Pace

A.J.’s teachers tell me he’s bright, but struggles with slow processing speed.  Things take him a very long time to do.  I noticed early in my work with him that he didn’t actually seem to be processing anything slowly.  He was just doing things slowly.  He could produce a response to a question fairly quickly, but he would think about his answer for quite awhile before offering it.  I pointed out a few times that if he worked more efficiently (in his case, that would mean choosing to write down the first answer he came up with, which was always plenty sufficient for the task at hand) he would have more time to spend on the books and music he likes. It didn’t change the pace of his work, and I finally got to thinking.  What if there’s something in this pace of his, a pace we’re trying to teach out of him, that’s serving a purpose, or making room for something?  What is there to discover if we step back and watch what they’re doing before we start trying to mess with it?

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The Myth of the ADD Child

A quick glance at even a portion of Thomas Armstrong’s list of titles will give you a good sense of whether or not you’re likely to enjoy his work: You’re Smarter than you Think, Awakening Genius, In Their Own Way. Armstrong takes an unusual and highly effective and wise approach to his writing about children and development. His work is based on the assumption that children are capable of overcoming challenges and can be honored and included in the process of taking on those challenges. Continue reading