Welcome to The Shut-Down Learner, where we strive to talk to parents in down-to-earth, plain language about the concerns they have for their children. This website has over 500 blog posts organized in categories as well as podcasts, “Two Minute Tidbit” tips, and information about Dr. Selznick’s books.

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POPULAR POSTS

Dyslexia/Reading & Learning Disabilities

“Rubbing My Head” (#Dyslexia #ADHD #Whatever)

This blog can occasionally serve as a bit of a confessional, providing me with  a forum to voice some concerns regarding the issues that emerge while working with struggling children and their parents. So, with that in mind here’s a confession. Sometimes I honestly...

“Take Your Breath Away #Dyslexia”

Even though I’ve probably evaluated a few thousand dyslexic kids in my career, it still takes my breath away when I meet those who are on the more significant to severe end of the spectrum. This week my breath was taken away on back-to-back assessments. Both children...

“So, What If I Have Dyslexia?” (#Dyslexia)

“So, what if I have dyslexia?” The question threw me a bit, especially since it was coming from a nine-year-old boy.” 99% of the time when I ask a child, even a teenager, whether they have any questions following an introductory session, they shake their head saying...

“Dyslexia is Not a Score”

A number of years ago, I had the good fortune to take part on a panel during a symposium on dyslexia sponsored by the grassroots parenting group, Decoding Dyslexia: NJ.  Dr. Sally Shaywitz, the author of “Overcoming Dyslexia” was the keynote speaker.  While talking...

“Gradations from the Middle” (#Dyslexia #ADHD #Other Stuff)

Parents commonly come in with common questions such as,  “Does their child have ADHD?” or “Is my child dyslexic?” Difficulty  with reading and attention occur on a continuum or a spectrum from below the mid-point of average (see bell-curve picture above), to more...

My Interview with Documentary Film Director, Jamie Redford (#Dyslexia)

(***This blog is a revision of an earlier post.) Understanding dyslexia is challenging, primarily because of the deeply embedded mythologies that we hold.  Chief among them is “the reversal thing.” To  illustrate, try this experiment.  With any friend or relative ask...

Interview with Betty B. Osman, Author: “No One to Play With: The Social Side of Learning Disabilities”

A number of years ago - time does fly by - I was the host of a podcast show that was a part of The Coffee Klatch Network, Special Needs Talk Radio.  In that role, I had the honor of interviewing some of the top names in the field. I thought it would be fun to revisit...

“Ongoing Themes: #Dyslexia #ADHD #LD Discrepancy #504 #Parenting”

Those of you following this blog for some time know there are some recurring themes in these posts (that mostly irritate me). For others  newer to these posts, I will help to bring you up to speed with some of the predominant ones. The LD-Discrepancy Model: Easily the...

“Math Disability? Not So Fast”

Not sure when the reverence for word problems emerged, but it seems that children are almost exclusively taught math through word problems.  I believe it’s linked to the theory that math should always be enhancing “higher order thinking.” Let’s look at Chris, age 7, a...

“Pictures Telling the Story”

Largely supported by the medical model, when parents have their child assessed they are often  focused on “the diagnosis.”    Such a model embodies a, “Yes, they have it,” or “No, they don't have it,” (whatever "it" is) perspective. In my corner of the universe, I...

ADHD

“Rubbing My Head” (#Dyslexia #ADHD #Whatever)

This blog can occasionally serve as a bit of a confessional, providing me with  a forum to voice...

“We’re Not Doctors…We Think You Should See a Neurologist”

Oliver, age 8, has difficulty behaving in his third grade class. They were told by the school,...

“Gradations from the Middle” (#Dyslexia #ADHD #Other Stuff)

Parents commonly come in with common questions such as,  “Does their child have ADHD?” or “Is my...

“The Power of Nonchalance” (#ADHD; #Executive Function Disorder)

Synonyms for “nonchalance:”   apathy, complacence, indifference, unconcern, torpor Antonyms for...

“Not Reading the Signals”

An issue often overlooked with children diagnosed as  ADHD is a frequently occurring underlying...

Podcast Interview Released

As a changes of pace, I am excited to share a recent interview that was conducted with me by...

“Pictures Telling the Story”

Largely supported by the medical model, when parents have their child assessed they are often...

“Floaters”

  A common concern raised by parents (well, mostly the moms) is their child’s lack of what they...

“Beyond the Power Struggle” (Structure & Leverage)

As noted in the previous blog, with children showing challenging behaviors causing you tremendous...

“They Need Structure…I Need Leverage”

Following up on last week’s Selznick Poll discussion on what percentage of boys show signs of...

Assessment

“Dyslexia is Not a Score”

A number of years ago, I had the good fortune to take part on a panel during a symposium on...

“Gradations from the Middle” (#Dyslexia #ADHD #Other Stuff)

Parents commonly come in with common questions such as,  “Does their child have ADHD?” or “Is my...

Podcast Interview Released

As a changes of pace, I am excited to share a recent interview that was conducted with me by...

“Pictures Telling the Story”

Largely supported by the medical model, when parents have their child assessed they are often...

“‘Come on, Doc. Tell It to me Straight'” (#Assessment)

Whenever I do an assessment I know that in many ways I am swimming against the tide in my approach...

Follow-Up to “ADHD? Perhaps”

In last week’s post we noted that there were many factors that can lead to erroneously...

Green-Yellow-Red Zone

Liana's mom has seen a great deal of struggling in her 4th grade daughter. After I evaluated...

“Hemming & Hawing”

OK… Among other disorders that I seem to have, readers of this blog know I have confessed to my ...

“Tipping the Scales”

  Some of you have been loyal followers of this blog for over 10 years, while others have...

Why Ask ‘Why?'” (Part II)

app Frequently, I hear from parents that they just want to know "why" something  is taking place...

Executive Functioning

“The Power of Nonchalance” (#ADHD; #Executive Function Disorder)

Synonyms for “nonchalance:”   apathy, complacence, indifference, unconcern, torpor Antonyms for...

“Ongoing Themes: #Dyslexia #ADHD #LD Discrepancy #504 #Parenting”

Those of you following this blog for some time know there are some recurring themes in these posts...

“Floaters”

  A common concern raised by parents (well, mostly the moms) is their child’s lack of what they...

“Beyond the Power Struggle” (Structure & Leverage)

As noted in the previous blog, with children showing challenging behaviors causing you tremendous...

“They Need Structure…I Need Leverage”

Following up on last week’s Selznick Poll discussion on what percentage of boys show signs of...

“A Hypothetical Poll”

Let’s take a random group of 100 boys, roughly between ages 10 – 14. You know nothing about them,...

“‘Bright Kids Who Couldn’t Care Less'”

A common complaint that parents bring to me is some variation on the theme of the child being...

“Rolling the Dice”

“Oh, my, my, my, I’m the lone crap shooter, playin the field every night.”  ‘Tumblin Dice,’ the...

“Rudderless”

13-year-old Liam comes in trudging behind his mother, staring at his phone. While I think I have a...

“Stamina” (Part II)

Last week we talked about the idea that “stamina” is not a word  parents reference much to when...