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Learning Differences

¨  Advice for young nephew with attention problems in school

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QUESTION:
I as well as my sister who has an 8 year old son are experiencing a very hard time in our lives.  My nephew's behavior has gotten worse when it comes to going to school.  He is a little boy who does not express his emotions, feelings or just simply things that might be bothering him.  My sister has taken him to many counselors and nothing seems to work.  I know he has problems concentrating in class and easily gets distracted.  This causes him to fall behind and not finish in class assignments.  Is there a special place or specialists that we can take my nephew to so he can get the help he needs?

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 18 May 2005:
Thank you for writing to Imagiverse. And a special thank you for trying to find help for your little nephew.  I assume that your nephew has been checked out by his doctor.  It's possible that he could be struggling with some sort of learning difficulities.  The frustration and challenges children go through when they have learning differences is terrible.  They need unconditional support and encouragement.  Quite often teachers don't understand the situation and they label kids as behavior problems or lazy.  Most kids just want to please.  When they don't, a whole bunch of emotional turmoil can come into play making everything even more difficult.

I think a great starting point for you to help your nephew is to read some of what Mel Levine has written (see: http://www.allkindsofminds.org/).

Another terrific expert and reference is Richard Lavoie.  He has some really great videos like "F.A.T. City" which makes learning differences understandable.  See: http://www.ricklavoie.com/

Vision is another source of problems that often goes undetected.  If the eyes do not work correctly, the student has to work twice as hard to follow classroom instruction.  It's exhausting!  The child doesn't know when he has a vision problem because he thinks everyone sees that way.  Eye screenings done at school often make matters worse because the answer may be: "He has perfect 20/20 vision."  All that says is that he can see at 20 feet what most people see at 20 feet.  It doesn't say anything about what is close or focussing between near and far or anything else about vision.  Please read my article about Visual Health: http://imagiverse.org/resources/energy/vision_health.htm

I am on the Board of the Inland Empire Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.  Our branch has a website at: http://www.dyslexia-ca.org/.  There is a lot of great information out there too.

I hope this gives you some starting points.  Please let your nephew know that he is a great kid.  He is not alone.  Learning is really great fun and a lot of educators believe:

"If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn."

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Last Updated:
19 July 2006
 

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