Jul 18

How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities

Posted by Soliloquy in Learning Disabled

Studio: Pbs Release Date: 05/06/2009 Run time: 70 minutes

Read more about How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses

  • Neighborhood Chef says:

    Review by Neighborhood Chef for How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities
    I saw this at a workshop for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Richard Lavoie is a dynamic speaker and gave an excellent workshop. As the parent of an Asperger’s child I came away with a better understanding of what my daughter must go through every day. PBS would do well to give it a wider release on DVD at a cheaper price than currently available here.

  • Pete Shea says:

    Review by Pete Shea for How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities
    Wow…this video really opened my eyes about the challenges ‘different’ learners face…especially in the tea kettle called the classroom.

    For these kids, forcing them to “try harder” is not only misguided, but downright unfair.

    Kudos to Lavoie for this powerful experience…it’s well worth the cost.

  • D. Kelley says:

    Review by D. Kelley for How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities
    I saw the video in grad school and it forever changed the way I view children with learning disabilities and how I teach and interact with all students. (I am a regular ed kindergarten teacher.) I was astounded that Richard LaVoie could create the disabilities in me while I watched.

    I think that every school district should have this in their library. It makes teachers more empathetic and therefore more effective for their students.

  • Jon Norris says:

    Review by Jon Norris for How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities
    This is an outstanding presentation by a very bright and capable educator. I would have given it 5 stars were it not for some production problems related to the original taping.

    Lavoie takes a group of people through a series of exercises designed to give “normal” people an idea of what it is like to have learning differences (LD). The exercises are remarkably effective and amazingly enlightening. He also dispels myths and discusses common errors teachers and parents make in teaching and communicating with children (and adults, for that matter).

    The exercises take one through experiences dealing with processing problems, memory problems, perceptual differences, motor function problems, reading problems, and behavioral challenges.

    While there are some obvious problems with the sound at times (probably malfunctioning wireless mics in the original recordings), the material is still extremely valuable and well worth the minor inconvenience of the sound issues.

    I first saw this while running the control room for a distance class in Special Education. Since the love of my life has multiple learning differences, the impact on me was particularly strong. I actually cried as I watched, realizing just how incredibly difficult her life must be. I have since seen it many times again, and purchased my own copy. I will soon be buying another copy, as I gave mine to a relative who teaches, who also loved it.

    While somewhat dated (notice the width of ties and lapels), it is an extremely important work, especially given the increase in such problems today. It is still very powerful and relevant today. This program has helped make me an advocate for LD people.

    However, this is not just for educators or those who know LD people. I think every business and organization should have their employees watch it, especially customer service folks, as it would be extremely helpful for them to understand the behavior and problems of many people. Since it has been shown that up to 80% of the people in prison have learning differences, it would be good for law enforcement and related people as well. In fact, I think it should be shown to everyone on a regular basis.

    Learning differences are not the same as mental retardation, a common mistake many people not in Special Ed make. I like to use the example of color blindness to try and explain this to people – these are errors in processing perceptual and memory data that are simply not under the control of the person, just like being color blind. No amount of sarcasm, shouting, punishing, or “motivating” these people will change what they cannot physically process, PERIOD. You have to be a better, wiser person than that.

    Given the massive amount of “moral” and related misjudgments society heaps on those who are different, I consider this material extremely important, and I heartily encourage everyone to watch it at least once. I owe Lavoie a tremendous debt of gratitude for what this information has done in my life, something I imagine he hears a lot. I have also learned a lot from the professor who introduced me to it. The world needs more people who care this much.

    By the way, give yourself a pat on the back if you get the first perception test (fuzzy picture) without his direct instruction. My significant other (LD) got it instantly…..I didn’t.

  • Voracious Reader says:

    Review by Voracious Reader for How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop: Understanding Learning Disabilities
    This video changed my life. A friend of mine loaned me her copy about 8 years ago, when my sons were diagnosed with ADHD. This video helped me understand my children in a whole new way. It made me more patient with them, and more compassionate. It didn’t preach at me or shame me — it CHANGED me from the inside out.

    Rick Lavoie is an incredibly gifted speaker and gifted educator. But besides that, he is deeply passionate about unlocking the potential inside every human being, and he has a heart for those kids who are misunderstood because their learning differences make them, well, different.

    In this fast-paced video, Lavoie leads a room full of adults through a series of hilarious exercises, which make them (and YOU) feel like they have various learning disabilities — dyslexia, ADHD, discalculia, etc. The exercises are very interesting and the participants are good sports. You can see the light bulb going on for each one as they feel what it’s like to have a learning disability.

    Lavoie demonstrates in a powerful way that what LD kids need is (1) time and (2) unconditional love.

    I thank God that He put this video into my hands while my kids were still young. It kept me and my husband from destroying our kids’ self-esteem through impatience or saying the wrong thing. I sincerely wish that every teacher in America would watch this video.

    For school districts, I would recommend the DVD. For people on a tight budget, you can buy the VHS from PBS for about fifty bucks. It is one of their best-sellers.

Leave a Reply

Disability Books Design by  wordpress themes