The Effects of Educational Wounding
Two of the most significant stressors for U.S.school-aged youth are academic struggle and failure. Pressures to achieve and succeed have become so pervasive and at the same time kids have access to fewer and fewer supports. For students with Learning Differences such as Dyslexia the problems are even more critical. We are routinely wounding and traumatizing our creative and sensitive students.
Though students with learning disabilities can achieve greatness, they all too often fall into depression and behavioral distress. Common experiences include feeling shamed, “less than” or damaged. And the results are alarming,
Some years back a white paper put out by the National Center for Learning Disabilities and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as well as the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (Columbia University) referenced studies that indicated what may seem obvious:
1. Children with LD are at greater risk for school failure and
2. dropping out
But more Striking:
3. As many as ½ of children with ADD self-medicate with drugs and alcohol
4. One study indicated that 40% of individuals in substance abuse treatment programs have Learning Disabilities.
Solutions need focus on adjusting treatment and communication approaches that are sensitive to the cognitive/learning profile of students and not the other way around.