A Nag-Free Tool to Help Your ADHD Child

A parent’s worst nightmare is getting in a time crunch and asking their child to do something and then being ignored or argued with.

Here is a simple technique that helps your child understand, remember, and actually DO what they need to do without reminders.

Sounds like magic right?

It’s actually a simple tool from ADDitude Magazine, called a think-through. A think-through maximizes the likelihood of your child cooperating by fixing the expectation or rule firmly in their long term memory. When you use a think-through, it is not you but your child who is saying what they have to do. That shift has a powerful, positive impact on their memory and on their willingness to do it.

How-Help-Your-Child-Listen-Cooperate

Here are the basic steps of doing a think-through:

  1.  Choose a Neutral TimeNever try to do a think-through right after something has gone wrong. You will be annoyed instead of calm and your child will be resentful. A neutral time is when neither of you are in a hurry nor annoyed.
  2. Ask, Don´t TellAsk your child several leading questions about the behavior you want to see more of. Phrase your questions so they cannot be answered with a yes or no.
  3. Your Child Answers In Detail Your child tells you what they should do in as many details as possible. The more details the better, it will stick in their memory so ask several follow up questions to get them to expand their answers. The only time you switch form asking to telling is when your child´s answer is incomplete or inaccurate. In that case, clarify what you mean, and ask some more questions, until you are sure your child understands the rule or routine.

For more tips like this visit ADDitudemag.com/resource-centers/index.html

 At our learning center we have a program specifically designed to help students with attention problems, if you feel your child isn´t reaching their potential because of their learning disability give us a call today at (210)495-2626 or

JOIN US and other parents at our Parent Information Meetings on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to ask questions and explore possibilities about how to best help your bright but struggling child.

Advertisements

Why the STAAR Test Must Go…and Texas Should Lead the Movement Against High Stakes Testing

Why the STAAR Test Must Go…and Texas Should Lead the Movement Against High Stakes Testing

Texas vs. No Child Left Behind

The state where it all began turns against the Cult of Educational Testing–and the interests behind it.

Seventeen months from now, every American student will be proficient in reading, and mathematics. On what basis do I make such a bold claim? It’s the law.

When the No Child Left Behind Legislation was signed by President George W. Bush 11 years ago, it required that by the end of 2013-2014 school year, “all students… will meet or exceed the State’s proficient level of academic achievement on the State assessments.”

If you find it absurd that we can make all our students above average with the stroke of the presidential pen, you’re not alone. The 100 percent proficiency goal of NCLB is now widely acknowledged to be a pipe dream. Recent trends indicate that schools are not even headed in the right direction; and, in much of the press, the 100 percent proficiency goal has become something of the punch line of a joke. Meanwhile, in a move that tacitly acknowledges the unworkability of the current law, the Department of Education is granting NCLB waivers to states which will make it easier for them to skirt the requirements.

So how did we get to the point where we confused legislating high standards with achieving high standards? To find the answer we have to go back in time. Even further back than January of 2002 when President Bush, flanked by a bipartisan group of legislators including Sen. Ted Kennedy, signed NCLB into law at a high school in Hamilton, Ohio. We have to return to the president’s home state of Texas.

Texas is where the failed policies of NCLB, along with an almost pathological obsession with testing, had their start.

And Texas, in a serendipitous turn of events, is poised to lead the way in reforming our nation’s approach to education. Diane Ravitch is a native Texan who served as assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush and once championed many of the policies associated with NCLB before becoming one of the nation’s most outspoken critics of the law. Ravitch has recently written that “Texas brought No Child Left Behind to the nation” but that thanks to a recent revolt among parents and educators in the state, there is a new message: “Don’t Mess with Texas. The Revolution Begins Here.”

“Texas has to be the place where a stake is driven through the heart of the vampire,” Ravitch bluntly stated.

For the past two decades, excessive emphasis on high-stakes standardized testing and a one-size-fits-all focus on preparing all students for college came to dominate education policy in Texas and later, in Washington, D.C. with the passage of the Bush-Kennedy “No Child Left Behind” legislation. In addition, vocational education came to be neglected—even denigrated—in this massive push to make all students “college-ready.” Meanwhile, the principle of local control over education (which historically had been a deeply-held belief of Goldwater-Reagan Conservatives) was abandoned by Republican politicians in Texas and Washington, D.C., in their rush to be known as “educational reformers.”

The existing system relies heavily on how students score on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness—commonly referred to as the STAAR tests. Under the STAAR, students have to take up to 12 end-of-course exams during their time in high school; and the tests are supposed to account for 15 percent of the student’s final grade in the subject tested. However, implementation of the 15 percent grading requirement was delayed because of a public outcry.

Even longtime proponents of high-stakes, standardized testing are starting to question the wisdom of the current system of school accountability. As reported by Paul Burka inTexas Monthly, the former commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Robert Scott, made this startling admission in a speech to the Texas Association of School Administrators: “I believe that testing is good for some things, but the system that we have created has become a perversion of its original intent, the intent to improve teaching and learning. The intent to improve teaching and learning has gone too far afield, and I look forward to reeling it back in.”

How did Texas education policy become so centralized at the state level?

H. Ross Perot began the process of having the state assume more control over public education in Texas with his well-intentioned effort in 1984 to improve standards of education by requiring students to pass a basic skills test to earn a diploma in Texas. The current, test-based accountability system really began to gain momentum during Gov. Ann Richards’s term in office in 1993 when, at the insistence of Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, the Texas legislature passed a school accountability plan which used an annual statewide test for all public school students in Texas (the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills or TAAS) as the primary measurement for school and student performance.

The new Texas accountability system neatly categorized schools into four easy-to-understand labels: “Exemplary,” “Recognized,” “Acceptable,” and “Low Performing” (which was later changed to “Academically Unacceptable”). These categories were based on passing rates on state exams and on dropout rates, but had little to do with measuring whether schools were preparing students for success in college or for meaningful employment.

But the labels played well from a public-relations standpoint for respective governors, beginning with Ann Richards, who could tout their support for “education reform.” Realtors often include in their report on homes for sale not only the name of the public schools serving that neighborhood, but also the state’s accountability ratings.

The principal architect of Texas’s accountability system was a lawyer from Dallas named Sandy Kress. The most thorough analysis of Kress’s role in pushing Texas’s education policy in the direction of a high-stakes testing system was one written by Mark Donald for the October 19, 2000 issue in the Dallas Observer right before George W. Bush’s election to the presidency. Entitled “The Resurrection of Sandy Kress,” Donald’s articledescribed how Democrat Kress and Republican Bush came to be close allies in pushing Kress’s vision of “educational accountability.”

I had gotten to know Sandy Kress when he was the Dallas County Democratic Chairman, and I was an active Republican. Later, I was elected State Chairman of the Texas Republican Party in 1994, the year in which George W. Bush defeated Ann Richards in the race for governor of Texas. What I didn’t know at the time—but soon learned after the November election—was that Sandy Kress already had been a major advisor to George W. Bush on education issues for some period of time. I found that unusual since Sandy Kress was a liberal Democrat whose views on education and other domestic policy issues were very much at odds with the views of conservatives like myself who believed in local control of education and decentralization of governmental power, wherever possible. Moreover, Sandy had not exactly distinguished himself in the early 1990s when he chaired the board of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), during one of the most tumultuous periods in DISD history.

But I soon learned how influential Sandy Kress was with the incoming Republican Governor. Bush wanted to appoint Kress as his Education Commissioner, but the objections of conservatives like myself and others to his appointment resulted in Gov. Bush naming an educator Mike Moses to that position, instead. (Ironically, Mike Moses and Sandy Kress now find themselves on opposite sides of the school accountability fight in Texas.)

Nonetheless, Sandy Kress remained a key strategic advisor to the governor. He worked closely with Margaret LaMontagne (later Margaret Spellings), who was Gov. Bush’s education advisor, in expanding the statewide accountability system. During Bush’s tenure as Governor, the state consolidated power over education in the office of the Texas Education Agency and the Education Commissioner who was appointed by the Governor. Meaningful local control over education in Texas continued to erode as the accountability ratings system caused local school districts to focus more attention on the performance measurements put in place by the state particularly the testing system. Since that system did not include evaluation of the effectiveness of vocational education instruction, that area of preparation became de-emphasized in many Texas school districts.

During the Bush years, much of the opposition to the high-stakes testing was muted. Some parents and educators expressed frustration with the state’s performance measurements, but the system was new at the time. And, much of that opposition was dismissed as political. Or, when educators and members of the business community complained about the shortage of skilled workers and the lack of opportunities for career training at the high school level, those critics were accused of wanting to “lower standards.”

Fast forward 15 years, and the current system has lost most of its luster. Texas has worker shortages in the skilled trades, and improvements on state tests aren’t reflected in college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT. In fact, average SAT reading scores in Texas have declined eight points in the last decade. A recent review by the National Academy of Sciences shows that high-stakes testing is not improving academic achievement. In fact, it may do more harm than good. While there is a debate about how to calculate dropout rates, just about everyone agrees that Texas has a serious problem with high school dropouts.

Many students get frustrated with the current one-size-fits-all test-based system with its emphasis on pushing everyone towards college; and they drop out because they don’t see education as relevant to them.

Texas policy-makers are coming to the realization that the high-stakes accountability system is fundamentally flawed. The accountability system assumes all students are headed to college, even though a mere 25 percent of high-school graduates attend a four-year university upon graduation. It also assumes that the state knows what is best for students being educated in such diverse settings such as Houston or a small, rural town.

We all are created equal, but we sure aren’t created the same. People have different strengths, abilities and interests. The state’s one-size-fits-all accountability system pressures school districts to spend an inordinate amount of time teaching to the test. As one teacher told me, it all becomes a numbers game to get the most students to pass the single test. Certain students in her class are going to pass it, and others likely will fail, so both groups tend to get neglected while most of the attention is focused on those students who are “on the bubble.”

High-achieving students, and their parents, feel that they are wasting their time on multiple-choice testing drills and practice tests rather than reading Shakespeare. And businesses are fed up with the fact that high schools are producing a lack of students prepared to enter skilled trades due to our neglect of vocational education at the high school level. That has resulted in a shortage of skilled workers and a greying workforce. For example, the average age of a welder is 55, a plumber 56, and a stone masonry craftsman 69.

Sandy Kress was very effective in the early years of this new state accountability system in getting business leaders behind his vision of making everyone “college-ready” by selling his vision as raising educational standards. He enlisted important business allies in advancing his agenda.

But the shape of the education debate is beginning to change. Frustration on the part of parents, employers, and educators with the current system has built up for years. Change is long overdue, and we need the courage to propose bold, meaningful solutions to these issues, rather than just tinkering around the edges. And, that is just what we are doing. A growing coalition of legislators, business and labor leaders, school board members, parents, other community leaders, and educators recognize that this is a serious issue and are working to fix it. The solution is simple, if not easy.

We need to allow for multiple pathways to a high school degree. One academic pathway would emphasize math and science. Another, the humanities and fine arts. A third would focus on career and technical education. All students would get the basics, but there would be greater flexibility than under the “one size fits all” existing system which pushes everyone towards a university degree.

This is a common sense approach to preparing young Texans to be college-ready or career-ready. It is time to end this “teaching to the test” system that isn’t working for either the kids interested in going on to a university or for those more oriented towards learning a skilled trade. Let’s replace it with one that focuses on real learning and opportunities for all.

In the past, when public frustration hit the boiling point, the testing establishment would simply roll out a new test with a new acronym and promise that the new test will fix everything. That is why, from 1991 to the present, the acronym of the Texas standardized test has gone from TAAS to TAKS and, now STAAR.

But that trick isn’t working this time. Supporters of the existing high-stakes system tried to address opposition by introducing the restrictive 4×4 curriculum in 2006 and unveiling the STAAR testing program in 2009. But far from mollifying the opposition, these changes made the system worse.

The 4×4 curriculum made it more difficult for students interested in career and technical education to take enough courses in their field of interest to get an industry-certified credential by the time they graduated from high school.

As the 2013 session of the Texas Legislature convenes, a major priority for many of us in this legislative session is to fix a broken system of education which isn’t working all that well for either those students who are college-oriented or for those students who want to get training, and an industry-certified credential, in a technical field.

But there are powerful interests arranged to protect the existing testing system. Pearson is the testing contractor and has an existing state contract that pays it nearly $500 million over a five-year period. Sandy Kress, a principal architect of our existing education policy in Texas and President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation, is not only a paid lobbyist for the testing contractor but is also determined to preserve the educational structure he worked so hard to put in place.

Just as Texas started this failed approach to educational accountability, the Texas Legislature has the opportunity to replace it with a common-sense system that focuses on real learning and opportunities for all.

This article was taken from: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/texas-vs-no-child-left-behind/comment-page-1/#comment-1645054

Tom Pauken is a Texas Workforce Commissioner and author of Bringing America Home: How America Lost Her Way and How We Can Find Our Way Back.

The BRAIN Initiative Will Revolutionize our Understanding of the Human Brain

President Obama announced a new research initiative starting at $100 million dollars to fund the new Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative that will revolutionize our understanding of the human brain.

Just like the Human Genome Project has advanced the biomedical field by leaps and bounds, the BRAIN Initiative plans to map out the entire human brain.

This could lead us to find cures for brain based diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Tourette’s, Cerebral Palsy or Traumatic Brain Injury.

It will also provide more information to advance programs that correct learning and cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, Autism and Neurodevelopmental Delays.

As a center that specializes in correcting learning difficulties by training the brain, we have seen how new research change the lives of struggling children.

If your child is struggling in school, and tutoring hasn’t helped, you should consult with a specialist and find out what is the real problem behind his difficulties.

If you live in San Antonio, and your child is struggling, call (210) 495-2626 or visit www.learningfoundations.com/parents to attend a Free Seminar on training the brain to correct learning and attention difficulties.

10 Foods to Boost Your ADHD Brain

10 Foods to Boost Your ADHD Brain

Treating ADHD symptoms with diet, nutrition, and supplements like fish oil

Medication helps many adults and children with ADHD, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

“Parents and adults see me either because the medication isn’t doing the job, or they want more improvement and can’t increase the dosage without increasing side effects,” says Richard Brown, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and coauthor of the recent book How to Use Herbs Nutrients and Yoga in Mental Health Care.

Medication does not cure ADHD, and it should never be the only treatment, says Edward Hallowell, M.D., coauthor of the best-selling Driven to Distraction. “Diet and nutrition play key roles in how well the ADD brain operates.” Toward that end, here are 10 foods, supplements, and herbs that you should add to your treatment plan. As always, talk with your doctor first before doing so.

Food for Focus

Poor nutrition can cause a child or adult with ADHD to become distracted, impulsive, and restless. The right foods, on the other hand, can lessen those symptoms.

PROTEIN
Foods rich in protein — lean beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, soy, and dairy products — are used by the body to make neurotransmitters, the chemicals released by brain cells to communicate with each other. Protein can prevent surges in blood sugar, which increase hyperactivity.

“Because the body makes brain-awakening neurotransmitters when you eat protein, start your day with a breakfast that includes it,” says Laura Stevens, M.S., a nutritionist at Purdue University and author of 12 Effective Ways to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child: Drug-Free Alternatives. “Don’t stop there. Look for ways to slip in lean protein during the day, as well.”

BALANCED MEALS
Hallowell suggests that you divide your lunch and dinner plate in the following way: Half of the plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, one fourth with a protein, and the remaining fourth with a carbohydrate, preferably one rich in fiber — whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, brown rice.

This combination of foods will minimize swings in behavior caused by hunger or by a shortfall of a particular nutrient. Fiber prevents blood-sugar levels from spiking and plummeting, which can increase inattention.

Source: ADDittude Magazine

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/5774.html

San Antonio Parent Reveals Shocking Conversation with School District

San Antonio Parent Reveals Shocking Conversation with School District

This was in an email that I received from a concerned parent whose child has dyslexia. She has tried to go through all of hoops that the school has given her in order to get the proper help for her child. She is almost in Middle School and have not taken any steps yet to identify a problem that has been going on since 1st Grade:

My, has it been overwhelming dealing with a broken school system. We were scheduled to have an RTI meeting to close out on Tier 3 on Wednsday but to no surprise i was not contacted til late afternoon on Tuesday that it had been cancelled. The counselor apologized stating that it was an oversight. We still did have a 504 meeting to discuss accomodations based on her ADD. Boy am I frustrated!!! i contacted the dyslexia coordinator myself and talked with her im expecting to hear back from her soon as to what she thinks about the school results and the report from Leslie. : ) I have decided that my next step is to contact the superintendent and media if needed. Its no holds barred for me at this point especially after the counselor told me that they would just test her for special ed. after our next RTI meeting. He also said that when they do that testing they have 90 days to do it so that puts us in the month of April. (almost end up school year) The ending of the counselors talk was “hopefully we should be able to figure something out by the time she is leaving us for middle school” Who says this! I was floored and composed myself long enough to get to my car and cry my eyes out. I am just dumbfounded at the schools inablility to understand that my baby girl needs help. They just don’t care is how i feel.

What parents have to go through to get help from the school system is just not fair! I understand that schools need to have procedures, and that they have a limited budget. I also know that there are hundreds of frustrated teachers out there who want to help, but can’t. It’s about time that administrators are honest and frank with parents so that they can get the help they need elsewhere, if the school cannot provide it. Have you had a similar experience with your child’s school?

If this has been your experience, you are NOT alone.

Visit www.learningfoundations.com/parents  or call (210) 495-2626 to see how you can get help for your struggling child.

Having an Advocate for your ADHD Child

Having an Advocate for your ADHD Child

This is an article taken from ADDitude Magazine:

My Son’s Strongest Advocate

The mentoring of one special teacher who really understood my ADHD child made all the difference.

Kimberly Flyr found a special school teacher to mentor and counsel her ADD / ADHD child, David.      I don’t have attention deficit disorder, but it affects me every day. My 8-year-old son, David, was diagnosed with ADHD last year.

Loving a child with ADHD is demanding, rewarding, frustrating, and often fun. I do everything I can to help him in school and get him the   right accommodations. But as I found out, sometimes a little luck can help, too.

It’s not as though I’d never heard of ADHD before David was born. As a public school teacher for 10 years, I taught my share of ADHD students. I remember many of them — their intelligence as well as their quirks.

One little boy who had trouble keeping his hands still during story time twirled a quarter to entertain himself. One day he decided to see what the coin would feel like in his mouth. The next thing I knew he was standing up and screaming, “I swallowed the quarter! Am I going to die?” He ran down the hall to find the school nurse.

I remember his mother’s concern over his impulsiveness, restlessness, and quirkiness. Being only 24 and childless at the time, I saw the boy as sweet and amusing. And while I offered sympathy to the worried mother and modified my teaching methods to try to meet her son’s needs, I wonder now if I did enough — or understood enough?

Older and wiser

Twelve years and three children later, I am older and considerably wiser. I now empathize with that mother because, in some ways, I have become her. David is also impulsive and quirky, intelligent, and prone to worrying. He’s caring and sensitive, funny, and athletic. But he needs assistance in focusing on an assignment. He needs tasks broken down into small pieces, and he needs someone to smooth out life’s rough edges.

I pay attention to the teachers who work with him. He needs one with patience, who can nurture his creative thinking, and, I hope, who can appreciate his latest addiction, Calvin and Hobbes.

I support his teachers because I know that their extra effort helps David, and I also try to support my son, answering his many questions about school: Why doesn’t the story he wrote make sense to the teacher when it makes perfect sense to him? Why doesn’t he remember assignments? Why is it wrong for him to correct the teacher if she makes a mistake?

The call that changed things

I grew accustomed to answering phone calls from frustrated teachers, counselors, and friends. So when one of David’s teachers called me at home last spring, I steeled myself for what she was about to say. Just the day before, I had attended a conference with several of David’s teachers. We were all disappointed that our best efforts hadn’t helped my son as much as we had hoped. As I picked up the phone to talk to yet another teacher, I thought that changing my phone number was looking better every day.

But this call turned out to be different. “Your son is very bright,” said an upbeat Nancy Kapp, his enrichment teacher. “But he needs to work with teachers who understand his way of thinking. I ‘get’ your son, and I’d like to mentor him, if it’s OK with you.”

“It’s more than OK with me,” I remember muttering as relief washed over me.

And so began a relationship between David, Mrs. Kapp, and me. Mrs. Kapp agreed to work with David, pulling him from class once a week to work on a special writing project that appealed to his interests (comics and creative writing). The project began in second grade and will continue for as long as David and Mrs. Kapp are willing to be a team.

Advocate and advisor

It’s reassuring to know that Mrs. Kapp understands David. If the classroom teacher is unsure of how to help my son, Mrs. Kapp steps in with a solution. When David struggled to write a story for a project, she offered to type his story as he dictated it, organizing the sentences and paragraphs as she went along. David was proud of the finished product.

Mrs. Kapp also serves as an advisor to David’s father and me. If we have concerns about David’s progress, she offers insights and solutions. When we decided to use a behavior chart to help David complete his work in class, for example, she helped develop the chart and offered to “test it” in her own classroom.

Are we lucky to have found Mrs. Kapp? Of course. But chances are, you can also find a teacher who will make a difference in your child’s life. As I found out, developing partnerships with teachers can make school an easier experience for everyone.

Before befriending Mrs. Kapp, David had felt anxious about school. When I would visit him during lunch or recess, his body and face seemed tense. Now he looks forward to the one-on-one time with Mrs. Kapp and has relaxed a little. Are our problems solved? Not completely. But as David’s favorite comic-strip characters point out, it’s more fun to get through your day with a trusted friend by your side.

The Damaging Myth of Normalcy

Normalcy Myth – Smart Kids with LD « Smart Kids With LD.

By Jonathan Mooney

By the time I was in second grade I thought I was stupid and crazy. Why? Because that’s what I was taught. Those are not thoughts I would have come to on my own. Think about it. We all know some awesome little nutty red-headed kid who was completely happy until he went off to school. Two years into it he’s lost 10 pounds, has developed some strange phobias, a tic or two, and is even talking about suicide!

“Bad” Seeds

How does that happen? It’s the result of a fundamental paradigm shift. In preschool and kindergarten the approach is self-directed, project-based learning. Children move from here to there, and for the most part they decide what they want to do.

In first grade, they’re introduced to their desk and that’s when the problems start. Suddenly, it’s “Jon, you sit there. I’ll tell you what you can do with your body. I’ll tell you when you can get up. I’ll tell you what you’re going to learn.”

Experts call it socializing kids. But does anyone honestly believe it benefits society to make a seven-year-old beg to use the bathroom?

For me, this is where crazy began. The classroom became one giant hierarchy with gold stars and behavior charts to show everyone who were the “good” kids and who were the “bad” ones.  The bad kids, of course, were the ones that didn’t follow the rules.

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I was a bad kid because I tapped my foot. And then I started tapping both feet; next I began drumming my fingers.

In reality, a handful of kids in every classroom in America do the same thing. Eventually the teacher says, “What is your problem?” That happens to be one of the most damaging statements you can make to a child. The child naturally concludes he has a problem or is broken in some way. That’s the beginning of the self-fulfilling prophecy where kids with ADHD come to believe they’re sick or diseased.

Ironically, science tells us otherwise. We now know that kids who tap their feet are not doing so because they’re bad, or trying to be irritating, or because they’re on their way to a life of crime. They’re doing it because it accesses a physical motor memory that facilitates focusing. It’s what that child needs to do in order to learn.

No-Win Situation

When the teacher yells, “Focus!” it stops the tapping—but it also stops the learning. The child starts staring out the window and misses the lesson. Now he gets yelled at for that too. The teacher angrily repeats the “f” word: “focus, focus, focus!” And now the child is in a no-win situation: he gets yelled at for shaking his leg, which he needs to do to focus, and he gets yelled at for being inattentive when his way of learning is thwarted.

The cycle continues: “Focus!” When he focuses by shaking his leg, he becomes the “bad” kid or the problem child and is sent someplace different with all the other deviant kids.

The lesson that child has learned has nothing to do with math or science. Instead, he’s learned that he has no place in the classroom when he is being himself. He can either stop being who he is or he can get the hell out of the room.

That’s how crazy and stupid starts. It has nothing to do with learning disabilities or brain pathology. It has everything to do with the myth of normalcy.

Do your children a favor and let them in on the real craziness. Let them know they’re not crazy, stupid, broken, or bad. Make sure they understand the institution is at fault, not them.

Jonathan Mooney finally learned to read at the age of 12. His first book, the award-winning Learning Outside the Lines, was published in 2000, the year he graduated from Brown University. He is the co-founder and Director Emeritus of Project Eye-to-Eye, a mentoring program for students with LD, continues to write and speak widely on the subject of learning disabilities, and accepted the 2009 Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Community Service Award.