FAT City revisited 2005

These are just my notes from part 2.  Beyond FAT city.

Never do to a kid what you wouldn’t do to an adult.


dumb vs bad

Kids would rather look bad than look dumb most of the time.

There is nothing so unequal as equal treatment of unequals

Attention seeking behavior: Then what do we give them Ignore

Remedial and Compensatory

Three Stooges analogy: cutting off the quills from Curly’s behind, instead of taking them out.

putting books on tape helps, but doesn’t teach the kid how to read

Learned Helplessness

Why open up the hood of the car if I don’t know how to fix anything.

Symptoms might be the same, but the treatment is different.

Laziness vs Learned Helplessness

LD is very pervasive throughout the child’s life.

Spelling Difficulty: Trouble with Revisualization

The Mind’s Eye – You can revisualize what a word looks like (know that it’s spelled wrong, even if you can’t spell it correctly), same goes for visualizing a clean room.

(Reminds me of the cultural impact of mind’s eye, as in a TED video, that native or aboriginal cultures do not utilize their minds eye in the same way)

No idea what the end product is going to look like is like giving someone a job with no vision on what it would look like at the end.

USE a Camera to take a picture to help them revisualize. (for a job like cleaning a room, etc.)

As parents give kids roots and wings

Make no Assumptions

Lack a ton of background information:

LD as a hidden handicap

This is for the rest of my life:

LD is a condition for life.

Adolescence: Celebrating the generalist

Adult world is kinder to the LD kids because they celebrate the specialist.

Adolescent time is the only time that differences are not celebrated, you’ve got to fit right in the little box that the other adolescents have made for you, and it’s a terrible, terrible time.

Recognition of permanence: Realize that what you see in the mirror is what you’re going to be the rest of your life. If you look in the mirror and you like yourself, no big. But what if you look in the mirror, and your parents don’t understand you, your teachers don’t and other kids don’t like you.

Better definitions of LD’s

Attention Deficit Disorder:

They need stimulation.

Biggest problem they face is the lack of organization and planning skills when they hit high school and above.

Social Contracts

Waiting at the end of the line. How to behave in line.

Many LD kids don’t understand the social contracts in life.

Kids walk right through a situation they don’t understand that the social contract doesn’t call for it. They don’t recognize cues that tell them that they shouldn’t walk through, etc.


Kids who pick on them and kids who don’t. They think the kids who don’t pick on them are their friends, lack of understanding of what true friendship really is.

What do you do when they have a good day?

Do you hold it over them as how they should be all the time? Or do you celebrate it as a target?

A lot of LD kids don’t benefit from the kinetic melodies ( brushing teeth, signing your name, tying a tie, making a bed ) its like a new experience every time.

When elephants fight

Impact on family:

When a parent gets the diagnoses of LD, parents go through different stages of understanding in their own time.

Mom and dad don’t experience the same stages at the same time, then they disagree on their kids.

When people are in crisis, they don’t understand.

MultiDisciplinary Teams

Change to transdisciplinary teams. Everybody is there for one reason: to advocate for the child rather than for their department or subject.

When elephants fight, it’s the grass that gets trampled – African proverb

The use of punishment is ineffective. They need positive reinforcement.


They don’t understand how tone of voice and body language can change the meaning of a message. Kids with LD don’t get it.

Special Education rooms and teachers are set up for student success, so it means a great deal more when the LD kids get success in the regular class. Self confidence and self esteem are the largest problems.

Regular educators are the ones who can improve the self esteem of the LD kids.

Parents : become the expert on your child’s disabilities, but take your place at the table, be an advocate for your child.

Symptom Clusters

like elements in different compounds, kids have different clusters of the 110 or so symptoms of LD

High Stakes testing

Based on the idea that kids do their best work. Competition doesn’t motivate but the best kids

Risk Taking

What does it feel like for them.


Violence happens from kids who are bullied. Overwhelming amount of bullying are verbal, spreading rumors, and the internet has added to that.

Make him beautiful again

A boy was beautiful until he went to school, then went to Lavioe’s Cape Cod School, and became beautiful again.


~ by Craig Brewer on November 22, 2009.

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