By Dr. Judah Weller,
Educational Director of P’TACH
Educators, parents, specialists, and administrators can help children rise above their learning challenges by communicating honestly and constructively. Being honest means not to deny or minimize a problem, but to view it realistically as part of a larger picture. Being constructive means becoming educated and using the proper tools to deal with a problem.
Sharing ideas and knowledge, we meet, talk by phone and e-mail, keeping the lines of communication open. Communication with mainstream teachers and support of mainstream classes is built in to the program as well. Most important, we build resilient children through open and honest communication with the children themselves.
What is all this communication supposed to accomplish?
First, the feeling—and the reality—of working as a team. When purpose and responsibility are shared, hope and expectations are high and more likely to be met.
Second, greater understanding of the children and the challenges they face help all those who have an interest in their successful education. A key part of that understanding is “demystification”—taking learning differences out of the realm of misinformation and fear and bringing them into the light of day.
Demystification is a process whereby an educator or clinician explains to the child the reasons he or she is having difficulty in school. One-to-one or in small groups, preferably with parents present, the child learns that he or she has defined problems that are not his or her fault, and that these problems have names and solutions. It is empowering for children to know the exact terms that describe their strengths and weaknesses. Demystification provides guidelines for parents and educators to become effective communicators with their children and students.
One of the key things that distinguishes P’TACH from other programs is its structure. P’TACH is a center-based program that provides a comprehensive team of education professionals, including a program coordinator, reading specialist, and psychologist, at each of its locations.
Working together, the staff provides a full array of services for children with learning differences. The team is uniquely positioned to know each child and to provide a foundation for a successful Jewish and secular education. For example, students in different grades are effectively grouped according to proficiency in a subject, thus, from the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic to the complexities of Hebrew, history, and the sciences, P’TACH offers personalized expertise and commitment in the academic arena.
Equally important, P’TACH is dedicated to success in the personal and social realms. We build self-confidence through information, caring, and reinforcing the positive. Teachers become partners with children and parents in the growth process. At the root of this alliance is the free flow of communication between them.
We welcome your participation. Whether you are a parent or you are considering a donation, our doors are always open and we are just a phone call away.
To find out if P’TACH can help your son or daughter succeed in school, contact Dr. Weller, educational director of P’TACH and a recognized expert on special education issues, at 718-854- 8600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. v