There is a very strong case to support the existence of alternate programs. Most people are aware of alternate programs that are geared to students who are at risk socially or who struggle academically. Many students can be guided to become successful, productive members of the community with the right kind of intervention.
What you may be less likely to know about is that there is a profile for the “Gifted with Learning Problems” student. These are the ones we refer to as having mountains and valleys.
These students’ potential may be completely derailed as their needs go unmet. They may be brilliant in math with visual or auditory issues that impede reading success. Or they may excel in reading and composition but struggle with algebra.
Teachers are often aghast when their most brilliant students choose to pass on higher education. I’m always amazed at how many truly intelligent people are unaware of their gifts. Or they know they have potential but cannot face the education system with their problems and, for them, so many doors close. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Dr. Robert Meeker has pointed out that most learning problems are not profound. They are for the most part undiagnosed and untreated. In our school system, the focus is usually on teaching the child with problems to “cope.”
Most learning problems can be helped – poor auditory processing included – if you understand what’s needed and have the tools to deal with it. Likewise, most problems with math can also be corrected.