Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dyslexia -The Shut Down Learner – Book review.

A few of you have been asking me to recommend books and I thought it will be a good idea to review books for my readers. I had written about my students shutting down and had been looking for experts in this field. I had written in that article the following: (If there are any psychology students out there I would appreciate your input in this area. Is it possible for anyone to just shut down their brain/mind?) I was therefore pleasantly surprised to chance upon the book “The Shut- Down Learner” by Richard Selznick, PhD. Dr.Selznick’s book clearly explains what a shut down learner is. I have been teaching one category of shut down learners – dyslexics. All my dyslexic students are very talented and intelligent. Unfortunately they are casualties of our schools because of the teaching style which is not appropriate for them. Dr.Selznick clearly describes a shut down learner and how he works with them. He interviews a few of his former students and shows their eventual success. The Shut Down Learner is written in plain English which any parent, teacher or anyone interested in dyslexia can easily understand. I would like to point out that this book is about learning disability which includes dyslexics. However, some of the points mentioned need not necessarily apply to dyslexics. It is general and relates to all learning disabilities. If your child keeps complaining about school work, gets poor results in reading subjects, does not like writing and dislikes going to school the possibility is that he is a shut down learner and this book is a must read. In one of the chapters the author describes the shut down learner and calls them “Lego Kids” who perform mechanical tasks with ease and flounder when it comes to reading and writing. He describes their strengths and weaknesses some of which I have seen first hand in my students. This reminds me of what my reader Heidi has just written about her 2 brothers who were stars in the garage but struggled in school. Another reader, John, had also said similar things to me in his e-mails to me when I first started blogging. This book will be exceptionally helpful to the parents of and children who are shut-down learners. It offers new hope for struggling readers who show signs of learning disability. I have been looking for a good book to write a review on for more than a month and found this book which helps to answer some of the questions I have had since I started writing my blog. Dr.Selznick is a child psychologist specializing in learning disorders and school struggles for more than thirty years and in the course of that time has gained some understanding of children. He says, “When things are going well, the kids love to go to school. If a child in kindergarten or first grade is not enjoying school, this is a problem that needs further investigation immediately.” I completely agree with the statement above and have written in my blog that there is no such thing as “Given time he will improve.” He will not improve and will become shut down if there is no early intervention. By the time the child is in his teens, it is often too late to break the downward spiral. To understand a shut down learner I recommend this book to parents, teachers, tuition teachers and anyone interested in learning disabilities. The book is available on Amazon. The link on the right will bring you direct to For Lesson 33 click here:

1 comment:

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