Re: DSM: [SVS Discussion Board] Re: Sudbury and learning disabilities or low IQ's

Kathleen Stilwell (
Fri, 12 May 2000 08:07:59 -0700 (PDT)

--- wrote:
> The following new message has been posted on SVS
> Discussion Board at
> <>.
> MESSAGE: (#130) Re: Sudbury and learning
> disabilities or low IQ's
> AUTHOR: Wallace <>
> DATE: Thursday, 11 May 2000, at 9:16 p.m.
> Reply To: (#127) Sudbury and learning
> disabilities or low IQ's
> Author: RS B;ale
> Date: Monday, 24 April 2000, at 7:37 p.m.
> : I have three children (ages 9 yr, 9 yr, and 11 yr)
> and am strongly
> : considering putting them in a Sudbury school. One
> of my sons (age 9) is
> : struggling with school. He has been labeled to
> have a learning disability
> : (is reading at a 1st grade level) and is becoming
> extremely frustrated
> : with traditional school. I have recently put him
> in a private school for
> : kids with dyslexia. He is doing better.
> : My question is what is your take on kids with low
> IQ's (71) and having a
> : difficult time reading attending a Sudbury school?
> Do you see kids make
> : gains when the pressure is off of them (I know the
> answer to this one)?
> : Has anyone watched a child with learning
> disabilities similar to mine go
> : through a Sudbury school? Could I hear some of the
> results, what the child
> : was like, what happened to the child? Also what
> about diplomias, or GED's,
> : how does the graduation process work?
Hi Wallace,
This is Kathy Stilwell from Las Vegas. I have an
11-year-old son who, according to "experts", would be
considered ADD/ADHD and dyslexic. But the experts are
wrong. My son is very intelligent, kind, loving, and
happy. He is not in a Sudbury school because one is
not available here. But a Sudbury model is the only
type of school I would even consider for him. Right
now he "unschools" at home with a friend's daughter
while we are working on starting a school. He plays a
lot, builds amazing structures, designs robotics and
would probably test for reading at a first grade
To understand so-called learning disabilities and
dyslexia, I would recommend reading "In the Mind's
Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People with Dyslexia and
Other Learning Difficulties, Computer Images and the
Ironies of Creavity" by Thomas G. West. Ron Davis, a
brilliant man who was considered retarded in school
tells his story in "The Gift of Dyslexia". I took the
Davis dyslexia correction course in California. Some
of their methods were helpful for my son. Others
bored him. I am currently working with a program
called Ball-Stick-Bird by Dr. Renee Fuller. My son
enjoys working with this one.
But a key point here is that my son has asked me to
help him to learn to read. I work with him only when
he wants to continue. And what works for him might
not work for your child. Your child will know what
works for him.
The labels applied by our education "experts" and our
schools create powerful negative self-images for these
innocent children. And a negative self-image is, in
my view, the biggest block to learning that there is.
Don't believe the experts. Believe your heart and
trust your son.

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