Right-Brain Learner was never mentioned, Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities Were Often Mentioned
How come no one every mentioned our daughter was a bright right-brain learner. Our struggles began when our daughter, Julie, was in kindergarten. With some reservations, her teacher placed her in the lower of two reading groups. Not long after, Julie would come home and complain that the teacher was spending all her time disciplining her reading peers who were acting up, leaving little time to focus on reading comprehension.
Painfully aware that learning to read was more difficult for her than for her friends, Julie participated with us over the next few years in a variety of methodologies designed to help her. We endured several psychological assessments, reading interventions focused on decoding skills, as well as several tutors and learning centers. Again, no mention of her being a bright right-brain learner. The words used were dyslexia and learning disabilities — no one focused on her strengths.
As both her mother and an educator, I was frustrated that we had not found the solution to Julie’s reading comprehension struggles. In 8th grade, Julie was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society because of her good grades. We knew she was smart, but she was now facing the next phase in her education, high school.
As the meeting to discuss transition and support issues drew closer, I had a very uneasy feeling that this was going to be a contentious meeting, as the Guidance Counselor included five different school professionals, including the Assistant Principal. I asked Mark to come to the meeting. It was important that all three of us, including Julie, attend. <strong>We learned later that having both parents in every IEP meeting is critical for helping our children.</strong>. Again, no one mentioned she was a right-brain learner.
The first words we remember from the meeting were, “Your daughter has a great personality and she is a hard worker, but…” The underlying tone indicated the next line was going to crush us. The Guidance Counselor continued, “Your child’s reading comprehension is three years below grade level; she is not college material. We recommend putting Julie on a vocational track for high school, so that she can get a job when she graduates.”
Not knowing how she would respond, Mark instinctively turned to Julie and asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Without hesitation, Julie responded:
“I want to be the teacher I never had!”
Without hesitation, the Guidance Counselor immediately responded, “Honey, you can be a teacher’s aide.”
Mark had trouble restraining himself. Turning to the Guidance Counselor, Mark asked, “What would you do if she were your child?” He responded by saying he would accept reality and not be such a pushy, `shovy´ dad!
The Guidance Counselor then suggested exiting Julie from the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that she had participated in for the last seven years. IEPs are federally-funded programs that entitle students to specialized education services and accommodations based on their learning hurdles.
Taking Julie off the regular diploma track would have eliminated her chances of going to college and removed the services to which she was entitled. Quite worried, I asked, “Wouldn’t this take away Julie’s accommodations when she takes the SATs?” The Guidance Counselor responded strongly, “You are not listening. Julie won’t be taking the SATs, because she is not college material.”
Effectively, the meeting was over. We stayed for a short while, and then left the meeting without agreeing to their recommendations. We knew we had to take matters into our own hands.
After this meeting, I became:
A mom on a mission!!! My First Discovery, Julie was a Bright Right-Brain Learner
With a massive effort, Julie was able to make a grade level improvement every year between 8th and 11th grades. She was no longer losing ground versus her peers, but Julie’s<strong> reading comprehension was still three years below grade level, and we had to address this issue.
With Julie and Mark’s help, I researched multiple educational training programs – and came to realize the following:
- Julie had a great memory for what she saw and experienced.
- Julie learns differently—she is a hands-on learner who thinks in pictures and learns best when material is presented in a way she can visualize — she was a right-brain learner — or as a I now call it, a bright right-brain learner
- Julie responded far better to the hands-on training that played to her strengths.
- Julie’s reading comprehension accelerated by listening to audio books while reading along, as well as reading books she enjoyed.
- Julie, Mark and I needed to forge effective bonds with specific teachers, guidance counselors, and ESE Specialists. We learned there were professionals who were more than willing to work with Julie and us.
During this time, I started developing a transformational program that I felt could get Julie back on track. As Julie was entering 11th grade, I worked with her on what has become known as the 3D Learner Program®. Julie’s progress was noticeable, and she started to LOVE reading for the first time!!
Julie earned her Bachelor’s Degree and a Master in Special Education from the University of Florida’s nationally-recognized Pro-Teach program. She specializes in teaching gifted children and those that learn differently.
Today, Julie is a nationally board-certified teacher in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
What I have learned now is that most students with dyslexia and learning disabilities a right-brain learners, who often has attention and eye-teaming challenges
3 Things You Can Do To Help Your Right-Brain Learner
- To better understand how your child learns, and how you can capitalize on those strengths, DOWNLOAD Mira’s short, uplifting book “Life is a Ball, Don’t Put Me in a Box.”
- Take our no cost Online Success Assessment. It will help you see if your child is a right-brain learner and whether your child has an attention, eye-teaming and/or related issue
- After taking the assessment, give us a call and ask us your questions. We’ll help you better understand what your child is dealing with, and what you can do to make a positive difference.