Here Comes Mel Levine

readyornotherelifecomes.jpgReady or Not, Here Life Comes is Mel Levine’s most recent book. Published in 2005, it covers a range of topics dealing with preparing young adults (and their parents) for life after high school and college. On January 17th my husband and I had the pleasure of settling in to a packed auditorium where Dr Levine talked about this topic. This was our third time in about eighteen years hearing Dr Levine speak, so we were already familiar with his engaging style. We’ve predisposed to hear his update about the many animals he raises on his farm in North Carolina, among them geese, dogs, swans, peacocks, pheasants, and donkeys, to name a few!

Before I tell you about Levine’s talk, though, for those of you who do not know him, here is an introduction. Dr Mel Levine is a pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Medical School. He is best known, though, for being the co-founder with Charles Schwab of All Kinds of Minds and the Schools Attuned program. Schools Attuned provides training to teachers in, and assists schools with implementing, the programs of All Kinds of Minds. The All Kinds of Minds approach is compelling because it does away with the negative labels that so often stymie both the students who are labeled and the faculty who are charged with teaching them.

amindatatime.jpgLevine’s approach is to uncover what is not functioning well within the student’s brain while also determining a student’s strengths. This process is called demystification, and can become an eye-opener for a struggling student and his or her parents. It is often the beginning of a fresh, positive approach to dealing with learning issues, and doing away with the stigma that often travels with kids who have been negatively labeled from year to year. In 2002 Dr Levine wrote A Mind at a Time, which is a most helpful primer for parents and teachers that covers the neurodevelopmental constructs behind the All Kinds of Minds approach.

You can get to know Dr Levine a bit more in this insightful September 2006 interview with Marge Scherer, Editor in Chief of Educational Leadership. The interview, Celebrate Strengths, Nurture Affinities: A Conversation with Mel Levine, is a well-focused lens both on Levine as an individual, as well as on his philosophy. And if you blinked in surprise that he lives on a farm with a multitude of animals, you can hear them at the beginning of this January 2005 NPR interview, Mel Levine: Teaching All Kinds of Minds, which begins on his farm. The NPR site also has seven additional audio clips of Dr Levine giving his views on a number of related issues. If you are interested in learning more, here are some additional books by Mel Levine:

themythoflaziness.jpg

Keeping a Head in School: A Student’s Book About Learning Abilities and Learning Disorders

All Kinds of Minds: A Young Student’s Book About Learning Abilities and Learning Disorders

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5 thoughts on “Here Comes Mel Levine

  1. Janet

    “Charlie” Dr. Melvin D. Levine, MD was an extraordinary pediatrician as well as human being. A more gifted and caring person would be hard to find in this world. Having worked with him closely for 16 years before his retirement, I find it obsurd that you purport yourself to appear to be an expert on his career. Once Dr. Levine’s first book to reach the New York Times best seller list as well as his first appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show he had a target on him that the leech lawyers of Boston placed on him due to his new ly acquired celebrity & and the financial rewards that can come with it. Also, how frustrating when reading about such ‘charges’ that the word “alleged” is NEVER used. This was a man incapable of any form of cruelty, especially sexually based. Think twice, and once again, before writing such trafe. You too are human. Have you ever been falsely accused? Can you imagine the devastation of the allegations to a man who lived & gave a life true to the caring heart and soul to alleviate the sufferings of others? Shame on you. I was also there for the entire duration of Dr. Levine’s non-profit AKOM as well as the birth and development of Schools Attuned (and it’s creation); he left AKOM in order to protect what was to be his legacy to the learning community. No one understood the workings of the developing mind and it’s applications to learning better than Dr. Levine. To have this taken from him in the years that should have been golden by the greed and avarice of opportunistic scum is more than tragic. A word does not exist for the evil those people perpetrated on such a great man. Try not to be so vocal and public with your ignorant comments based on a complex subject that you know little or nothing about.

  2. synapsesensations Post author

    Hello Mary Ann,

    The only information I have for testing is at this link:
    http://www.allkindsofminds.org/ssc/index.aspx

    It does not appear there are test centers in the Seattle area, but perhaps contacting one of the organizations at the above link will lead you to places that can accommodate your needs.

    Regards,
    Laurie

  3. mary ann yanak

    I would like any information on the testing of child for LD. Is there aplace in Seattle or in the vicinity to have it done, also I would like a list of all the test area in USA. Please send all info like price, length of time for the testing, etc.

  4. synapsesensations Post author

    Hello Charlie,

    I did not miss these stories. In fact, I read quite a number of them. However, they have no bearing on the validity of Mel Levine’s research or programs that were established by/with him. As far as I know, Levine has stepped down so as not to encumber the effectiveness of the organization/program. I am not aware of any conclusion to the accusations. Levine is still on the circuit as a speaker.

    Regards,
    Laurie

  5. Charlie

    Er, you might want to update your biography of “Dr” Mel Levine who surrendered his medical license last year because over fifty boys have come forward to say he molested them.

    It was the front page story of the New York Times last August:

    Star Pediatrician Fights Accusations of Sex Abuse:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/us/06pediatrician.html

    Additionally, it appears that you also missed the story in the Times and the Raleight News Observer that Levine was pushed off the All Kinds of Minds and Schools Attuned Program because he is being investigated for sexually abusing kids – and the foundation was losing contracts.

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