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Interesting article on therapies and interventions


rafiki
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I like this, too. My mom laughs at me and tells me I am the long left-brainer in our entire family. It does seem true, but when I looked again at the list of attributes of right-brained people, it's hard to say I'm strictly left-brained. As a child, I was definitely outside-the-box.

 

Have you taken any dominance tests yet? I've taken a couple and both indicate that I'm mixed dominance.

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FYI, I'm not sure how you're determining that you're mixed dominant, but most of those on-line tests will come out fairly close together percentage-wise. They just can't ask enough *logical* questions (haha) to get a good way to determine true dominance. But, if you have a 60/40ish split, then that's enough to say your dominance.

 

Because remember, this information isn't meant to polarize. We ALL use both sides of our brain...we do! We just FAVOR one side more which represents how we learn, interact, etc. We all don't sit on just one side of the right-brained/left-brained continuum fence :-)

 

There weren't too many questions on either test...I answered something like 9 of 16 left dominance for one test...56% left to 44% right on another 28 question test.

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The bolding is mine :)

 

I agree with you here! My DS is active in many outside interests- especially scouts. He is VERY aware of his den mates reading their assignments and he can't and how he differs at Den Meetings. He wants to take part in the skits but can't read the parts. Its heartbreaking.

 

So, while our HS experience caters to his strengths, the outside world with peers does not.

 

I think this is completely wrong on the part of the Scouts. The Scouts are supposedly dedicated to inclusion, and I'd have a big talk with the leader about ways to include a non-reader without emphasizing his "differentness." Why couldn't your son have the script a week ahead of time, to learn his part, for instance? And when the Scouts to activities that draw on right-brained skills, why can't your son be made an honorary assistant leader, or the other kids made aware that in these types of activities he is a model and a helper? It's doesn't HAVE to be a big deal, if people are educated about different developmental timetables and shown how easy it is to include everyone, just as the include a klutzy kid in climbing or archery.

 

People with autistic children have had to become public educators, in a way, helping the clueless to understand what autism is, why their kids behave as they do, what are helpful and unhelpful ways to respond. It's a pain to be in the position of having to do this, and sometimes it's easier to withdraw or fall into anger, but there it is. The efforts of parents who came before me have made it somewhat easier for others to understand my dd, in certain situations. But the understanding is incomplete, and people don't always see ways to modify ruts they're mentally set in. So I still have to do this.

 

Parents of right-brained kids also have to become educators. Some of us try to do this on the boards: to explain how and why our kids learn differently; why TWTM methods don't necessarily work although we may share many of the same end goals for our children or be able to do parts of the program at certain ages but not all, and not all the time; why learning differently isn't something that has to be "catered to" or "accommodated," because it's no different than setting up a left-brained kid with a conventional program that is shaped around their abilities. We get criticized and even attacked as giving our kids second-rate educations or being undisciplined as parents. But we keep saying what we do because it's so important, for our kids, for other kids now and in the future.

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I think this is completely wrong on the part of the Scouts. The Scouts are supposedly dedicated to inclusion, and I'd have a big talk with the leader about ways to include a non-reader without emphasizing his "differentness." Why couldn't your son have the script a week ahead of time, to learn his part, for instance? And when the Scouts to activities that draw on right-brained skills, why can't your son be made an honorary assistant leader, or the other kids made aware that in these types of activities he is a model and a helper? It's doesn't HAVE to be a big deal, if people are educated about different developmental timetables and shown how easy it is to include everyone, just as the include a klutzy kid in climbing or archery.

 

People with autistic children have had to become public educators, in a way, helping the clueless to understand what autism is, why their kids behave as they do, what are helpful and unhelpful ways to respond. It's a pain to be in the position of having to do this, and sometimes it's easier to withdraw or fall into anger, but there it is. The efforts of parents who came before me have made it somewhat easier for others to understand my dd, in certain situations. But the understanding is incomplete, and people don't always see ways to modify ruts they're mentally set in. So I still have to do this.

 

Parents of right-brained kids also have to become educators. Some of us try to do this on the boards: to explain how and why our kids learn differently; why TWTM methods don't necessarily work although we may share many of the same end goals for our children or be able to do parts of the program at certain ages but not all, and not all the time; why learning differently isn't something that has to be "catered to" or "accommodated," because it's no different than setting up a left-brained kid with a conventional program that is shaped around their abilities. We get criticized and even attacked as giving our kids second-rate educations or being undisciplined as parents. But we keep saying what we do because it's so important, for our kids, for other kids now and in the future.

 

When DS was a Cub Scout, DH and I both served on the pack's steering/leadership committee for two years. They love volunteers.

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And I can't the author of the piece is recommending letting kids flounder and struggle until they get it in their own time!

 

I'm sorry, but I'm now aghast that I just spent an hour of my time trying to reply to this mess. I just saw in her post where this lady has an 11 yo not reading. But she's telling US not to pursue therapies? I don't care if the therapies didn't WORK and the child really does just have a developmental delay or his jolly timetable or whatever. But I'm SURE not gonna wait until some late age, say oh woops, and then go back and do the evaluations I could have done early on.

 

Whatever, this is blowing my mind. Her assumptions that people who do therapy are doing it to make them fit in a school paradigm or change who the child is or whatever are wrong. Her assumptions about how we taught our kids are wrong (because I did ALL those things with my dd: sewing, mythology, fairy tales, sculpting, etc. etc. for hours and hours every day). Her lack of understanding about the difference between therapeutic play and random play is apparent. And her oversimplification of things like adhd, to state that it disappears (when we all know adults, including senior citizens, who manifest the symptoms of it including the continued impulsivity, decreased processing speed, etc. etc.) is just, well I need to stop.

 

She can do what she wants. I embrace my child. I just also work on her medical issues. Doodler did therapy for her dd's medical issues. Treating the medical doesn't mean you don't embrace your dc's strengths. We all know that and ascribe to that and have had threads on that here.

 

For a bit different perspective, try Soma Mukhopadhyay's book ($40, ouch) on autism and brain development. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Autism-through-Prompting-Method/dp/1432729284/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345909364&sr=8-1&keywords=understanding+autism+through+rapid+prompting+method

 

However, when one sense begins to gather information at a greater intensity than the other senses, which happens to people with autism, those other senses may remain isolated, without making a connection. That is where the alternative development branches off and, once begun, takes its own path of development toward environment and social adjustment. In this alternative mode of growth, the auditory or vision senses may sometimes develop to such an extreme that connections of other sensory stimulation modes are neglected, partially developed or absent altogether. [p. 28]

 

This explains best what I've seen in my kids, and to me it's addresses that larger issue of WHY one could end up dominant in one area and why it's valid to pursue therapy to give them the tools to use the other and why *early* work is better than later.

 

The end.

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I'm sorry, but I'm now aghast that I just spent an hour of my time trying to reply to this mess. I just saw in her post where this lady has an 11 yo not reading. But she's telling US not to pursue therapies? I don't care if the therapies didn't WORK and the child really does just have a developmental delay or his jolly timetable or whatever. But I'm SURE not gonna wait until some late age, say oh woops, and then go back and do the evaluations I could have done early on.

 

Whatever, this is blowing my mind. Her assumptions that people who do therapy are doing it to make them fit in a school paradigm or change who the child is or whatever are wrong. Her assumptions about how we taught our kids are wrong (because I did ALL those things with my dd: sewing, mythology, fairy tales, sculpting, etc. etc. for hours and hours every day). Her lack of understanding about the difference between therapeutic play and random play is apparent. And her oversimplification of things like adhd, to state that it disappears (when we all know adults, including senior citizens, who manifest the symptoms of it including the continued impulsivity, decreased processing speed, etc. etc.) is just, well I need to stop.

 

She can do what she wants. I embrace my child. I just also work on her medical issues. Doodler did therapy for her dd's medical issues. Treating the medical doesn't mean you don't embrace your dc's strengths. We all know that and ascribe to that and have had threads on that here.

 

 

My youngest has had PT and ST through early intervention. He's had vision therapy. He had a full neuropsychological evaluation. He's had a full speech language workup and at 8.5, he's still not reading. Both of my older to children did not read until they were in that age 8-10 transition stage. I have had those therapies and evaluation and each and every person has worked with ds and came flat out and said, "He progresses, just in his own time, and on his own timeline." Formal therapies and interventions have not "sped him up".

 

As for ADHD labels, with my oldest, when he's in his element, you can not see the ADHD hiccups. For example, he takes karate 4-5 days a week. No one there knows he has ADHD. He shines there. He has done demos, he takes every special class he can. He is doing some amazing stuff and able to remember the moves, get the timing down, choreograph things, and perform in front of crowds while appearing completely "normal". Yet, if given a traditional writing assignment would start the paragraph with a capital letter have no spacing, ramble on, then end the whole paragraph with a period. However if given a writing assignment where he makes a home video or demonstrates something, it's high quality. Just this past week, he was complimented by the head instructor on his vocabulary and verbal abilities. He doesn't talk like those his age at all.

 

There is also the mental health aspect to things to consider. It's equally as important as the medical side of things.

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If you are judging that eleven is too old not to be reading, you ARE putting a left-brained paradigm onto a right-brained child and trying to fit that child into a the structure that the school system has determined is the only appropriate timeline for a child's reading development.

 

Some kids do learn to read at eleven or twelve, without being hampered by lifelong reading disabilities or problems. They're on the extreme end of a developmental timetable, but that doesn't in and of itself mean that they have LDs.

 

Some kids read at two; that's on the extreme early end of the developmental timetable. Some of those kids are fine, but others do have LDs -- hyperlexics read early but some only "bark at print" and can have tremendous difficulties with meaning.

 

The more we learn about right-brained kids as a group, the more we can begin to assemble a picture of the bounds of what is "normal" FOR THEM, what the markers are that they are on a different timetable vs. that they may have an LD. This is very, very different from saying that there's never any need for intervention or therapies, or that true LDs don't exist and are imaginary constructs.

 

ETA: I should add that I am not against evaluations and have had my own dd evaluated more than once, plus urged several people on the boards to pursue them for their own children. I am all for the gathering of as much information as possible, and for addressing weaknesses in ANY child. I am a firm believer in visual therapy for kids whose visual processing shows deficits beyond the fact that they are not reading at age six or seven. What I am against is the immediate labeling and pathologizing of ALL differences, including differences in developmental timetables, because they don't fit standard left-brained developmental timetables.

 

And I want to note yet again that "wait and see" does not mean do nothing. That's such a misrepresentation of Cindy's position. She's saying don't leap to intervene and pathologize BEFORE having followed a true and full right-brained developmental educational path, or whatever different path is called for by your child's wiring. Very few of us have done this from childhood on with our kids, simply because the knowledge of what this is, what constitutes a true and fitting right-brained education, is not widely known, and because school curricula and philosophies are so overwhelming left-brained, to the point that many of us, including myself years ago, assume they are universal.

 

There IS a lot of information now, including that on Cindy's blog and in her forthcoming book, Linda Silverman's website and books, Jeffrey Freed's book, tons of books on visualizing information and visual memory and processing, games, and increasingly, some curricula developed specifically for right-brained kids. There's a lot of information on these boards from parents whose kids have graduated and gone on successfully to college, technical school, or work, who have done things differently regarding school, had kids who developed full writing fluency (accuracy in spelling and punctuation) only in adolescence, as did my dd. But it's still not what most of us are familiar with, and thus are comfortable and happy trusting as a path to follow, especially in a culture that is so overwhelmingly educationally geared toward left-brained kids and their timetables. But it is there, and there's a lot to do besides let your kid play video games or legos all day. I worked really hard at doing math and writing with my dd in alternative ways -- WITH her, because she was one of those kids who resisted direct instruction. When I went wrong, it was generally when I tried to impose left-brained methods, materials, or timetables on her learning.

 

There are lots of questionnaires and checklists in books that will give you a fairly quick idea of whether your child is left or right-brained. Most alternate work right now -- Silverman, Freed, Cindy's book -- is geared toward the truly right-brained child, because that child is most disserved by the school system and curricula the way they are now constructed.

Edited by Doodler
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What about the fact that a child who cannot read checks out of learning as he becomes frustrated? What about kids who grow up in cultures that devalue learning after a certain age? After we're done with "wait and see" and decide maybe the kid does need intervention, we may have missed the window of opportunity on several levels.

 

Is there data to prove that interventions harm right-brained kids?

 

Is there an easy way to tell if your kid is right-brained or left-brained so you even know to expect some things to happen later or differently? Or do we just say "maybe he's right-brained" until we can't put off intervention any longer?

 

What if your kid is neither clearly right- nor left-brained? Aha! What then?

 

Phooey. Forget what the schools say. "I" say that there's something wrong if my kid can't remember the letter "D" from one minute to the next. And I'm getting right on that because I see what happens to people who grow up illiterate. I don't want advice from people whose kids aren't being taught to read, I want it from people who have helped kids like mine to process visual information as it's intended to be processed.

Edited by SKL
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Here is a quote from Cindy:

 

"That’s why I steer conversations of therapies, interventions, medications, etc., back to understanding and honoring the natural learning path for right-brained children first and foremost. An enormous difference can occur starting there. Upon the foundation of the right-brained information, if more support is needed in learning their way, then we may find it’s far less intrusive to help them out versus doing so without starting with this information."

 

This about is establishing AN ORDER, a place, for intervention and therapies within a right-brained educational context, not about rejecting them altogether, and equally not about "doing nothing" or not needing to teach your children at all.

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So what if interventions are not pursued? What if everyone just waits for the child to outgrow things at his/ her own rate of development and the child ends up unable to have a full life because of it when if interventions were pursued this same child could have had at least some chances of an independent life? It is common knowledge in the medical profession that kids with autism need interventions as early as possible. This is why early intervention programs were developed.

 

I do believe there is some validity in the left/ right brain thinking but I feel that these two categories are way too limited to fit the capabilities of the human brain. If things were that simple and straightforward then why is autism a spectrum disorder? Anyway, I am on the Temple Grandin camp. I believe, she, as someone who knows what autism is all about, has a point with the categories she has come up with and she does state that most have a combination of these.

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My big thing is -- under 7 is supposed to be the best time to remediate phonemic awareness problems.

 

For kids where that is not the problem with reading, fine.

 

But it seems like the evidence in favor of phonemic awareness remediation helping many children is so good, it is a little facile to say OG intervention does not seem to work until the 8-10 age range.

 

So for kids where that is not the issue, that is true. But I think it is a misleading statement and misrepresents the value of phonemic awareness to people who do look at this website.

 

Of course I know that doesn't work for all kids but it has worked to some extent for my son. As a result his school is not too text-based. His school is not a stressful place full of worksheets, though, or maybe it is that

my son actually does well with the left brain style. I am not sure.

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There are some little caveats.

 

First, a big problem for kids, in general, who have late acquisition of reading, is that they will consequently have less background knowledge b/c no one is reading to them or showing the documentaries or helping them get audio books etc. etc.

 

So, the things saying "better by 7" mean, I think (not positive here), that if they are taught phonemic awareness by 7, they don't fall behind and can maintain their background knowledge by reading.

 

If a child naturally develops phonemic awareness at an older age, and has been "accomodated" with other means of learning, they can progress to decoding and fluency fine, I would think. If there vocabulary and chances to think have been kept up -- I agree it would not make too much difference.

 

I am not sure about this, though.

 

But in practice I do value extra time spent reading to build up fluency. I think it takes years to build up fluency just from reading and reading many words over time. But, if most kids are learning vocabulary from reading, while these kids would already know vocabulary and then just learn how it was written -- maybe not a big deal.

 

In practice again, though..... my husband. Right now he can read but he reads so slow. Since marrying me he is trying to read more. Right now he is reading more. So I am sure he is building up his fluency now. I am sure his phonemic awareness did continue to develop as he aged. But my husband is 30!!!! And a super-slow reader!!!! And he knows everything about all kinds of things from watching Discovery Channel and History Channel. But he also lacks knowing things b/c he is such a slow reader, he does not read magazine articles or newspaper articles, I read them to him. And he does not have huge incentive to improve -- though he is trying. He is reading some novels right now that I am sending him (he is in Afghanistan). So even though I think decoding is easier for him now, and it just happened, his fluency is just not good, and he will not read articles, I have to read them to him outloud. And sometimes if I want to have a discussion with him, I have to read him things first so we can discuss it.... things that, knowing he is a smart guy, you would think he would know. But he rarely reads for information (he is great with Army manuals though, but he devotes time to that ).

 

It is just not acceptable to me.

 

My husband also was on bad terms with his parents by the time he was 16ish. So I don't feel like I can wait for the teen years when, while I hope I am on great terms with my kids and am doing all kinds of things to actively foster our relationship, I cannot count on mentoring him to acquire these skills when he is a teenager. It might not happen. He might be pretty angry to be doing baby books then even if I was doing High Noon and stuff like that.

 

So either your kids don't mind, or they go from "can't sound out words" to "a level of fluency where they are easily reading quickly enough to satisfy themselves that reading is not just a frustrating experience or a waste of time."

 

Further my husband has told me that when he sees proper names and some words he can't keep track of them, he just goes "Mr. C" or "the a word." He can't sound out well -- so he is not some "whole word reader." I can't expect that for my kids, either, if my husband is not even that way.

 

So maybe they are just flat-out not right-brain learners, or literally have a further problem than what is typical for right-brain learners, and it is not the same case. But my husband's relatives are not caught up as adults, and I don't think it is only that they were in a poor-fit environment. They are in a poor-fit environment compared to the future as talked about in Dyslexic Advantage where maybe there will be so much text-to-speech that reading will not even really be valued. But as it is reading is really a main way to learn about the world and that is what it is.

 

As far as studies, I will look for some to link.

Edited by Lecka
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I am pretty sure I have a RB kid, and he is definitely one who learns everything in his own time and who is highly creative in the paths he takes to learn things. However, he also had severe eye teaming and visual processing problems, and he experienced tremendous benefits from aggressive vision therapy, starting at age 7 and going until age 9. He became capable of doing age-appropriate things with his visual system that he was not capable of doing before. I watched in amazement as the puzzle pieces fell into place for him through the course of the therapy, in direct response to the specific problems we were working on each week. It was not just him maturing. The progress from week to week was too specifically related to what we had been working on.

 

Going further down the therapy road, he is now improving in more areas through weekly occupational therapy. And eventually he will be tested for specific areas of LD, so I can figure out how to help him with those as well.

 

Why ? Am I trying to force him to fit into the mold of something he was not born to be ?

 

Absolutely not. This is about giving him choices, and smoothing his path in life. Things that were terribly difficult and frustrating for him are now not so hard. Things that seemed impossible for him are now within his reach. He can do more than he could before, and this makes him happy. Now he can read the books he could not get through before, and by his own free choice he reads for at least an hour every night, and grazes on reading material during much of his free time during the day. His new visual skills have also made it possible for him to go from being a below-average baseball player to one who makes select teams...it makes him happy ! And it's possible because I ignored the people who told me he would be "fine" and just to "wait" and "let him mature". Well, I'm sure glad I ignored those folks.

 

I am not taking away from or not recognizing the value of his RB-ness. That is all still there, and still valued. But now he can do more. This is like a vocalist expanding his/her range, or a musician learning to play a new family of instruments or a new musical style. It is an expansion. It is not damaging ! His RB gifts are fully intact and used daily. Now he can take them further because through therapy and remedial instruction, he has skills he did not have in his arsenal before !

 

In our society, it frankly is a handicap to get to age 10 or 12 or higher and not be literate. The wonders of RB-ness can be praised to the skies, but at the end of the day, a kid of a certain age who is not literate is at a disadvantage, and not just because the schools have defined an artificial standard of normal. I would agree to it at age 5...your 5 yo can't read yet ? Keep working, gently, and give him time. But a 10 yo who his still not literate is in serious disadvantage territory, both in and out of school. The only place an illiterate 10 yo would not be at a disadvantage would be in an overly protective homeschool bubble. Because the rest of our society, in and out of school, expects that child to be able to read and write. So somewhere between the ages of 5 and 10, if literacy is not progressing, that should be addressed, with therapy and remedial teaching as necessary to get some progress going. Not doing so is educational neglect. I don't care how RB a kid is.

 

Yay for RB gifts, rah ! But that kid still needs to learn to read and write. And do basic math. We all need those skills. Just because those skills are more difficult for RB kids doesn't mean we should label those challenges as "gifts" and use that to justify not giving them the help they need.

 

Phooey. Forget what the schools say. "I" say that there's something wrong if my kid can't remember the letter "D" from one minute to the next. And I'm getting right on that because I see what happens to people who grow up illiterate. I don't want advice from people whose kids aren't being taught to read, I want it from people who have helped kids like mine to process visual information as it's intended to be processed.

 

:iagree:

Edited by laundrycrisis
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Because my research showed me that phonemic awareness tends to be later developing in right-brained children naturally. I believe Linda Kreger Silverman said this in her book.

 

And FYI about the "window of opportunity." Research shows that both vision therapy and dyslexia remediation programs can work at any age.

 

My dd learned to distinguish soft vowel sounds in some words only at around age eleven. This was not a problem once I figured out that she was a visual, not a phonetic speller. And I didn't even know she had previously been unable to distinguish between "-ent" and "ant," etc. by sound, until she told me that she now COULD. I certainly didn't pursue therapy for that, because I didn't know about it.

 

I was also told many times that there is a window for kids learning how to spell correctly, and their ability to learn spelling closes off after third grade. Well, in third grade dd could barely spell the simplest three-letter words, so I assumed it was all over and I'd have to pursue technological things like spell check and such and she'd rely on them all her life. Lo and behold, once I figured out how to teach her visually, she went from being almost totally disabled in spelling terms to being a pretty well adult-level speller in a couple of years. The improvements began within weeks and were consistent and steady.

 

Yes, this is an anecdote and not a scientific study or a professional research project. But it happened nonetheless.

 

Does this mean it will happen like this for all right-brained kids? Of course not. Neither do all left-brained kids turn out to be perfect spellers. But many kids who are labeled LD are being taught to spell phonetically when their primarily processing and learning method is visual. These particular aspects of this particular dd's constellation of abilities and weaknesses are, I think, typical right-brained characteristics rather than LDs. As such, what she needed was help learning in a way that matched her wiring rather than me working against it.

Edited by Doodler
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http://education.ucf.edu/mirc/Research/Catch%20Them%20Before%20They%20Fall.pdf

 

This is Catch Them Before They Fall.

 

And, not every child will be helped with the early intervention -- not every problem is from phonemic awareness.

 

But I think info like this could be provided for those who may be interested in it, and are referred to a website, instead of a statement that OG doesn't work until age 8-10. B/c this kind of early intervention, not inconsistent at all with OG, is helping kids -- myself and another poster in this thread I think, for example.

 

I will look for more studies also -- I guess just saying that phonemic awareness is often a needed foundational skill, and that it can be taught, that it can take a long time to naturally pick up but can be taught to many kids explicitly much earlier than they woudl natually pick it up.

 

My husband doens't have an antipathy to reading, really, or a negative association, really, though he does a little bit.... I think he doesn't read b/c it is too slow, and he is too slow b/c he doesn't read. He is a grown man and will just have to read osme as he is motivated, but he also very busy -- a father of 3, a platoon sergeant in the Infantry at present. He doesn't have time and it is hard work still I think. So I am interested in hearing about the natural reading development -- how do you get the kids to fluency? Is that stage just very easy? Or do they have great attitudes? I am curious about that. B/c that is really what I wonder about children who learn to read as early teens. I know a lot of teens are really well-behaved and teachable etc, but I (with no studies lol, just my own opinion) don't think you could count on all teens being devoted to developing reading fluency at that age, unless as I said, the fluency process is a lot easier for these kids (i.e. they are not taking a really long time to read their issue of PC Gamer magazine, and skipping over some words and proper names even then).

Edited by Lecka
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And FYI about the "window of opportunity." Research shows that both vision therapy and dyslexia remediation programs can work at any age.

 

Everyone recognizes that adult literacy programs exist and work. No one denies that older individuals can benefit and learn to read. The matter about early reading intervention is about plasticity of the brain, and it's ability to develop new neural pathways. As we age, our brains become less plastic. Early reading intervention exploits the brain's plasticity.

 

Reading and exposure to language through read alouds help to build up a person's personal word bank. Individuals that learn to read later have to work extremely hard to build up that word bank. For some people, having a child with a small word bank is not a problem. Word banks, an issue foisted upon us by the evil sinister left brained system that wants to eat our children...Whatever...

 

You mentioned things getting easier for your children at about aged 10-12 yo. Well things should be getting easier due to synaptic pruning of under and unused dendrites. An extra measure of synaptic pruning takes place at about 10-12 years and again at around aged 18. For more info, see Magic Trees of the Mind by Hopson and Diamond. I haven't read that book in 8 years, so am roughly paraphrasing here.

Edited by Heathermomster
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I am pretty sure I have a RB kid, and he is definitely one who learns everything in his own time and who is highly creative in the paths he takes to learn things. However, he also had severe eye teaming and visual processing problems, and he experienced tremendous benefits from aggressive vision therapy, starting at age 7 and going until age 9. He became capable of doing age-appropriate things with his visual system that he was not capable of doing before. I watched in amazement as the puzzle pieces fell into place for him through the course of the therapy, in direct response to the specific problems we were working on each week. It was not just him maturing. The progress from week to week was too specifically related to what we had been working on.

 

My dd also had some severe physiological problems with vision and visual processing, and we did seven months of VT when she was 11. This is different than pursuing vision therapy for the sole reason that a right-brained child under the age of eight is not reading fluently yet.

 

Like your child, post-VT mine could finally do PHYSICAL age-appropriate things -- not to the standards of her peers, but far better than before. She could at last walk across a room without tripping or falling over or running into chairs or doors; not panic when a flying object like a ball came towards her and she was unable to predict its path; carry dishes without dropping them and pour drinks without spilling; join in running games at the co-op she attended; not be distracted by what she called "golden lights" that speckled her visual space. It was not just that dd was klutzy or not good at sports. Her visual functioning was at a level that interfered with the logistics and enjoyment of everyday life, across all areas and aspects of that life. At age eleven this included reading stamina, not reading itself, and reading smaller print; it also included some specific aspects of writing. But these were not the sole issues that sent us to VT nor the only ones that were addressed.

 

She did not have normal or functional vision or motor-vision neural links and this had nothing to do with being left- or right-brained. She was a child with visual and visual-motor impairments. She is still a child with some residual fine motor-visual impairments, despite all the VT and OT. These residual issues are not, however, academic LDs. The spelling and writing problems she had were resolved through other means, mainly through realizing how she learned in right-brained ways, and supporting those ways.

 

Physiological vision and motor planning issues may affect academics; but these will not be the only apparent issues. A whole range of activities and skills will be affected, across multiple areas of everyday functioning, not just reading and writing to a particular level by a particular age. It won't be just a child's academic progress or level that is an issue, but a whole quality of life, in the family and outside of it.

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http://www.springerlink.com/content/r587121612u35481/

 

Maybe this is one? Maybe not the best. Auditory Discrimination in Depth is the old name for Lips from Lindamood Bell. This is the style of my son's speech therapy (it is also used for speech therapy).

 

When I see things about Lips, they often imply that there is a roadblock, with phonemic awareness, and if you look at the months, kids go fairly old with this roadblock. With the roadblock removed they make progress.

 

Now, it doesn't seem like a large number of people on this forum need Lips, but for those who do -- I think it is good information to know it can work for 6-year-olds, but 8- to 10-year-olds could still be so weak as to need this program.

 

It is true -- this was a hard program for my son (the speech therapy he did, which was not actually Lips, but that style). But his articulation was poor.... he had an age equivalent of 2 years 11 months when he was 6 and he just could not make himself understood to people. It helped his reading too, though. It seems like it is mostly used as a reading/phonemic awareness program, but it is also in the articulation section of Super Duper. (And he didn't use the Lips materials -- it is just the kind of thing he did in his effective speech therapy.)

 

Anyway -- I googled "Lindamood Bell studies" and a lot of studies came up about their programs working for severe dyslexics ----- of course since that is their business model.

 

But with that process very difficult for my son I think, maybe it could have been easier somehow. But he needed to talk. So there was really not a chioce -- though I do really get saying -- don't put young kids through this. Though it was not SO bad. But if it was really a matter of waiting two years until he was 8, and seeing movement then, then I would be feeling like -- don't put kids through this. But really, I think for a lot more kids it is a lot more congenial and fun process to do the phonemic awareness. The articulation really wore him out, though. He went 1 hour 2x/week, and later we shortened it to 45 min 2x/week b/c 1 hour was too much. But he exited after about 8 months and made really substantial progress in that time after losing 2 monts in 2 years of public school speech (he tested as age equivalent 3 years 1 month when I took him to Early Intervention -- really probably no change was made....).

Edited by Lecka
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Early autism intervention is about developing language, social, play, and behavior, not academics per se. The reason for it is because a neurotypical child naturally develops language, play, social, and behavior EARLY, like between 1-3 years old, so if your child has autism, and that means he probably isn't developing these natural childhood skills, then early intervention in these areas is highly beneficial.

 

But reading, or spelling, or handwriting or whatever will still progress based on brain dominance preference. They still may need help when it comes time to learning colors, shapes, numbers, letters, etc., if they aren't learning from their environment yet, but it doesn't mean you teach a child with autism to read at age 2. Does that make sense?

 

I am just a little concerned about your readers and what impact this might have on their children, as I am sure OhElizabeth is also, judging by her posts. She has come on strong but I can see why.

 

Also, if your article was focused specifically on the academic side of things then why do you mention dietary interventions, for example?

 

I would like to go back and take a look at interventions and how they came into the scene. Were they not derived by parents advocating for their kids? So should parents now tell the government, stop putting our money into interventions and start throwing it at the school system in order to have programs specifically developed for right brain thinkers when the school system doesn't even fully cater to the left brain thinkers :lol:?

 

As mentioned many times in this thread, as parents we want the best for our kids. If you chose to wait with your children that is most certainly your right as a parent. When advising others though, one needs to take that responsibility seriously and remember the impact their words may have on those parents that are new to LD's and are looking for the best way to help their kids.

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See, I find this an interesting statement. Experts claim to be able to pinpoint exactly what is problematic in learning this or that. I'd like to link to the evidence about phonemic awareness remediation, in all seriousness. I want to continue to learn.

 

Cindy,

 

Here is some info I pulled from some of my research from my classes. Not sure if this is what you're looking for but hope it helps! I hope in the future more research is done into right brain learning....

 

 

********************************

 

The research provides strong evidence for the fact that early intervention can not only modify struggles children have with reading but actually prevent them (Foorman, Breir, & Fletcher, 2001).

 

 

Children can be identified as at risk during their preschool and kindergarten years (Anthony et al., 2007; Felton, 1992; Simmons et al., 2008).

 

 

Standard referenced tests such as the Woodcock Letter Identification subtest of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests–Revised can be used to identify at risk pre readers (Woodcock,1987).

 

 

The most essential prerequisite to successful literary skills has been found to be phonemic awareness (Felton, 1992; French & Feng, 1992; Cabella et al., 2010).

 

 

 

Specific techniques which have been found to show the best results include rapid letter naming, beginning sound discrimination, and auditory conceptualization (Felton, 1992; Anthony et al., 2007).

 

 

Early intervention can prevent later reading problems for children (Simmons et al., 2008, O’Connor et al., 2005; Scanlon et al., 2005; Helland et al., 2011).

 

 

In Simmons research study, the researchers found that of all the at risk children who had received early intervention in kindergarten, 92.7% of the students had placed out of risk by the end of third grade (Simmons et al., 2008).

 

 

Risks Associated with Delayed Remediation

 

 

Children who struggle with emergent reading skills who do not receive early intervention continue to show persistent problems in later years (Stanovich, 1986; O’Connor et al., 2005).

 

 

 

Children who receive delayed intervention show a marked increase in anxiety around reading tasks (Niles, 1997).

 

 

Stanovich synthesized much of the research on reading ability and found that there was a “rich get richer†and the “poor get poorer†aspect to emergent literacy (Stanovich, 1986). In other words, those who started out as poor readers became even poorer over time, and those who were “rich†in reading skills maintained those skills, and got even better in later years.

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My youngest has had PT and ST through early intervention. He's had vision therapy. He had a full neuropsychological evaluation. He's had a full speech language workup and at 8.5, he's still not reading. Both of my older to children did not read until they were in that age 8-10 transition stage. I have had those therapies and evaluation and each and every person has worked with ds and came flat out and said, "He progresses, just in his own time, and on his own timeline." Formal therapies and interventions have not "sped him up".

 

 

Exactly. The therapies had nothing to do with learning to read. They needed to be done because they were MEDICAL and needed to be done. Speech, low tone, vision, these are MEDICAL problems. To tell someone NOT to do them is to give medical advice. They don't change the developmental timeline or who the essence of the child is, and you didn't do them in order to get him to read or fit some school paradigm. You did them because he had MEDICAL needs that warranted the evaluations and sensible interventions.

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If you are judging that eleven is too old not to be reading, you ARE putting a left-brained paradigm onto a right-brained child and trying to fit that child into a the structure that the school system has determined is the only appropriate timeline for a child's reading development.

 

Actually, what I suggested is that if someone's kid is 10 or 11 or 12 and they're not WILLING to check vision, hearing, etc. etc. to see if there are legitimate medical issues holding them back, I have to wonder. As Michele points out, you can have both medical issues *and* timetable, and one does not exclude the other. The wisdom comes in recognizing BOTH and figuring out what you're dealing with.

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An 8.5 y/o or 11 y/o not reading does not equate to bad parenting or not being taught.

 

Some children have been read to daily since infancy. They have listened to audiobooks regularly. The tv is used wisely. Parents have attempted to pull them in through dovetailing with their interests. They have played card games, board games, computer games, and used iPad apps. Some have tried multiple left brained programs, methods, and approaches. A few parents may have gone so far as to jump in a clown suit and stand on their head while teaching in attempt to engage them or pulled a rabbit out of their hat. The right brained child still will not read until they are developmentally ready.

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And I want to note yet again that "wait and see" does not mean do nothing. That's such a misrepresentation of Cindy's position. She's saying don't leap to intervene and pathologize BEFORE having followed a true and full right-brained developmental educational path, or whatever different path is called for by your child's wiring.

 

The trouble is, she has crossed over into giving medical advice. Our developmental optometrist can assess for developmental vision problems even before the age of 1. They can assess them on a non-verbal or uncooperative child (like mine was) because they can use games. There is no NEED to wait until the domino effect of problems has cascaded to get this checked. This is MEDICAL advice she's giving, and once she gets into that realm she needs to be ACCURATE.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Physiological vision and motor planning issues may affect academics; but these will not be the only apparent issues. A whole range of activities and skills will be affected, across multiple areas of everyday functioning, not just reading and writing to a particular level by a particular age. It won't be just a child's academic progress or level that is an issue, but a whole quality of life, in the family and outside of it.

 

Although our son did benefit in areas outside of literacy, his struggles with learning to read and write were the first clue that something was wrong and just having gone from one to two seeing eyes was not enough. His problems with reading are what got him into VT. The root cause of his reading problems turned out to be the cause of other problems we had been unaware of. But even if VT had only helped him with literacy, that would still have been enough to justify it...because literacy is a huge deal. I do not see it as just an academic skill. It is a life skill that reaches into everything. My concerns for his literacy were not based on some educrat's rigid ideas. I was concerned about his quality of life if he could not get reading working. I know that there are people who never do "mature" into literacy. They become illiterate adults. And, our son was never in school, but he knew that kids his age were reading. He already recognized that he was struggling with something that other kids could do more easily and it bothered him. It was already affecting how he felt about himself. I could not accept just waiting and working around what was hard for him. Even if it's "only" literacy, IMO help is justified.

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ETA: I should add that I am not against evaluations and have had my own dd evaluated more than once, plus urged several people on the boards to pursue them for their own children. I am all for the gathering of as much information as possible, and for addressing weaknesses in ANY child. I am a firm believer in visual therapy for kids whose visual processing shows deficits beyond the fact that they are not reading at age six or seven.

 

Yup, go ahead, admit YOU'RE the one who pushed me to get evals. :lol: And then let's take this one step further. ALL children deserve a developmental vision exam, not just children with problems. ALL children deserve to have the full extent of their vision checked, just like they should get their teeth cleaned and have properly fitting shoes to wear. It shouldn't be that only rich kids and some kids and parents who fight the system can get their vision checked thoroughly.

 

And then let's admit that vision should be assessed regularly, that it can shift from year to year, but that the child who has problems at 6 or 7 probably had indications of it much earlier that the developmental optometrist could have caught, that they can catch developmental problems as early as 1, 2, and 3. (My son has some and we're tracking them, as right now the strong and weak areas balance out.) And so then let's FINALLY admit it's medical. Speech is medical, OT is medical, vision is medical, dental is medical, foot pain is medical, retained primitive reflexes are medical.

 

Our kids shouldn't have to fight and act out and suffer the agony of unpleasant behavior (and the social stigma that follows) just because we leave MEDICAL problems untreated. That ought to just be easy, something we can all agree on, eh?

 

See, I'm just clarifying. 6 or 7 is NOT the cut-off. It's medical, and ALL kids should be checked, all ages. :D

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Exactly. The therapies had nothing to do with learning to read. They needed to be done because they were MEDICAL and needed to be done. Speech, low tone, vision, these are MEDICAL problems. To tell someone NOT to do them is to give medical advice. They don't change the developmental timeline or who the essence of the child is, and you didn't do them in order to get him to read or fit some school paradigm. You did them because he had MEDICAL needs that warranted the evaluations and sensible interventions.

 

If they are medical problems, why did insurance not cover speech therapy, occupational therapy, or vision therapy?

 

Cindy isn't saying not to do therapies or interventions, but questioning if as many kids would "need" these things if right brained learners were accepted and better understood.

 

A lot of money is being made from Therapies, Interventions, and Special Needs products!

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My dd learned to distinguish soft vowel sounds in some words only at around age eleven. This was not a problem once I figured out that she was a visual, not a phonetic speller. And I didn't even know she had previously been unable to distinguish between "-ent" and "ant," etc. by sound, until she told me that she now COULD. I certainly didn't pursue therapy for that, because I didn't know about it.

 

Ok Doodles, I'm having the darndest time here. What do you mean by a soft vowel sound? In russian we have hard and soft meaning palatalized (formed toward the front of the mouth/palate). You've said this a whole bunch, and I've been trying to figure out what you meant. Then I've been trying to figure out whether that was a form of auditory processing problem. Like Soma M. says, the auditory went in and it never connected with other stuff, because the brain was busy making pathways other ways. Dd didn't know the alphabet until we did vision therapy. We had sung the song, but it was like all those SOUNDS had never connected to the PRINT in front of her. VT had her doing this exercise with all the letters, where they were ostensibly working on peripheral vision. Well she had the most HORRIBLE time with it, because she couldn't go through them in order. Then one day, after slogging through this for I don't know how long, I heard her outside singing the song VERY SOFTLY to herself. It was as if she was touching each letter in her mind, like there was finally a connection made between the auditory and the visual.

 

It happened in VT only as a byproduct, and it had nothing to do with timeline. It was that there was no connection made between auditory and visual, and something had to jump in the middle therapeutically, trying to get the connections made. The *touching* did that.

 

So, while I'm all for being patient with a dc's timeline, I don't think it's reasonable to assume everything is timeline when it could simply be that it's going to need some help, some bridging the gap, some therapy that gets those wires firing across different channels.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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This is my theory with vision therapy as well. I feel that it's a natural shift for right-brained children to move from three-dimensional processing to two-dimensional, symbolic processing between 8 and 10. It's well known that right-brained people excel in three-dimensionality. In my brain research, it shows that brain integration begins between 8 and 10 years old.

 

Until more research occurs looking for links between right-brained processing and certain skills and attributes being developed, I think we're missing a big piece of the puzzle in the time frame difference. Right-brained children may have eyes that function differently because of the way they process information, and it shifts when the brain integrates the other side at a certain time frame (8 to 10, in this case). What if the same is for phonemic awareness? I definitely hope that research can be prompted from the time frame difference conversation.

 

And FYI about the "window of opportunity." Research shows that both vision therapy and dyslexia remediation programs can work at any age.

 

You know, just for fun, you ought to actually TAKE your dc to a good developmental optometrist (a GOOD one), and get a full eval. Or maybe you've already done this? Then you know that the things you discussed aren't what they look at. In fact, visual processing alone is NOT warrant for VT, and that's all you've discussed. They do vision therapy for observable, measurable, and repeatable problems with the development of tracking, convergence, focusing, depth perception, etc. So waiting until a child is older and noticing the resulting product (visual processing: visual memory, form, etc. etc.) is missing is waiting too long. There were basic physical abnormalities that could have been identified much earlier and treated that would have headed off the resulting problems.

 

You lumped VT and dyslexia remediation together, and they're not interchangeable. On the boards here we're very careful about that. VT is for vision problems. If the doctor tries to sell you VT for dyslexia, run. You do VT for legitimate, observable developmental vision problems.

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If they are medical problems, why did insurance not cover speech therapy, occupational therapy, or vision therapy?

 

Cindy isn't saying not to do therapies or interventions, but questioning if as many kids would "need" these things if right brained learners were accepted and better understood.

 

A lot of money is being made from Therapies, Interventions, and Special Needs products!

 

Uh, I think it's because costs are so high. If my kids got all the stuff they COULD get, it would be through the roof, which you know. It's purely a money thing. It's why people on the children's health system have to fight to get basic things you and I take for granted as options (access to a developmental optometrist, etc.), because they cut $$.

 

And actually, our insurance *does* cover portions of VT. It depends on what things they're working on at the time.

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If they are medical problems, why did insurance not cover speech therapy, occupational therapy, or vision therapy?

 

Cindy isn't saying not to do therapies or interventions, but questioning if as many kids would "need" these things if right brained learners were accepted and better understood.

 

A lot of money is being made from Therapies, Interventions, and Special Needs products!

 

After a good fight, we did get medical coverage for part of our son's VT. We are currently getting medical coverage for his OT because in addition to the issues our insurance excludes coverage for (anything that can be related to learning disabilities or behavioral problems), he has medical problems with low muscle tone and poor motor control. Those show up as problems with handwriting and other manual tasks...but they are medical problems.

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An 8.5 y/o or 11 y/o not reading does not equate to bad parenting or not being taught.

 

Some children have been read to daily since infancy. They have listened to audiobooks regularly. The tv is used wisely. Parents have attempted to pull them in through dovetailing with their interests. They have played card games, board games, computer games, and used iPad apps. Some have tried multiple left brained programs, methods, and approaches. A few parents may have gone so far as to jump in a clown suit and stand on their head while teaching in attempt to engage them or pulled a rabbit out of their hat. The right brained child still will not read until they are developmentally ready.

 

:iagree: Totally on board with being sympathetic to timelines, developmental delays, reality that it clicks when it clicks. My dd's reading took MUCH longer than you would have thought, given her IQ and how much she wanted to read. You can't rush reality. But if people look at a poster's comments on therapies and how they're telling people not to pursue certain things in the name of waiting on developmental timelines, it might put that in context to know HOW FAR that person is willing to take it.

 

Getting medical evals to identify legitimate medical problems does not preclude being patient with the child's timeline. It just gives you information and covers your bases to know timeline is what you're dealing with, and not something else. Besides, as you know, a lot of our states actually require as to test or have portfolio reviews or things that substantiate that we ARE hitting these bases. No portfolio reviewer around here will fail to pass you because the child has a developmental delay, but they're sure gonna want to know that you're covering your bases. They're going to refer you off for evals. THEN they sign on the dotted line that he's performing at ability level.

 

So I guess at this point we're quibbling over order. As a parent, I can't just assume something is going to go away without checking to make sure I'm not missing a legitimate medical problem, plain and simple.

 

BTW, I'm fully cognizant that my ds could be on the late end of coming into reading, much like your boys. There's just no telling. I'm going to do for him what I can, within the pleasant structure of boyhood, and then what happens happens.

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So I guess at this point we're quibbling over order.

 

I think the big thing is learning more about how right brainers learn, their time table, what types of things to do with them before the age of 5, and what types of learning and materials fit them best.

 

Their interests, strengths, and passions is the easy part.

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It's interesting about your hubby. He seems to have found a niche, though, in his job, yes? I see a few of you are projecting your fears on your children based on family history. I can understand that in one sense. But don't you think you're also providing a very different environment for your children? I'm sure it would be smart to balance your outlook, but I'm always careful if I feel I'm being fear-based in my decisions. I'm sure you already think about that carefully :-) I appreciate your sharing your stories so I can understand!

 

Acknowledging how undiagnosed, unremediated adhd can turn out is not projecting her fears, it's seeing the truth. The fact that the adult is productive or successful does NOT mean the person does not have regrets or things he wishes would have been different, and it's really glib to say that because he IS successful in some areas that he shouldn't MIND his deficiencies in others. Clearly this man does, and I know others who do. Environment doesn't change the fact that some kids need very careful instruction to make connections.

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I think the big thing is learning more about how right brainers learn, their time table, what types of things to do with them before the age of 5, and what types of learning and materials fit them best.

 

Their interests, strengths, and passions is the easy part.

 

Well see I've been curious this whole time as to what *you* took from it. Now can you tell me, have you read anything about this right-brain thing BEYOND what Cindy says? Freed was so overgeneralized in his approach. I definitely see timeline in EF, and I understand the idea of an overall developmental timeline (pdd-nos, gender, whatever). What I haven't seen (but clearly I don't read enough) is a lot of substantiation for boiling it down to brain side dominance. To me that's a rough pill when you have so many labels lumped together and so many DIFFERENT outcomes.

 

But that's just my analytical side asking. It's definitely interesting to stretch your mind in terms of timeline. I just can't stretch it to the point of not doing things I know to do to work on the things I legitimately see going on. Like when my ds had no speech, I couldn't buy into the crap line in "The Late Talker" book that said that statistics say my ds will eventually talk. Not all do, the interventions work, and my ds loves talking. My dd loves being able to read. She reads LIGHT YEARS better than my dh. Timeline made no difference for him because he never got the INSTRUCTION my dd got. Instruction plus therapy plus timeline, I'm for it ALL, kwim?

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I think the big thing is learning more about how right brainers learn, their time table, what types of things to do with them before the age of 5, and what types of learning and materials fit them best.

 

Their interests, strengths, and passions is the easy part.

 

:iagree: But I would not limit my research to left/ right brain. I would look at my child as a whole, without the cookie cutters. Doesn't this fall on us parents to discover these things though? I mean, just like interventions do not work for all kids, the same will go with things to do with kids before the age of 5. You can have a broad list of ideas, but it will be trial and error before you can find what will work for a specific child.

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If they are medical problems, why did insurance not cover speech therapy, occupational therapy, or vision therapy?

 

Cindy isn't saying not to do therapies or interventions, but questioning if as many kids would "need" these things if right brained learners were accepted and better understood.

 

A lot of money is being made from Therapies, Interventions, and Special Needs products!

 

Our insurance has covered all of dd11's speech and OT, and her VT and APD evals. I'm not sure whether they would have covered VT because we chose not to pursue it. Her APD is a medical diagnosis that qualifies her for membership in the National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

 

I think many insurance companies deem those issues not medical simply because they don't want to pay for them.

Edited by LizzyBee
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I see a few of you are projecting your fears on your children based on family history. I can understand that in one sense. But don't you think you're also providing a very different environment for your children?

 

Not sure what you mean here. Are you suggesting that my dad is dyslexic because he was raised wrong? Well, he was the 3rd of 4 kids born to educated parents, and he was the only sibling who wasn't a star student. His family valued education and did all the things today's caring parents do. He even attended a couple different flavors of summer school which tried to take him back to the basics using positive reinforcement etc. etc. He could not learn to read. And no, it didn't click when he was 11.

 

He considers himself dyslexic, but I am not sure his issue wasn't vision. After all, three of his kids had "lazy eye" and two others had poor eyesight. When he was a kid, they didn't talk about fine developmental diagnoses; my dad was alternately considered either stupid or lazy. He certainly considered himself stupid.

 

If my dad were young today, I'd be advocating for him to be examined by a developmental optometrist ASAP. If the exam proved his vision was not the problem, fine and dandy, but to not check it out, knowing what a difference it can make, is irresponsible in my opinion.

 

And as for "projecting my fears on my kid based on family history," I'm sorry, but are you under the impression that genetics are not a factor here? You don't think that if my kid's birth mom is illiterate AND my kid displays practically no visual memory, that's nothing to be concerned about? How silly of me.

 

Or maybe I need to accept that it's my daughter's destiny to be illiterate, and embrace that part of who she is - even though I know I can make sure she learns to read. I should probably get rid of her glasses too, because after all, she was meant to be near-sighted. I'm sure she won't mind being left behind as all her peers advance and widen their horizons.

 

Actually, there's no way my dad would let that happen. It's too devastating.

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Okay, I think I finally get where you're coming from. I actually came on the forum after hearing about the discussion because I really DO want to understand other perspectives. So, I hear you saying that you feel there are medical conditions that vision therapy treats. That it's quantifiable. As I did my research on it, many believe in a certain level of convergence issues, I think it was, but not many believers on anything else.

 

I actually understand both sides of the coin. I'm certainly the type of person who's going to believe in good things being out there without evidence to back it up. Enough people believe in vision therapy to warrant studies to be conducted. Frankly, I don't know why it isn't being done.

 

The other side of the coin is that I've been in the intervention, therapy, and education intervention world for a while now...16 years...wow, time flies. I've been able to notice patterns of new fads...some end up good enough to stay and be worth something...more of them move on and were just another hope-riser for parents. I saw vision therapy swoop in as a newest fad (I know it's been around for a while...these things are cyclical). I typically wait and watch.

 

As for getting my child an evaluation, it's something I may be considering down the road. He's my only child that I've noticed a vision thing associated with his reading and such.

 

Well happily you don't have to "believe" in vision therapy. I suggest you find a very, very, good developmental optometrist, preferably a Fellow with COVD. Don't go to some podunk who hangs out a shingle and does it occasionally. Get a whopping big place that does a lot of it and has all the equipment and certified therapists and good reputation and the whole nine yards. Then, don't blow your money on a full developmental vision exam. Just go in and get a *regular* exam with this developmental optometrist. Costs you the same price ($60-100 in our area), but they will *screen* for some extra things. Then you just talk with them. Then if they see any vision issues when they screen, then you talk about doing the full developmental vision exam.

 

I'm just telling you you don't have to "believe" anything. If the doctor is worth his salt, you're going to SEE the vision issues happening if they're there. If they're not there, they're not there. We've had multiple people get told they *don't* need therapy. Our doc in fact decided to wait on my ds. They have specific things they look at and tools to test and quantify (can they do the task, how many times can they cycle the task in a period of time, etc. etc.). They also have computers with infrared glasses (visagraph) and will hook him up to track his eye movements and see regressions, line-skipping, etc. None of this is in the realm of believing. It's all demonstrable stuff.

 

I challenge you to do it. Then you report back what you find out. http://www.covd.org :)

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Just to use this as my starting point, from all my experience over the years with therapies and interventions, I personally put OT and speech together...has some use, but not rocket science and you can do a lot of good in these areas yourself.

 

And I put vision therapy and auditory integration therapy (AIT) together. Both are "alternative" and you have plenty of people say YAY for each one and you have plenty saying, "Nyah, didn't do anything."

 

 

Ok, now this is a topic that interests me, because I have some auditory sensitivities (don't ask, weird story). When I researched, I couldn't find ANY agreement on auditory therapies, none. They were all pretty much in the realm of we'll take your money and promise nothing. I found contradictions, no standards for practitioners, etc. etc. And mind you I'm the market, someone who actually WANTS to make a move on this.

 

To lump VT in with that is totally ODD to me. VT is done by actual, licensed optometrists. These are people with degrees, standards, and then if they are in COVD whatever further steps were needed for that. And if you get a Fellow, there's even more involved. I'm mean that's like comparing the smoking angel guy in the car (remember that one with George Burns?) with God. My lands. Totally different.

 

Now OT and ST you lump together. I can see why you might suggest it's stuff we can do on our own. What we *can't* do well on our own is the OT eval. We're victims of our own ignorance on that point. Sometimes you also have parents who miss social cues and just plain aren't SEEING the symptoms, meaning an eval can be a really helpful process. But for OT with an involved parent who has a situation where the dc is compliant and cooperative (all important caveats), absolutely there's a lot they can do at home. But then you still have to have the money or set-up where you can have some equipment or alternates (single line swing or options for vestibular, etc.).

 

Speech therapy, well I sort of have a beef there. Our OT was nuts, but she was innocuous (well-intentioned). Speech therapists however I have a burr under my saddle about. It's irrational I suppose, but I got offended radically by one who blew off my ds's speech problem when I went in for an eval. Long and short is I quickly realized that their amount of knowledge varied and that they're trying to do SO many things that they might not do YOUR particular thing very well. So yeah, if I take my kid with apraxia to somebody who never learned more than Kauffman flashcards and they sit there flashing pictures at my extremely active, low tone, kinesthetic learner, is he REALLY gonna make any progress? Maybe I could have flipped flashcards at home?? Of course. But when I got a specialist, and this is all she DOES all day is apraxia and she puts her hands on him and he goes from non-verbal to TALKING, because she can give him the sensory input there and then and get the wires to connect in his brain, that to me is a MIRACLE. That I couldn't do without help. Yes, I do it at home. I took the parent workshop, learned the method, and she says I'm more brash and forward than any parent she has. So yes we do it at home and after a number of months were able to space out sessions, go to once a month, etc. (all UNHEARD of with apraxia treatment). But go without her??? Absolutely not. Remember, when we started we were literally picking up my ds's jaw. No motor control, and it wasn't a developmental delay. Waiting only meant him getting farther behind is level of communicative intent and getting more frustrated.

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My question is to everyone, is the right-brained information I share harmful? Or could it be useful? I've interacted with thousands of families, and I'm seeing useful is the answer for most people. I've been sharing this for years because it's something I've learned through my children and it's helped hundreds of families. They all wanted me to write a book, so I did. And as I said in my article that brought us here, my neighbor and my graphics guy, as just two convenient examples, are convinced that this information is life-changing, even for them as adults. They both now feel good about themselves because of this information. That has to mean something, yes? It's why I do what I do anyway. Goodnight everyone!

 

You actually want an answer? The right-brain/customization stuff you share is fine. When you start addressing medical, that's where you cross the line. And you can say you have good intentions, this or that, but once you start giving medical advice (and telling someone to delay evaluation or treatment in the name of holding to a theory of development is just that), then you're crossing the line. And you're going to have both sides. http://www.amazon.com/The-Einstein-Syndrome-Bright-Children/dp/046508141X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345962273&sr=8-1&keywords=einstein+syndrome If you look at this book, it has been around for a number of years, enough that you see the spread on reviews. Yes, some people find comfort in it, maybe because their dc was on a different timetable (pdd-nos, whatever). Then you'll find people in the reviews whose dc had *apraxia* which is readily treated with the newest methods (PROMPT) and end up HEARTBROKEN because they bought into a line that statistics said it would all pan out, that they didn't need therapy, and wasted years that could have been spent working on it, years they can't get back.

 

So yeah, you can write anything you want, feel you have evidence for, blah blah, but you have to be willing to take the moral responsibility if someone takes your comments literally, if someone reads your comments and DOESN'T get therapy their kid needed. It's why books usually have disclaimers about medical advice.

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So yeah, you can write anything you want, feel you have evidence for, blah blah, but you have to be willing to take the moral responsibility if someone takes your comments literally, if someone reads your comments and DOESN'T get therapy their kid needed. It's why books usually have disclaimers about medical advice.

 

:iagree: This is my position also. And... keep in mind that this is coming from a person that has not pursued evaluations. I am fortunate, you could say, that my children only show social issues for the most part. I feel they probably fit the Asperger's label or at least show some traits. They are actually early learners with letters, numbers etc.

 

I may not have pursued evaluations (I am in Canada and many things are different here) but have been doing my own research for my own kids and utilizing tips, ideas, interventions, on my own at home, that I feel make sense to me and will work for my kids. So far, this has been working really well for us.

 

I hate putting boarders on my kids brains and what they can or cannot do because they are left or right brained or whatever. For the record, we don't fit the left or right brain model exactly. We are strongly visual but have had no issues learning to read at an early age (around 3 1/2 to 4 years old) with phonics (this includes my husband and two sons). Had I concerns that needed immediate attention, I would have fought the system tooth and nail for my kids to get the services they need.

 

I have been on an extended forum leave in order to focus on my kids and their own unique individual needs. I posted here out of concern. I have a sister who was special needs after medical problems. While she had all the services here, my parents decided to move back home (Europe) where she got no services. It has had such an impact on her quality of life that I would hate to see other people's children go through that when the services (especially in this day and age) are readily available.

 

It is now time for me to go back to the underground :).

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Just to clarify, my sister's medical problem was handled and she still has follow up doctor's visits and medical treatments. It was the aftermath from the medical problem that I was referring to when I said she received no services back home, in case it was not clear from my previous post.

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You actually want an answer? The right-brain/customization stuff you share is fine. When you start addressing medical, that's where you cross the line. And you can say you have good intentions, this or that, but once you start giving medical advice (and telling someone to delay evaluation or treatment in the name of holding to a theory of development is just that), then you're crossing the line. And you're going to have both sides. http://www.amazon.com/The-Einstein-Syndrome-Bright-Children/dp/046508141X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345962273&sr=8-1&keywords=einstein+syndrome If you look at this book, it has been around for a number of years, enough that you see the spread on reviews. Yes, some people find comfort in it, maybe because their dc was on a different timetable (pdd-nos, whatever). Then you'll find people in the reviews whose dc had *apraxia* which is readily treated with the newest methods (PROMPT) and end up HEARTBROKEN because they bought into a line that statistics said it would all pan out, that they didn't need therapy, and wasted years that could have been spent working on it, years they can't get back.

 

So yeah, you can write anything you want, feel you have evidence for, blah blah, but you have to be willing to take the moral responsibility if someone takes your comments literally, if someone reads your comments and DOESN'T get therapy their kid needed. It's why books usually have disclaimers about medical advice.

 

:iagree:with OhElizabeth. I am all for embracing my kid's RBness and working with it....but not to the extent of withholding evaluation and therapy if necessary for his areas of challenge. I can do both. To choose to just wait for maturity to kick in while working around problems that are not being addressed, and not get potential issues checked out and treated if necessary, IMO is a huge gamble with a child's progress in life skills, because basic literacy and math is not all just about school. IMO I owe it to my kid to be proactive about addressing any problems as soon as I see they are limiting him and keeping him from being able to do the same things as his age peers. That does not mean that I don't value his RB gifts. But I'm not okay with him being limited by challenges in other areas and not getting any help for them. I'm happy to customize and work around his challenges, and that's all good - but at the same time, I am also working to get him help for those challenges, including professional therapy and tutoring when necessary.

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My question is to everyone, is the right-brained information I share harmful? Or could it be useful? I've interacted with thousands of families, and I'm seeing useful is the answer for most people. I've been sharing this for years because it's something I've learned through my children and it's helped hundreds of families. They all wanted me to write a book, so I did. And as I said in my article that brought us here, my neighbor and my graphics guy, as just two convenient examples, are convinced that this information is life-changing, even for them as adults. They both now feel good about themselves because of this information. That has to mean something, yes? It's why I do what I do anyway. Goodnight everyone!

 

Honestly? Your ideas are far more "alternative" / "faddish" than VT. On one hand you're so skeptical of VT that you'll let your middle-school child remain illiterate rather than spend the $100 to get him looked at. On the other hand, you expect all of us to buy your book which promotes a practice we consider a lot more risky than a one-hour, $100 vision exam.

 

How do you distinguish your ideas from the established approaches that you are so skeptical of?

 

To answer your question, information is not "harmful." (Though that's begging the question whether what you're sharing is "information," but let's say it is.) However, implementing your suggestions would create risks.

 

Does your son know that he will have to be able to read if he expects to be in some Civil Air Patrol or most other age-appropriate activities? How does your son deal with the fact that he is the only non-reader among his peers - or do you isolate him from his peers? I can't imagine that illiteracy does not create social pressure for an 11yo, unless he has no connection with the outside world. Still, perhaps you have valid reasons to let it be, but the rest of us may have valid reasons to put more trust in therapies than you do.

 

Another thing. I can hardly believe you brought up the cost of a vision exam. Surely you are aware of the potential costs of illiteracy. You imply that it's worth making a lot of sacrifices to honor the specialness of your right-brained child, yet you begrudge $100 to help ensure he acquires one of the most important life skills in the modern world. Such glaring inconsistency challenges your overall credibility.

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I am skipping over posts here....

 

However, on the point "schools in Europe don't teach reading until age 8."

 

I looked into this greatly, but, well, by talking to other ladies on another forum, that includes several expat wives whose kids have attended schools in Europe. (To be clear, ladies who had married a foreign man and moved with him, and raised their children as natives of that country, who expect to live in that country their whole lives, and just visit the United States on vacation...... not military or other wives who might send their kids to an American school or a school with an American-style of curriculum.)

 

So, I was concerned, with my son, who at age 5 and 6 was not developing pre-reading skills such as learning to identify letters, to link letters and sounds, and the ability to blend sounds or segment a word into sounds.

 

Was this in fact an example of pushed-down, inappropriate tasks? Should I favor the early remediation approach, or pay attention to the side of "USA does things too early, other schools don't even start reading instruction until age 7 or age 8, with better results?"

 

This is what I discovered.

 

There is some difference in terminology.

 

In fact, the expectatations ARE that kids at age 5-6 should be learning letters, letter sounds, and how to form very simple CVC words. When they say they don't start reading instruction until age 7 or 8, that is NOT what they mean. (This is second-hand info now -- but this is what I was told when asking the expat ladies.) They mean they don't emphasize it nearly as much as here, and don't go nearly as far as early as is done some places here..... but they don't mean that kids are not learning their letters and letter sounds, and to form some words, to blend sounds to make a word, etc. at age 5-6. (If not 4.)

 

Now, this is what my son could not do. This is what his problem was. When I say he had problems with reading, it boils down to -- he could not associate sounds with letters, he couldn't blend, he couldn't segment, he really didn't grasp the alphabetic principle that letters represent sounds and you sound out words ----- all this was blocked from him.

 

Now, I have heard that in Waldorf (I think) they don't do any kind of teaching until the 8ish age, to include not teaching letter sounds, letters, that letters make words, that you sound out words to read them. But that is NOT the same as when it is said that school systems in Europe don't teach reading until age 7. I did converse with someone who seemed knowledgable about Finland, also, who said kids would be learning those things at that age -- maybe at home and not school, but that kids don't show up when they are 8 without knowing their letter sounds, by any means.

 

So I am not super-knowledgable on this, but I satisfied myself, that in my case I was not doing something that is only done in American schools.... but something that was also appropriate vs. pushed down in schools in other countries that are often mentioned in contrast to the US, for their later literacy timelines.

 

As far as the link I posted ---- even if it is true that it will not work for everyone, I continue to think it is a disservice not to post some kind of research for people who visit your site and might be interested in phonemic awareness intervention for their kids if they heard of it, and wanted to make that informed decision.

 

For a more recent source, also, I have got a book called The Good School by Peg Tyre. It talks about early reading/phonemic awareness starting on page 90. There is an index citing studies.

 

I don't think this is "everything, the whole answer." But it is like, it cannot be ignored. Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz and her longitudinal studies cannot be ignored. She has got brain scans showing changes in MRI scans before and after remediation. I think your web site would do well to acknowledge this.

 

But at the same time -- this does not help all children, this is not the whole answer. But to leave it out and say "most children do not respond to OG until ages 8 to 10" is just too one-sided. Maybe the other side is one-sided, but I don't think that excuses them or the previous statement.

 

B/c just saying "see it is not accurate for everyone and X% of kids are not helped by this intervention" does a dis-service to kids who would be helped by it. If you debunked a little or pointed out inaccuracies, that is fine with me. But to not mention it in favor of "most children do not respond to OG until ages 8 to 10" is something that I doubt there is any proof for, unless you are excluding the children who got the phonemic awareness remediation.

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http://www.readingrockets.org/article/11360/

 

This is not linked to the actual studies, but gives the study information.

 

For the longitudinal study, it shows children not catching up by the end of high school, who did not receive intervention. Now, I think in Overcoming Dyslexia it says that 10% of children do totally catch up with no intervention. Maybe those are the true right-brain learners, not the children who need the phonemic awareness intervention!

 

I don't see this as inconsistent with the overall theory or RBL.

 

But it does confirm what I see with my own eyes -- which is adults who are poor readers, who never caught up, who did make some gains but never closed the gap.

 

This is something I value and want for my child.

 

I am curious if this will be seen as a problem with the school again? I know there are problems with comprehension that come with a lack of vocabulary development and background knowledge, that could be missing in a Left-Brained school and could be what is holding down the reading scores.

 

But to me ------- that is information to include in a "de-bunking, this is why I disagree way," as opposed to saying that OG doesn't work before a certain age of 8 to 10. Say you believe your kids are that 10% who learn to read on their own schedule, or say this is why it is crucial that RBL be given the vocab and background knowledge and opportunities that, yes, do normally come from being literate....... but I think this information should be included, for the people who look at your website so that they can be better informed than to just think OG doesn't work before age 8 to 10. What do you mean by work? Do you mean fully fluent, including multi-syllable words? Do you mean they are able to understand the alphabetic principle and are starting to sound out words? Please explain that also.

 

Some people talk about reading and they mean what I think of as "reading a Magic Tree House book pretty easily, and sound pretty good." My son is not close to this goal -- I will be very pleased if he is at this level prior to entering 3rd grade. So if that is what you mean by "reading," that is just an average kid (average or just a little bit behind, according to Scholastic's reading level charts and WPM charts that are in my Wiley Blevins book)! Or do you mean "they will learn to sound out words by age 10?" in that statement?

 

B/c I don't think it is true that kids cannot learn to sound out words, with OG, before age 10. For some kids they are not before age 10, but it is not b/c the instruction would not have been effective before (the same results from Lips/Auditory Discriminaton in Depth for different ages, form the Lindamood Bell website).

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I woke up thinking about this subject. The book the Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides was interesting because it discussed mind strengths of dyslexic learners.

 

I'm rough paraphrasing here as my book is loaned out. The book cites a brain study that goes something like this. Dendrites of the brain are stacked like coins. Certain areas of the Autistic brain contain an area where the coins are closer together. This distance between coins is quantifiable. On the other hand, certain areas of the dyslexic brain contain coins with a larger distance between. If you drew a line indicating coin distance, Autistic and dyslexics would be on opposite ends of that line.

 

These coin stacks connect to one another. Apparently, the length of these connections affect memory,learning, and give the dyslexic learner both his weaknesses and strengths.

 

I think we need to be more specific when we discuss right-brained learners. My child is not Autistic. He is classically dyslexic and gifted. He never crawled and suffered tons of ear infections as a child. His vestibular issues coupled with not crawling and a genetic component are his banes. He isn't overwhelmed by light or noises. You can touch him. He loves people and interacts well with everyone.

 

I can readily see where an Autistic child would not respond to the reading intervention that my son has had. An Autistic child would simply go into sensory overload. Perhaps an Autistic child needs some dendrites to die off so that they can engage people, learn to handle their emotions, and face more difficult tasks. Dendrites dying off is good because it helps the brain work more efficiently.

 

I also believe that OhE is right when she identifies auditory and visual problems as medical. These issues must be dealt with prior to reading. A person can't identify a letter if it's blurry or wobbly. A child can't be expected to read a word properly if they can't recognize the letters or make the sound associated with the letter.

 

Anyho, I get the point the author is trying to make. Ultimately though, we need to cover all of our bases to counter any medical issues. I don't know of any reading intervention combined with Autism studies. That would be an interesting read.

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My question is to everyone, is the right-brained information I share harmful? Or could it be useful? I've interacted with thousands of families, and I'm seeing useful is the answer for most people. I've been sharing this for years because it's something I've learned through my children and it's helped hundreds of families. They all wanted me to write a book, so I did. And as I said in my article that brought us here, my neighbor and my graphics guy, as just two convenient examples, are convinced that this information is life-changing, even for them as adults. They both now feel good about themselves because of this information. That has to mean something, yes? It's why I do what I do anyway. Goodnight everyone!

 

Many are missing that there is a range of the presentation of left-brainers and right-brainers, just like their is a spectrum of profiles in those with ASD, ADHD, etc. Its not black and white.

 

Children continue to struggle with learning after getting an alphabet soup of labels, interventions, and therapies. Could it be because they are returned to left-brained approaches which are simply accommodated or tweaked and expected to produce on a left brained time line?

 

Would using right-brained approaches with that child enable them to learn?

 

 

 

Cindy,

 

I am thankful you are increasing awareness and advocating for the right-brained learner.

 

My children have had evaluations, each resulting in different labels, therapies, and interventions, yet they still struggled when required to follow the traditional ideals.

 

I didn’t discover your blog until 2-3 months ago. Your article on The Natural Learning Development for Right-Brained children validated what I was seeing in my own kids. http://www.therightsideofnormal.com/2012/04/16/the-natural-learning-development-for-right-brained-children/ The timetable fit my 12 y/o, 10 y/o, and 8 y/o to a T. I wish I had read that seven years ago.

 

Many of the things you talk about on your website, blog, and yahoo group are where following my instinct has led me. It is very difficult to go against the grain, trust yourself, and look for validation in your children’s eyes.

 

Each year that we have moved in a more right-brained direction, our home atmosphere, relationships, and memories have just gotten better. I am blessed to be able to share this journey with my sons.

 

We simply do not have the schoolwork battles you read about here. Learning has blurred with life and it is not something we check off each day or confine to certain hours.

 

- Michele

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Honestly? Your ideas are far more "alternative" / "faddish" than VT. On one hand you're so skeptical of VT that you'll let your middle-school child remain illiterate rather than spend the $100 to get him looked at. On the other hand, you expect all of us to buy your book which promotes a practice we consider a lot more risky than a one-hour, $100 vision exam....

 

Another thing. I can hardly believe you brought up the cost of a vision exam. Surely you are aware of the potential costs of illiteracy. You imply that it's worth making a lot of sacrifices to honor the specialness of your right-brained child, yet you begrudge $100 to help ensure he acquires one of the most important life skills in the modern world. Such glaring inconsistency challenges your overall credibility.

 

Not trying to be mean, but :iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

Bear in mind that the overwhleming majority of VT criticism is coming from M.D. ophthalmologists, who are engaged in a "turf war" with developmental optometrists. It's similar to M.D. orthopedists vs. chiropractors, and M.D. obstetricians vs. midwives. The physicians have a huge incentive to dismiss the competition as "quacks" because that's the easiest way for them to discourage patients from consulting them. Doesn't mean that there is much legitimate basis to the criticism...

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