Blog - Insight into LD


"Springer has made a world of difference!" says Cynthia, the parent of a current sixth-grade student. "We are much happier!"


Many years ago, I read an article in U.S. News and World Report about ADHD. Within the article was a noteworthy, timeless quote from Brian Cohan who, at the time, worked at the Hallowell Center. “I tell patients that if you are going to have anything, this is the disorder to have. It’s like training a dragon on a leash. It may drag you around for years, but once you get it under control, you own all the magic and energy, and it’s yours forever.”


During a program for parents titled, Executive Function and ADHD: Establishing Positive Behaviors at Home, many parents shared their challenges, successes and frustrations in parenting a child with ADHD. Many indicated that they wished they had introduced a visual daily schedule sooner in their homes. The schedule reduced the need to issue constant reminders or to feel that their relationship with their child consisted of constant nagging.


Nearly every child, at some point in their academic career, will benefit from tutoring outside of school.  The need may arise as early as first grade or as late as the college years. A child may need a tutor because they are struggling to acquire the decoding skills required for reading or calculation skills in Math. When you move to another school district, the material being presented in Science or Math may be different from the child’s previous school.


Homework left at home. Baseball practice with no cleats. Lunch left on the counter. Another missed music lesson.


You are not alone. Many students feel confident after their acceptance to college. They may want to employ a “wait and see” approach as they enter a new system of education. There is so much that is new; adjusting to a new living situation, navigating locations of classes and even figuring out where to eat and how to operate a washing machine. Getting in touch with Disability Services may seem like a concern that is farther down the list.


When helping your child with learning disabilities develop the 6 success factors of self-awareness, proactivity, perseverance, goal setting, social support systems and emotional coping strategies (all discussed in previous posts), it can be useful to revisit these factors as they apply to parenting a child who is struggling. To begin with, how would you rate your own self-awareness with regard to your feelings about your son’s learning disabilities?


In recent blogs, four of the six success attributes for individuals with learning disabilities, that have been identified by the Frostig Center and experienced firsthand through our work at Springer, were explored. The remaining two are emotional coping strategies and the less familiar term, proactivity.


Perseverance naturally follows goal-setting as a significant success factor for individuals with learning disabilities. Successful individuals are able to stay focused on a particular path or course of action even in the face of challenges. Equally important, they demonstrate an ability to be flexible and shift strategies as necessary to achieve their goal.


The ability to be goal directed is a third factor that is highly predictive of success for students with learning disabilities. However, just like the development of self-awareness and the use of support systems (discussed in previous blogs), children with learning disabilities need explicit instruction in how to set goals.