by Gary Fisher and Rhoda Cummings
Free Spirit Publishing, 2002
Review by Barbara Foster, Ph.D. on Apr 29th 2003
The Survival Guide for Kids with LD is a simply presented
guide written for those dealing with LD or rather "learning
differences." Written by
University of Nevada-Reno LD professors, Gary Fisher and Rhoda Cummings, this
book discusses different types of LD difficulties, resources, and coping strategies. Unlike many LD books, this is
written at approximately a fourth grade level to help kids with LD recognize
how and why LD affects their lives. The
bulk of the book addresses what does LD mean and doesn't mean.
This book appeals to general readers because of
its informal tone, style and format. This readable prose is
written in a way that provides simple explanation about what LD problems are
and what can be done about them. Its
style appeals to particularly to LD kids who have difficulty processing
language and the format is easy to follow.
Not only did the authors provide examples of dialogue with LD kids, but
they also cited research to back up their explanation of different types of LD
problems. The text uses simplified
dictionary explanation on LD terminologies that parents or non-LD people might
not be familiar with.
From the beginning, the authors use first-person
language and self-questioning technique to draw kids to read the book. These questions target many issues kids
face, not just those with LD. Foe
example, "Do you have trouble with schoolwork even though you think you
are smart?" "Do you wish you had more friends, but you just do not
know how to say and do the right things?" and "Do you wish your
parents would let you do what you want instead of making you spend hours and
hours on homework?" The authors
address each issue in an informative and practical way that inspires
kids who may not like school to set goals and plan for the future. In short, the text creates an open, non-threatening
approach and asks some real questions to help kids who are struggling
academically, emotionally, and socially.
It also includes up-to-date resources for
parents and teachers to learn more about LD.
honest solutions suggested by the authors aim at boosting the self-esteem of LD
kids that being different have a uniquely positive side. This is a wonderful tool for families and
kids to learn about the harsh reality of being different in a competitive world
and they are not alone.
This book has not only created a new perspective
for me as a professional, but also raised new questions and presented materials
in a novel manner. Hopefully, teachers and parents who read
this book will come to appreciate that LD kids can also succeed in school and
in life, but they may need to learn different strategies to compensate areas of
© 2003 Barbara Foster
Barbara Foster, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Special Education, Dowling College, NY