Saturday, January 20, 2018

When Learning How to Master A New Area Focus on: Time

When parents come to my office, it's a very cathartic experience for them. For the first time in a course of several months if not years, they are able to discuss what has been happening with their child in the most productive manner and in return, will have a highly skilled and experienced individual draw up a plan to help the child work on that particular area of development. That is the relatively easy part for me.

Over the course of the last few years, I have seen many parents (not only in my practice) move from that model to a more simplified, instant gratification prone mode of thinking that all progress hinges on an overnight product. It's surprising that certain disorders such as those characterized as dyslexia or Attention Deficit Disorder can take three months to "cure" or even one month, as some parents are ambitiously certain that their child is a doppelgänger of their adult self.

The true fact of the matter is, it takes time to develop new skill sets and habits. For example, I've had clients that have had children most recently diagnosed with ADHD and have convinced themselves that their child is incapable of accomplishing anything without their medication. Fortunately for me, there are always three perspectives: what a parent sees, what individuals around the child sees, and what the child wants to do. This phenomena was truly evident with one father that he convinced me that "when you work with my child, you'll realize why we need to put him on medication". I took this client up to his challenge, worked with the child given the task that he wanted to work on, and found no sign of ADD whatsoever.

As with anything that you would like to improve or change in your child's life, it takes time to develop, acquire, and maintain certain skill sets. The desire to improve by simply making one phone call or talking to a neighbor is simply not enough. Having a proper plan that is put in place and setting that plan alongside with expectations in a realistic timeline is more conducive to long-term growth and success. There are a few clients that I have been fortunate enough to know what this is and what this means and rarely, if ever, change gears. When I meet these clients I realize who they are and know that they are the parents that are able to lead and work through any type of adversity that their child is up against. Whether it be a developmental reading disorder, a visual processing issue or developing character, building a great foundation for your child is much more beneficial in the long run.

Christine Javier, Ed, M. is the founder of Learning Ridge, LLC. Learning Ridge, LLC is an education consulting agency in Atlanta focusing on providing premium educational solutions to high performing families and communities.