Why Does Mainstream Education Still Grapple With Learning Difficulties?

Filed Under (UnLearning Difficulties With NLP) on 22-04-2010

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It’s fascinating how paradoxical life can be.  We live in the era of knowledge and information.  Some of us understand that learning difficulties are not genetic, but are unconsciously learnt during the course of any “affected” individual’s life.  We see countless government initiatives for better learning [costing billions] all over the world, yet despite all this the largest societal formations, such as mainstream education systems, still live in the past – and don’t seem to be in any hurry to change! 

This fact is not new to me.  But two people residing in the U.S. who contacted me for help with finding appropriate school programs for their ‘dyslexic’ children or help with waiting for school evaluation reports that never came inspired me to share my observation.  Maybe you reading this now say “but what’s new here?”  Great.  But I’m speaking here mainly to people who are not yet aware in this way.  So if you are the parent of a child with dyslexic, dyscalculic, ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s, or other behaviors who is seeking some school-initiated or organized programs meant to help your child succeed or who is still waiting for an evaluation report, concentrate your positive intentions to do the best for your offspring on doing as much of the helping yourself as you possibly can.

The old adage that unless you do it yourself people can’t be trusted to do it for you comes to mind.  So does the fact that most of these evaluation procedures, assessments, and learning improvement programs offered by schools or public sector bodies are still based on belief systems from the past.  How?  Let’s take an example.  You take your child to a psychologist.  She tells you that your child has x.  So now you and your child know the label.  But what the psychologist won’t tell you is a bunch of specific steps on how to help your child get rid of x.  You’ll get some wonderfully generic suggestions such as “study with him more each day” or “make her repeat this more times” or “get a math tutor for him”.  And this is the best the psychologist can do, because she is doing her best based on the knowledge she had acquired during past years of experience…   So you go home and do that.  But virtually no improvement happens and by now weeks of your and your child’s life have elapsed.  So you get more frustrated, because even the person whom you considered to be the expert, entrusted your problems, and planted all your hopes in hasn’t really helped.  [By the way, did that psychologist cost you money?]

So now you say ‘OK, but I’m not a psychologist.  So how will I help my child at home?’  Start with just a tiny sample of steps that schools, educational psychologists, and learning initiative programs still don’t use.   Here they are:

  • Firstly work on your attitude to your or your child’s learning difficulty.  If you read articles on this topic on the net, every expert is banging on about this.  Yet leave your computer, go do something else… and… will you be talking about how your child has x?  Old habits die hard.  But do they have to?  After all, now that you [hopefully] understand that any learning difficulty can be turned into learning ease with the right approach, why could you not develop language that will reflect this reality?  “My child has x” shows that you’ve accepted the label and settled for working around instead of with it.  By contrast, how does “my child is finding x difficult at present” impact you?  It’s very subtle, but sometimes the most subtle is the most powerful.
  • Whenever you or your child are/is about to read anything, hold [or help him/her hold] the page with the text or picture(s) at your or his/her eye level.  This is where our visual field is and if you read in the visual field, your visualizing of the content will be triggered naturally.
  • Visual [photographic] memory is the most reliable type of memory, so visualize everything you can.
  • Never hold the page you’re reading in your lap, because your lap [stomach and groinal area] is where you process feelings.  If you try processing visual information [as is reading] through feelings, it won’t work.  If your child has for example dyslexia, s/he probably has difficulties reading anyway.  And the child’s response to these difficulties will be negative feelings like ‘I can’t read’, ‘I hate reading’, ‘I’m no good at this’, ‘I can’t do this’, etc.  Always take this person out of their feelings and up to their eye level = their visual field.

Contact me for more information on how NLP can help mainstream schools deal with learning difficulties.

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