Recently I spoke to a teacher working at a primary school. She told me that, at her school, for dyslectic children a less strict norm was used. She told that she did not think this was a good idea because now those children might get the impression that they were actually reasonably good at reading, while this was not the case. She wondered if it wouldn’t be better to put in extra effort to somehow help these kids get better at reading. I told her that I agreed with her that lowering the norm probably wasn’t a smart strategy. I also told her briefly about recent developments in neuroscience and mentioned the work by Barbara Arrowsmith Young, founder of The Arrowsmith School and author of the book The Woman Who Changed Her Brain. She is a very special woman who has done path breaking work into training children with learning disabilities. 


The life story of  Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is remarkable. As a child she suffered a combination of several severe learning disabilities. Remembering information was something she was quite good at but she found understanding information extremely hard. At first she tried dealing with this situation by using a compensation strategy. By using her strengths, she worked around her weaknesses. Later, she changed her approach drastically. She began designing exercises for herself to strengthen her weaknesses. This strategy was quite hard and required a great deal of persistence but the end result was fantastic. Her learning disabilities were reduced and eventually disappeared. In the following video you can see how she now helps children to overcome learning disabilities.


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