Ep. 4: Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities with Dr. Daniel Franklin

Nov 17, 2020 | 0 comments

What is a Language-Based Learning Disability and when should we as parents be concerned? Well, let’s ask an expert! Today my guest is Dr. Daniel Franklin, the founder and clinical director of the Los Angeles based Franklin Educational Services and the author of the book Helping Your Child with Learning-Based Learning Difficulties.


In today’s episode my guest and I discuss how the parent-child relationship is an important component of any intervention. We also recognize the fine line between being a helicopter parent and a helpful parent and Dr. Franklin gives great advice on walking that fine line. We even dive into the struggles students, teachers, and parents are facing with distance learning.

Dr. Franklin and I have such an amazing conversation today that will leave you empowered and inspired. 

Show Notes:

[1:31] – Karen and Daniel have had a previous conversation about the “Summer Slide” and the new concern, the “COVID Slide.”

[2:37] – Dr. Franklin says that research is finding that many children who have a reading difficulty or diagnosed specific learning disability very frequently have a behavioral difference as well, like ADHD.

[3:29] – Because of this overlap in learning difficulties, they are grouped under a broader umbrella of Language-Based Learning Disabilities.

[4:10] – Dr. Wilson mentions that she sees the overlap often in her practice and even when children have completely different diagnoses, they often have similar learning difficulties.

[5:20] – We want to remember that the human brain, especially a child’s brain, is a social organ that functions best in a context of healthy, positive relationships.

[6:11] – Dr. Franklin discusses the importance of the child developing a strong concept of healthy relationships and calls this Attachment Theory. Attachment Theory is an individual’s internal model of what a relationship is.

[6:32] – Only when a child is in a calm, regulated state can they experience meaningful learning.

[8:41] – The difference between a helicopter parent and a helpful parent is that a helicopter parent provides help that is not needed.

[10:04] – When we need to provide more help, that is fine, but when help is no longer needed in an area, as parents, we need to dial it down a bit. The inconsistency can seem confusing.

[11:19] – While students are learning to read, they cannot read to learn. When students are expected to learn information from written language, we need to help them understand in a different way.

[12:39] – Dr. Franklin gives some suggestions on how to help students with writing without being counterproductive.

[14:12] – Generally, teachers are okay with the help parents give their children when helping them with writing as long as we are transparent with them and they know what to expect.

[16:05] – Dr. Franklin emphasizes the importance of identifying underlying difficulties to provide students the correct instruction and intervention.

[17:04] – The hierarchy of reading support is discussed in Dr. Franklin’s book and he breaks it down briefly with Dr. Wilson.

[18:40] – Dr. Franklin was featured in a documentary called Unteachable by Anthony Sherin which focuses on the importance of student-teacher relationships. Daniel was featured because of a personal experience with a teacher that impacted him profoundly.

[21:05] – Having a strong relationship with students is important in helping them develop self confidence and reinforce a love of learning. Daniel realized that he was capable of learning.

[23:58] – No two kids are the same. No two kids learn the same things in the same way at the same time.

[24:25] – Teaching and learning virtually is very challenging so if a parent notices a struggle, it could be a learning difficulty, or it could be the fact that they are distance learning.

[25:16] – Dr. Franklin’s recommendation for parents who are concerned about distance learning for their child is to keep a record of all the learning outcomes the teacher is seeking and to become actively involved in knowing the lessons. If you know ahead of time, you can pre-teach your child so they go in prepared and confident.

[27:11] – Sharing your observations with teachers is important. Right now, during this pandemic, teachers are working hard on delivering content and teaching in a way they are not used to and that is very challenging.

[29:47] – If you want to know what is going on in a child’s mind, observe their body. If they are slumped over, their brain is slumped, too.


About Our Guest:

Dr. Daniel Franklin is the author of Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities, and a co-editor of The Los Angeles Psychologist. He holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a PhD from UCLA in Education. Dr. Franklin has over 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, administrator, and educational consultant.


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