Helping Your Child With Language-Based Learning Disabilities is one of the best books I have ever read as a mom of children with differences. I am excited to share it with you today!
My youngest son was only seven years old, the first time he went through a comprehensive neuro-psychiatric evaluation.
Two days of almost non-stop tests, with a professional who was caring, interested and frankly, wonderful. (To this day, I credit that man with just about everything good we have done to help my son!)
Several weeks later, it was time for the “results meeting.”
We reviewed his evaluation thoroughly.
Learning Disorder Of Reading.
Learning Disorder Of Written Expression.
Warning Signs of Future Mood Disorder and ADHD.
Evident Asynchronous Development.
…it was a long meeting.
At the very end, as I tried to figure out if I had any questions while I still had the expert in front of me, he said, “I know this is a lot, but here’s what I want you to know. The most important thing in this kid’s life is always going to be the relationship he has with you. You are on his side. You are engaged. You are working to understand him better and help him. Nothing can compare to that.”
I smiled and nodded, dismissing what he said and thinking about the dyslexia tutor he had recommended, wondering if she had a waiting list.
Now, looking back almost seven years later, I realize how powerful and true his words were. I couldn’t have possibly known at the time what was in store, but I do wish I had thanked him a bit more for his wisdom, encouragement and truth. I had no idea that most of the therapists and doctors we would encounter would say almost the opposite. That the focus would shift to this intervention and that education plan, rather than the overall necessity of my child being seen, supported and known as he learns how to navigate this world with language based learning differences.
The Power Of Relationship In Helping Children With Learning Disabilities
In my experience, it is very, very rare to find a professional who maintains a perspective that includes relationship and overall well being as part of the accommodations necessary for learning disabilities. I was so much more fortunate than I could’ve possibly known back then to have the support of that therapist. Perhaps this is why I am so genuinely happy to share with you a new resource that offers the same level of commitment to parental involvement and relationship as an essential component of helping a child with language based learning disabilities.
Please know, although I was compensated for my time in writing this post and affiliate links are included below, I only share resources that are genuinely helpful for my family, in the hopes they may assist you as well.
Reading Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities: Strategies to Succeed in School and Life with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, ADHD, and Processing Disorders was like being back in that office, so many years ago.
Written by a doctor who struggled with his own language based learning disabilities growing up, Daniel Franklin, PhD offers not just research and experience, but a knowing sensitivity that rarely exists in books devoted to this topic. He shares his own childhood struggles and often describes the support he wishes someone had given him. The foundation of this book and his Franklin Educational Services Company is the importance he places on the relationship between parents and children, rather than the usual focus on drills, worksheets and typical interventions.
Dr. Franklin holds a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Reading, Language, and Learning Disabilities, a PhD from UCLA in Education, and he is a Board Certified Educational Therapist. He has over 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, administrator, and consultant. In all of this experience and education, he maintains that we cannot guide our children towards independence without first providing support.
While he does provide practical support related to educational interventions, more importantly, he stresses the advantages of an overall lifestyle change and shift towards collaboration, rather than just writing exercises and daily word challenges.
An Overview of Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities
These are Dr. Franklin’s own words, in the introduction of the book:
The other story is much harder for me to share: it’s about how school – and my inability to learn like my peers – almost crushed me. Because despite an otherwise wonderful childhood, I was very nearly broken by my struggles in the classroom and the overwhelming lack of understanding – and kindness – offered to me by my teachers.
My number-one goal in this book is to teach you that the most productive way to promote social, emotional and learning development in children is by enhancing the quality of their relationship with their parents, caretakers and teachers… In other words, creating a healthy relationship with your child is the best way to help him or her become a successful learner. pp.3
Part I of Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities provides an overview of language-based learning disabilities, using Dr. Franklin’s unique perspective and knowledge.
Part II is dedicated to what it takes for our children to succeed in school. (If you homeschool, please know I found this section to be just as applicable to what we do at home as well as with outside therapists.)
Part III is all about succeeding in life.
I think the best way to communicate how different this book is compared with so many others that I have read in this category is to share the title of the third chapter – A Kinder Way To Support Your Child.
Practical And Encouraging Support For Parents
This is truly one of the best books I have ever read about helping my child with learning disabilities. I cannot recommend Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities: Strategies to Succeed in School and Life with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, ADHD, and Processing Disorders enough.
In addition to the book itself, Dr. Franklin is part of a documentary on the same topic.
Unteachable Documentary – An acclaimed short documentary by award-winning filmmaker Anthony Sherin, featuring Daniel Franklin, PhD
If you’d like to interact with Dr. Franklin directly, he encourages it!
Finally, it is a pleasure to offer you the chance to win one of five copies of the book, just for being a Not The Former Things reader!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.