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Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child's Learning Problems Hardcover – April 13, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From educational psychologist Healey (Your Child's Growing Mind) comes a parents' guide to learning disorders and the positive steps to avoid or reverse problems accompanying a child's diagnosis. Defining a learning problem as any innate or acquired characteristic that consistently interferes with one or more aspects of learning, Healey explains that the way a brain is wired accounts for disorders in language arts and math, social and personal organizational skills, and motor and sensory abilities. Whether a development problem becomes a disability (and if medication is appropriate) depends on its severity and expectations made of a child at a given age. Healey provides a very hands-on guide with anecdotal case studies, the latest brain science research data made comprehensible, and plenty of bulleted checklists covering symptoms, action steps, and advice. The first part focuses on the problems and possibilities for dys-sed kids; the second part presents the scientific how-and-why of juvenile brain function, the role of genetics, and intelligence and learning styles; the third offers proven techniques and remedies for destressing kids and their environments by limiting distracting or disruptive lifestyle factors. Every chapter features plenty of subheads and pullout questions or quotes, which make the pages visually accessible and help sustain interest in what could be an overwhelming topic. This is a ready reference parents will welcome. (Apr.)
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Review

“Different Learners is a fantastic book for both parents and teachers for helping children who have learning difficulties to excel and achieve.”

—Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Way I See It

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416556419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416556411
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,380,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Extremely informative and makes sense!
bonita
Healy provides case studies, cites scientific research and gives "laundry lists" related to each topic that are helpful summaries of each key part of the book.
Ellen
If you are a teacher or a parent seeking sane advice, helpful ideas, and fresh insights--buy this book.
Gloria M. Degaetano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rodger Shepherd on June 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a former pediatrician, and I also have a grandchild with learning problems. I was hoping that this book would provide me with a better understanding of learning problems in children. Unfortunately I found this book so frustrating to read that I gave up on page 99.

The book struck me as a mixture of soft science, personal experience, annecdotes, speculation, "expert opinion", and name dropping. I suspect that, to a large extent, this reflects the state the art.(The discussion of diagnostic classification clearly reveals a field of investigation that is groping for clarity.) However, the book is further burdened with a writing style that is disorganized. For example, if there was some logic to the use of rubrics, italics, and other editorial devices, it escaped me. The author frequently refers the reader to her other books, a habit that struck me as evasive and self-serving. I also found it strange that a book so clearly aimed at parents of children with learning difficulties would include advice about prenatal prevention. I could understand a discussion about prenatal causes of learning problems since this might provide some insight into the origins of the problem confronting the reader. However, I doubt that the typical reader appreciates the rambling digression into prevention of the learning problems at a time when he or she is trying to cope with an existing one.

I suspect that the author is a marvelous and caring clinician, but I do not find her science or her writing rigorous.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gloria M. Degaetano on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jane Healy has done it again! Given parents and teachers a far-reaching, yet specific guide to support children's optimal development and learning. As in her now classic book, Endangered Minds, Healy delivers a comprehensive, user-friendly read in her latest book, Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Helping Your Children's Learning Problems.

It's sobering to think that a child born in the United States has a 30 percent chance of being diagnosed with some type of learning problem. That about 2.5 million children take prescription drugs for attention and hyperactivity. That there are seven million children currently enrolled in special education with autism on the rise by 800% over the last decade. Beginning by describing the extent of the challenges, Dr. Healy shows us that there truly exists today a new epidemic of learning problems affecting children from across all levels of the socioeconomic spectrum. In her typical no-nonsense prose, the reader clearly understands the most current research, often through vivid examples from parents and succinct quotes from compelling experts.

The book considers different categories of learning disorders and/or learning differences with a review of the research on a variety of successful treatments. Healy then turns to the "heart" of the book--discussing how genetics and the environment interact to impact brain development. She emphasizes that a difference often doesn't mean a disability. Instead, Healy demonstrates the role of the environment in shaping a child's brain and simultaneously his/her learning skills. We emphasize the home environment as an important factor at the Parent Coaching Institute, ([...]) as anyone who has been coached by a PCI Certified Parent Coach® knows.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By midwestmom on October 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In some ways, Different Learners (especially the second half of it) is the instruction manual many parents wish their newborns came with. It describes very specific steps parents can take to help their children make the most of their intellectual potential. It explains why children who don't fit the standard learning mold should not be treated as if they have an "illness" with a collection of "symptoms" that need to be "diagnosed" and "cured" with a pill.

Instead, Healy views children as whole beings who are a product of both nature and nurture. She explains that trouble in school can stem from a variety of sources, which may be inherited, or may be caused and/or aggravated by a too-stressed, too-busy, too-distracted, too-unstructured 21st century lifestyle. In other words, little Billy may have inherited a tendency toward distractibility from his father, but his parents can still guide him toward intellectual and academic success through solid, common-sense parenting techniques such as seriously restricting video games and enforcing consistent bedtimes. Different Learners lays out very clearly, and with plenty of supporting scientific evidence, a host of similarly effective techniques.

I highly recommend this book for all parents interested in helping their children achieve balanced, intellectually and emotionally satisfying lives throughout and beyond their school years.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jane M. Healy on May 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm really sorry that Roger Shepard didn't find the simple answers he was hoping for concerning his granddaughter's learning problem, and I appreciate his comments on the style and format which many readers seem to have loved. Roger, the book's information is, in fact, science accurately reported--it's just phrased so non-physicians can understand it. This is, unfortunately, a complex and often muddled field; unlike pediatrics, there is rarely one causal agent or one agreed-upon diagnosis and treatment. If only!
In fact, that's exactly why I wrote the book--because there's a lot of "snake oil" out there, and parents need all the information they can get when they are struggling to help a child with a problem. The good news is that the issue is complex because children are complex--and so is learning--and, because of that complexity, the "different" learners are often the most talented of all in the long run.
Roger, please go back and at least skim over the last third of the book and the Appendices, which are full of practical, everyday suggestions that might really be of help. There won't be any "quick fixes," but your loving concern will go a long way. Good luck!
Jane Healy
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Frequently Bought Together

Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child's Learning Problems + Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think And What We Can Do About It + Your Child's Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning From Birth to Adolescence
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