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This book is designed to improve the education of elementary school children with low school-readiness skills (low SES children) by preventing their misidentification as learning disabled. It is built on the premise that the time and money spent on special education services will be better used if educators focus on the needs of children with low school readiness skills before their deficits become so great that neither intervention nor remediation will work, and before the children's self perceptions are so badly damaged that they quit trying to succeed and accept failure.
Poverty Is NOT a Learning Disability challenges educators and parents to consider how low expectations-a "deficit perception"-can affect a child's achievement and stresses optimism as a central tenet of elementary schools' day-to-day teaching/learning programs and school-community relationships. The authors emphasize that an attitude of optimism is strongly connected to hope for the future and crucial to providing children with a positive vision of what they can accomplish.
This resource also covers how to build trusting relationships throughout the school community, among teachers, administrators, the school staff, and parents. Children inevitably endeavor to fit the words, actions, and deeds of those around them into narratives of their own. The authors convey how vitally important it is for members of the education community to work together to ensure that youngsters receive a view of the future that inspires hope and validates the potential of each child.