Of Brains and “Leaky Learning”
Dealing with Learning Differences
Merrill D. Bowan, O.D.
Imagine that you have a tub that you need to fill with water. However, the tub has leaks. How do you go about filling it? Do you keep pouring in water or do you fix the leaks? Is there any real question?
Compare that leaky tub to the Brains of students who have trouble learning. What do schools do with these students (i.e., the leaky tubs)? They just keep pouring in water, trying various solutions:
- They pour in more water…Slower, perhaps.
- Or, they use more hoses.
- Or, they try to find a different area of the tub to catch some of the water.
Sometimes they even blame the tub’s owner — the student — for being leaky, without even really looking at the situation. There is no room for, no thought of, fixing the problem, the leaky tub. Mostly, this because of the tyranny of the conventional wisdom in education and psychology that you can’t fix Brains (“Leaky Tubs”). Their thinking – their paradigm – just doesn’t go that way right now. They view the difficulty as being an academic problem. That’s almost never true. It is a learning skills–a cognitive skills–problem. Yet, leaky tubs can be fixed. For now, parents and students have to provide the elbow grease and remedies themselves.
I attended a large seminar on learning disabilities a while ago. It was attended by educators, psychologists, and parents and was very revealing as well as helpful. They talked about assessment of childrens problems. They also talked about accommodating the children. They talked about the school laws and parents’ rights. However, there was one word missing from the whole days discussion. That was the word rehabilitation. No one talked about what to DO about the problems revealed by the assessment.
Our observation is that parents and conscientious teachers want to know HOW and WHAT to do for kids with Learning Difficulties, no matter what the cause. These kids are smart, but just not in school, not with schoolwork. They are not often very happy in class. The stress comes out in many different ways.
Assessment and accommodations for learning difficuties properly need to be followed by Rehabilitation (perhaps the fourth “R”, after ” ‘Readin, ‘Ritin, and ‘Rithmatic”). It will happen in education someday. But what about now? We have an answer for you. The Learning Clinic assessment will paint a picture of just how your student learns and teach you how to use a university-proven program to actually fix the “Leaky Tub.”
You will be able to see results in a very tangible way – academic success. When the program is completed, your student will rapidly join the ranks of the success stories that are generally seen in our offices.
Leaky learning comes to an end.