From Sandy Eiges at LA School Scout: This week, L.A. School Scout is pleased to have an article from Sasha Borenstein, founder and director of The Kelter Center, on a topic of interest to many of you:

Recognizing Learning Challenges without Diagnostic Labels

No one is equally skilled at learning all subjects in school – when I was in school, reading and spelling came easily, but I struggled with mathematics. I could get by because I was a good memorizer, however, I was following the steps to the recipes of multiplying and dividing fractions – not really understanding why I was doing the steps.

I felt nervous and embarrassed in math class, I knew what my 7th grade math teacher’s shoes looked like because I seldom looked up – if you make eye contact with the teacher, you will get called upon to answer a question.

My parents probably heard that I was “lazy” and “not trying hard enough” and “not participating actively in class discussions”.

I did very well in all my other classes and my struggles in mathematics were not evident to my other teachers, yet to this day I have to think carefully and work slowly at mathematics.

Could I have been labeled “dyscalculia”? No. Did I struggle in mathematics? Yes. Did those struggles affect my academic self-esteem? Yes.
How can your recognize when academic struggles, not disabilities are happening for your child?
Here are some of the things you might see or hear if your child is struggling –

"This is boring!” “It’s unfair to get so much homework!”
“I hate to read!” “Why do I need to do homework anyway?”
“I’m just not a natural at math”

If a student does not understand spelling they may get 100% on their test each Friday and misspell the same words the next week or when they are writing a paragraph.

When reading aloud, your daughter may misread a word – she correctly reads the beginning letters and guesses at the rest of the word.

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