A Framework for Student Support Teams
Essential Skills for Struggling Learners
Special Education
This innovative planning guide is your key to identifying and prioritizing the essential skills that students with and without learning difficulties need to succeed.
Contains Companion Materials
52551 978-1-68125-255-1
2020 440
Available Stock

To provide the right supports for struggling students in grades pre-K to 12, your school team needs a thorough understanding of the skills that contribute to learning—and a systematic way to help students with a wide range of learning difficulties. This innovative planning guide is your key to identifying and prioritizing the essential skills that students with and without learning difficulties need to succeed.

This book presents 11 key domains of learning—divided into neurological, developmental, and educational domains—and gives your team a complete, collaborative plan for pinpointing where students need help and adapting your supports to meet those needs. For each of the 11 domains, the authors offer a logical framework that consists of critical skill sets and skills your students need for learning success. Every domain gets a dedicated chapter that helps you:

  • Understand why the domain is essential to learning in both special and general education
  • Learn about the research and resources used to develop the framework for that domain
  • Take a deep dive and master key terms and definitions
  • Discover how the skills associated with each domain develop in typical learners
  • Find students who are struggling by making good observations, and by identifying missing or underdeveloped skills
  • Identify your students’ strengths so you can help them build and expand on their skills
  • Clearly communicate your observations to all team members
  • Build better intervention plans and IEPs using the specific educational objectives, teaching strategies, and accommodations suggested in each chapter

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Each chapter offers an in-depth Case Study example, a Skills Observation Sheet for notetaking during student observations, and a Skills Framework for use as a quick reference on skills when making observations and developing IEPs. Two practical appendices walk school professionals and team leaders through the collaborative process of putting the frameworks in the book into practice.

Support students in 11 domains of learning:
  • Vision Skills
  • Hearing Skills
  • Motor Skills
  • Formal Language Skills
  • Pragmatic Language Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Executive Skills
  • Affect and Self-Regulation Skills
  • Reading Skills
  • Writing Skills
  • Math Skills

A Note on the Chapter Appendices
About the Authors

Chapter 1 Vision Skills
Chapter 2 Hearing Skills
Chapter 3 Motor Skills

Chapter 4 Formal Language Skills
Chapter 5 Pragmatic Language Skills
Chapter 6 Social Skills
Chapter 7 Executive Skills
Chapter 8 Affect and Self -Regulation Skills

Chapter 9 Reading Skills
Chapter 10 Writing Skills
Chapter 11 Math Skills

Appendix A Implementing the Frameworks: Suggestions for Professionals
Appendix B Implementing the Frameworks: Suggestions for Team Leaders


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Joan Mele-McCarthy, Executive Director of the Summit School - July 15, 2019
I am very impressed with Essential Skills for Struggling Learners. When this book is published, I am seriously considering implementing a book study or a continuing education course for my staff. It will unite the knowledge base among my teachers, speech-pathologists, school psychologists, and administrators and will provide us with common language to use with parents.
Kathleen G. Winterman, Director, School of Education, College of Professional Sciences,Xavier University - July 12, 2019
Takes a strengths-based approach toward meeting the needs of struggling students...The authors’ suggestions are rooted in advocacy for the child’s future development
Paul Yellin, Director, The Yellin Center for Mind, Brain, and EducationAssociate Professor of Pediatrics - July 11, 2019
A well-written, well-researched, thoughtful, and valuable resource for those interested in truly understanding and addressing the needs of diverse learners…Anyone responsible for supporting struggling students will want to keep this rich resource close at hand.
This product has additional material available on the Brookes Download Hub.
  • skills frameworks for every chapter

  • skills observation sheets for every chapter

  • Visit the Download Hub for a preview of what's available.