Compensate or Eliminate
Learning to read may appear natural and, therefore, easy to teach. Yet it’s one of the most difficult tasks any child will take on; and homeschooling parents must cover some important foundational topics along the way. The National Reading Panel has identified these skills as phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
A great deal of research* suggests students who have mastered two main critical skills—good phonological awareness and letter naming—will have little difficulty learning to read.
When school is not going well, parents look to tutoring as a solution. But tutoring often doesn’t work. Most learning challenges including auditory processing, dyslexia, ADD or ADHD can be dramatically improved or permanently corrected.
At the Therapeutic Literacy Center, we do MORE than tutor. We help children and adults ELIMINATE their learning challenges.
Many students can cover or compensate for a learning difficulty for a long time, but eventually it catches up with them. While the 3rd/4th grade level is common to diagnosing learning difficulties and disabilities, some students may get to middle school or high school before help is sought.
Clinically, we have found people at the graduate degree level before they finally seek remediation. How far a student CAN go before help is required will be different for each person.
But help is available and should be sought at the earliest possible time, because “compensating” is stressful even when not outwardly visible; it requires far too much energy. And it doesn’t fix the problem.
What can be done?
There are two ways of dealing with learning difficulties. The most common method used is to treat the symptoms by giving students extra work on basic skills, as well as more individual attention.
Our approach is to attack the underlying processes that interfere with attention and learning (yes, ADHD children CAN learn to focus their attention). We know that children and adults of at least average intellectual potential can and should become proficient learners. Because the traditional methods have not worked for some, we know that they must be taught in a different ways – not just individualizing the same old methods.
By concentrating on underlying processes, along with developing the needed basic skills, we have been able to help students who, until now, have enjoyed only limited success in school.