BOOKS: The Shut-Down Learner

  • The Shut-Down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child

    One of the worst feelings a child can have is being discouraged in school. The sense of hopelessness that pervades can become almost insurmountable. This is the emotional experience for the child called the “Shut-Down Learner.” The Shut-Down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child, describes a common, but poorly understood constellation of characteristics. Referred to in the text as “Lego kids” or “high spatial children,” such kids thrive with hands-on tasks that “load” on visual and spatial abilities. They excel in so many areas, yet when it comes to the core skills necessary for success in school, they are often quite lacking. This leads to the “Shut-Down Learner,” a child who is discouraged and disconnected relative to school. As a result, parents do not know what to do. They become tense, frustrated, and frantic, feelings of which are conveyed to the child. Many of these children have learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.

    The Shut-Down Learner offers hope and solutions for parents. Written in a friendly style that is easily understood by parents without jargon or technical language, the book allows parents to understand their child’s characteristics, and offers specific approaches to begin to break the downward spiral. Illustrations are included to help convey the issues facing the shut-down learner. The text has been honed after review by parents of shut-down learners, and professionals in the field.

    Shut-down learners can become very successful adults, if they are able somehow to get through school relatively unscathed. Typical Shut-Down Learner fields include architects, engineers, computer programmers, dentists, interior decorators, entrepreneurs and businessman, to name a few. There are many other fields that tend to attract shut-down learners.


    What others are saying:

    It was with much joy that I read your book entitled “The Shut-Down Learner” recently. There are so many books out there that tell kids and their parents what’s wrong with them. Finally, a book that speaks to their strengths. As an advocate for the “non-labeling” approach to kids with learning differences, I was impressed with your ability to discuss the various types of reading, writing and spelling weaknesses while emphasizing the spatial giftedness that these children possess.

    The use of the vignettes was especially clever and certainly holds the reader’s interest, even those whose minds might wander easily. The spatial resources in the back were especially helpful and parents and professionals with interest in this topic can certainly make use of them. I will be recommending this book to the parents and students that I see in my practice as a must read.

    – Carlo B. Melini, M.D.. FAAP, Clinical Associate, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    Senior Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

    “I have just received the Shut-Down Learner authored by Richard Selznick, Ph.D.  Dr. Selznick’s many years of working with children and parents is the foundation of his new book The Shut-Down Learner.  Immediately apparent is his keen eye that Dr. Selznick has for professional observation and his extraordinary empathy for the children and parents that are fortunate enough to cross his path.  Without resorting to professional jargon, Dr. Selznick has created a resource for parents and teachers that promotes insight and understanding, relieves guilt, and provides strategies for intervention.”

    – G. Emerson Dickman, J.D., President of the International Dyslexia Society

    Emerson Dickman is an attorney who, for over thirty years, has specialized in the representation of children with disabilities. Among the cases he has handled are leading precedents protecting the due process rights of pupils in special education and the constitutional rights of adults with developmental disabilities. Emerson has been a member of the Board of Directors of the International Dyslexia Association for 12 years and is currently the President.

    “In reading Dr. Selznick’s book, I thought for a minute he was writing my biography!  I was one of those “shut down learners” who was called lazy almost every day.  I was a child who believed I was just not very bright, and I believed that for the first 30 years of my life.  And like the rest of us, I was filled with shame and self-loathing.  If this book was available to my teachers and my parents back then, how much suffering could have been avoided.  If your child is doing poorly in school, imagine how much suffering can still be avoided.

    This book is clear, informative and without jargon. But more important, in today’s world of ‘diagnose it and medicate it,’ Dr. Selznick humanizes very real children with very real problems.”

    – Daniel Gottlieb, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Family Therapist


    The Shut-Down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child, is also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    To order an autographed paper back copy or copies of The Shut-Down Learner directly from Dr. Selznick for $14.95 + shipping & handling, please use the “buy now” link below.

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    The Shut-Down Learner Book by Richard Selznick, Ph.D.

    Click the image to purchase your autographed copy of The Shut-Down Learner. 




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