared specifically to your child’s needs
  • Determine the best way to help your child become a successful learner and catch up academically

Why Smart Kids Struggle and What Can Be Done

Reading, writing, spelling, math, and school skills are supported by numerous underlying learning skills.   If one or more of these underlying skills is weak, it will cause the student to have to work harder, longer, and less effectively than expected.

But the brain is amazing!  Brain research over the last 30 years and the decades of clinical work in the trenches actually working with children and adults with learning challenges, have shown that these underlying learning skills can be developed.  The brain can change.  New, more efficient neuropathways, or connections in the brain, can be made so that learning can be easier.  Once the brain is getting the information it needs, it can do the job it is meant to do – to learn!

At our center, we identify and develop the weak underlying learning/processing skills that provide the critical foundation for learning.  While there are no overnight solutions, most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected.

If you have a struggling student, we would love to help you understand and permanently change those struggles.  To learn more…

JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Night

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

Reclaim Self-Esteem by Overcoming Learning Challenges

Briana Hurst Classroom, Development, General Information, Homeschool, Homework, IEP, Learning disabilities, Learning Disability, Mental Health, Poor grades 0 Comments

qwI was at the ice rink to watch a hockey game, but a 4-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother totally upstaged the game as they exuberantly raced up and down in front of the bleachers!

Aren’t little kids great!  They embrace life with gusto and pull everyone around them into their adventure.

As kids grow, we expect them to lose some of their 4-year old recklessness, but we hope that the unbridled self-esteem will stick with them.  More than anything else, I think it is confidence and self-esteem that gets lost when kids get into school and find that it is a struggle for them.

We are on a mission to change this.  We want to help as many kids as possible to overcome learning and attention challenges so that they can reclaim their confidence and learn comfortably and independently in school.

To do this, we need help.  We need others around the country to be doing this work and providing the kind of cognitive educational therapy we do to students in their community.  To get the word out to people who might want to join this mission with us, we’ve been using the term:  Fix Learning Skills.

Someone took exception to this and said, “Kids don’t need to be fixed!”  And she’s absolutely right!  Kids are amazing just the way they are!  But if they are struggling because of weak underlying learning skills, why not resolve those challenges if we can?

When bright, typical children struggle in school, it is usually because there are weak underlying learning/processing skills that are not supporting their academic learning well enough.  These are skills like auditory or visual processing, attention, memory, processing speed, executive function, and sensorimotor integration.

These are not taught in school or traditional tutoring, but they can be developed.  And once they are, the reading, writing, spelling, or math can be remediated and make sense!

We are not trying to “fix” kids.   We are trying to develop, or strengthen, or make efficient…fix is just a shorter word…those underlying skills that allow students to learn more easily and at their potential.  We want them to get their self-esteem back and approach school with the joy and exuberance of the 4 year old in the ice rink!

If you know someone who would love to start a business that “fixes learning skills” and helps children and adults with learning challenges in the way that we do, please have them contact us!  There are so many kids suffering and so few out there doing this work!

If you or your child are struggling with learning and attention challenges and you’re ready for a real change…if you’re ready for your child to love school again..

JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Night.

For details and RSVP go to www.learningdisability.com

“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

ADHD or APD?

Briana Hurst ADD, ADD / ADHD, ADHD, Attention, Auditory Processing, Classroom, Development, General Information, Homeschool, Homework, IEP, Learning disabilities, Learning Disability 0 Comments

girCould Your Child’s “ADHD” actually be an Auditory Processing Disorder?

Does this describe your child?

  • Struggles to focus in a noisy environment
  • Trouble paying attention in class
  • Zones out in conversations
  • Has difficulty following directions
  • Fidgety and easily distracted
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Social, emotional, or behavioral problems
  • Lower academic performance

Sounds like ADHD, right?  But what if it’s not? 

Auditory processing is one of the many underlying learning/processing skills that are critical to learning and functioning efficiently at one’s potential.  When any of these underlying skills are weak, it can stress the attention system, mimicking ADHD.

This is particularly true with auditory processing problems.  Unfortunately, this causes many students to be misdiagnosed and not get the kind of help they really need.

An auditory processing problem is not a hearing problem.  There is nothing wrong with the ears.  But something is lost in translation.  Remember the Peanuts cartoon character who heard “Whaa Whaa Whaa” whenever the teacher spoke?  I had a student actually tell me that was what it was like for him when he tried to listen.

Auditory processing is how the brain perceives and thinks about the information coming in through the ears.  When the brain is not processing the information clearly and completely, it may be like having a bad cell phone connection.  The person is getting some of the information, but not all, so he is constantly trying to connect the dots.  He has to put an excessive amount of energy into listening and often the information does not quite make sense.

Result:  exhaustion, loss of attention, irritability or anxiousness, and confusion.

These students may spend a great deal of time feeling lost, insecure, and disconnected.  In spite of being bright and capable, they may show comprehension problems and trouble retaining information.  (Don’t we all, when we’re confused)!

Auditory Processing Challenges Can Be Corrected

Sara was pegged as having ADHD because she was constantly fiddling with things on her desk and staring straight through the teacher.  When it was time to start working, she always had to ask, “What were we supposed to do?”

Sara actually had an auditory processing problem. She started out everyday sitting tall and trying very hard to listen, but what she was hearing was spotty and inconsistent, She tried to fill-in the gaps, but pretty soon, it just didn’t make sense and she couldn’t keep her attention on it anymore.

Sara went through a program of Auditory Stimulation and Training to increase her auditory processing skills. Now, she is able to listen to her teacher and her friends without getting exhausted and missing information. She no longer feels lost and anxious and is able to be the good student she always tried to be.

Most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected.  The first step is identifying the real cause of the problem.  This almost always lies in the underlying learning/processing skills.  When any of these foundational skills (such as auditory processing) are weak, it can cause students to have to work harder, longer, and less successfully than they should.  These underlying skills can be developed.

If your child is struggling with 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 that.

Click here for details and RSVP: 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