It has been seven years since Dr. Selznick and I had a Q& A session which is all in my blog. You may see it from my post on 10th June 2010 to 5th July 2010.
Recently, Dr. Selznick asked me in LinkedIn Website as to how I manage to teach my students in a short period of time. As such this discourse is to answer that question.
Luqman: My definition of shut-down kids is only kids who have learning difficulties as a result of what they have learned. The kids I have taught are kids who have shut-down or disengaged from reading because of confusion. I have Ms.Nancy Hennessy to back me up on this with her following statement: “……even if we settle on a middle number, let us say 10%; that still leaves a lot of children who are not dyslexic, whose brains are not wired any different way, who have reading difficulty.”
· Your definition includes, perhaps, those with innately biological ordered learning difficulty as well as those who have learning difficulties as a result of what they have learned.
Dr. Selznick: I coined the term "Shut-Down Learner" in the late 90's and did many workshops on the topic in that period. From there, my book, "The Shut-Down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child" was published in 2008. Your readers may want to learn more about my work on this topic at www.shutdownlearner.com. There are nearly 300 blog posts there as well as videos and podcasts on the topic and related issues.
I agree with you that many of these kids are instructional casualties and if they had been taught differently, many would have not shut-down.
I don't know about the biology of these learners, but I also think that many of them are predisposed (wired, perhaps) to not easily learn to read, spell or write. I see them as part of a familial or genetic "pass-down." Typically, these kids are the children of parents (usually the dads) who are better skilled with visual spatial skills. For example, a landscaper, engineer or architect. I call the kids "Lego Kids" in my book.
I am not saying that all Lego Kids are going to have reading struggles, but in my experience a greater percentage of them will.
Please keep in mind that what I say and how I respond are based on my experiences and understanding of the research. I am not a scientist or researcher, but respond from my decades of clinical experience.
Luqman: I believe Dr.Selznick and I have a common ground to discuss with him saying: “I agree with you that many of these kids are instructional casualties and if they had been taught differently, many would have not shut-down.”