“The Language”

Since our intensive training in the Schools Attuned Program, Subject Specialist Path, which earned faculty a certificate two summers ago, all Learning Specialists at Forman School now use the neurodevelopmental terms in the Learning Profile write-ups which they compose for each of their students before classes begin. This one page Learning Profile provides a “snapshot” of the student that includes his/her learning strengths, challenges, affinities, and necessary accommodations. These profile pages are given to parents, classroom teachers, college advising staff, and other professionals who need access to this information. Learning Specialists are also asking that students use the neurodevelopmental terminology when articulating their learning needs. As a faculty, we are making a conscientious effort to include this specific language in the comments we write home to parents each term. The problem we are facing is that oftentimes parents and educators do not fully understand what is written in the learning profiles because they never had the All Kinds of Minds training. Students are also experiencing difficulty learning the terminology. Forman is a high school which specializes in teaching only those students having learning differences. Do you believe using this technical language makes our reports more accurate, or should we write in layman’s terms?

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One thought on ““The Language”

  1. I suppose the “techicality” of the language depends on what level you are using (construct, function, or component). I don’t think the constructs and functions are too technical, but out of context, I suppose they could be intimidating. Honestly, I don’t think it matters if you use AKOM terms because what is important is that you cite the observation and link it to your hypothesis. It would be just as easy to say “Student gets overwhelmed when his memory is asked to juggle mulitple tasks” as it would be to say “Student struggles with Active Working Memory.”

    We have to keep our eye on the ball that our goal is to educate/empower our students and parents to understand themselves. Sometimes that may mean using the language, and other times it may mean leaving the language aside and just explaining.

    The great thing about our approach is that we aren’t confined by our labels!

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