The Learning Tree: Overcoming Learning Disabilities from the Ground Up
Stanley Greenspan & Nancy Thorndike Greenspan
Da Capo Press, 2010 (2010)
Reviewed by Leslie McKee
esigned to present a developmental approach to learning,
The Learning Tree
maps out child development and the fundamental stepping stones along the way. While many parents and educators focus on memorization of facts, this emphasizes that the focus should be placed on thinking. The authors hope to provide parents with a guide to develop a profile of their child's strengths and weaknesses.
hild development consists of various stages, including attention, engaging with the world, interaction/communication, and shared problem solving. Learning difficulties can occur at any developmental stage. The book breaks down the problems and relates them to a tree: roots (how children take in the world via their senses); trunk (thinking skills); and branches (basic academic skills). Emphasis is placed on building a strong foundation. A good educational program should focus on each child's individual needs and abilities. However, this does not always occur.
f a child is delayed at any level, the child is likely to be labeled with a learning disability (ex: ADD, ADHD or dyslexia). Once this occurs, it is more than likely that the symptoms, and not the underlying cause, will be treated - often with medication.
he authors seek to arm parents with knowledge that can help them address the cause of their child's learning disability. While numerous real-life examples, practice activities and games are included, overly detailed information may make it a bit hard for some to follow unless they have a basic understanding of child development and/or education. Frequent checklists allow parents to determine where their child may fall from a developmental standpoint.
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