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Newsletter of

Elliott & Associates, Inc. Mental Health Services

5600 Monroe Street Sylvania, Ohio 43560

Phone: (419) 885-1910 Fax: (419) 885-5060

Website: qualitytherapycenter.com


Recognize the Signs of Dyslexia

With the of help of our child psychologists at Elliott & Associates, children with dyslexia can crack the learning code and achieve success in school, career and life

Starting school can be challenging for all children, but especially for those with learning disabilities. Imagine looking at words, trying to learn to read, and seeing them backward or simply not understanding them at all. This is what happens when a child has dyslexia.

Unraveling the Mystery of Dyslexia

"It's a language-based learning difference that affects reading and spelling, but included in that is a difficulty with hearing, perceiving, and sequencing sounds, word retrieval, organization, and working memory," explains Joan A. Mele-McMarthy, vice president of the board of directors of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).

The IDA reports that 15 to 20 percent of the general population has language-based learning disorders and dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing, and spelling problems. The disorder, which can be inherited, affects boys and girls almost equally.

It used to be thought that boys were affected twice as much, but research has shown that both are equally affected recent reports reveal that girls with dyslexia are just able to muddle through a bit better than boys.

Beyond reading letters in the wrong order, people with dyslexia have problems learning to speak, organizing both written and spoken language, memorizing number-related facts, learning foreign languages, and doing mathematics.


Understanding Dyslexia

Some of the early warning signs can be seen in preschool years with kids who don’t learn colors, shapes, rhyming, or the letters of alphabet. "In first grade they have a very difficult time breaking the language code, even with good instruction, and figuring out what the words say. They don't perceive and sequence the sounds well. They can't hold all of the sounds in working memory as they blend them. They struggle with decoding that piece of reading."

While most children in first grade go through an explosion of reading, children who have dyslexia lag significantly behind their peers despite good intelligence and problem-solving skills.

Signs to look for in preschoolers include:

  • Difficulty reading single words, such as those on flashcards

  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds

  • Confusing short words, such as “it” and “to”

  • Reversing letters, such as “b” for “d”

  • Reversing whole words, such as “top” for “pot”

Having one of these symptoms doesn't mean your child has dyslexia. A lot of kids reverse letters before the age of 7. But if your child has several of these problems, or if you have a family history of dyslexia, it might be time for a formal evaluation.

Diagnosing Dyslexia

There is no single test for dyslexia. It's done by a battery of assessments. Typically we look at information processing, a child's ability to engage in verbal reasoning tasks, non-verbal reasoning tasks, working memory, processing speed, an ability to rapidly retrieve and spell words, manipulating sounds, rhyming, and how well can they talk about difficult concepts." The child psychologists at Elliott & Associates have a comprehensive testing program to detect not only if Dyslexia exists but also the specific type and how it can best be treated.

A second component when making a diagnosis involves more closely examining how well the student reads and comprehends.

Dyslexia Can Be Successfully Treated

A dyslexia diagnosis does not mean your child won't finish school, go on to college, or succeed in work. But without some special assistance, children with learning disabilities can suffer from self-esteem problems.

Psychological treatment procedures and instruction must be implemented with intensity and frequency to establish new learning patterns. Teaching programs that work best involve a multisensory approach.

Our child specialists at Elliott & Associates not only diagnosis the type of learning disability but also have a comprehensive treatment program designed specifically for each student. We also design for each child classroom interventions and work in close concert with the local school systems. However, the main dyslexia treatment program we offer is done in our clinical setting using advanced learning strategies, cognitive behavioral therapies, biofeedback and neurotherapy.

Learning disabilities don't have to hold your child back. There are a lot of famous individuals who have overcome dyslexia, including Charles Schwab, founder of the brokerage house Charles Schwab & Co.; actress Whoopi Goldberg; John T. Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc.; and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.

With proper training, people with dyslexia can tackle, and master, just about anything in life.


Two Very Important Tools to Improve Your Marriage

Dr. Jacob J. Elliott
Elliott & Associates, Inc.
Mental Health Services
5600 Monroe Street
Sylvania, Ohio 43560
Phone 419 885-1910  Fax 419 885-5060
Website: www.qualitytherapycenter.com

After performing marital therapy for many years, I am often asked, what are the secrets to improving relationships for married couples. Two very distinct relationship dynamics come to mind almost immediately. When understood and used, they can result in a tremendous improvement in the quality and emotional intimacy of the marriage. We must start with the assumption that men and women are neurologically wired differently. This difference displays itself in several distinctly unique behaviors.

One of these two processes I call “The Cave” and the other “Bonding”

The Cave is almost purely a male activity while “Bonding” is traditionally a female dynamic.

The Cave refers to the strong need men have to retire from an issue or heated discussion by walking away or going inside of themselves to process the information and formulate a game plan. For the man, this seems like the natural and right thing to do. His intention is to deal with the issue but in his own male way. To his female counterpart this smacks of shutting down, withdrawing and even abandonment. A mistake women often make is to follow the man into his cave and continue the discussion as he is emotionally trying to take a time out to think about the issue. Sometimes she even let’s loose with criticism of his avoidance-like behavior, further escalating the conflict as he moves toward the cave.

 Women would do well to understand this almost universal male need to sequester to process the issues. However, the husband must also be aware that as he starts moving to the cave, he needs to inform his wife that her feelings are important to him, and let her know he is going in the cave. At that time it is important to reassure her that he will be back to further discuss the issue and feelings. It might even be smart for him to set up a time to deal with the conflict after his taking the time out to process his feelings and ideas.

 What is not ok is for the man to emerge from his cave with the issue resolved in his own mind and not reconnect with his wife. Unfortunately, this is often a route men take.

The “Bonding” dynamic is almost purely a female activity. It is important for women to understand that there are few more distressing four words a man can hear than, “We’ve got to talk”.  This is because when women are  trying to deal with or resolve an issue, they have a strong need to talk about it, and talk about it, and talk about it some more. This is very confusing and seems redundant and at times very annoying to men who more often are trying to logically address the concerns. Men are usually more narrowly focused and would like to hear the problem one time and find a solution and move on with a “There that’s done!” mentality.

 Men would do well to understand that the repetition of an issue by their wife is aimed much more at emotional bonding and ventilating feelings and not at finding a solution. Moving to his cave at this juncture can impede the bonding process and in fact result in an escalation of “painful” continuation of his wife’s need to talk. There is a tendency for men to think of themselves as problem solvers and they are often mistakenly focused on a solution to the problem rather that to just bonding and ventilating the concern. Males can make a large improvement in their emotional relationships with their wives if they focus less on the issue and more on the feelings. In a sense, don’t listen to what she is saying- listen to what she is feeling and embark on mutually sharing the feelings. 

Very often the issue is not the issue the relationship is the cure. Sharing the feelings and thereby bonding is the glue that strengthens the relationship. If in the end you find some agreement or agree to disagree but respect and accept each others position, the

relationship is enhanced. 

Love is the encouragement of growth in each other not the demand for agreement. As romantic as it may sound, the premise that the two shall become one is not a sound psychological basis for a marriage relationship. This leads to, is that one going to be predominately me or you! A better emotional basis for the marriage is the doctrine of “Free and yet Close”. That can result in being free to each have your own identity and yet maintain a high level of emotional authenticity and intimacy with good conflict resolution skills.

If you be you and I be me we can have a better us.