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At some point, the parents are called in for a conference with the teacher and the bad news is given. The parents, are very shocked and upset and would like to do anything possible to help their child catch up. But what can be done?

Remedial Measures
Often when a student falls behind in school, the recommended remedial procedure includes medication such as Ritalin, occupational therapy, and additional lessons. These interventions may help in a few cases, but the reality is that of the 15 or 20 percent in this situation, some will not find total success with school work even with these interventions. The challenge is to provide the degree and kind of additional tutoring needed for some students.

Occupational Therapy
- Wasteful and Obsolete
Teachers and school administrators are quick to recommend occupational therapy (OT) for students who are not coping with school. One reason is that there simply isn’t much else they can come up with which could possibly help the struggling student. Some forms of OT include a tedious exercise where the student must for instance, learn to find yellow triangles in sea of other colored squares and circles. This is a visual discrimination exercise. It is a wasteful and inappropriate strain on the student because in reading, there are no colors involved at all, and there are no squares or triangles in the alphabet. These kinds of students may have serious difficulties with two dimensional pattern recognition, and have a limited time they can concentrate on these sort of things. Often forcing them to do these pointless exercises can needlessly cause headaches and eye strain and it just reminds them of the pain of schoolwork and learning. Also some OT involves odd physical exercises and other foolish nonsense having no constructive relationship whatsoever with literacy. If there is to be time spent helping the child, it should be spent directly on reading practice which only involves black and white and no other colors, and only numbers and letters of the alphabet for patterns.

The Importance of the First Three Years of School

Parents have every right to be concerned if their child is not sufficiently coping in school. Students who have

difficulty keeping up during the first years of school, may be destined for years of an unpleasant and possibly humiliating school experience. Basic literacy and numeracy form a foundation for all future learning. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the skills expected from the first three years of school be acquired at the highest level of competency possible for each individual student. Not every student with learning difficulties can find total academic success. However, with the right opportunity and a lot of hard work, many can make sufficient improvements so that the overall school experience becomes successful and therefore his or her life will be enhanced.

The Only Real Fix… Practice
The mechanism which causes some students to be successful in school while others to have serious difficulties is not well known. Regardless of the causes, the only way to improve success in any human endeavor is through practice. This is true for athletics, music, a trade, a profession or any other activity. Like it or not, focused, well designed practice makes perfect, and this is also very true in academics. Unfortunately, for young children who cannot yet read on their own, study by themselves is not an option. Normally, practice for these children in literacy and numeracy must involve a human tutor, whether it is a qualified teacher, a hired tutor, a parent or sibling. Thus the primary solution for a young student having difficulty in school usually involves considerable time from dedicated people, and very often that is simply not practical. There is a practical way to help these children and that is with a properly programmed computer. Children by nature will very happily spend lots more time on a computer compared to a book, and that may end up being the key to academic success.

Individual Learning

Students, for a number of reasons, who haven’t found complete success with classroom teaching environment and the prescribed curriculum, may considerably benefit from additional individual teaching using a computer. There may be several reasons why this could work. One very important reason is that the additional lessons can be custom tailored to address the individual weaknesses of the student. This would use the student’s valuable and limited concentration time most effectively.