I spent over thirty years as an academic researcher and learned many things about cognitive functioning in those years. You can see my formal research activities by going to my profile on the Reading Success Lab website (see my profile), and clicking on the “Mike Royer’s VITA” link at the end of the profile.
But I also learned a lot, particularly a lot about individuals who had difficulty learning to read or do math, in my role as director of a laboratory at the University of Massachusetts (The Laboratory for the Assessment and Training of Academic Skills). My clinical lab provided assessment and intervention services for individuals with academic learning difficulties. Individuals who came to my lab varied in age from 6 to 40, included both boys and girls, men and women, and spanned a spectrum of ethnicity and race.
In the next few posts I will describe things that I learned by actually working with individuals with learning disabilities. The things I learned were things that I suspected to be true based on my academic research. But actually working with LD (learning disabled) individuals provided the evidence I needed to support my suspicions. The evidence from my observations was not the kind of evidence I could publish in scientific papers, but it did provide guidelines for me to improve the academic skills of many of the individuals that came to my lab.
As you will see in the cases I describe, we were not always successful in helping the clients we were working with. Many of our clients did improve, some in spectacular ways. But we also had failures. We learned from both the successes and the failures and the posts to follow will describe what we learned from both outcomes.