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School Struggles: A Guide to Your Shut-Down Learner's Success


Richard Selznick is a child psychologist who has helped parents with their children’s struggles in school for more than 25 years. His first book, The Shut-Down Learner, identified the problems faced by spatial learners and recommended ways that parents and teachers can help them learn. School Struggles offers aid, comfort, and perspective to parents whose children have difficulty in school for a multitude of reasons. Selznick addresses reading and writing issues, task analysis, learning disabilities, behavioral ...
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Richard Selznick is a child psychologist who has helped parents with their children’s struggles in school for more than 25 years. His first book, The Shut-Down Learner, identified the problems faced by spatial learners and recommended ways that parents and teachers can help them learn. School Struggles offers aid, comfort, and perspective to parents whose children have difficulty in school for a multitude of reasons. Selznick addresses reading and writing issues, task analysis, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, difficulties with organization, social skills, medication, parents’ interactions with teachers, and more, in a practical, down-to-earth manner. The book is filled with takeaway points, surprising insights, and new actions to try with your child that are a godsend for families struggling with school and behavioral issues.

Through his work with thousands of academically struggling kids and their families, Dr. Selznick has developed techniques and easily applicable tools on pretty much any topic that plagues parents and children alike, including the excessive use of technology, parental indulgence of their children, and the difficulty of being patient with a frustrating situation. This is an indispensable guide for any parent who stays awake at night worrying about their child’s school experience, whether the issues are academic or social, or both.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
School Struggles addresses common school concerns that keep parents awake at night. Dr. Selznick presents material in a comfortable, down-to-earth style that will provide comfort to parents. Parents will take away many great suggestions and ideas to keep in mind for their struggling children.
--Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions

Dr. Selznick UNDERSTANDS THESE KIDS which is why his new book, School Struggles, is a very welcome addition to our resources for parents and professionals alike! In clear, no-jargon, non-pathologizing language, he describes the roadblocks encountered by many children and adolescents and provides practical, effective ways to help them along their rough roads. I highly recommend this book and appreciate Dr. Selznick’s willingness to share his accumulated wisdom and ideas with us.
--Laurie Dietzel, Ph.D., co-author of Late, Lost & Unprepared: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning

Dr. Selznick did it again. His new book, School Struggles, is practical, powerful, and sensitive. Full of Tips and Takeaway Points, School Struggles will help parents better understand their children’s struggles and shows them how to help their children succeed. Insightful, straightforward, practical, and valuable: a book that will help parents do the right things while avoiding the all-too-common traps that hurt so many struggling learners and their families.
--Howard Margolis, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus, Reading Disabilities & Special Education, City University of New York

Dr. Selznick's new book helps parents understand their child as a whole person and why school may not be as easy for them as we all hope. More importantly, he helps you find ways to pinpoint particular struggles and address them, rather than waste time with solutions that are one-size-fits-all.
--Whitney Hoffman, producer of the LD Podcast (, author of The Differentiated Instruction Book of Lists

When a child struggles to learn, it can snowball into a much bigger problem. "School Struggles: A Guide to Your Shut-Down Learner's Success" is a guide for parents and teachers in reaching out to struggling school children and how to answer these problems felt by struggling students and helping them learn to their complete ability. "School Struggles" is a top pick for educators, school psychologists, and parents of these types of students who want to consider every option for helping the students.
--Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591811787
  • Publisher: Sentient Publications
  • Publication date: 8/16/2012
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 824,786
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xiii

Foreword xv

Introduction 1

Part 1 Struggling on the Reading Road 19

Your Reading Brain 21

Dyslexia/Reading Disability and Common Sense 23

Old School Concept #1: Stages of Reading Development 25

Stage 0 27

Kindergarten Mom: "Help! My child is shutting down!" 29

Stage I: Getting on the Bike 30

Stage II: Riding the Bike 33

"Mom! There's Lincoln Whatever Field" 35

Stage III: Independently Riding the Bike 36

Stages IV and V: Sophisticated Readers 37

Old School Concept #2: Instructional Level 38

Brief Tip: Get Clear on Your Focus with Reading Remediation 41

Listen to the Moms 41

All Aboard the Curriculum Ship 43

Messages from the Life Boats 45

Was This a Problem that Could Have Been Averted? 47

Vision and Learning 48

Low-Frequency versus High-Frequency Words 50

Simple Low-Frequency Word Strategy 52

"Daddy's tied up in traffic" 54

Hmmm, Let Me Think About It… 55

Questioning to Encourage Comprehension 58

BRDD: Boy Reading Deficit Disorder 59

Does Your Child Have Curriculum ADHD? 61

There Is No Joy in Educationville for Teaching Reading Has Struck Out 62

Struggling on the Reading Road: Summary Points 64

Part 2 Struggling on the School Road (Adhd and Other Related Issues) 67

Step Right Up, Folks! 70

The Blind Men and the Elephant (Dissecting Childhood) 72

Two Roads 74

Doing the ADHD Dance 75

Clogged Fuel Lines 77

Age-Adjustment Strategy 80

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) = BDD (Boredom Deficit Disorder) 81

ADHD Kryptonite: Lunchroom and Playground 83

Playing the Odds: Which Horse Would You Bet? 84

Common Sense arid Reasonable 504 Plans 86

Killing the Rainforest One IEP at a Time 89

Winning the Battle but Losing the War 90

Should a Child Be on Medication While Being Evaluated? Going Columbo 93

The Zone of No Zone 94

Inside the Head of a Boy with a Learning Disability! 96

Go to a Carpenter, You Get a Nail 97

The House Looks Fine: What's the Problem? 99

Help! I'm Being Held Hostage to My IQ 101

Inclusion: Support in the Deep End of the Pool 102

Old School Concept #3: Task Analysis 104

Howard Beale-Where Are You? 106

How Do We Fix It? 107

In the Neck Ache Business 108

Got the Cure for the Summertime Blues? 110

Screeching on the Violin 111

Open-Ended Writing: A Heavy Load for Many Kids 112

Opposite Approach to Open-Ended Writing 115

An Old-Fashioned Child Advocate 117

Struggling on the School Road (ADHD and Related Issues): Summary Points 120

Part 3 Struggling on the Organizational Road 123

Executive Function Deficits: Floppy Rudders 125

We Keep Telling Him, "You've got to be organized. You've got to be organized!" 127

Go Up To Your Room and Do Your Work: The Perils 129

The School Keeps Saying "Stay out-they have to do it on their own" 131

Homework: The Great Battleground 132

Sluggish Cognitive Tempo 134

Weighing the Pain 136

Anger: "You can't make me" 138

Pain Avoiders in College 140

Putting Fuel in the Shut-Down Learner Tank 142

Study Skills Coach: Readiness Is Everything 143

Organizing the Disorganized-Skill of the Month 145

Master Notebook: Keeping the Disorganized on the Straight and Narrow 146

A Compound-Interest Mentality 148

Parental Grade Monitoring on the Internet 150

Struggling on the Organizational Road: Summary Points 151

Part 4 Struggling on the Social Skills Road 155

"I don't want Greg at my birthday party" 158

No One to Play With 159

Sharks and Minnows 161

Sharks and Minnows (Continued) 163

School Bus Blues #1: Riding Shotgun 164

School Bus Blues #2: "Get out of bed, Pop" 166

Shyness-Perhaps 168

Pokemon and Dolly Madison 170

Avery: A Water Torture Personality Type 172

Alex-A Socially Reticent Child 174

How Can Parents Support the "Alexes" of the World? 175

Socializing in the Twenty-First Century 178

Those Little Interactions 180

Little Remorse and Not Much Compassion 182

Life According to Martin 183

Social Skills-The Last Word 185

Struggling on the Social Road: Summary Points 186

Part 5 Struggling on the Parenting Road 189

My Head Is About to Explode! 191

Gumby Parenting 193

Are You a Curling Parent? 194

The 10 Percent Solution: Is Your POID Set Too High? 195

Hedonistic Pirates: Modern Indulgences 197

How Do You Measure, Measure a Year 198

Oppositional Children: Rigid, Inflexible and Difficult 200

Parents! You're off the Hook (Sort Of) 202

"Thanks for yelling, Mom! I see the light!" 204

New School Years Resolution: Stay Calm and End the Shenanigans 206

What Are the Triggers? 207

Dealing with the Triggers 209

Cool Anger: Put Yourself in Timeout 211

What Are the Odds? 213

Struggling on the Parenting Road: Summary Points 214

Final Words: Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood 217

Appendix 220

About the Author 223

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  • Posted August 25, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Great book! Our son is having some trouble in school. The has opened our eyes to the way he learns and how he needs more visual learning to help him through school. The book goes through all school struggles, kids with ADHD, ADD and many more. How kids can be misdiagnosed. How to help you as a parent when a doctor suggests certian therapies, how to help you with your IEP meetings ( loved the act like Columbo). Shows you ways to help your child and gives other reading suggestions and web sites also. Great book for anyone who has a child struggling in school.

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