“Leave Almost No Child Behind (LANCB)”

Jack Katz

60 years ago, when working in 3 central schools, I found that Phonemic Synthesis Program works better than I could have imagined. I used it with 16 of the 17 kids who took the PS test (1 kid passed with flying colors).  When I saw such great improvement, so quickly, for some reason I thought that all the kids in 1st grade should get this help.  In those days we did not have phonics, as reading was done visually only, so this was a virgin group.  The 1st grade teacher let me work with her kids 30 minutes a week for the rest of the semester.  At the end of the term I thanked her for letting me work with her children.  I said next semester I’d be working with the kindergartners.  She looked so disappointed and said, “You mean you are not going to be working with my children?” I was so surprised and asked why she was so disappointed.  She said all the wonderful things that she saw (I don’t remember the specifics as I was shocked). The next semester I worked again with the Kindergarten kids but still didn’t realize the broad potential for this training. I had to leave the school as I started my PhD program in another state.

In the early days of Learning Disability- LD, they said that 20% of all school children had it.  We did a study in a middle-income group district in the Kansas City area. The head of the counselors in the district applied for a grant from the state of MO to fund our study.  She trained counselors, teachers and parents about LD and then she asked the teachers to indicate which children they thought had LD.  She reviewed the submissions to be sure and then referred those kids to our medical center for Psychological, Speech, Language, Hearing, Auditory Processing evaluations.  We used SSW and PS as our APD battery.  Of the various tests the Auditory Processing Disorders-APD procedures were more significant than the other 4 types of tests.  77% of the children tested were LD (that was 20% of the school population).  In those days they did not think that children with psychological disorders, autism, neurological conditions, hearing loss, etc. could also be considered LD, so they were never evaluated.  So, when considering those higher risk children, it accounted all together to about 20% of the entire district with APD!  In the 50 years since then I have seen nothing to make me question about 20%.

If LANCB, would be given to each Kindergarten or 1st grade class, it would give this valuable training to all children, quickly, and I think, inexpensively at an ideal time to form important foundations in their brains.  It will not solve all the problems but will help the average kids, the mild-moderate kids even more, and even the severe kids to some extent.  It could have some value to the above-average kids too.

The training could directly affect speech, reading, spelling and be reflected in memory, language, and academically because of improved decoding (thereby opening new opportunities for them). The therapy would not need to be limited to Decoding.  Speech-in-Noise would be possible and perhaps memory.  Working with one class would help to figure out what would work best.  E.g., the students with more challenge would be seated close to the front and middle. If this program works well in Kindergarten, then some aspects could be used with preschool children also (that would be super!).

This would eventually to make a huge difference in almost all children in the state or country.  It would have to start somewhere. This is the first thing I would recommend as the most economical approach with the broadest effect!



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We are a group of professionals dedicated to helping individuals with auditory processing weakness

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