WHEN CHILDREN DON'T LEARN: Under. standing the Biology and Psychology of Learning Disabilities by Diane McGuinness

WHEN CHILDREN DON'T LEARN: Under. standing the Biology and Psychology of Learning Disabilities

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There has been much hokum from professional educators in explaining to poor, benighted parents the reasons why their children can't learn. This book demystifies and debunks the pseudoscientific bases for diagnoses such as dyslexia, minimum brain damage, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder and other intimidating terms that have little or no relationship to either biology or neurology. For parents and concerned professionals, McGuinness offers a clear, refreshing discussion of the issues that plague our schools. For the puzzled layman, there is a cogent and interesting argument, free of cant, on recommendations for change. Why then is there little chance that the methods the author values will ever be in widespread use in our schools? Simple: the institutional rigidity and the factory-like mentality that currently pervade the system. It is encouraging to discover how many people are doing such fine work in devising new approaches and often-revolutionary techniques. That should reassure parents everywhere that all is not lost. The author, aware of the resistance to the tested and validated methods she recommends, is shrewd enough to give the addresses of people to whom readers can turn if they have been told their child is suffering from something that sounds like a terrible disease. In reality, she contends, the ""diagnosis"" is often a shield for the professional's ignorance. Give this book to a confused, troubled parent or to an open-minded educator. It should be read by all those who desire a forthright, scientific approach to understanding learning disabilities and what can be done about them. This work shows there is a real hope of saving those countless thousands now floundering in despair and alienation.

Pub Date: Nov. 26th, 1985
Publisher: Basic Books