Blog - Insight into LD


One of the most challenging parts of parenting a struggling learner is having to deal with the emotional challenges that inevitably come. I have spoken with numerous parents who ask what to say when they hear their child come home and say, “I’m dumb.”


Everyone agrees that learning depends on memory. You likely have heard of long-term memory and short-term memory, but what is working memory? This term first appeared in 1974, when two English psychologists/researchers, Baddeley and Hitch, wrote a chapter titled “Working Memory” in Recent Advances in Learning and Motivation edited by G. A. Bower.


“Sugar-highs” occur when children bounce off the walls after eating large amounts of sugar…right? There is a common thought that sugar causes hyperactivity; however, the evidence is just not there. A number of studies have looked at whether sugar consumption causes behavior change, but the research shows that sugar has not been shown to affect behavior or cognitive performance.


As I look out my window on this freezing cold morning, summer seems so far away; but before we know it, leafy trees and shorts weather will be here. With that comes freedom from school! Students and teacher rejoice! Except one caveat—that darn summer slide.


You have heard the complaints – “I’m bored.” “No one wants to play with me.” Your suggestions for activities or different companions are met with rejection. Sometimes it just seems like the youngster is complaining to get a sympathetic reaction from an adult. He doesn’t want a solution. As parents, we are aware of the variety of experiences that are open to our children.


We all know that we should learn from our mistakes, and we want our children to do that, too. But what do we say? What do we do in order to teach them how? Interesting research coming out of Stanford University may help with that question.


Many parents are struggling to set realistic limits on the use of media at home. Back in the day, it was about watching TV, playing video games, talking on the phone or listening to the radio. Unlimited usage of technology in those days interfered with participating in family meals, doing homework or chores, playtime, socializing with friends and getting to bed on time.


Everyone agrees that a certain amount of stress or pressure can provide a sense of urgency to meet a deadline. When the deadline is met, the stress is relieved. In other instances, people avoid a stress by choosing not to travel by plane, for example. In medicine, it is well known that chronic stress has an impact on health. Chronic back pain, headaches, sleep disturbance, heart disease and depression can be linked to long-term exposure to ongoing stress.


In my last blog post, I wrote about the extraordinary time and effort it can take to support a child with a disability. So then what happens to the siblings in these families? Often children who have a sibling with a disability can feel that parents are not dividing their attention equally.


Tireless, proud, attentive, determined, overwhelmed, stressed, fatigued…these are words that describe parents of children with disabilities. Parenting, at its best, is a stressful, full-time job, but when a child has a disability, even more is demanded of parents. In addition to play dates and extracurriculuars, there may also be therapies, tutoring, and additional school meetings to attend.