Monday, October 16, 2006

Why are We Using Accommodations when Simple Brain-based Learning Strategies Work?

Jimmy Fox just finished writing his memoirs about growing up on a tenant farm in Maryland. His book’s wonderful, filled with laugh-out-loud anecdotes. One of those rare can’t-put-it-down stories.

Since lots of people write memoirs, what’s the big deal about Jimmy’s? Well, he has severe dyslexia—so severe that he struggled in school, repeated a grade, and never graduated from high school—and he’s recovering from cancer.

Of course, if Jimmy were many years younger and in school today, he’d receive accommodations for his “disability.” Longer on tests. Maybe someone would read the questions to him and he could answer verbally.

And then what happens when Jimmy graduates? According to Sue Shellenbarger, a columnist for the “Wall Street Journal,” turns out that in many workplaces the accommodations stop.

The folks with dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, and other “learning-disabilities” are moved to dead-end jobs, don’t get promoted, and often fired.

Now I’m not against accommodations for children who struggle in school. But why are we depending on them when they don’t help kids prepare for life after they graduate? Aren’t we setting them up to fail?

After all we have programs, techniques, and strategies to help with dyslexia and ADD/ADHD. Brain Gym®, Retrain the Brain®, Tomatis®, brain integration therapies, and scads of neurofeedback, and brain entrainment programs work.

Some like Brain Gym can be used in the classroom, are inexpensive, and don’t require special equipment. Others such as neurofeedback technology are used individually. Some require taking children to centers such as Tomatis.

In other words, we have proven techniques that help many students overcome these “disabilities.” Strategies the students themselves learn to master. Then we can send them out into the workplace without labels, able to work effectively at their chosen jobs.

You can check out one of these programs yourself tomorrow night. Register now for a FREE Introductory Brain Gym TeleChat. Discover a program that helps learning-challenged kids learn anything more easily and quicker. It’s Wednesday night, October 18, from 6 to 7 pm mountain time. Can’t make it? Register anyway and listen at your convenience on Web audio.

And while you’re at it, take a look at a new brain entrainment program. It’s called OptiMINDzation. I’m using it myself and just love it. Helps me focus when I get overwhelmed by my 10-mile-long to-do lists.

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