Blog dedicated to learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADD and ADHD

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Increase Your Brain's Processing Speed

Here's an exercise that will actually increase your brain's processing speed. It will also strengthen attention skills, enhance working memory, and build visual manipulation skills. Try it. Many people can actually feel their brains working. This exercise, when done with intensity and frequency, will actually map new neural pathways in your brain. It really will make you smarter!





  • From left to right, top to bottom, call out the direction the eyes are looking (from your perspective —"down, left, up, right...") Have someone time you. Do it without error in 30 seconds. Keep practicing until you can do it in only 15 seconds.
  • Try it from the face's perspective (as if you were the face looking out from the page – "down, right, up, left...".) It's harder, isn' t it! You have increased the difficulty by adding a second mental challenge (adjusting for the change in perspective). Don't worry though...your brain can adapt and grow!
  • Call out the color of each without error in 30 seconds. Get that time down to 15 seconds without error. Not too tough unless you are color blind! (but now comes the fun...)
  • This time, begin doing exercise 1 (above) but point your finger in the opposite direction each time ("down [point up], left [point right], up [point down]..."). You have added an element that requires divided attention. Once mastered, increase the difficulty by switching (point the direction the eyes are looking and call out the opposite direction) only when you come to a green face. Try substituting different colors. Keep track of your time and stay with it until each exercise flows quickly and smoothly. You will find yourself not only doing the familiar ones easier, but mastering each new variation faster as well. This is because your brain is growing new connections to handle the challenges!

Friday, April 21, 2006

LearningRx Franchises Solve A Huge Unmet Need

LearningRx's unique brain training programs are at the forefront of a new and exciting industry. This is not academic tutoring. We actually apply contemporary brain science to train the brain and help kids think, learn and read faster and easier.

Consider these facts:

  • As traditional academic tutoring has grown to a 4 billion dollar business, 2 out of 5 kids still can't read.
  • In the last few years, spending on ADHD Medication has grown to 3.1 billion dollars, with few alternatives.
  • 30-50% of our population has undiagnosed learning disabilities (according to the National Institute for Literacy).
  • Over 80% of learning and reading problems are due to weak cognitive skills (according to a 10 year study by the National Institute of Health).

The cognitive skills training market is on the verge of global explosion. In America alone there are 53 million kids in school. Of those, 21.2 million can't read at grade level, and millions are on medication. We need to help kids who want to do better but lack the underlying learning skills to make the jump from below average to excellent. That's why the Wall Street Journal ranks Child Learning as one of the best franchise opportunities in America. Help solve this great need with LearningRx!

For more information go to www.learningrx-franchise.com and call us today at 1-800-535-5441.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cognitive Skills Test

If your child struggles to learn or read, you want answers. Some would suggest that you blame the school, the teachers, or the curriculum. Others would haveyou blame your child! (He's not motivated. She just can't understand.)

Blame your child's learning struggles on the REAL CAUSE, and find out how to correct it now!

Take this free Cognitive Skills Test.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tutoring vs. Training

Your child has difficulty in third grade math. You send him to a tutor. The tutor works diligently for several weeks with him on his grade-level math concepts and assignments. He goes on to pass the third grade with B's. So far so good. Summer comes and goes. His fourth grade assignments hit, and once again, basic weaknesses prevent him from learning the new concepts. The processing and visualizing skills he needs just aren't there. You could pay for another round of tutoring to help with these assignments as well, but the underlying reason he failed to understand them in the first place goes untouched. It will reemerge...

How do you "train" someone to learn?

Current learning science makes it necessary to look at learning as two distinct parts: specific academic study and a student's underlying ability to learn. To create the best opportunity for maximum academic progress, the underlying mental skills that lead to easy learning must be as strong and efficient as possible, and this may require specific training. Why? The brain physically changes in response to appropriate training. Its neural pathway efficiency improves in much the same way that muscle cells respond to progressive resistance training by developing added strength. The "untrained" brain that performs slowly and inefficiently (resulting in persistent sub-par learning) can become a fit brain, quick to respond when facing new learning challenges. You can literally train and strengthen your mental skills and have more brainpower!

What is Brain Training?

Brain training (also known as mental or cognitive skills training) is significantly different than tutoring. Common academic study, and special help such as tutoring, both focus on specific academic tasks, and simply ignore the condition of a student's underlying mental skills. In fact, success in general academics or special tutoring is completely dependant on the student's underlying ability to learn. For those who struggle or fail, it is not necessarily his or her study habits or missing academic knowledge that is the problem. Underlying cognitive weakness is often the cause of the difficulty. Until the underlying skills that provide the basic ability to learn are strengthened, tutoring help can only produce temporary progress at best. Struggles WILL reemerge at the very next new challenge, and the next, and the next, until the challenges grow too difficult even with tutoring help, or the student simply gets frustrated and gives up. If this is your child, he or she is at risk of being identified as a failure by these repeated struggles. You risk paying for tutoring each and every year with absolutely no guarantee of future success.

The appropriate mental skills training is different. It provides you and your student the chance to get to the root of the problem and literally rebuild his or her basic ability to read and learn. A struggling student, or one seeking to optimize academic performance, must consider training the mental skills that are the foundation to learning.

Two Different Needs, Two Solutions

As mentioned above, learning can be divided into two elements: the specific academic challenge (such as reading) and the underlying skills needed to perform it well (for example, auditory processing and word attack). A tutor can enhance academic success in a given task if the student has sufficient underlying skills to meet the challenge. If that student struggles due to skill weaknesses, a trainer, not a tutor, is needed. Once you learn to read, you should be able to do it with little thought. But if one of the basic and necessary reading skills (such as sound blending and auditory processing skill) were missing, you’d have difficulty reading well no matter how much tutoring you got. Further assignments in reading theory or even practice reading wouldn’t overcome the underlying problem.

Look for Better Testing and Training Options

Intense training exercises focused on specific areas of weakness can quickly strengthen key mental skills, and literally change the way a student learns. But how do you know if training is what your child needs? When looking for effective help, the right testing is also critical. Far too often a student's individual underlying skills are either not identified or are averaged and reported as an IQ score. Even when classified in terms such as "an auditory learner" or "a visual learner" this imprecise identification limits the help a student can receive. On the other hand, testing prior to skills training is designed to single out key skills that impact the learning or reading struggle. It is then possible for a qualified mental skills trainer to enhance cognitive skills such as auditory and visual processing, logic and reasoning, and working memory through direct training. The results are better academic performance almost immediately, and an enhanced ability to learn into the future.

Tutoring can benefit students in certain situations, but for those with underlying cognitive skill weaknesses, cognitive skills training is the answer. So, when you're looking to help your child eliminate persistent struggles in school…think brain training first.

If you believe there is unrealized learning potential in yourself or someone you love, a simple cognitive test could be the key to unlock that potential. At LearningRx Adult and Child Learning Centers, we offer such testing as a wise and affordable first step. Please give us a call today. We can answer your questions, and help test and strengthen skills that can lead to that brighter future.
LearningRx Learning Center
(719) 955-6703


Homework: Ruining Your Life?

by Sabra Ingall

Schoolwork is Challenging

The academic environment is becoming increasingly competitive. Students enrolled in school from kindergarten to medical school are expected to learn at a faster pace and retain more information than ever before. With both the complexity in information and pace of learning increasing, it is easier for students to fall behind and struggle with learning.

Difficulty in school often leads to struggles with homework. How do you know if your child is struggling? According to the Brookings Institution, the average time spent on homework for American students is less than an hour. If a student spends more than an hour on homework per day then this is a symptom of either excessive homework assignments or weak learning skills.

Other common symptoms of homework problems are: persistent frustration, a feeling of being overwhelmed, a continual failure to complete the work or think through a project. Students who struggle with homework often have difficulty staying on task, ignoring distractions, and handling two or more tasks at once. They sometimes lack the attention levels necessary for monitoring their environment and becoming focused learners.

Occasionally, tutoring or encouragement is enough to get the student back on track with their studies. In many cases, however, the problem is more complex and difficult to address. If the student has a deficiency in underlying cognitive learning skills, no amount of tutoring or extra homework will improve his studying efficiency because he will have difficulty processing the subjects taught to him.

Why The Struggle?

Cognitive skills can be considered your child's toolbox for learning; the unseen foundational skills. When you have the right tools you have a strong foundation, and any task will be accomplished with greater ease and efficiency. Imagine for example, trying to build a house with a hand saw rather than an electric one. It would take longer and be much less efficient. Imagine trying to type a paper. A fast working computer will make that job a lot easier to complete than a typewriter would! It is the same with cognitive learning skills. They are the tools your child uses for learning. When cognitive skills are strong, academic learning is fast, easy, efficient and even fun. When cognitive skills are weak, academic learning will be a struggle or even impossible. Therefore, cognitive skills are the ESSENTIAL tools for learning.

WHAT ARE THE KEY COGNITIVE SKILLS FOR LEARNING?

The key cognitive skills necessary for learning include:
  • Auditory Processing: Processing skills are critical because they allow one not just to hear differences in sounds but to interpret that information. A processing problem exists when a child has difficulty in hearing the difference, order, and number of sounds in a word. If a student is unable to process information accurately and effectively, she will likely suffer from numerous other symptoms such as poor reading comprehension, difficulty staying focused, and difficulty following instructions.
  • Visual Processing: This is the ability to form and manipulate accurate images in your mind. This skill is essential for math, reading comprehension, and many forms of problem solving. Remember the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”? It is true! When you successfully create an image in your head, something most people do naturally and don’t even think about, your comprehension and recall is much stronger.
  • Memory Skills: Weakness in this cognitive skill is often the unseen culprit in a student’s inability to follow instructions or comprehend what was read. If a child has weak working memory skills for example, they are not clearly remembering and processing the information they are hearing or reading. This will affect their listening skills and is likely to affect their reading comprehension skills as well. By the time they have finished their paragraph or chapter, they may retain some of the facts, but miss parts of or the overall big picture of what they read!
  • Word Attack: This skill enables a person to segment and articulate new or unfamiliar words. When coupled with an auditory processing weakness, a student with word attack difficulties is sure to struggle while reading new material. This child can improve with practice but when new material is presented this child can easily get lost.
  • General Processing Speed: The ease and speed that a student handles incoming information is the basic boundary of his or her learning efficiency. For example, many pairs of sounds in English, called cognates, differ by as little as 40 milliseconds. /P/ and /B/ for example, or /T/ and /D/. Some children miss out on hearing the finer distinctions of these or other sounds and don’t even recognize this because it is likely that they have always heard this way. If a child is not processing rapidly enough, they may get lost following directions or completing assignments in a timely manner. Imagine how hard a child such as this one would need to work to decipher what is being said all day.
  • Logic and Reasoning: Planning and solving requires a person to recognize the connections between things. Weakness in this skill causes difficulty in planning out assignments and following through and figuring out how to work through a problem.

As you can see, many homework problems and/or learning difficulties, can stem from weaknesses in different cognitive skills. These often combine with specific attention deficiencies to make studying, following directions, and test taking difficult or almost impossible. Without strong cognitive skills in place, students will struggle to learn and retain information throughout their lifetime.

Your child's cognitive skills strength directly affects the amount of time your child spends on any academic task. Weak cognitive skills impact a child’s ability to learn, requiring more time studying and a greater need for homework help.
But, there is good news!

Cognitive Skills Can Be Trained

Weak cognitive skills can be identified and strengthened. Extensive research has demonstrated that we can change our information processing system—our brains. It is possible to probe underlying skills and then to enhance areas where a child demonstrates weaknesses. Proper testing allows us to identify the cause and effect relationships between particular learning skills and the academic and work activities they impact. This then allows us to attack the root causes of a learning problem rather than just accommodate and compensate for a child’s different learning style or even worse, just get frustrated with a child’s inability to “get the job done”! The following examples are designed to illustrate how a weakness in a cognitive processing skill or skills can impact a child’s ability to learn and get homework accomplished efficiently.

Example 1: A student struggles with reading and spelling.
The Cause: He has a weakness in his ability to blend, segment, and analyze sounds. This requires strong auditory processing skills. A weakness in these areas makes it hard to read and spell.

Example 2: A student has difficulty with word math problems.
The Cause: To solve a word math problem, it's essential to picture (visualize) the situation. This requires visualization as well as logic and reasoning skills. A weakness in these areas makes it very difficult to solve word math problems.

Example 3: A student takes too long to get his homework done.
The Cause: To get homework done efficiently, it is critical to work at a good pace. Weak processing speed could be the reason here!

An Evaluation Is the First Step

Permanent solutions to your child's long hours of homework and learning difficulties are available. A cognitive skills assessment will uncover specific weaknesses.

First discovering and then attacking and training weak underlying skills is the key to finding lasting solutions and reducing the need for homework help. Just imagine your child completing assignments without needing your constant attention! Test your child's underlying learning skills. What you now believe is laziness or avoidance when it comes to homework may be a learning skill weakness. These weaknesses can be overcome once discovered. Students who struggle to pass their classes can gain the tools and confidence to earn better grades and learn more efficiently. Although everyone cannot become a Mozart, everyone can improve their musical skills with the right kind of assistance. Everyone can improve!

Every student faces the complex demands of learning. If you or someone you know struggles to learn or read, or has other related learning difficulties, weak cognitive skills may be at the root of the struggle. Cognitive learning skills can be assessed and if this is the cause of the learning difficulty, it can be corrected and you can experience a lifetime of faster, easier learning and reading.



Sabra Ingall is a Speech-language Pathologist who is the Director of Educational Services at LearningRx-Metro DC. She can be reached through the website at http://www.learningrx.com/ or at (301) 897-3237.


Cognitive Skills Testing

Every single day medical specialists use tests to spot medical problems and prevent future catastrophes with heart scans, EKGs, cholesterol screenings, dental x-rays, and eye exams. It makes sense, doesn't it?

SO, ASK YOURSELF: Why should I accept any proposed solution for my child's learning or reading struggles without first getting expert testing to find the cause of the problem?
Consider this! The education industry is one of the only places where parents are asked to make life-shaping decisions with virtually no detailed knowledge. While there are disclosure laws in every state in the U.S. for you to buy a car, most professional educators simply expect you to nod when they say, "Trust me, your child needs Special Ed or tutoring, an IEP, and medication." Shouldn't you be able to have a conversation with a professional that explains (in a way you can understand) exactly why your child struggles and what you can do to prevent those struggles from continuing for a lifetime?

It's never too late to help your child, but it's close to impossible without the right information. Too often symptoms are treated with stock or group "solutions" without accurate knowledge of the exact cause of the problem.

If your child struggles to learn or read, you do have an alternative to guessing at solutions: Cognitive Skills Testing.

Science confirms its value.

There are causes that could contribute to learning and reading difficulties: poor or inadequate instruction, genetic sources, low motivation, etc. By far, the most common root cause of learning struggles is underlying cognitive skill weakness. A ten-year study by the National Institute of Health concluded that 88% of learning-to-read difficulties resulted from weak phonemic awareness - the cognitive ability to blend, segment, and analyze sounds.

The stakes for our kids are high.

Successful learning depends on strong underlying cognitive skills. Without accurately identifying skill weaknesses, students are forced to invent ways to compensate. Others give up and are plagued with lifelong struggles. Time is not a friend to a struggling student.

Persistent struggle destroys self-esteem. There is an ideal window of time for a young person's learning development. Neglect that window and it can seriously affect academic performance, job productivity, and even social standing. For those people, life's promises - and choices - quickly lose their luster. We recommend that parents get their kids tested as soon as they see any signs of trouble: disruptive or withdrawn behavior, low motivation, excessive homework, resistance to going to school, or general academic problems. Parents need to know that you can't observe a cognitive skills weakness directly. Left unchecked, over time the effect can snowball and reduce opportunities later in life.

Tomorrow's options depend on what you know and do today.

Today you may only see these symptoms: huge homework loads, family strife, the inability to stay focused, or difficulty following instructions. Behavior like this is almost always a sign of an underlying learning skill weakness. In early grades, even straight-A students can have skill weaknesses that can hinder them later in life.

A positive step needs to be taken early. It's easy to blame ongoing learning problems on bad teachers, crowded classrooms, and boring textbooks or accept the struggle as inevitable under the labels ADD, ADHD, or LD. Parents either surrender in defeat or grasp at anything that might offer a glimmer of hope. What they really need is to pinpoint the root problems.

Testing is like an x-ray machine for learning skills.

A high-quality testing instrument is important. LearningRx Child Learning Centers uses nationally acclaimed cognitive, achievement, and reading mastery tests to identify individual skill strength and weakness. These include the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, the WJIII Tests of Achievement, and the GORT-4 Oral Reading Tests. The precise information we gain allows us to create an effective training strategy that is proven to boost learning and improve performance for each student. Our combination of testing and training allows us to team with parents and students to overcome specific weaknesses and target areas of potential gain rapidly - and put the mental skills in place for a lifetime of learning.

Learning skill "X-rays" don't have to be expensive. Just like good medicine starts with accurate diagnoses, so does good education. Cognitive Skills Testing can give you the information you need to overcome your child's learning or reading struggle in a surprisingly short time (weeks not years!)

Until recently, such testing was shrouded in professional exclusivity and excessive costs - often between $600 and $2400. LearningRx leverages its network of national training centers to offer testing to parents for a tiny fraction of what they would pay elsewhere.

Why? Parents deserve to know exactly why their child struggles and how to help them. We won't even recommend options to parents until the test results are in and we know the exact causes behind their child's symptoms. The only way to do this is to test. When it comes to your child’s future, why accept anything less than a definitive answer?

If you suspect there is unrealized learning potential in your child, don't ignore it. A simple cognitive skills test is the first step to finally unlock that potential. At LearningRx we offer affordable, accurate testing with no further obligation. We welcome your tough questions and the opportunity to help your child. Look for the number to your local center at http://www.learningrx.com/.


Communications: All the Ingredients

Cake. Carrot cake. What makes a good carrot cake? How would your cake taste if you doubled the carrots and nothing else? How would it be if you forgot the eggs? Care of the special needs child can be just like baking. You need to have the right ingredients and use the right proportions. What therapies does your child need? Speech therapy? Occupational therapy? Nutritional approaches? What are the correct proportions of each? The following are some key ingredients parents should have on hand to help determine the correct proportion of therapies in their child’s cake.

1. Interpreting Test Results

Traditional testing may not accurately reflect your child’s true abilities. Most children with developmental problems demonstrate “scattered skills” along the developmental continuum. Therefore, they may “ceiling out” during testing, before an examiner has had the opportunity to identify some of your child’s higher level skills. Knowing the specifics of your child’s skill level will help you accurately plan for teaching.

The narrative should go beyond numbers. Clinical observations are key to a good diagnostic report. For example, “Johnny received a receptive age equivalent of 24 to 27 months” is less helpful than “Johnny was able to demonstrate recognition of several verbs at the 24 to 27 month developmental level, including pointing to pictures depicting running, eating, and sleeping.”

Identifying exactly what skills your child has achieved and what the next developmentally appropriate skills he or she should learn can be critical in your ability to work at home with your child.

2. Proper Stimulation

Children without learning difficulties involve themselves with language and play for most of their day. Children with severe learning problems fill their day with a variety of non-productive behaviors, such as hand flapping. If your child has trouble with basics like identifying a core set of nouns, for example, then being asked something like “How did you get to school today” or “What would you like to play” serves only to further confuse him. Once you understand what your child knows, expect him to demonstrate that knowledge. A good rule of thumb is, if you are not sure that you have taught it, don’t request it. For example, if you have been working specifically with your child on object identification, and you have not taught your child to identify a “pen,” do not ask your child to give you the “pen” when you need to write something down. If you haven’t worked on verbal imitation, don’t ask your child to say “good-bye” to the speech therapist on your way out the door. Learning how to appropriately stimulate your child is critical.

3. Behavioral Issues

The causes of behavioral problems and methods for treatment can be both complex and varied. It is necessary to provide an atmosphere which is highly structured and conducive to your child’s learning style. Parents and caretakers can learn appropriate methods of reinforcement in an effort to reshape and redirect behaviors. They sometimes reinforce maladaptive behaviors without intending to do so.

Consider the following: Johnny is crying more than usual today and tantruming during a therapy session. His well-intentioned caretaker may suggest “let’s take a break.” Be assured that Johnny will quickly learn how to avoid working. This scenario would serve to encourage tantruming and increase crying episodes. Reliable and consistent reinforcement techniques provide your child with a stimulating environment conducive to learning.

4. Developing a Home Program

Successful development of a solid home therapy program can enhance your child’s rate of progress and enable you to become the liaison between your child’s school and outside therapies. You will need a skilled professional to help you coordinate such a program and work in partnership with you and your family. Successful initiation of such a program can be difficult, time consuming, and emotionally draining, but I think you will find that it is worth the effort.


Preparing Your Youngster to Learn (and help prevent learning problems)

I’m sure you have heard it by now. Play Mozart to your baby, and she will be so far ahead of her classmates by the time she starts school, you will be glad you did. But, there are many other things that will help your child be well prepared for learning and her first year of school.

Speaking – Speak to your children. Have conversations with them, even if they are too young to respond back appropriately. Their vocabulary will expand as well as their auditory processing skills.

Hart and Risley found that the widening gap between the vocabulary growth of children from professional, working class and welfare families across the first three years of the children's lives could be attributed to the overwhelming differences in the amount of verbal interaction the parents had with their children. There was a difference of almost 300 words spoken per hour between professional and welfare parents. As a result, by age 3, the professional families' children actually had a larger recorded vocabulary than the welfare families' parents.

The authors extrapolate the differences in words heard per hour to one year and arrive at the remarkable estimate that the children in professional families hear approximately 11 million words, the children in working class families 6 million words and the children in welfare families only 3 million words annually. The welfare children would require 41 hours per week of out-of-home enriched experience to make up this deficit. No wonder our meager prevention efforts are not having a lasting impact!

Reading – Read to your child and point to the words as you go. Ask comprehension questions about the story.

Show your child that sentences, both spoken and written, are made up of a string of individual words. Have your child listen to sentences, look at them, and count the number of words in them.”

Show your child that spoken words are composed of individual sounds. Dog, for example, has three sounds: /d/-o/-/g/. Say a word, and have your child count the number of sounds in it; repeat the activity with another word. Start with short words, and move on to longer ones.”

Point out that speech sounds in words occur in a serial order. Select a word and--using the phonetic spellings in your dictionary as a guide--enunciate, in order, the separate speech sounds in that word. (The serial order of speech sounds in man, for example, is /m/-/a/-/n/.) Have your child guess the correct pronunciation of the target word. Start with two- and three-letter words and progress to longer ones, avoiding those with "silent" letters.”

Explain that removing or adding a speech sound to a spoken word creates an entirely new word. Ask, for example: "If I take away the first sound of cat-/k/-what is left?" or "How many sounds can I add to/ing/?"

Story Telling – “In short, as children listen to stories, their background of information grows. They move well on their way to becoming culturally literate. Indeed, studies now show that children who bring prior understanding to the subjects they read about in school are far more likely to read classroom material with comprehension.”

Foreign Languages – Play tapes of native foreign speakers, or expose your children to as much foreign language as possible. It will help them process the sounds and learn the foreign language much easier when they are older.

Vocabulary – Use adult language rather than just baby gibberish and expose your children to as much vocabulary as possible. They may not understand the words for a while, but it will be easier for them to implement them into their own spoken vocabulary the more often they hear it.

Labeled items in the house – Label your cupboards, furniture, and items around the house. Show them that there is a relationship between the letters, word, and each has a specific meaning.

Writing – Your children can practice their writing skills by doodling, drawing, and scribbling on paper.

Teach the Alphabet – “The final word is: yes, young children may learn something about the alphabet and the speech sounds incidentally while their parents read to them. Exactly how much of this critical knowledge can be acquired through listening alone, however, remains uncertain. Reading aloud cannot reliably impart all of this specialized and esoteric information. Reading aloud is simply not enough.”


Examples of Types of Poor Readers

Unfortunately, when children aren't taught the reading code correctly, they end up either using an incorrect decoding system or having to develop their own. Perhaps you'll recognize yourself or your child frequently making one of the following errors when reading:

  • The most common type of reading strategy in 3rd grade is assembling word parts. The child breaks the word into small pieces. Often these aren't real words and letters are used in several word parts – "plank" is read as "plan-ant" or "literature" is read as "lite-rat-ture".
  • These are accurate and phonetically correct decoding of irregularly spelled words – "honey" is read as "hone-ee" or "prank" is read as "prahnk".
  • The child reads the first letter(s) accurately and guesses a known word that's similar in length and form – "fork" is read as "food" or "spoon" is read as "span".
  • The child has an incomplete knowledge of the spelling code. They will write the correct number of sounds, but the incorrect spelling – "made" is written as "mad" or "pout" is written as "pot".
  • Guessing at words based upon the context – "the" is read as "fun" or "big".
  • The child reads the word by saying the letter names – "punch" is read as "peeuhenseeaetch".

The shortcomings of all common approaches currently used to teach reading leaves one big question: Is there an approach that works? Is there a system "beyond phonics?" Does a reading program exist that teaches the code correctly? Will it teach all students to read and spell quickly and efficiently?

We believe that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes! But we must urge you to not leave this to chance. Unless children are systematically taught, they will adopt some type of reading strategy, whether right or wrong. Thus, you must be certain that they are being taught correctly.

Join us to eliminate reading problems and dyslexia in this generation...

At LearningRx we have the power to actually transform poor readers into good readers in about 24 weeks. This comes from the unique cognitive skills training and sound-to-code reading programs we offer. This training can literally rebuild a student's underlying mental strength. (Especially the key skills of Phonemic Awareness and Word Attack so critical to good, fluent, high-comprehension reading.) We view the stewardship of this training as a solemn responsibility. Because of this, we have challenged every LearningRx Center across the nation to do all they can to help struggling students, and eliminate reading problems in this generation. They have accepted this challenge, and as a first step, opened their doors to provide free dyslexia screenings through the 30th of April. We invite you to visit a center near you and take advantage of this opportunity.


Reading Crisis in America

There is a reading crisis in America. According to The Nation's Report Card 2005™ published by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, two out of five US students can barely read. It touches one of three homes with school-age children. Is your home one of them? If it is, we know you're anxious for that child who cannot read well. In our society, life's opportunities are linked so closely to a person's ability to read that reading well is essential for success.

It is rare in our culture that having multiple choices for anything is perceived as a barrier. When you visit a Starbucks, you expect and enjoy the wide selection they afford you. Choices and options are something we're privileged to enjoy in this country, but when it comes to helping struggling readers, the sheer number of reading programs available to parents is actually a part of the problem.

Phonics programs and games, whole word reading methods, a traditional classroom, and tutor-based reading programs all presume that students have basic cognitive abilities already in place to process sounds and associate them correctly with letters and concepts. We will admit that any of these systems can produce some reading progress for students that possess these skills, but for those who do not, these choices become a trap. Parents spend thousands of dollars and put themselves and their children through years of frustration and failure trying one remedial reading program after another when in fact, these particular programs had no chance of significantly helping their child from the start. Here's why.

Easy, fluent reading is the by-product of strong cognitive skills such as auditory processing and memory skills, combined with a reading system that puts those strong skills to good use. A foundation of strong underlying skills is the most important component missing in most struggling readers. According to 130 studies by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and others, 88% of those students that struggle to read have significant weakness in auditory processing. Strengthening these skills is the key to transformation.

Providing effective solutions that correct the real cause of students' learning struggles is the mission of LearningRx. We have challenged every director, every staff member, and every LearningRx trainer to commit themselves to do their part to end dyslexia in America in a single generation. We know this is an ambitious goal, but to succeed we simply have to multiply our effort to help one student after another gain the skills needed to read fluently and with ease. If we can help your child, please contact us. Or, if you know of someone who struggles, bless them by sharing this information. We are eager to help him or her become a good reader for life.

Visit www.EliminateDyslexia.com for more information about eliminating dyslexia and reading problems. Schedule your screening today at your local LearningRx Center. To locate the nearest center, go to www.learningrx.com.

Teens with learning disabilities speak about who they are

By BRIAN NEWSOME, THE GAZETTE

Teenager Megan Doughty stood before a room full of school officials, talking confidently and candidly about learning disabilities she and other students have.

Most students, she said, are like a high-speed Internet connection. She is on dial-up: "They can do the same things, but dial-up is a lot slower."

She was one of a dozen Cheyenne Mountain High School students who presented facts and real-life experiences about learning disabilities to school department heads from across the Pikes Peak region last week.

The students openly discussed dyslexia, processing disorder, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other obstacles they've struggled to overcome.

The LearningRx Magazine

The LearningRx Magazine is a great reference for parents looking for information and solutions as they try to help their children become better learners and readers. Topics covered range from "warning signs of reading problems" to the value of regular cognitive skills checkups.

The LearningRx Magazine is available for free downloads at http://www.learningrx-franchise.com/magazine.html.