Sunday, August 28, 2011

What to Do When Life Gives You---Dyslexia!

Part 1---What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a language-based learning challenge. The condition actually refers to a group of symptoms that result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia usually struggle with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words.

Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person's life. Dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment. In its more severe forms, this will often qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, or extra support services. At the same time, with good information, support, and helpful resources, dyslexia can be much less of a challenge and can even be viewed as a "gift" by some individuals.

We have provided here a short list of resources here to help you learn more about the symptoms of dyslexia. We hope you will find them helpful! (More resources next week!)

Resources for Dyslexia Signs and symptoms of dyslexia
Website for learning challenges offers a feature to change the background color of every page on the site. This changing of color can help with visual stress and some dyslexic symptoms. Tools for struggling readers of all ages

Next week's article (Part 2) will be entitled What Causes Dyslexia?

For more information: For focusing tools that work! For ADHD info and support

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Word-Attack Tool That Really Works!

Does your child struggle with new vocabulary words? Can it be a real challenge for your student(s) to break down words into syllables for correct pronunciation? Well, now there is an inexpensive and sensory-appealing tool that can help your child or student(s) with these issues.

The Reading Focus Card (Patent 7,565,759) can help an individual correctly pronounce and learn any new word, regardless of a reader’s age or ability level. The tool is easy to use, too!

First, just assemble the Reading Focus Card according to package directions and diagrams. Next, place the assembled device’s reading window or notch over the word to be learned. Move the tool from left to right, revealing only as much of the new word as is possible to pronounce (1 syllable at a time). The Reading Focus Card will block out other surrounding text or letters, which will promote more focus and concentration on each part of a new word. This tool and method make learning new words a SNAP! Great tool for the Back-to-School season!

For more information: For ADHD focusing tools that work! For ADHD info and support

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Who's the Motivated One?---Parent or Child?

This past week at a local community college, I once again had the great pleasure of teaching four different classes of gifted students (from Kindergarten to Grade 8). It was a wonderful experience that I will not soon forget. One of courses was an exploratory French class for Gr. 3-5. The students were very motivated and wanted to know how to say everything en français. They successfully learned the French alphabet and les numéros 0-100 as well as useful phrases and greetings in the language. I was very proud of them on Friday when they were successfully able to play Bingo in French. It was evident that each of the children in this class had chosen to register for the class.

Another class was for young inventors in Grades 5-8. My students conducted online patent searches, created patent drawings, and some even had time to make prototypes. These young people were very internally motivated and developed ideas that would amaze many adults. I was very proud of them as well! All but one student had chosen to enroll in this inventor class on their own, without parent coaxing.

Finally, there were two classes about critical-thinking and problem-solving games and puzzles. All students in both classes created a board game promoting these skills. In one class, nearly all children had personally chosen to register for the class. However, in one of the classes, only a few of the students had freely chosen to take the class. The children had mentioned at the beginning of the week that their parents had “just signed them up”.

You might be able to imagine the difference in the two classes by the time Friday arrived. The level of learning, the quality of work, the attitudes, and behavior were all noticeably different between the two classes throughout the week.

What’s the moral of this non-fiction story? Whenever a new opportunity for your child presents itself, whether it is academic, social, or athletic in nature, please ask about your child’s interest in that opportunity. You may be surprised that she has her own opinion, and as her parent, carefully listen and consider her input. Then make the decision together about participating in that opportunity. You (and she) will be glad you did! The level of success experienced will be significant if she is the one committing to the opportunity---rather than you.

For more information: For ADHD focusing tools that work! For ADHD info and support

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