Dr. Joyce Pickering ~

Dr. Joyce Pickering ~

Cindy Young's picture

Guidance and Tips from Dr. Joyce Pickering

Friday Night All Children's Academy welcomed Dr. Joyce Pickering from the Shelton School in Dallas, Texas. How insightful it was to hear the workshop, "All Children Learn Differently!"

Joyce began with a glowing report of All Children's Academy. “It's a wonderful facility and is beautifully thought out and planned,” she said. She also praised the teachers for being professional in how they work with the children's unique challenges.

Here are some highlights from Joyce's talk:

Every student wants to be able to learn easily, and when learning doesn't come easy they think, “I don't want to do that … thank you very much.” The best therapeutic techniques are those that help students want to keep trying. Our children don't get better if we just say, “Never mind you don't know how to do it.”

As a parent, one of our biggest challenges is that the dreams we had for our child go unmet when they have learning difficulties. It's our job to balance our dreams with finding a school that will match their needs. Some of the worst advice a parent can receive is “just wait and see.” When we work with children early on, we can help them overcoming challenges and become successful in numerous ways.

Yet so many children are pushed through the system, and they hear things like:

“Try harder.”

“Don't be lazy.”

“He's just unmotivated.”

“She needs to learn to pay attention.”

Good teachers help parents understand that their children are not “less than” or defective. Each child is a unique, precious human being. Often we're so focused on the weaknesses that we don't pay attention to the strengths. As parents we need to remember are children are not extensions of us. They are not our clones. They have unique learning styles and challenges.

When it comes to learning, none of us has a perfect brain that never makes a mistake or misperceives something. Many areas in the brain connect to have us speak and read. We often take it for granted, but spoken language is one of the hardest things for the brain to perceive. When we discover how complex the brain is, we understand there are many places little glitches can happen.

So what should we require of our students? To do what we believe each one can do, and to do that well.

Practical tips:

  1. Teach your child the “waiting” position: Sitting on the floor, legs cross, hands on knees.
  2. Teach turns. “I'm going to show you something. This is my turn, and soon it will be your turn.”
  3. We need to slow kids down, prepare them, and get them ready to learn.
  4. High protein diets—and diets that limit carbs and exclude sugar can often help children's learning ability
  5. Routine is a gift to our children. For example, a bedtime routine clues their bodies in that they need to get ready to sleep.

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