Dr. Selznick’s blogs are written to help parents navigate the difficult waters of raising children struggling with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, as well as ADHD and deficits of executive functioning. His overriding mission is to speak to parents in “down-to-earth terms free of jargon.” 


Fillin’ the Cracks

Anxiety over your child’s school-based problems can start very early. A mom recently contacted me after reading The Shut-Down Learner.

“My son is drowning in school. Do you think he could be a shut-down learner?”

After asking a few more questions, I was struck by the fact that the child in question was only five and in kindergarten.

When I wrote the Shut-Down Learner I was largely envisioning a disconnected, shut-down adolescent.

However, as I gave more talks to the parents, so many of the concerns being raised involved young children.

To help explain things to parents I created a formula:

Early Cracks in the Foundation + Time + Lack of Understanding + Widening cracks + Family tensions increasing = Shut Down Learner

So, while the child of concern may only be in kindergarten there are cracks that can be identified.  Time goes by quickly and with a lack of understanding how to address them, they widen with family tensions arising around the school issues.

Takeaway Point

There’s no gain in waiting.  Do what you can to fill the cracks.

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Copyright, Richard Selznick, Ph.D.  2023,


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