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"Yelling Doesn't Work!"

Alternative treatments for children with learning disabilities

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

AGAWAM - Teachers, parents and individuals gathered at the Public Library to discuss alternative treatments for children with learning disabilities that did not involve medication on April 27. Rebecca Gonowich, of DORE Learning Centers, lead the conference titled, "Yelling Doesn't Work!"

"I don't like medication because when they give it to them [children] they get used to it and when they are 18 years old there is no insurance for it," Bobby Hollins, mother of a child with a learning disability, said. "Then they go towards other drugs that calm them down. I believe in finding foods to calm them."

According to Anne Marie Smith, a learning disabilities advocate, she is not for children being put on medications because the National College Athletics Association (NCAA) does not allow students on medication to participate in sports.

"I was told my son would never read," Hollins said. "I didn't believe in medication and instead I sent him to all the right schools. Today, he is attending Bucknell University where he plays sports."

"The DORE Program is a nonmedicinal treatment for learning disabilities," Gonowich said. "It is a clinically proven medication-free permanent solution for those with ADHD, Dyslexia, Asperger's Syndrome, behavioral and other learning disabilities."

Gonowich is a mother of three children all with learning disabilities who got involved with DORE and performed a Barbara Gopen Memorial Fellowship, a one-year paid fellowship for people or family members with a disability. Much of Gonowich's talk focused on the lack of results that yelling produced in a child.

"If you think about it yelling does work," she said to the audience. "But it just works once. The next thing you know you have to yell louder and you have injured the kid's self esteem."

Gonowich spoke of problem solving with children, offering empathy and learning to listen to them.

"Children do well if they can, and if they can't do well it is up to the adult to figure out why so we can help," she said quoting Dr. Ross Greene, an advocate for DORE and author of "The Explosive Child."

"Children do not choose to be explosive or noncompliant any more than a child chooses to have a learning disability," Gonowich said.

The DORE program believes that learning disabilities are physiological problem and that the fault lies in the cerebellum as a result of cerebellular delay development and that it is possible to improve through techniques that include individually prescribed eye balance and sensory exercises.

"It is inducing permanent change," Gonowich said. "It is doing what medication does but doing it naturally."

More information about DORE Centers can be found at or by calling 1-866-784-4377.