At Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers, we work with students experiencing more than just the most common reading problems. Every day, we also see students struggling with expressive language, phonemic awareness, math, and reading comprehension problems, as well.
Below are examples of the various reading, comprehension, and learning difficulties reported by just some of the students we have been lucky enough to help at our Learning Centers. While no two students are the same, many children and adults experience similar learning challenges - do any of these situations sound familiar to you?
John is struggling with reading and spelling. He has difficulties sounding-out (decoding) words when he reads, keeping letters in the right order when he writes, and pronouncing words accurately when he speaks. As a result, he has been labeled “dyslexic,” and told that he has a learning disorder. Despite seeing numerous reading tutors and speech therapists, plus trying a few reading and phonics programs specifically designed to help children with learning disabilities, John continues to experience the frustrations of a struggling reader.
Buzz has reading difficulties. He has learned phonics and can sound out words, but his phonetic processing is slow. His word attack skills are significantly better, but his word identification and reading fluency have not improved at the same rate. Despite seeing a few reading tutors for help, trying a few reading programs, and generally having no difficulties with comprehension, Buzz continues to experience the frustrations of a struggling reader.
Michelle has comprehension difficulties. She reads words accurately, but does not understand the content. She struggles to make connections with the language that she reads and the language that she hears – as if words go in one ear, and out the other. As a result, she has been told by some that she has motivation and attention problems and, by others, that she has reading comprehension problems. Despite seeing a few reading tutors for help, and trying a few comprehension programs, Michelle is still struggling to understand what she reads and hears – not just in school, but also at home, and with friends. She is frustrated, and is beginning to believe that she really does have a learning disability.
Samantha has difficulties with oral language. She does not have any hearing problems, but she is often unresponsive when others speak to her. On the rare occasions that she talks, she never uses more than one or two words. She struggles to express herself through language, and cannot formulate complete sentences. As a result, Samantha appears shy, or disinterested. Her parents have been told that she has developmental disabilites, and exhibits symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Despite seeing a few speech therapists for help, and trying some programs designed specifically for early childhood language development, Samantha’s parents continue to see her frustration as she struggles to express herself. They fear that she really does have a developmental disorder, and will never be able to speak in complete sentences or include herself in social interactions.
Nicole is struggling with math. She has difficulties learning and using math concepts, and she struggles with basic computation. As a result, she has been labeled with dyscalculia, which is a math-specific learning disorder. Despite seeing a few math tutors for help, and trying a few math programs specifically designed for children with learning disorders, Nicole is still struggling to process math concepts, remember math facts, and solve word problems. She is frustrated, and is beginning to believe that she really has a learning disability.
If you know of someone who has difficulty learning, we strongly encourage you to take the following steps: