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Let My Child Learn

Malkie Schulman

Your child is struggling, falling behind in school. But you and his teacher can’t figure out why. Experts discuss the ways we learn, how kids get “locked out,” and the various keys to helping every child access his potential.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

My ten-year-old niece Rivka, is a conundrum. Some professionals surmise her difficulties are caused by multiple learning challenges, like dyslexia coupled with an auditory processing disorder and sensory issues — which lead to disruptive behavior, because she can’t keep up with the rest of her class. According to others, however, Rivka “simply” has behavioral issues. Everyone agrees she is bright — but no one has yet been able to decipher the best treatment plan. When I was asked to cover Lakewood’s On Track Educational Expo, I immediately thought of Rivka, who struggles with many of the issues showcased in the event. This gathering promised information on the latest therapies from the best and brightest in the education field. Perhaps I could glean some information that would help my desperate sister-in-law figure out how to help her daughter succeed in school. 
So Many Therapists…“The purpose of the Expo was to let Lakewood educators know what’s available to their students in terms of remedial help,” explains Expo coordinatorMrs.ShulamisTropper, certified school psychologist and founder of On Track Resources, a company that provides child study team evaluations to over 50 schools in Lakewood.Nearly 700 individuals in the chinuch field availed themselves of the exhibitions and presentations on this one-day, action-packed event. Tables set up with informative displays, computers, and reading and multisensory materials filled two large rooms, staffed by the exhibitors — all religious male and female professionals in helping fields, eager to share their innovative methods. An additional room downstairs was designated for various presentations throughout the day.The room was filled with therapists — physical, occupational, and speech — along with kriah and reading specialists, behavioral and social skills therapists, parenting experts, and those experts who claim to be able to eradicate many brain disorders by addressing underlying brain function. Whereas once our children with learning and behavioral issues had to attend public schools to meet their learning needs, today,baruch Hashem, there is no shortage of services in a township like Lakewood. In fact, some might say the overabundance of treatment options adds confusion to an already daunting problem — each therapist claiming to know exactly how to help the child, but everyone with different advice.Despite all the available services however, there are always the puzzles, the “Rivkas” who seem to elude all labels, yet clearly experience challenges.

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