Month: December 2013

Updates From Dr. Selznick & Shut-Down Learner

Dyslexia Teleseminar:

Do you have questions about dyslexia/reading disabilities?  Of course you do!  Then join me for an open-forum teleseminar.    

Bring your questions for an open chat and dialogue. 

The seminar is free and is scheduled for 1/13 @ 7:30 p.m. (est). 

Here’s the link to register:

Hope to see you “In the Room.”


Recent Radio Interviews:

I am excited to share with you recent radio interviews that I conducted with exciting  guests on topics related to learning disabilities, dyslexia & ADHD:

  • James Redford:  Director,  “The Big Picture:  Rethinking Dyslexia”

I interviewed James Redford, director and producer of the movie:  The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia.  Mr. Redford was a great guest discussing his family’s journey to help his son overcome his struggles with dyslexia:


  • Dr. Betty Osman:  Psychologist & Author:  “No One to Play With:  The Social Side of Learning Disabilities”

In this interview Dr. Osman and I talk about the relationship between learning disabilities and social problems.  She has many insights and offers much wisdom.



I would like to wish all of my friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year

A Frantic Mom: A Small, One Act Play

The Mom:

(Coming in to the office for the first time sounding very frantic.)

“Maybe I am overstressed, but I am starting to lose it. I have three kids.  The first two were on what you called the ‘smooth’ road.’  They started out in kindergarten fine, learned their sight words and then everything started to come together.  They never had any problems.”

“Then, my third came along, and maybe it’s because we don’t pay attention to her as much as we did the other two, but something just isn’t right.  I know she’s only in first grade, but the stuff they put on the walls for back to school night, really freaked us out.  Kayla’s work was nowhere near what the others were doing…not even the boys.”

“Not only that, but she hates reading.  I know the school wants her to read 20 minutes every night, but it is such an ordeal. It always turns into a screaming match.  It’s like a nightly ritual where we all end up screaming at each other.”

“The school keeps giving this code-message – have you had the neurologist see her yet?  I know the code.  That’s code for 'Don’t you think she should be on medication.'  A neurologist?  Why?  I’m really at a loss here.   I think the kid should be tested to see if she has any signs of a learning disability or dyslexia.  She needs help.  I'm not rushing to put her on medication.  The pediatrician gives me the impression that he thinks I'm crazy and he keeps telling us she will grow out of it. ” 

“What do you think?”


“Trust your gut.  Listen to yourself.  Get her tested. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. ”

“Prompt & Write:” Frustration in Kidland

Here’s a little interaction using an approach to writing that I call the “Prompt and Write approach” to teaching writing:

Writing Prompt:

 “What is something you really wanted,  but an adult would not let you have?”


Wons I whanted a lego set but my mom said it was to match money so I get mad so I was sad I threw a tamper tantrum tis is when I was 3 so I relly  wanet it I saved and saved for about 5 weeks until we went back to the Lego store bat my mom still did not get it my birthday was coming so I wanted to show the kids then my mom got it for me.

So, this was written by a fourth grader, George, age 9.  George is not classified and is on no one’s radar at school. In fact, according to the school he is meeting his “standards” with on-line, multiple choice only assessments. (George scored in the 71st %ile in reading.)

Let’s assume for argument sake that George does not have some type of learning disability. (I think he does.)  Even if he does not have a “disability,” I think we would all agree that at a very basic level George does not have a clue what is involved in the writing of a sentence.   

If that is the case, shouldn’t the focus of the instruction with George be on the sentence level?  How is more and more open-ended "Prompt and Write" going to help George internalize the components of a good sentence?  (Keep in mind that George is now five school months away from fifth grade.)  

From where I sit, George needs a  lot of practice (perhaps even through the whole year) writing simple sentences.  Once George has mastered the ability to write a simple sentence, the next step would be for George to practice writing more complex sentences.  Following the mastering of writing these sentences, George can learn how to put together one solid paragraph.  (The writing of one paragraph would probably need to be practiced repeatedly for a fair amount of time for the skill to be internalized and mastered.)

I know what I am proposing goes against the grain in terms of the way writing is popularly being taught, but I simply can’t understand how someone like George will ever learn how to write even a solid sentence using the “Prompt and Write” method.


Latest Posts