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Learning Barriers, By Kimberley Lemyre, MA

Oct 31, 2016 10:17AM ● By Elena Hutslar

We are almost two months into the school year and families are either feeling well equipped for the year ahead or experiencing growing concerns about their child’s progress. Thirty percent or more of all children struggle to keep up with state standards. This is true regardless of what kind of school they attend - public, private, or homeschool. Approximately 3 out of 10 students are “inexplicably struggling.”


I have been a private learning specialist for over 17 years. Before that I was a trained clinical psychotherapist who specialized in child, adolescent and family therapy. Bringing both professions together, I’ve made it my life’s work to get to the root of why so many bright kids struggle and to offer parents real solutions.  


One of the foundations of my practice is doing “Academic Risk Assessment” screenings. When kids struggle with learning, there is something going on that can be identified and dealt with. Every child is a natural born learner, so when their innate ability to learn is hindered, it is our job - certainly mine - to figure out what is in their way. The longer a child is left to struggle, the more their self-esteem and confidence suffers.


The good news is that uncovering the issues affecting your child’s learning doesn’t have to be a long and costly process. After completing an Academic Risk Assessment screening, I determine which of these factors may be affecting your child’s school performance:


  • Is your child a non-traditional learner versus a traditional learner?
  • Is your child young for his/her grade level or is English As a Second Language interfering?
  • Are there signs of any of the following significant learning challenges:
    • Visual or auditory processing problems
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • ADD/ADHD
    • Sensory integration disorder
    • Executive function disorder
    • Anxiety or depression connected to school underperformance.


Most of the time it is one or a combination of the above issues that interferes with a child’s academic success, and there are treatment solutions for all of them. My goal is to identify and manage learning issues before they interfere with your child’s and family’s psychological development. I’ve lived through this process without adequate support myself as a parent and have gone on to help countless families get to the light at the end of this difficult tunnel.  


Please feel free to call for a 15-minute phone consultation, (925) 639-0599.


Kimberley Lemyre, MA, is a clinical psychotherapist and learning specialist in private practice in Walnut Creek near Heather Farm. She is the founder of OptiKodes Academy, where she gives workshops and training on OptiKodes and teaches families how to understand each other's functional styles. Her book, The OptiKodes Answer, highlights the neurodiversity in learning and explains why one size doesn’t fit all in the classroom or in the world at large. Please visit and take a free OptiKodes test to reveal the neurodiversity of functioning in your family.