In 2013, I did this talk with teachers & parents, to explain very simply the many myths and misconceptions we have about learning difficulties. Come, watch me take you into the world of the child who struggles:
From an article I wrote for ' The Alternative' last year:
Have you ever considered a world where you couldn’t read? Not just books or newspapers, but menus, the labels on your medicine bottle, signs, subtitles or even the latest issue of your favourite magazine. Words permeate the world we live in. As a special educator, I started working with children who have learning difficulties in 2004 and the inaccessibility of a reluctant reader to the world of books, ideas and the company of visionary thinkers has both troubled and motivated me. As thinkers like Oprah Winfrey have shared, books can become the beacon of hope for those who live in hard, colourless and impoverished worlds. The lessons of tolerance, harmony, hope and possibilities exist within the pages of a book as do characters and settings of every hue. Books allow us to experience the catharsis and depth of our emotions through the life journeys of those we read about.
Consider Rohan, a 11 year old who...
I feel hopeful about President Obama's remarks at the State of the Union address earlier this week concerning early education, and how money spent on Head Start is money well invested preventing later expenses down the road for these same students. Head Start teachers create the opportunity to give students larger vocabularies and greater background general knowledge before kindergarten. Head Start programs can create the schema students need to inform what they will read and study in school and life. When we learn, we connect the dots from one piece of information that we know to the new information. If we do not have a certain baseline of information or knowledge, then learning the new information becomes difficult. This is why I believe that tutoring in kindergarten and the lower grades is also cost effective. Better to fix a reading problem in first grade than try to play catch up in 7th grade when a student is also faced with much more...