Thursday, February 19, 2015

Accommodating Learning Differences: Multisensory Teaching Materials by Dr. Erica Warren

We recently had the privilege of visiting with Dr. Erica Warren, a unique educator who creates and provides unique materials that are very individualized and multisensory. Her work as well as her materials help to promote mindful instruction that nurtures a genuine love for life-long learning.

Dr. Warren earned her Doctorate in Education (University of Georgia), which focused on life-long issues in learning, the impact of learning difficulties across the lifespan, and comprehensive diagnostic evaluations. In addition, Dr. Warren acquired a Master's degree in Educational Psychology, which covered life-span development, learning, and cognition and a bachelor's degree in fine arts.

Earlier this month, Dr. Warren was kind enough to answer a few questions we posed about her passion and the unique work she does to help ALL kinds of learners:

1) What experience(s) motivated you to establish Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials?
I had such a difficult time finding multisensory, fun and engaging materials, so I began to design my own. Then, when I saw how much my students benefited from my materials, I started the process of creating activities, documents, PowerPoints, audio discs, and Prezis that I could share with others.

In 2008, my first publication was Multisensory Multiplication and Division to Melodies. This project was a blast, and many of my students assisted by helping with the design of the CD cover and singing the songs in a professional recording studio. It was wonderful seeing these once dis-empowered learners who had struggled with the process now teaching and motivating others.

Since then, I have created board games, card games, cognitive games and exercises, and instructional presentations on topics such as following directions, multisensory instruction, mastering place value in math, teaching visualization, Orton-Gillingham remediation and executive functioning to name a few. I now have over 80 products that are available in my online stores Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. I also offer them on Teachers Pay Teachers.

2) What are the goals/objectives for your organization and the work you do?
My ultimate goal is to set a high standard and to reform education. We are living in a time of that I call Edu-chaos. Learning is a drag and both teachers and students have become passive participants of a broken system. I hope to bring the joy and awe back into education; what I like to call AwEducation.

3) What kind of feedback have you received about your Good Sensory Learning Materials?
I hear amazing testimonials from all over the globe.
If you really want to know what people think, you can go to my store at Teacher Pay Teachers. As I don’t own the site, the testimonials are unbiased.


4) Which materials are or appear to be the most in-demand?
My two most popular products are Reversing Reversals (remedial tools for struggling readers) and Planning, Time Management and Organization for Success.

5) Do you have plans to create additional materials? If so, for which topics (content) do you see the most requests or demand?
Really, the students that I work with one-on-one are my inspiration. If they have trouble mastering an academic topic, I usually create materials for them before their next session. Many of these become the foundation of a new publication. However, sometimes the projects are much bigger and can take 1-2 years to produce. For example, I wrote a digital book called Mindful Visualization for Education and I’m presently co-authoring, with Michael Bates from the Dyslexia Reading Well, a teaching guide for working with students with dyslexia. Finally, I’m thinking of collaborating with some amazing professionals to create teacher training workshops.

6) Who are the persons or groups seeking your advice and your materials? In other words, who is your audience?
My audience is students, teachers, parents, homeschoolers, learning specialists, and educational therapists. I have products, free materials and advice for all of these populations.

7) To date, have there been any specific individuals, groups or other organizations that inspired you and helped you realize your goals for Good Sensory Learning?
Again, my students are my greatest inspiration. In addition, there were key teachers along the way that helped to pave my path and fuel my fire.

8) You write and manage a blog entitled Learning Specialist Materials. Who are your readers? What important topics do you address in this blog?
Because I tackle a variety of topics, my audience is also students, teachers, parents, homeschoolers, learning specialists, and educational therapists. I have written a blog every week for a number of years now, and it has become a diary of my thoughts, ideas, and creations. I offer instructional strategies, reviews on technology and games, free materials, interviews, product reviews, and thoughts on how we can improve education.

Links and Resources Provided by Dr. Erica Warren

Good Sensory Learning
Educational workbooks, other materials and advice for all kinds of learners are available here directly from Dr. Warren.
http://www.goodsensorylearning.com/

Dyslexia Materials
This is the "daughter" site of Dr. Warren's Good Sensory Learning (Please see previous link above here.) Materials for reading, writing, math, memory & organizational skills are available via this website (some FREE).
http://www.dyslexiamaterials.com/

Teachers Pay Teachers
An alternate website where Dr. Warren's unique educational materials are available for online purchase (some FREE).
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Erica-Warren

Blog: Learning Specialist Materials
Dr. Warren offers free advice, materials, links and more here on her community blog.
http://learningspecialistmaterials.blogspot.com/

For information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
314-892-3897

Images courtesy of: Dr. Erica Warren

Monday, February 2, 2015

BEST Games, Apps & Activities to Help Improve Auditory Processing

What IS Auditory Processing?

Auditory processing is the term used to describe what happens when the brain recognizes and interprets the sounds in one's environment. A person can hear when energy that is recognized as sound travels through the ear and is changed into electrical information. This electrical information can then be interpreted by the brain. However, if a child or adult has what is called a "disorder" involving auditory processing, this means that something is adversely affecting the actual processing or interpretation of that electrical information. This is called auditory processing disorder (APD).

Children with APD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves may be loud and clear. For example, the request, "Tell me how a chair and a stool are alike," may actually sound to a child with APD like, "Tell me how a hare and a tool are alike." Problems like this one are often more a likely to occur when a person with APD is in a noisy environment or when he or she is listening to complex information.

APD may also be known by other terms. Sometimes it is referred to as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). Other common names for APD are auditory perception problem, auditory comprehension deficit, central auditory dysfunction, central deafness, and even word deafness.

Symptoms of Possible Auditory Processing Difficulty

Children with auditory processing difficulty typically have normal hearing and intelligence. However, they may experience:

-Trouble paying attention to and remembering information presented orally

-Problems carrying out directions with several steps

-Poor listening skills

-The need more time to process information

-Low academic performance

-Some behavior problems

-Some language difficulty (e.g., confusing syllable sequences, problems developing vocabulary and understanding language)

-Difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary

What Should You Do If You Suspect an Auditory Processing Problem?

You as a parent, teacher, or day care provider may be the first person to notice symptoms of auditory processing difficulty in your child. If you do have such a concern, you should:

1. First, talk to your child's teacher about his school or pre-school performance and your concerns. Be sure to include any observations you have made at home concerning your child.

2. Consider visiting the healthcare professionals who can diagnose APD in your child. Sometimes there may be a need for ongoing observation with the professionals involved. These professionals will try to rule out other health problems.

a. Make an appointment with your child's pediatrician or family doctor can help to rule out possible diseases that can cause some of these same symptoms. He or she will also measure and evaluate the growth and development of the child.

b. Discover if there is a disease or disorder related to hearing. To do this, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist--a physician who specializes in diseases and disorders of the head and neck. Your child's pediatrician or a local healthcare center can provide you with a good referral for such a specialist.

c. Learn if your child has a hearing function problem. This can be determined by an audiologic evaluation. An audiologist will give specific tests that can determine the softest sounds and words a person can hear and other tests to see how well people can recognize sounds in words and sentences.

d. Visit a speech & language pathologist who can evaluate how well a person understands and uses language.

e. Consult with a mental health professional can give you information about cognitive and behavioral challenges that may contribute to problems in some cases, or he or she may have suggestions that will be helpful.

f. Keep in mind that because the audiologist can help with the functional problems of hearing and processing, and the speech-language pathologist is focused on language, they ALL may work as a team to help your child. All of these professionals can work together to seek and provide the best outcome for your child.

In the meantime, it may be possible to help improve one's auditory processing ability. However, much research is still needed to understand APD problems, related disorders, and the best intervention for each child or adult.

Several strategies are available to help children with auditory processing difficulties. Some of these are commercially available but have not yet been fully studied. Any strategy selected should be used under the guidance of a team of professionals, and the effectiveness of the strategy needs to be evaluated. Researchers are currently studying a variety of approaches to treatment. Several strategies you may hear about include:

1. Auditory trainers are electronic devices that allow a person to focus attention on a speaker and reduce the interference of background noise. They are often used in classrooms, where the teacher wears a microphone to transmit sound and the child wears a headset to receive the sound. Children who wear hearing aids can use them in addition to the auditory trainer.

2. Environmental modifications such as classroom acoustics, placement, and an appropriate change in seating may help. An audiologist may suggest ways to improve the listening environment, and he or she will be able to monitor any changes in hearing status.

3. Exercises to improve language-building skills can increase the ability to learn new words and increase a child's language base.

4. Auditory memory enhancement, a procedure that reduces detailed information to a more basic representation, may help. Also, informal auditory training techniques can be used by teachers and therapists to address specific difficulties.

5. Games or software applications (apps) may be able to help improve auditory processing to a certain degree in some individuals. For the convenience of our readers, we have provided a list of resources that may be able to help:

Games & Activities to Help Improve Auditory Processing

18 Auditory Processing Activities You Can Do Without Spending a Dime!
by Bonnie Terry Learning
http://www.bonnieterry.com/blog/2009/01/18-auditory-processing-activities-you-can-do-without-spending-a-dime/

Activities to Enhance Auditory Processing
from Education.com
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Activities_Enhance/

Activities to Improve Language Skills in Children with APD
by Chris O of Speech Buddies
https://www.speechbuddy.com/blog/speech-therapy-techniques/activities-to-improve-language-skills-in-children-with-apd/

Apps to Help Improve Auditory Processing

Virtual Speech Center's 8 Auditory Processing Apps
Virtual Speech Center offers innovative mobile software solutions for schools, private practices, independent speech pathologists and parents. The company provides a wide range of mobile applications for speech therapy developed for iPad and iPhone devices. Some of their applications are offered at no charge to speech pathologists.
http://www.virtualspeechcenter.com/MobileApps.aspx?cid=1&url_entry=MobileApps

Top Apps for Auditory Processing Disorder
List compiled by Smart Apps for Special Needs
http://www.smartappsforspecialneeds.com/2013/08/top-apps-for-auditory-processing.html

Apps for Auditory Processing/Sound Discrimination Skills
by Lauren S. Enders, MA, CCC-SLP (via Pinterest)
https://www.pinterest.com/lasenders/apps-for-auditory-processing-sound-discrimination-/

Sources

National Autism Resources, Inc.
This organization is a global leader in providing cost effective, research-based therapeutic tools that meet the needs of people on the autism spectrum across their lifespan since 2008. Their tools and adaptive technologies work together to improve skills and significantly decrease impairment.
http://www.nationalautismresources.com/auditory-processing.html

Auditory Processing---from The National Assoc. of Child Development
by Lori Riggs, MA, CCC/SLP Director, Center for Speech and Sound
http://nacd.org/journal/auditory_processing.php

For more information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
314-892-3897

Image courtesy of:
Shutterstock at http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-203771752/stock-vector-ear-icon-with-shadow.html?src=&ws=0
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com

Saturday, January 17, 2015

BEST Apps for Autism-2015

It's a new year, and with that new year we want to provide the most up-to-date resources and support possible to assist our readers in search of practical help for challenged readers and learners of all ages. Many of those readers are parents, teachers and counselors of children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum.

As you can imagine, it takes a very special individuals to serve the autism community and its families. Patience and compassion can go a long way to soothe the fatigue of a parent who has experienced just too many meltdowns. Encouragement and gentle motivation are other gifts needed to help teachers make a real difference each day in the lives of the children in their classrooms who are on the spectrum. Determination and fortitude are front and center in the social workers who try repeatedly to place adults with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) in appropriate employment situations and/or housing arrangements.

We tip our hats to ALL of them and would like to provide some assistance from our end of of the community. After all, if one is not part of the solution, then there is a possibility that one is part of the problem. So, this week our part is to provide a new crop of resources for the new year---resources in the form of apps and app lists for persons of all ages on the autism spectrum. Since it was back in 2013 when we created our last list of these autism apps, we thought it was the right time for a new list to be presented to our readers.

This past week, we gathered together a collection of autism apps here that we hope will provide some much-needed support for the individuals and their families in the autism community. We also hope that parents, teachers and counselors, who have very little time, will find this list convenient with many of these specialized apps ALL in one place. From organizational apps to social and educational apps, you'll find them all here---here in 2015!

Happy Reading---AND Happy New Year one more time!

BEST Apps for Autism

Autism Apps---current list provided by Autism Speaks
Apps are listed in alphabetical order. You can sort apps by rating by clicking the "Rating" link above that column. You can rate apps by first clicking on the app name to visit the app detail page. Then, below the description of the app, click on the number of stars for your rating of the app.
http://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-apps?page=2

Look At Me---New App to Boost Social Skills of Autistic Kids (Released by Samsung)
This new app aims to train autistic children to maintain eye contact and convey basic emotions.
VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99TL3hGPw5I
Article & VIDEO: http://techcrunch.com/2014/12/22/samsung-lookatme/

13 Best Autism Apps for the iPad
by Michael A. Prospero, LAPTOP Reviews Editor
(NOTE: To access the 13 app titles, click on the yellow arrow buttons in the article's graphics.)
http://blog.laptopmag.com/best-autism-apps-ipad

Android Apps Autism Parenting Magazine 2015
The latest list of Android apps for autism from Autism Parenting Magazine.
http://2015android.com/Android_Autism-Parenting-Magazine_2015.html

Social Skills and Autism Apps List (1/13/15)
original list by Jessica Chase, MA, CCC-SLP
This list contains apps for life skills, conversation starters, conversation maintenance, idioms, non-verbal communication, eye contact, emotions and many more.
http://parentingautismindia.blogspot.com/2015/01/social-skills-and-autism-apps-list.html

9 Great Apps For Kids With Autism---by Patricia-Anne Tom (9/18/14)
Experienced readers with kids on the autism spectrum share nine apps that have helped improve how their kids interact with others.
http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Best-Apps-Autistic-Kids-31793054#photo-31793054

Reading Focus Cards Desktop App (Patent 8,360,779) (for Macs & Windows PCs)
from Brennan Innovators, LLC
This DESKTOP app is the digital version of the physical Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,759), solutions for struggling readers. This app for Windows PCs and Macs provides practical READING SUPPORT for children and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, autism and other conditions that can affect reading success. It promotes more FOCUS, FLUENCY and VISUAL COMFORT for online reading of almost ALL digital media (webpages, PDF files, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets & more.) In addition, the Reading Focus Card app is compatible with and supports touch-screen technology. The application can be moved on the screen over text by the fingers, mouse or arrow keys as needed.
1. For Macs (desktops & notebooks):
Visit the Mac App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read-and-focus/id920617853?mt=12 or search for the app called Reading Focus Cards.
2. For Windows PCs (desktops & laptops):
Visit Gumroad at https://gumroad.com/l/ReadingFocusCards OR visit the Microsoft Windows Store and search for the app called Reading Focus Cards. (No URLs are ever provided for apps in the Windows Store.)

Autism Apps---by Special Needs App Review (Some FREE apps)
Autism Apps is simply a comprehensive list of apps that are being used with and by people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and other special needs. It also includes links to any available information that can be found for each app. The Apps are also separated into over 30 categories, and the descriptions are all searchable, so any type of app is easy to find and download.
http://www.friendshipcircle.org/apps/browse/autism-apps/

Top 10 Apps and Software for Autism---by Autism Today
These apps and software became widely known throughout the world not only because of their features but also their abilities to manage autism behavior.
http://www.autismtoday.com/top-10-apps-and-software-for-autism/

For more information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
314-892-3897

Image courtesy of:
Autism Mix at http://www.autismmix.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/fabric.jpg
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com

Saturday, January 3, 2015

How to Re-Engage Reluctant Readers

The holidays are winding down, and, let's face it, many children are probably not very enthused about the coming week's return to school. Although one Christmas carol's lyrics mention that "...Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again," the parents of children who often struggle in school may be much less excited about classes resuming and the reading that will be required. What can a parent or teacher do to entice, engage and sustain the attention of an unfocused or reluctant reader?

1. Conduct an Interest Inventory.
First of all, it is imperative that you know the interests of the child or students in question. Most parents are very aware of their child's areas of interest. However, if you aren't aware of these, it is possible to do an Interest Inventory to learn which topics truly interest your child, teen or student(s). Please refer to the list of resources to follow here.

2. Why the Interest Inventory Is Valuable.
Once the interest inventory is completed by the child or the individual students, a parent or teacher will then have the needed (and very valuable) information to either direct the students to or gather the books for them on the topics of interest cited in those inventories. Reviewing the information once provided can be very revealing and give an important indication, for example, if non-fiction is preferred over fiction, if history books are of more interest than geography books or the like. The data collected can also serve as invaluable information on which to base future lesson plans, units of study or projects for specific groups of students or individual children, as may be appropriate.

3. The Interest Inventory Is Completed---Now What?
a. If budgets are low (or non-existent, as is sometimes the case), consider downloading FREE e-books for your child(ren) or student(s). For helpful resources of this type without cost, please visit our recent blog article entitled Best FREE e-Books to Engage Young Readers of ALL Ages. Please keep in mind that many e-books can be read on an existing PC or Mac computer, smartphone or tablet without the purchase of an additional device such as a Kindle, Nook or Kobo e-reader. Again, for more information on this, please refer to the resources to follow here.

b. Also, make good use of your school library, local public library or other community library for direct access to physical books on the topics presented in the completed interest inventories.

c. Consider grouping the books according to topic and placing each grouping in a specific area of your home or in a particular classroom location. Provide bean bag chairs and/or soft carpeting in these areas to more readily invite students or children to read---and with more comfort.

d. Teachers will observe that students with similar interests will gather in those areas where "their" books are stored. In so doing, not only will the children be more likely to initiate conversations with their peers about mutually-interesting topics and books, but they just might continue those discussions beyond the reading room or the classroom walls.

e. Finally, ensure that reluctant or struggling readers have the tools they need to read effectively and with success. To learn more about what kinds of low-tech AND digital tools are available for challenged readers in any age group, please visit www.FocusandRead.com.

The result? Improved interest in reading, better communication as well as better developed reading and discussion skills and increased literacy will be only a few of the benefits of such an approach. We can't think of a better way to begin the NEW Year than to encourage and re-engage reluctant readers to pick up a book that interests them and READ. Can you?

FREE Interest Inventory Templates

Student Interest Inventory Questionnaire (from Scholastic Books for Grades: 2-7)
http://printables.scholastic.com/printables/detail/?id=35571

Student Interest Inventory Questionnaire (from Scholastic Books for Grades: 4-9)
http://printables.scholastic.com/printables/detail/?id=35689

Free Interest Inventory Test For High School Students
FREE printable interest inventories with related documents, manuals and e-books for high school students.
https://docs.askives.com/free-interest-inventory-test-for-high-school-students.html

AREA 10 SCHOOL-TO-WORK: Career Interest and Skill Inventories (from Area 10 Schools in Iowa)
http://www.aea10.k12.ia.us/curr/stw/Career-Interest-Inv.html

Collection of Interest Surveys (from Michigan City Area Schools)
We don't always know what we want, let alone need. An interest survey can help a teacher figure out what his or her students are thinking, what they may want or even need, and how they can best be helped. To find out more about yourself, take an interest survey. The surveys listed in this collection are either web-based or printable.
http://www.mcas.k12.in.us/Page/4826

Compiled Documents for Reading---Vocational Interest Inventories
http://www.wpracetech.com/tor/reading-free-vocational-interest-inventory-2-rfvii-2/

Other Resources

FREE Kindle Reading App---by Amazon.com
Follow the easy steps presented here to start reading on your tablet, smartphone, or computer:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=klp_mn

FREE NOOK Reading App---by Barnes & Noble
Get the most incredible reading experience for your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch®. Access over 3 million books—including 1 million FREE titles—plus magazines, newspapers, comics, and more. Sample NOOK books FREE and try any newspaper or magazine FREE for 14 days.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nook/id373582546?mt%3D8

FREE Kobo Reading App---by Kobo, Inc.
Download the FREE Kobo e-reader app to read whenever and wherever you want, and then choose from a catalog of more than 4 million of the world's best titles.
http://www.kobo.com/apps

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas---by James Pierpont (published, 1857)
Reference for lyrics, "...Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again."
http://www.the-north-pole.com/carols/look.html

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Best FREE e-Books to Engage Young Readers of ALL Ages

Last week's article presented helpful book list links to help our readers find just the right gift for the readers on their holiday shopping lists this year (GREAT Book Lists---for Now & Throughout the Year). We received so much positive input about the article from many readers that we thought it might be a good idea to continue our efforts in a similar way this week.

Let's face it. The holidays annually test our budgets and tempt us to purchase gifts that may often be too pricey. That's why this week, we wanted to help our readers avoid that issue entirely, especially as the holiday shopping time winds down and "funds" may be quite depleted. What about giving your child or teen a FREE e-book---or, better yet, a list of FREE e-books? That way, your gift will "keep on giving" not only during this holiday time but throughout the entire year! Not bad for a gift that will cost you only the time it takes to read this article and browse the e-book lists we've provided. (You'll totally avoid the mall crowds, too!)

We hope you'll find here at least one selection to appeal to a young reader you know. In fact, consider creating your own list of links personally chosen by you for a child or teen you know. Copy and paste the links selected on a Word document, fold and wrap it in a box with pretty paper and ribbon. We think it will be a treasured gift for a special young reader!

Special Notes: You do NOT need an e-book reader to utilize these resources. Just visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=klp_mn and follow the easy steps there to start reading Kindle apps on your tablet, smartphone, or computer! Many of these resources can be downloaded directly to a laptop, desktop or other device without a special application. In addition, please know that the books in these link lists were FREE at the time of this article's publication but may NOT be free at a later date.

ManyBooks (e-Book Selections for Children)
You can subscribe to ManyBooks.com to gain access to many FREE, downloadable e-Books. Join 120,000+ fellow readers and receive FREE eBooks and book bargains in your inbox. This link will provide many e-book titles (with downloads) for children in various age groups.
http://manybooks.net/categories/CHI

Best Free Kindle e-Books for Children
FREE Kindle downloads for children aged 7-12.
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/21465.Best_Free_Kindle_Ebooks_for_Children_

29 Sites With Free Teen & Young Adult e-Books
Within the virtual pages of these teen and young adult e-books, you’ll find realistic dilemmas, timeless themes, dating, love and messages of hope. Young adult authors have found a way to capture the minds of young readers, drawing special circumstances of a teen’s world and life through fantastic worlds of unlimited possibilities.
http://www.getfreeebooks.com/?p=10709

Goodreads---FREE e-Books for Teens
An assortment of titles of FREE e-books for teens.
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/23017.FREE_Ebooks_For_Teens

For more information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
314-892-3897

Image courtesy of:
ClipArt.me at http://clipart.me/premium-technology/realistic-vector-laptop-tablet-computer-monitor-and-mobile-phone-template-1565 and
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

GREAT Book Lists---for Now & Throughout the Year

We are quickly approaching mid-December and with it "crunch time" has arrived for getting just the right present for those special someones on your holiday gift list. What if you could achieve that goal within the next couple of hours? Would that help brighten your holiday spirit? Well, we think it's possible, and, as always, we want to be your provider of helpful "tools" to accomplish this.

Most of our readers know us as facilitators and resource providers for parents and teachers of students who are challenged with ADHD, dyslexia and other learning differences that often can affect reading ability and overall academic success. This week, with "holiday crunch time" upon us, we want to give you that same brand of help---book lists to help with gifting each person to whom you plan to give a present. The resources to follow here will help you give the BEST book to each individual child, teen (yes, teen!) and adult on your holiday gift list. Quickly, we think you'll discover that these collections of very special books will be timely for the holiday season as well as throughout the entire year. We also think you'll find MUCH shopping time saved, too!

Happy Holidays AND Happy Reading, everyone!

GREAT Book Lists for Now & Throughout the Year

Holiday kids' books: Reindeer and monsters, oh my!
by Jocelyn McClurg, USA TODAY
These charming holiday picture books – some playful, some traditional – will delight the young reader on your gift list for seasons to come.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2014/12/03/holiday-childrens-books-rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer/70055698/

10 children's books filled with the holiday spirit
by Jody Mitori, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Holiday-themed children’s books this year are mostly filled with anticipation of Santa and gifts under the tree. But one local author uses the season to address the futility of war.
http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/reviews/children-s-books-filled-with-the-holiday-spirit/article_1e8f497b-fd74-574e-81b0-fe68da3c4793.html

Best Christmas and Holiday Books for Kids
by Sasha Emmons, Parenting Magazine
20 children's holiday books, from timeless reads to newer classics.
http://www.parenting.com/gallery/best-christmas-books-kids

30 Best Christmas Children’s Books
from ChildrensBookGuide.com
Sometimes, just before bed on the one magical Eve of the year, the perfect Christmas book can make for the perfect way to lull excited children off into the land of sugar plums and fairies. But they’re also great leading up to that special day, as well as the rest of December. Grab a cookie and read up!
http://childrensbooksguide.com/featured/30-best-christmas-books

Christmas-Themed Books for Teens
by Jodie Wells-Slowgrove
Christmas novels come in many genres---from romance to fantasy to humor. So whether you want to laugh or sigh, there is a Christmas-themed novel that's just right for the teen on your list.
https://suite.io/jodie-wells-slowgrove/158q2gg

Teen Book Lists
from GoodReads.com
Many lists of the best books for teens and young adults for year 'round reading.
http://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/teen

GeekMom’s 2014 Gift Guide of Books
by Cathé Post
This gift guide is full of books: Historical books, storybooks, reference books, baby books, comic books, and more. There's something for everyone on this list!
http://geekmom.com/2014/12/geekmoms-2014-gift-guide-books/

Tricia Goyer Christmas Reading List
by Jennifer A. Janes
If you’re looking for some great books to add to your Christmas reading or shopping list this year, consider one (or all!) of these books by Tricia Goyer. The stories are heart-warming reads that have already brightened the season for many and can do the same for you!
http://jenniferajanes.com/tricia-goyer-christmas/

The ten best books of 2014
by Charles Matthews of The Washington Post
List of current books for adults.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/the-10-best-books-of-2014/2014/11/20/40784e0a-3dc6-11e4-b03f-de718edeb92f_story.html

The 10 Best Books of 2014
The year’s best fiction and non-fiction books (for adults), selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/books/review/the-10-best-books-of-2014.html?_r=0

For more information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
314-892-3897

Image: Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Practical Resources for Parents of Kids with ADHD---Right Now!

The family Thanksgiving Dinner is only a pleasant memory. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now history, and the media tell us that there are only so many shopping days left until Christmas. Without a doubt, the annual holiday season is in full swing, but your child with ADHD is getting more easily excited and increasingly distracted as December 25th fast approaches. What is a parent to do---and ALL while making your family's preparations for this special time of the year?

A child or teen who does not have ADHD is normally pretty excited about the coming of Hannukah, Christmas or Kwanzaa. However, a child or teenager who struggles with the symptoms of ADHD is so much more affected by the anticipation of the holidays and their related activities that the situation can pose real problems for the child and certainly for his parents, too.

At Brennan Innovators, LLC, we love solving problems for parents, teachers and children, especially issues related to reading, learning, behavior and additional needs (they are all related, of course!) That is why this week we are providing a handful of resources to help parents of children with ADHD during these hectic weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. We hope the resources here will help someone you know to be a bit more relaxed and focused during the coming weeks of celebration. That way, you'll ALL enjoy the holidays this year!

Practical Resources for Parents of Kids with ADHD for the Holiday Season

Resources for Kids with LD and/or ADHD (A Book List for Kids with LD)
by Jill Lauren, Learning Specialist and Author, Succeeding with LD
This is a list of great books for kids in which the main character struggles with some aspect of learning. The characters often appeal to kids with LD and/or ADHD as they can relate to the characters and learn from their development. Note that many kids may benefit from having the books read to them or hearing them on tape.
http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com/Resources-for-Kids-with-LD-ADHD/416

Choosing Educational Fun Games & Activities for the Holidays
by Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET
This article with resources will provide information on how to choose educational games and activities to keep your kids engaged and learning over the holidays. http://www.bonnieterry.com/blog/2012/12/choosing-educational-fun-games-for-the-holidays/

The Holidays with ADHD Children
by Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.
Even if you are a parent with ADHD and your children share the disorder, it is possible to reduce stress during holiday time. This article provides some good ideas.
http://www.sevencounties.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=34623&cn=3

Avoid Holiday Havoc: Help for ADHD Children
by Carol Brady, Ph.D. and ADDitude Magazine
Six ways for parents to help their ADHD children enjoy holiday celebrations without behavior problems, family conflict, or ADD symptom flare-ups.
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/900.html

ADD/ADHD Parenting Tips
Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorder
Life with a child with ADD/ADHD can be frustrating and overwhelming, but as a parent there is a lot you can do to help control and reduce the symptoms. You can help your child overcome daily challenges, channel his or her energy into positive arenas, and bring greater calm to your family. The earlier and more consistently you address your child’s problems, the greater chance they have for success in life.
http://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/attention-deficit-disorder-adhd-parenting-tips.htm

Best ADHD Books for Parents and Kids
Get Expert Advice for Your Child With ADHD
by Lori Newman, Lifescript Staff Writer
If your child has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), where can you find the information you need? Lifescript asked experts to recommend ADHD books for parents and kids that will help you manage the condition. Their suggestions are presented here.
http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/adhd_pediatric/articles/best_adhd_books_for_parents_and_kids.aspx


Parenting Kids with ADHD: 16 Tips to Tackle Common Challenges
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
This link provides excellent tips for parents of children with ADHD.
http://psychcentral.com/lib/parenting-kids-with-adhd-16-tips-to-tackle-common-challenges/0006557


ADHD and Reading Difficulties
by Susie McGee, M.Ed, Teacher
ADHD and reading difficulties often go hand in hand. In fact, reading difficulties are some of the most common problems associated with ADHD in children. Because ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) interferes with the learning process, reading and other academic skills can continue to fall behind if the symptoms aren't recognized and addressed. This article will offer some help with these issues.
http://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/ADHD_and_Reading_Difficulties

For more information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
314-892-3897

Image: Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com