Teachers or counselors can reinforce taught concepts in spontaneously arising situations (Knaus, 1974, 1977a, 1977b, 2004; Knaus & Haberstroh 1993). For example, asking a student to use a coping skill in a problem situation, when the student does not know the skill, is generally impractical. On the other hand, once the student has learned and practiced an REE concept, promptinga student to use a tested coping strategy, can prove productive. This application prompting method shows students that they truly do have choices in how they respond to problem situations, and can experience a sense of reward from applying a new REE taught skill.
Then, at fourteen, I spent a semester at a ski program in Switzerland. I found myself gazing at the Alps wondering what possessed Hannibal to attempt them with his herd of elephant! This country with four official languages, had 450 different varieties of Swiss cheese, with further “variety within the varieties”, which the locals told me was a combination of vegetation and techniques passed from one generation to the next. We studied European history, and Swiss Mountain Guides taught us how to read snow and avalanche conditions. We watched weather to predict whether we would be skiing ice or powder from the way the crystals set up on our jackets. By then, I was a reader but reading comprehension alone could not have guaranteed success in these places. Thanks to my dyslexia, I had the foundation to employ multiple paths of engagement, which helped me draw as much meaning out of these experiences as possible.