Too often parents feel bewildered by the array of options that are presented to them about their struggling child.

Getting clear on what you are targeting and why is essential.  Common sense needs to prevail.

Eight year old Jackie, a spunky third grader, struggled with reading, spelling and writing.  Today when she read a third grade level story out loud to me , the passage she was to  read stated, “I saw the signal on the shore…”  Jackie read it as, “I saw the seagull on the shore…”

When I reviewed what had been done with Jackie to date, her mom sounded bewildered.

“When Jackie was five she could barely write her name and her letter formation was very poor.  It was recommended that we see an OT (occupational therapist) who identified “sensory issues” and suggested we get Interactive Metronome Therapy. We did that for a while, but Jackie struggled in first grade.  Then we heard about a person who administered special colored lenses for reading and someone else who suggested a different type of vision treatment. After that, an audiologist found central auditory processing disorder and recommended that we go to her office for a year of computer treatment to address the “auditory” issues. Another therapist felt anxiety was the issue and  suggested we treat that. Then we saw a neurologist who wanted to put her on medication for ADHD.   I am bewildered.  Everyone’s saying something different about what she need – she’s so far behind in reading, spelling and writing – I just don’t know what to do.”

“Has anyone suggested that they teach Jackie to read,” I asked.

“Not really,” she said. “I keep getting all of these treatment recommendations, but very few have said anything that makes sense regarding reading. I am really feeling overwhelmed by all of this and don’t know what direction to go.”

It was clear that Jackie needed sensible reading remediation, yet all of the professionals in the mix were recommending side-treatments that were not going to address her reading issues.

If reading is the primary concern, then that should be the target of treatment/remediation.  If it is anxiety, then target that.

To hit a tennis ball better, you wouldn’t go for swimming lessons.

Professionals will see things from the window of their own specialty (e.g., auditory, visual, medical). The narrower the window, the narrower the recommendation.

Get clear on what needs remediating and why you are doing it before you commit a significant amount of time and money.

Takeaway Point

Be certain that there is a match between your areas of concern andthe program being recommended. Does the program pass the commonsense test?

If it does not, you may want to think twice before proceeding.



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