Throughout the US, students with learning differences face challenges that most students never encounter. They go to school every day knowing that they’re going to struggle with subjects, tasks and situations that their classmates seemingly learn with ease. Day after day they enter their classrooms expecting to master the subjects and lessons presented, then ultimately are unable to grasp what their peers so effortlessly learn.
As a parent, having twins is an enormous responsibility. Balancing each child’s needs, at the same time, while trying to balance your own needs and keeping it all together day after day after day, is a huge job. As parents of twins you may find yourself being extremely sleep deprived trying to meet the needs of two precious children at the same time. You may think that when school starts you will have more time to yourself to do what you want, only to find out that as your twins enter school, one twin or both twins may begin to be “left behind.”
Confidence and joy are to the development of a child as air is to life! Every child has a right to and deserves to experience confidence and joy in order to grow, achieve, and prosper. It’s the responsibility of parents and professionals to get our children from little people to big people with confidence and joy in their hearts. It’s as simple as that, and it’s absolutely essential! But children with learning differences are often robbed of their confidence and joy.
What is it about education these days that allows a disruptive child’s deeds to go unattended while well-behaved children who listen to the teacher and want to learn are put in emotional and physical harm’s way? What happened to my own mother’s voice whispering to me to respect your teacher, respect your classmates and respect yourself?
Children today are brought up in a pressure-cooker environment with societal expectations to succeed and conform. From an early age, they’re subjected to messages to toe the line, excel and be the best. Both overt and unintentional messages from parents, teachers, coaches and others in a child’s life undermine confidence and joy, and can cause troubling behavioral issues.
Homework hassles, learning struggles, tears and meltdowns are signs and signals that something isn’t right for some school-aged kids. The reason most children struggle is because they may have learning differences. These typically bright children just aren’t able to grasp reading, spelling and math like their classmates. Despite their very best efforts, as well as outside tutoring, they just can’t do it. They end up falling further and further behind.
Different doesn’t have to be negative for children with learning differences. They’re capable of learning everything their peers learn. They just learn in a different way. Yet children with learning differences are often robbed of their confidence and joy.
In order to ward off feelings of frustration and failure, parents and teachers must know how the child learns best and allow the child to experience success, both academically and socially. From success, confidence and joy will grow and lead to more success.
Discouragement and low self-esteem are the last feelings we want children to experience when they venture into the world of learning. But children with learning differences are often robbed of their confidence. In their breakthrough new book, Confidence & Joy: Success Strategies for Kids with Learning Differences, the authors, Deborah Ross-Swain and Elaine Fogel Schneider, are parents and educators with strategies and checklists to allow children for whom learning is more challenging to gain confidence and to succeed.
All children are smart in their own way. Some children, however, have individual learning styles that don’t allow them to succeed with traditional learning methods.
These children are not disabled. They’re quite capable of learning everything their peers learn. They just learn in a different way. But children with learning differences are often robbed of their confidence and joy.
I had a chance to interview Deborah Ross-Swain and Elaine Fogel Schneider, leading speech-language pathologists, about their new book, Confidence & Joy: Success Strategies for Kids with Learning Differences, which I reviewed on this site. Their book equips parents and educators with winning strategies that allow children who learn differently to gain confidence and succeed.