To understand Learning DisabilitiesAuthor: reema chowhai
Learning disabilities, or learning disorders are a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Kids with learning disabilities aren\'t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else. Their brains are simply wired differently. This difference affects how they receive and process information.
If your child is struggling, and you suspect a pattern of difficulties rather than an isolated instance, speak first with your child\'s teacher and other school authorities about your concerns and to set up learning disability testing. Also, have your child\'s hearing and vision tested (by your pediatrician, and an audiologist or ophthalmologist).
Remember, the evaluation and diagnosis of your child\'s learning disorder is not a sign of failure. It\'s an opportunity. If you stay active in the process of learning disability testing, you\'ll find you have more control than you think you do .The first part of determining whether your child has a learning disability is the testing process. The learning disability testing process usually begins when a child has problems with academics or behavior in school.The child\'s Learning disability testing is required to determine eligibility for special education;
..Learning disability testing provides important information about suspected disability
Common type of learning disabilities are-
Dyslexia -Difficulty reading: Problems reading, writing, spelling, speaking
Dyscalculia-Difficulty with math: Problems doing math problems, understanding time, using money
Dysgraphia- Difficulty with writing : Problems with handwriting, spelling, organizing ideas
Dysphasia/Aphasia- Difficulty with language:Problems understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension
Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder)- Difficulty with fine motor skills : Problems with hand–eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity
Auditory Processing Disorder- Difficulty hearing differences between sounds: Problems with reading, comprehension, language
Visual Processing Disorder -Difficulty interpreting visual information: Problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures
Difficulty in school doesn\'t always stem from a learning disability. Anxiety, depression, stressful events, emotional trauma, and other conditions affecting concentration make learning more of a challenge. In addition, ADHD and autism sometimes co-occur or are confused with learning Difficulty
ADHD –Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, while not considered a learning disability, can certainly disrupt learning. Children with ADHD often have problems sitting still, staying focused, following instructions, staying organized, and completing homework.
Autism – Difficulty mastering certain academic skills can stem from pervasive developmental disorders such as autism and Asperger\'s syndrome. Children with autism spectrum disorder may have trouble communicating, reading body language, learning basic skills, making friends, and making eye contact.
Math Is Not Hard!Author: Manjit Singh Atwal
As a math tutor for 15 years, what I found in more than 80of the students I met? They have something very common in all of them, that is, they all say, 'the mathematics is very hard.' Why most of the students find mathematics a hard subject and try to avoid it?
The answer for the above question is hidden in a simple explanation. I always give an example to my students, and giving the same example in this article, the example of staircase, we use to reach the different floors of high-rise buildings. These days, all high-rise buildings are equipped with elevators, but they must have stairs to use in case of emergencies. Consider this high-rise has stairs only and no elevators, for the purpose of the article.
As you know, to reach any of the higher floors from the ground level, we can\'t jump from ground to reach higher floors, or if we try we will fail and probably will hurt ourselves. You might agree that it is very hard (impossible) to jump to second floor from the ground. So, we use stairs to reach the higher floors in a building. What, if the stairs are broken? Can we still make it to our destination floor with the same ease and comfort? Think about it, and compare the math classes or grades to steps in the stircase and whole mathematics to the high-rise building.
Now, the kindergarten, first grade and second grade are like first couple of the steps of the whole staircase to the math high-rise and you can learn this level of math easily and anytime, same as you can jump enough to take yourself to second or third step of the staircase with ease. Also, if you are smart enough, you can learn the kindergarten to grade three or probably grade four math, easily. As it is very hard to reach sixth or seventh step of a staircase by jumping from the ground, exactly the same way to learn grade five or higher grade math is very hard (or impossible most often) without having the good knowledge of the kindergarten to grade three or grade four math.
Now, consider one person is jumping on the ground to reach the third floor of a building, can he make it? Never, if he is not Spiderman. For this person, to reach the third floor by jumping is impossible or very hard and he will give up after trying it for some time. But another person used the stairs to reach the same floor and found it very easy and reach there with little effort. Exactly the same way if a student has all the basic knowledge, he/she obtained in elementary grades, with him/her, then he/she is, let\'s say, at fifth step already and he/she need not to jump to go to the sixth step, actually the student can do it easily by taking one step to the next level. On the other hand another student is in grade six and doesn\'t know the lower grade math concepts such as, times tables, factors or number system. This student is in the same situation as the person trying to reach to third floor from ground level by jumping.
I think, its very clear now that mathematics in each grade have the same importance and it lives with us and support us always, (not like a person but like our eyes or other senses, it helps us to succeed in life). So, whichever grade you are in, start focusing yourself on math. Ask your teacher lots of questions. Keep asking until you are not clear about the concepts or topics you are working on. Each grade act as a step in the whole staircase to the mathematics high-rise building, and performing poor in math in any grade is like breaking one step in the whole staircase which will make the whole staircase risky or scary to use in the future.
So, what it takes to be smart in mathematics? My answer is, keep yourself focused on math in each and every level of your studies. Participate in the class math practice sessions. Ask your teacher lots of questions until you are not clear about any concepts taught by your teacher in the math class. Mathematics is a subject which demands lots of practice on solving the problems on paper rather than reading them only.
As in case of Social Studies taking more readings make you smart, in case of math practicing lots of problems and solving them by hand makes you smart. To practice math problems math workbooks are the good source, when you learn a concept in a workbook, then in the same book you have more problems to practice on the same concept you just learned. Another good method to practice mathematical concepts is using math worksheets and you can print math worksheets free of charge from the web.
Finally, choice is yours, you can choose the jumping method to reach your math destination or you can use right and proven path to reach your math destination. The right and proven path to math destination has the following steps:
* Start learning math as soon as you start your kindergarten * Focus in your math classes, listen to your teacher * Ask your teacher lots of question until you are not clear about the concept, you are learning * Practice, practice and practice. For this you can use math worksheets or math workbooks.
If you take the proven path, one day you might say, 'Math is not hard.'
Click any of the links to visit one of sites. We are uploading tons of math content online.
Enemies teach you what you need to knowAuthor: jasmineQ
It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
A quote I've heard attributed to Benjamin Franklin - "You should love your enemies, for they tell you of your faults". Our loved ones and acquaintances usually won't tell us our faults, and yet, this is what we need to be working on to improve ourselves. Perhaps not considered one of the foremost of philosophical minds, but I think Stephen King put's it well, "Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty".
These days, rather than trying to be perfect each day, remember that there are lessons you must learn that can only be learned in the crucible of adversity, pain, and difficulty. Of course, it is easier to talk about this abstractly. It is much harder to love our enemies on a daily basis. We are to love those who despitefully use us and abuse us and victimize us again and again. It's not easy to do this in any case, but it is much harder to love when we feel deeply and repeatedly violated and our trust has been destroyed.
Greet your enemies. One part of loving our enemies is to greet them graciously when we see them. Sometimes (often, perhaps) instead of turning the other cheek, we turn away so we won't have to say hello to someone who has hurt us. Some of us have been quite adept at looking the other way, ducking into a room, crossing the street, or even using Caller ID to keep from greeting those who have hurt us. But if we only greet our friends, what benefit is that? Do not even sinners greet each other? One part of loving your enemies is to greet them instead of avoiding them.
Doing good to your enemies means seeing beyond your pain and their meanness to their humanity. "Doing good" means that you do what will promote their healing despite the way they have treated you. The idea is, you make the first move. You send the e-mail. You pick up the phone. You make the contact. You bridge the gap. You set up the appointment. Be kind to them. Show them you don't want to sink to the foul level that they're on. I just mean speak to them with respect, just not like you would speak to a true friend. Offer to help but don't be extremely friendly.
First off, as much as you think you're a great guy and that everyone loves you, I'm telling you that you have enemies. Everyone has enemies. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. A skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it of his subordinates. Be aware of the incredible leverage a person has by learning how to let life happen and respond calmly, rather than trying desperately to control what happens. The basic difference between happy people and sad people is that the happy people concern themselves with what they can do on their end. Sad people concern themselves with everything else.
How do you think people cope in life? They stand up for themselves. If you don't stand up for yourself, as an adult you won't be able to take an insult. Show them that they have no right to treat your day the same way that they are treating you. For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.
There are also some fundamental techniques in handling people. First principle is to not criticize, condemn, or complain. Second principle is to give honest and sincere appreciation, and the third principle is to arouse in the other person an eager want. Albert Einstein said that "A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be." He was a great thinker and perhaps there are lots of things you could learn from him just reading Albert Einstein quotes and many other Quotes of note from different authors.
What is Good Teaching ?Author: Prof.Bhushan Manchanda,MCMI
"A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron." -- Horace Mann
"They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Carol Buchner
"The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind." -- Kahlil Gibran
We know the books are important, the pencil, the computer, the white and blackboard and so are the chairs to sit on, but if there is no motivated and inspiring teacher in front of the chairs, if there is no such teacher to write with chalk on the blackboard and to teach ... then there is no learning, no reading, no maths, no passing on of knowledge,ethics and values, no instilling of a "love to learn ethos" in the student.
All students must have had hundreds of teachers in their lifetimes and a very few of these teachers they would remember as being exceptionally good. What are the qualities that combine to create an excellent, memorable teacher? Why do some teachers inspire students to work three times harder than they normally would, while others inspire students to avoid their classes ? Why do students learn more from some teachers than others?
Here I have focused on the four essential qualities that distinguish exceptional teachers:
Other major qualities that a Good teacher must have are resilience, excellence, determination, conviction, and resolve.
Here's an experiment I had done in one of my earlier assignments. The results may surprise you. Go into one of the classes you are teaching and have your students take out a sheet of paper. Ask them to list for you the qualities they feel are important in a good teacher. Ask them to identify the qualities they admire in the best teachers they have had. Then give the students enough time to think about it and write something down. Five minutes is good, but ten might be better. Let them answer the questions anonymously if they desire.
What you will get if you combine all of the responses is a fascinating collage of ideas. I have found that most of the responses fall into two specific categories:
1) a set of "core qualities" that students recognize in good teachers, and
2) a set of "specific skills" that are developed by good teachers.
"Core qualities" are the essential characteristics needed to be a good teacher. I would like to concentrate on these core qualities in this article as under.
Students have consistently and clearly targeted as the number one quality of a good teacher exactly what you would expect: knowledge of the subject. You must be an expert in your field-both theoretical and practical –preferably with an industry interface and experience if you are going to be a good teacher in a Management college or Business School. This is a prerequisite.
The second core quality that good teachers possess is the ability to communicate their knowledge and expertise to their students. You may be the greatest expert ever in your field, but what would happen if you lectured in a style and language the students are not able to comprehend clearly? How much would your students learn?
It is a common misconception at the College level that knowledge of a subject is all that's required to be a good teacher; that the students should be willing and able to extract the meat from what you say- regardless of how it is delivered (even if it is delivered in a incomprehending language or different style). This might be true at the post graduate level, but elsewhere it is definitely untrue. It is especially untrue at the undergraduate level. The teacher's job is to take advanced knowledge and make it accessible to the students. A good teacher allows students to understand the material, and to understand what it means (because it is one thing to understand how nuclear bombs work, but quite another to understand what nuclear bombs mean).
A good teacher can take a subject and help make it crystal clear to the students. A bad teacher can take that same material and make it impenetrable. Or a bad teacher can devote so little time and effort to preparation that the material presented is intrinsically confusing and disorganized. A good teacher is willing to expend the effort needed to find innovative and creative ways to make complicated ideas understandable to their students, and to fit new ideas into the context available to the student. A good teacher can explain complicated material in a way that students can understand and use.
There is a saying, "Give me a fish and I eat for a day, teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime." This is the philosophy of a good teacher. Give your students an answer and they can solve one problem, but show students the techniques needed to find the answer for themselves and they can become self-sufficient in the field. Students need to be shown how to apply the new techniques you teach to problem solving.
A good teacher starts with a firm knowledge of the subject, and builds on that with a clarity and understanding designed to help students master the material. The best teachers then go one step further. Because good teachers are interested in the material being taught, they make the class interesting and relevant to the students. Knowledge is worthless unless it is delivered to the students in a form they can understand. But the effort expended making the material understandable is wasted if the students are disinterested when it is delivered, or if the students can see no point in learning the material.
Good teachers recognise this, and work hard to make their material relevant. They show students how the material will apply to their lives and their careers. Bad teachers make material "relevant" by threatening students with failure on a test. Good teachers go far beyond this: they make students want to learn the material by making it interesting.
This is one of the things that makes industry and business examples so important and vital to learning in a business school or college.Industry interface and practical real life examples make the ideas discussed in class exciting and important to the teacher, as well as to the students. If the teacher isn't interested in what's being taught, then why should the students be?
Good teachers always possess these three core qualities: knowledge, the ability to convey to students an understanding of that knowledge, and the ability to make the material interesting and relevant to students. Complementing these three is a fourth: quality: good teachers have a deep-seated concern and respect for the students in the classroom. Why else would a teacher put in the time and effort needed to create a high quality class?
The creation of a good class requires an immense amount of work. You don't simply come up with clear explanations,industry cases and examples and experiments for the class off the top of your head. You don't create fair, consistent, high quality tests,questionaires and homework assignments (read "learning experiences") five minutes before you hand them out. You don't figure out ways to integrate new materials and research into a class in an understandable way on your way to your college or institute in the morning. You work at this sort of quality all the time. You spend time with your students so you can learn about holes in their understanding. You read and write and create to build an exciting and interesting class every day. The only thing that would drive you to do that is a concern and respect for the students in your classroom.
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires". ~William Arthur Ward
When you strive and work to become a good teacher and to create a good class, the four core qualities are essential:knowledge,the skills to convey that knowledge,the ability to make the material you are teaching interesting and relevant,and a deep-seated respect for the students.Without these four core qualities,good teaching will just not take place.
Good teachers make learning so much fun that it makes the students feel like they could do anything they wanted to do. The positive seeds teachers plant in their students keep on growing throughout their lives.
"The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book". ~Author Unknown
"What a teacher writes on the blackboard of life can never be erased". ~Author Unknown
"A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others". ~Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, translated from Turkish
MA,PGDMM,MBA (Faculty of Management Studies,University of Delhi,India),MCMI (Chartered Management Institute,UK)
Associate Professor and Head,Department of Management Studies,Jagannath International Management School,GGS Indraprastha University,New Delhi,India.
Management Education, Training & Soft Skills Consultant. Over 35 years Industry,Education and Training experience
Children with ADHD often struggle in social situations. This sometimes only start showing up later on (not necessarily before the present cut-off diagnostic age of 7 according to the DSM-IV). This might have to do with executive functioning.
Since ADHD is often unrecognised by the man on the street, socially inappropriate behaviours are easily attributed to other causes and these children are regularly seen as rude, self-centred, ill-mannered, irresponsible, lazy, or their behavior is considered even as poor parenting. Yet negative labelling leads to social rejection over time not only in the peer group but also later on their adult relationships.
So, a serious question is why do these children so often struggle in social situations?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) describes ADHD behaviour as being easily distracted, missing details, forgetting things, difficulty maintaining focus, easily becoming bored, struggling to complete chores or tasks, daydreaming, struggling to follow instructions, often loosing
things, fidgeting and squirming, talking non-stop, can become very impatient, inability to tolerate frustration, needing immediate gratification (struggling to wait for things or taking turns), acting without considering the consequences, blurting out answers, and showing emotions without restraint.
It is not difficult to understand why such behaviour might generate unhappiness in peer groups and interfere with relationships.
In the DSM-IV problematic executive functioning is not directly spelled out under ADHD but rather under neurocognitive disorders (of course, problematic executive functioning also occurs during or after brain traumas which really necessitates a correct diagnoses of ADHD). However, behaviour such as the required diagnostic symptoms for ADHD does cluster under executive functioning. Basically it is those behaviours that drive parents and teachers up the wall! Executive functions can be considered an umbrella term for those vital tasks required for planning, strategy, organisation, self-control, regulation of attention, and of
course, social insight and interactions.
For this reason the DSM-V which is to be published during 2013, proposed various changes to the diagnostic criteria of ADHD amongst others possibly changing the cut off age to twelve. Previously the problem behaviour had to have been present before the age of seven. However, problems with executive functioning do not necessarily show up by age seven... (The DSM-IV criteria for ADD/ADHD have also been heavily criticised for reasons such as subtypes being unstable over time, impulsivity being under presented while lack of attention receives the primary focus, subtype classifications leading to borderline cases for example. The child fulfils only five criteria of a subtype and therefore can receive no official diagnoses, and so forth - Hence, no offical help.)
How and where, does executive functioning and social relations interlink?
Firstly, we do not even know about the term executive functions. So nobody informs us to look out for additional problems besides attention or hyperactivity. Neither are we told that the medication does not address that particular issues re ADHD. While focus and hyperactivity almost always react positively to medication, it is not necessarily the case with executive functions (possibly one of the reasons why so many parents give up on medication and believe it doesn't work). Parents in particular are confronted by the social and emotional behavior of the child, while the teachers struggle with the academy. So, while medication might assist the child to improve at school, it still does not help with the "home bound" or "socialising" issues which parents, mostly, are confronted with.
However, if a child's attention span and hyperactivity is not medically addressed it denies him the opportunity to function on the same level as his peers and also to interact according to the social requirements of his group. Now I am referring to only "sporadically" medication provided to the ADHD. One of the things I have never understood is why practitioners often tell parents the ADHD child only needs the medication during school hours or when studying. This I find irresponsible as the child socialises also in the afternoons, over weekends and during holidays, and for this attention and hyperactivity also need to be addressed.
Let's face it, children can be cruel. Those who march to a different beat are often ridiculed, bullied, and rejected. No wonder they are more prone to seek the company of so-called delinquent groups. There they are more easily accepted for who they are.
What I am also trying to say here, is that medication is the first step. Without medication you can forget about addressing all the other issues that accompanies ADHD.
Getting back to the ADHD child’s social relationships, the ADHD child therefore needs [over and above mediation] more parental guidance during his forming years than so-called normal children. The ADHD child in particular often/regularly requires monitoring and feedback in social situations as he already struggles with amongst others meta-cognition (the ability to read the impact of his behaviour on others and to adjust it accordingly) and internalizing language (using "self-talk" to control one's thoughts and behaviour and direct future actions). His often disability to tolerate frustration and to think before acting or speaking regularly leads to misunderstandings and conflict. It is therefore not simply a question of correct medication, but also addressing the various other problems that regularly accompany ADHD.
Various interventions to assist parents and ADHD children are available, such as specialised parental guidance, behavioural therapy, neuro-therapy and biofeedback, cognitive or rational emotive therapy (especially where the ADHD child has already developed a mood disorder) and social skills training. In
addition the ADHD child often also requires specialised support with schoolwork, where comorbids (other learning disorders such as problems with reading, writing, mathematical) are also present.
Problems with executive skills therefore require that ADHD needs an integrated, holistic approach, not only medication. It is well-known that IQ does not “rule” the world” anymore, but EQ as well. What is the use of passing high school, if you cannot cope otherwise in the world out there....
We would therefore do well when we also assist our children to develop their social (and EQ) skills. ADHD parents in particular would do well if they remember that over and above medication, they also need to pay attention to their ADHD’s child’s social skills (yes, at risk of repeating myself constantly…)
Afterthought - As one teenager states: "When in doubt, ask us! We do not wilfully misbehave." (Cashin 1997).
With ADHD, we really have to start thinking outside the Box instead of being boxed in by what we can expect from these children; versus what we ourselves are willing to contribute.
Barkley, R.A, Biederman, J. (1997).Toward a broader definition of the age of onset criterion for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997:36(9): 12-4-1210
Cashin, J. (1997). Jamie Trying to Fit In A Former Student's Perspective. Available at http://adhd.kids.tripod.com/jamie.html.
Clinical Practice Guideline: Diagnosis and Evaluation of the Child with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Pediatrics 105 (5): 1158-70 2000.
Denckla, M. (1996). A theory and model of executive function: A neuropsychological perspective. In G. Lyon & N. Krasnegor (Eds.), Attention, memory and executive function. Baltimore, MD.: Paul Brookes. pp.
DSM-IV. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th Ed. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994.
Guevremont, D. C., & Dumas, M. C. (1994). Peer relationship problems and disruptive behavior disorders. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 2(3), 164-173.
Russell A. (2010). Against the Status Quo: Revising the Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD. Barkley Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.2010; 49 (3):205-207.
ADHD When We Can Just Say, "No!"Author: Peggy Aauyeung
The time has surely come for those of us cast into the oftentimes challenging role of parents and teachers to take back our own self-respect and rights as responsible adults. We must not be afraid of the children entrusted to our care. There are times when indeed, we just need to say, "No!"
As a long time teacher, mother and grandmother, I am more than ever convinced that a large number of children diagnosed with active ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, are not always in need of ‘time outs' and other negotiated behavior deals which only sink us all down to the level of game board cronies or frustrated, impatient babysitters.
I recently overheard one of my third grade students bragging to his friends about his ‘serious 'conference consisting of the school principal, both parents, a psychologist, and his teacher concerning his unruly and oftentimes disrespectful classroom behavior. "Oh boy, did I fool them, I can do what I want and they decided I'm going to get a time out when I get home. They said that a punishment will make me behave even worse and then I won't feel good about myself. I can't wait! When I have time outs I don't have to clean my room. I even get a reward for not kicking the door! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Yes, that's what we do. We negotiate with our children. Aren't making deals and negotiation tactics arranged so that both parties get what they want out of the transaction? What exactly are we getting from negotiating with our kids? Are we teaching them responsibility, self-control, and personal accountability? Don't we have the confidence in our own maturity, increasing wisdom, and experience to know what has the best chance of working? Is it really a time out, cancelled play date, no screen time or fewer cookies after dinner which brings home the message that certain behaviors are off limits?
We need to take back our positions and stand firmly on adult turf. The line in the sand is not the line in the sandbox. We all know that children are not compliant, totally submissive mannequins who will obey all of our reasonable requests and advice. They must come to the realization on their own that good behavior is ultimately advantageous for their own personal wellbeing and successful navigation of life's vicissitudes. They need to experience the ramifications and humbling reality of the word, "no." Life sometimes doesn't go according to our wishes, and we ‘don't always get what we want.'
Remember the slogan of Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No!" campaign against drug use? It was about as straightforward as it gets. When we are no longer afraid to tell our kids, "No" and stick by it, our children will get the resounding message that, "Yes, we can take care of you and help you to make good decisions and control your own behavior. There are boundaries we will not let you cross. We love you."
When our children are bent on bad behavior toward themselves, society, or others, and we say and mean, " No,"we will all have a better society consisting of more wholesome individuals. There are times when the word, "No," is just a better way to get to a future, "Yes."
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Disclaimer: As stated on the home page, this site is both for educational [students] as well as self-help purposes [to reach those who do not always have access to direct professional help]. Where articles make use of case histories to demonstrate or support arguments, they are presented as examples only and comparisons which might be made with persons either living or dead is coincidental unless otherwise stated or referred to by research.