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The ABCs of Learning Issues Review by Jenny Underwood

Dana Stahl, M. Ed.
Educational Alternatives
35 Lily Pond Lane
Katonah, NY 10536

Many homeschool parents have to deal with learning issues in their children and since we are the main educator of our children it’s imperative that we understand exactly what we are facing. The book The ABCs of Learning Issues a Practical Guide for Parents from Dana Stahl, M. ED. and Educational Alternatives seeks to address these things for parents to take away the mystery of learning issue diagnoses.

 This book is laid out in an easy to read format for parents and is not a lengthy book so it’s not overwhelming! In my opinion that is a definite plus. It divides up the learning issues into sections such as Academic Anxiety with Regard to Performance or Transitions, Attending to Academic Task, Auditory Integration and much more. Then each section breaks those diagnoses apart and explains exactly what it means to a clinician, an educator, and a lay person. Next it explains the behavior you may observe in your child who has this learning issue. Then it explains which professionals can help your child with this issue, which teaching strategies can be employed in school and helpful strategies for you at home to help your child.

 I read the book and was able to glean some really useful help from it for my sons. Though neither has been “officially” diagnosed with a learning issue I could see several parts that fit with problems I had noticed in their homeschooling. For example, my oldest would greatly benefit from wearing headphones while listening to a story if it’s noisy and does not learn well when there is noise. 

One thing that is apparent to me while reading the book was that it leaves most of the work to the “professionals.” While I have no issue whatsoever with working with others when needed I also prefer to learn exactly what it is I need to do to teach my boys and work through their problems myself. I have found this to be the case with many other homeschoolers also. She does address a parent’s role however it is not in-depth like it would need to be in a homeschool setting.

It is a very helpful book in that it does thoroughly address the various learning issues and what they mean for a child. It also delves into preparing for college with learning issues and provides an extensive glossary of terms that you may need to know that relate your child’s diagnoses. It also lists organizations and community resources that may be helpful to you. 

Dana Stahl is very knowledgeable and comes from the perspective of having learning issues and thriving in-spite of these. I think that is something so important to remember:  learning issues do NOT define your child. God gave these children gifts and it’s up to us as a home educating parents to help them through any learning issues they have. This book might be just the thing to help jumpstart you! 

-Product review by Jenny Underwood, Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2018