An Inspiring Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities
An innovative, comprehensive guide—the first of its kind—to help parents understand and accept learning disabilities in their children, offering tips and strategies for successfully advocating on their behalf and helping them become their own best advocates.
In Thinking Differently, David Flink, the leader of Eye to Eye—a national mentoring program for students with learning and attention issues—enlarges our understanding of the learning process and offers powerful, innovative strategies for parenting, teaching, and supporting the 20 percent of students with learning disabilities. An outstanding fighter who has helped thousands of children adapt to their specific learning issues, Flink understands the needs and experiences of these children first hand. He, too, has dyslexia and ADHD.
Focusing on how to arm students who think and learn differently with essential skills, including meta-cognition and self-advocacy, Flink offers real, hard advice, providing the tools to address specific problems they face—from building self-esteem and reconstructing the learning environment, to getting proper diagnoses and discovering their inner gifts. With his easy, hands-on “Step-by-Step Launchpad to Empowerment,” parents can take immediate steps to improve their children’s lives.
Thinking Differently is a brilliant, compassionate work, packed with essential insights and real-world applications indispensable for parents, educators, and other professional involved with children with learning disabilities.
In 1998, then college student Flink established the nonprofit Eye to Eye, which pairs LD/ADHD college student mentors with younger mentees (who have similar disabilities) to work on art projects. In this impressive guide, Flink uses lessons from leading Eye to Eye, as well as his personal struggles with dyslexia and ADHD, to advise parents, older children, and teens. The first step for a parent who suspects that his or her child may have dyslexia, ADHD, or another learning disability is to have the child evaluated. Receiving an LD and/or ADHD diagnosis may be a relief since it provides an explanation for why some learning can be so difficult. Throughout, Flink stresses that "learning disabilities and ADHD have nothing to do with native intelligence." In addition, he devotes a full chapter to discussing laws that mandate accommodation for students with LD/ADHD, and explains how to take advantage of these laws. Other chapters build on this foundation of diagnosis and securing accommodations, to discuss finding allies, becoming an advocate, and joining the larger community of people with LD/ADHD. In this inspiring book, Flink ends with a call for all with LD/ADHD to accept their condition, and share it with others so that the world will eventually accept all types of learners equally.
A triple play in LD literature!
On the heels of The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan, by Ben Foss, and The Dyslexic Advantage, by Brock and Fernette Eide, David Flink’s Thinking Differently completes the triple play in contemporary LD literature. What makes Flink’s book stand out is his ability to tell stories to which everyone can relate. His prose is fluid and easy to read, and his advice to families is never preachy. What I like most is that he shares his own experiences of living with dyslexia and ADHD, but he does not claim that his particular path to success is the right one for everybody. He emphasizes that every LD/ADHD person has his or her own unique strengths and weaknesses, and by enlisting the help of allies and advocates, they can all find their individual roads to success. In short, he provides a great deal of hope. For those seeking more information on how to help children (and adults) with LD/ADHD, I would recommend reading this book first before turning to the more detailed information that Foss and the Eides provide in their texts, which are excellent as well.