There was a time, when my kids were younger, when I would chase every idea for a therapy or a learning program that blew my way. I'd hear about something on an e-mail list or a parent forum, check it out online, maybe make some phone calls, ask questions, go to open houses, research, wonder, try. Always, there was that promise that maybe this would be the thing that would make the difference, turn on the light, turn the key, transform my kids into their most fully functional selves.
One the one side, guilt that a lot of time and money would go down the drain pursuing perfection rather than loving my kids where they were. On the other, guilt that I might miss something that would make a difference and help them have the full and easier lives they deserve. You've been there with me, right? Darned if you do, darned if you don't?
We tried a lot of things, nothing too extreme or invasive or expensive, but everything I could talk myself into. I don't really regret it, because there is no telling what incremental changes may have been made that, cumulatively, brought my kids further than they might have otherwise come. There were, to be sure, no dramatic shifts. But since I can't go back in time and see how they would have been without all that, I'll assume it wouldn't be better. We did no harm. The kids mostly enjoyed or tolerated the stuff we did. If nothing else, it kept me feeling useful and proactive and forward-thinking, and that's worth something.
My book review for this week is of A Life in Balance, which tells of the development of the sort of learning program I'd have chased at one time, Learning Breakthrough. And though I've pretty much jumped off the merry-go-round and stopped grabbing for that brass ring of Amazing Improvement, it did get me tempted to think again about spending money and setting up routines and seeing if maybe, even at this late age, my kids have a few tricks still hidden up their developmental sleeves.
To aid those of us so tempted, I've made up a reader review form for therapies and learning programs like Learning Breakthrough -- or Dore, or Fast ForWord, or Lindamood Bell, or auditory integration training, or Brain Gym, or any of those other tantalizing techniques we've all shopped around for over the years. If you've tried something that worked great, worked okay, or worked on your last nerve, please write a review and let the rest of us know what you thought.
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