3D bologna

A Web site selling “help for smart kids struggling with reading and dyslexia” promises “Before you leave this site, you will discover the answers your child needs to be a successful reader.” Mira and Mark Halpert claim that “Gifted students Operating with a Learning Disability” are actually right-brained learners who think in pictures. On every page that I examined at the extensive Web site, they ask parents to complete this checklist and send it to them.

My child is able to remember things that happened long ago.

Once my child visits a place, they will remember it in detail.

My child has a difficult time following directions

My child has a difficult time copying material from the chalk/white board.

My child has a difficult time paying attention in the classroom.

When my child is interested in something they can focus on it for a long time.

My child is behind in reading

They recommend teaching sight words, seeing developmental optometrists, and lots of other nonsense. As evidence they offer testimonials. They do not refer to scholarly literature.

With so much bologna, all one needs is a couple of slices of bread and some mayonaise…. I hesitate to provide publicity for the site by linking to it, but it’s a good idea to let people see what’s being marketed to the unsuspecting.

4 Responses to “3D bologna”


  • John, there’s discussion at SchwabLearning about the weaknesses in the 3d Learner approach, here:

    http://www.schwablearning.org/message_boards/view_messages.asp?thread=16248&f=search

    and more commentary here

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2004/07/product_3d_lear.html

    both sites have commentary from the creator of “3d Learner”.

    I agree with you, it is lunchmeat. It’s so discouraging that the Davis Method is still being flogged, and Sylvan is advertising that it can help with dyslexia, and so on.

  • I am the developer of the 3D Learner Program.

    I am an experienced educator and mother of four — two of whom have Dyslexia

    I first developed the program to help my then 8th grade daughter who had been told she was not college material

    With the program she gained 4.2 grades in her comprehension in 7 months and later earned her Masters in Education and is now a teacher

    My son went from the 31st to the 74th percentile in comprehension and is now an Honors student in college

    We combine what we have developed with the best programs we can find and then partner with parents and professionals

    Our students often do well because they learn the way we teach, we address their underlying issues and we
    help parents to help their child

    We have had many students make significant gains in their comprehension including
    – A 2nd grader who went from the 18th to the 83rd percentile
    – A 5th grade who went from the 17th to the 82nd percentile
    – A 5th grader who went from the 48th to the 95th percentile

    We succeed partially because of what we do and how we do it and partially
    due to the committed parents who want to be an integral part of the solution

    At 3D Learner we do help the children who learn best when they see and experience information — As Dr. Linda Silverman writes in her book Upside Down Brilliance, “Phonics instruction does not need to be eliminated altogether, but sight word vocabulary needs to be built first. Then whole words or syllables can be compared and the pattern recognition capacities of the visual-spatial learner can be brought to bear”.

    Dr. Silverman’s research found that 38% of the students learn best with a visual experiential approach

    We also address student’s
    – Attention issues with the Interactive Metronome (R)
    – Anxiety issues with Heart Math’s Freeze Framer (R) System
    – Student’s vision issues by first using a Visagraph to identify tracking issues and then working
    with vision professionals
    – We train parents how to work with their child and their child’s school
    – Self-confidence, which is critical to build

    We believe phonics-based solutions are an option for parents, but have found
    the visual-experiential approach we use in conjunction with our other efforts
    to help this large cohort of students who learn best when they see and experience
    information

    We encourage parents to talk to others and to us and compare

  • Ms. Halpert, thank you for commenting. I am glad that your children are doing well. I applaud your intention to help kids and their parents.

    Many of the recommendations you have recited here have been examined scientifically and found wanting.

    For example, see these sources on behavioral optometry: American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement, “Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision: A Subject Review” “ADHD — Unproven Treatments“ and R. Worrall’s Web page about “eye-related quackery.&#8221.

    Similarly, how can we reliably establish which students “learn best when they see and experience information?” I know of no scientifically valid test for discriminating children on the basis of visual, auditory, or other sensory modalities for learning. If you have one, it would be a great service to the field of education to submit it to scientific scrutiny so that we can learn how to tell which students have which learning style. Once we know that, then we can study which methods work best with certain groups the test identifies and which methods fail with some or all of them.

    I am glad you encourage parents to compare. Comparing is at the bottom of scientific knowledge. It would be valuable, in fact, for you to submit your methods to a comparison against alternative methods.

    Thanks again for responding to my post and Liz’s comment.

  • Thank you for sharing both sides of the equation

    Dr. Linda Silverman, a very experienced psychologist who studies these students, has done a study of 750 students and found that 33% are what she calls visual spatial learners and an additional 29% learn better this way — her website http://www.gifteddevelopment.com has more information

    We have read the studies on both sides of the vision therapy argument and have both:
    – Used a Visagraph (R) that shows the problem when the child’s eyes are not tracking and

    – Seen the benefits when students get both the right educational and vision help

    We have also had a number of doctors change their minds when they see both the student’s problems and their excellent results

    We are working on a study and are more than willing to compare our efforts with other methods — many components of our program have been scientifically validated but not the integrated model — (e.g. The Interactive Metronome (R), Taylor Reading Plus (R), Gemstone Vision Therapy (R) and we use a well tested assessment — the Structure of Intellect Assessment (R) that does focus on learning style, underlying learning strengths and identifying vision and auditory issues)

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