In his new book, “School Struggles: A Guide to Your Shut-Down Learner’s Success,” Dr. Richard Selznick, psychologist and Director of the Cooper Learning Center provides several insights to the complex and multi-layered issues inherent in children who have trouble in traditional classrooms.
One of those insights involves problems with literacy – reading, writing and spelling – and the role those play in the child’s attitudes toward school. From the pages of “School Struggles:”
The vast majority of children referred for special education are sent for assessments because of struggling in reading. If this problem could be addressed earlier, through low-cost screenings, great sums of money would be saved through prevention. Research emphasizes early identification and treatment using sensible, structured, direct-instruction methodologies that target skill areas of concern.
Children can be identified as “at risk” for reading (and spelling and writing) at four and five years of age. Too often, though, there is a wait-and-fail mindset. Parents raising issues in kindergarten and first grade are often dismissed as being needlessly worried. The vast majority of children who struggle later and cost school districts a great deal of money could have been identified as at risk in kindergarten and first grade with powerful screening tools that would take approximately fifteen minutes to administer. While screening and identifying children early will not eliminate all of the problems schools face, many children will be placed on the right path and not face the devastating defeat that the wait-and-fail approach yields.
Dr. Selznick addresses these and many other characteristics of students who struggle in school in his book, being released July 15 by Sentient Publications. Learn more about unmotivated learners in this and his previous book, “The Shut-Down Learner,” and at the Cooper Learning Center’s web site at http://www.cooperhealth.org/departments-programs/cooper-learning-center.