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Recommended Books

Why Our Children Can’t Read” by Diane McGuinness, Ph.D. gives many insights into why many children have problems with reading. The excellent message is that no child has to fail at learning to read. This is important information to the 43% of American students that are not reading on grade level. Click on the book to learn more.

Another recommended book is by Lawrence J. Green, entitled “Finding Help When Your Child is Struggling in School.” This book shows you how to work within the educational system and how to seek assistance outside the system. Concrete, step-by-step plans of action are included to help inform and educate parents.

Seeing Is Achieving, Improve Your Child’s Chances For Success” will change the lives of many thousands of families around the world! Written in a simple, straightforward style, this practical guide is for parents who want their child to develop to his or her fullest potential in school, sports, and in everyday interaction with others. The authors show that a great many of the problems children face in school, sports and social activities can be corrected relatively easily if they are caught early by developing proper channels for their eyes to communicate vital information to the brain. They explain why kids with “good eyesight” can still have poorly developed vision and perception, and how you as a parent or teacher can spot the telltale signs. This book gives case histories of typical childhood vision problems, and how they have been helped with vision therapy.

It discusses Jean Piaget’s theory of development and then illustrates activities and strategies to help a child with experiences best designed to develop his/her full potential as a “thinking” human being. The book proposes to show how children can be prepared to develop their full potential as thinking human beings. The activities or ‘games’ (170 are included) described provide a general foundation which should help the child to deal successfully with specific academic subjects. Even though this book was published years ago it is a timeless classic that is referred to on a daily basis by many in education and human development.

Another important book (“Failure to Connect” by Jane M. Healy, PhD) that is a welcome addition to the growing (and long overdue) debate about how much of a good thing it is to mix computers and children.

Healy is a professional educator of wide experience, and a recovering techno-fundamentalist. She is scrupulously fair about the evidence presented in various studies on the ways computers help or hinder learning, and quick to offer positive anecdotes where there are positive ones to be had. (She freely notes, for example, what a miracle computers have been for some handicapped children.) But her conclusions about the routine use of computer technology in the classroom are overwhelmingly–and persuasively–negative.

A major theme of “Failure to Connect is the federal government’s culpable idiocy (not her term, but she implies as much) in jumping uncritically, to the tune of $4 billion a year, on the “computer in every classroom” bandwagon. As she shows, there is scant evidence that computers teach basic skills any better than traditional methods, or that children who don’t have computers are somehow “left behind.” Conversely, there is abundant evidence that an uncritical infatuation with computers as an educational panacea is replacing skill building and learning with formless play while forcing art and music lessons, and in some cases math textbooks, off many school budgets.

This book (Your Child’s Growing Mind : A Guide to Learning and Brain Development from Birth to Adolescence by Jane Healy, PhD) became an instant classic when it was published in 1987. The most recent version is 1994. It has always been a cornerstone for educators. Now revised and updated to reflect recent findings in brain research, this book guides parents, teachers and doctors as they gauge the level of development of an individual child’s brain.

Eye Q and the Efficient Learner summarizes lessons that the author, Dr. James Kimple, learned during 45 years of of successful prevention and treatment of learning disabilities. Children with these problems have been burdened with labels: ADD/ADHD, perceptually impaired, neurologically impaired, dyslexic. Many are called lazy, slow learners, or just “dumb”. Whatever the label, we treat symptoms and ignore causes. Until parents and educators recognize that the foundation of effective learning is good functional vision, we will continue to use elaborate, cumbersome, and ineffective treatments.

This book addresses the identification, prevention, and treatment of functional vision problems. It an analyzes the visual demands of reading, and indicates what parents and schools can and should do to help children succeed in school.

Suddenly Successful” by Hazel Dawkins is “a readable and thorough presentation of visual dysfunction which often results in significant learning difficulties and behavioral problems in children, adolescents and adults.” states Morris Wessel, M.D., Pediatrician, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

Buzzards to Bluebirds by Allen and Virginia Crane outlines exactly how you can help your child realize her or his potential in six weeks. The authors, who team-taught for many years, dedicated three decades to researching and developing this valuable material. Part I is for parents, Part II is for the parent-teacher team, Part III is for schools. The book offers a clear guide to identifying and eliminating problems that trigger learning difficulties-from straightforward checklist to test and charts. Here are practical, proven ways to resolve learning and behavior problems.

This next book, “Vision and School Success : A Guide to Understanding Vision’s Role in Learning and What the Teacher Can Do to Facilitate Learning in the Classroom by George B. Spache, Ph.D., Lillian R. Hinds, Ph.D., Lois B. Bing, O.D., is written for those involved with children’s learning. A broad concept of vision, including its sensory, motor and central processing dimensions. It helps educators recognize the visual demands of the classroom, the behavior of students who are experiencing stress because of their vision problems and ways and means of alleviating this stress.

How To Develop Your Child’s Intelligence” by Dr. G.N. Getman is a classic. It has been analyzed, critiqued and approved by authorities in several fields including education, psychology and behavioral optometry. This book stresses that professionals and parents realize the importance of childhood, and how it intellectually prepares children for the culture into which they are being thrust. Children are finding themselves in cultural demands for which they have not had adequate physiological, neurological or cognitive preparation.

There is now so much emphasis upon the reading skills needed for the impact of a tremendously symbolic world that children are being hurried into the task earlier and earlier. All of this ignores the fact that reading abilities are now of greater concern to parents than they are to children. Further, there is too little attention being paid to the stresses being heaped upon these children who have not achieved the learning skills they must have for all academic subjects. “How To Develop Your Child’s Intelligence” includes two separate wall charts of intellectual development that are excellent resources.

Although the multidisciplinary nature of learning disabilities has been recognized for some time, the scope of each of the several disciplines involved is often less well understood. Professionals, such as pediatricians, and parents often are unable to measure the quality of services being rendered to a child. This book, “Treatment and Management of Children With Learning Disabilities by Dr. Harold A. Solan (Editor) takes the panorama of information about learning disabilities and enables the reader to develop a reasonable expectation of the scope and level of educational and professional services administered by each of the individuals who is teaching and/or treating the child. Contributors include neurology, education, behavioral optometry, psychiatry, psychology and speech/language.

Eye Power” by Ann Hoopes is based upon the premise that vision is the principal link between the brain and the outside world and thus serves as the master coordinator of every part of the human organism. The author is the director of the Wellness Center in Washington D.C. writes that vision therapy can result in improved self-awareness, vitality and mental efficiency.