Saturday, December 29, 2012

BEST Reading & Writing iPad Apps for ALL Learners

Some students relax and recreate with their families during the holiday season. Others, especially struggling readers, may choose to use some of their holiday time to re-read or review challenging content and prepare for the next semester’s classes. As 2012 begins to wind down, we wanted to provide our student readers with some apps to help review and prepare in the best ways possible.

The following articles and lists of reading and writing iPad apps should be most helpful for this type of review and class preparation---and, we hope, motivating at the same time as we begin a new year. Happy New Year 2013 to ALL of our readers, writers and learners here!

BEST Reading & Writing iPad Apps

20 iPad Apps to Teach Elementary Reading---With these 20 apps, children can learn how to write letters, improve phonics fluency, and even write their own books. Read on to find the very best iPad apps for developing young readers
From TeachThought’s blog

50 Popular iPad Apps for Struggling Readers & Writers---Here we highlight just a few of the amazing apps out there that can help students with reading disabilities improve their skills not only in reading, writing, and spelling, but they can also get a boost in confidence and learn to see school as a fun, engaging activity rather than a struggle.

32 iPad Apps for Better Writing---Some of the brightest of these tools can be found on the Apple iPad, and we’ve highlighted 32 of them here. Whether you’re looking for a place to scribble ideas, organize plot lines, or just find your zen before sitting down to write, these apps have got you covered. (Best for students from middle school through college and beyond)
by Terry Heick from TeachThought’s Blog

Cause and Effect (iPad App)---e Skills Learning Minimod's Cause and Effect helps students build mastery in the essential reading comprehension skill of Cause and Effect. Cause and Effect requires the student to read a passage. Some of the passages ask the student to determine the Cause, while other passages ask the student to determine the Effect. This app is carefully aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

25 Essential Apps for Mobile Learning---Educational apps for high school through college

Other Helpful Resources

12 Characteristics of an iPad-Ready Classroom---Here are 4 distinct areas of instruction and instructional design that can help frame the concept of iPad integration: Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Integration.

21 Reasons to Use Tablets in the 21st Century Classroom---Some educators are still skeptical. How can a piece of technology truly enhance the learning process, without causing distraction?

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Help for ADHD, LD & Single Parents

"'Tis the season to be jolly!" is the chant of just about everyone at this time of the year. However, if you are a single parent, your holidays may be not be so jolly. Aside from your own feelings about the season, such activities as arranging for your child to have “equal time” to individually visit both parents for the holiday celebrations can be a real challenge for many single parents. Trying to allow for your child to spend time with several sets of grandparents can add to your stress. Then there is the gift-giving part of the festivities can, which in and of itself can become a duel of “one-up-manship”, each parent vying for the affection of the child. Often, this gift-giving can also become an opportunity for some children to manipulate one or both parents.

However, if you are the single parent of a child with ADHD or a learning disability (LD), the holidays can become particularly daunting and stressful for you, your child and other members of the family. Issues with hyperactivity, excitability, impulsivity and various sensory issues can enter into the plans and discussions of how to best celebrate the holidays with your child. Then there may be other issues that cause problems with your child’s other parent. The list of issues here can sometimes get pretty long. All of this might very easily exacerbate your child’s symptoms of ADHD or LD, causing you and others even more stress.

That is why this week, we have decided to provide you with some resources to help get your child AND you through the holiday season with your sanity still intact while keeping your child happy well into the New Year. To follow here are just a few tips to remember as you make celebration plans for your child and you over the next two weeks. At the end of the article, you will find some resources to give you additional guidance.

We hope that these tips and resources will help contribute to a truly enjoyable holiday season for your child, you and the other members of your family. Happy Holidays to ALL of you, especially our single parents and their children with ADHD or LD!

Holiday Tips for Single Parents of Children with ADHD/LD

Make time for yourself during the holidays. Do at least one activity you love.
• Knit a sweater, play the piano, or go jogging---something therapeutic or soothing.
Take advantage of offers that others give you to sit for your children.
Ask for help when you need it.
Find creative ways to be with the kids in a fun way.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Respect the other parent as well as each other's time schedules. Promise to “get along”.
• Limit the number of items that must go back and forth between houses.
• Plan to share and volunteer.
Give up guilt.
• If you will be alone make plans - a movie, dinner with friends, volunteer or a trip to somewhere you have never been.
Trust your child's strengths.

Source: List adapted from To Merry, Unmarried Holidays: Help for Single Parents of Children with LD and/or ADHD over the Holiday Season---From LD Online---Article by Kathleen Ross Kidder

ADHD/LD Holiday Resources for Single Parents

To Merry, Unmarried Holidays: Help for Single Parents of Children with LD and/or ADHD over the Holiday Season---Article by Kathleen Ross Kidder--- Give yourself and your child the gift of enjoying the holiday season.

Avoid Holiday Havoc: Help for ADHD Children---Article by Carol Brady, Ph.D.---from ADDitude Magazine
Six ways for parents to help their ADHD children enjoy holiday celebrations without behavior problems, family conflict, or ADD symptom flare-ups.

ADHD Holiday Survival Guide---FREE downloadable ADHD handout from ADDitude Magazine
10 organization, planning, and relaxation tips designed to make this holiday season more jolly for the whole family

Keeping the Peace at Family Gatherings---Article by Larry Silver, M.D.--- from ADDitude Magazine
Sometimes having a child with ADHD can make get-togethers stressful. Follow these strategies for peaceful celebrations

Ten tips for surviving Christmas with ADHD---Article by Chris Churchill---from's ADHD and Holidays

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Need Behavioral Therapy Tips & Resources for ADHD?

Many of us here already know that when a child or adult is challenged with ADHD, issues with inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity or a combination of these are present. Very often, other developmental or behavioral problems may co-exist with the ADHD, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Many may also know that appropriately prescribed medications are recommended for a large number of affected individuals. However, a combination of medication and behavioral treatment can most often work best.

When mentioning such medications, it is always recommended that parents of children with ADHD or adults affected with the condition discuss all options with the attending medical professional, deciding TOGETHER on the BEST option for a particular individual’s needs. At the same time, when talking about behavioral treatment or therapy, we can offer some points to consider as you begin to help develop the best treatment plan with your or your child’s health care professional.

We are including in our article this week a list of tips that will give you a good idea of what you might expect in the way of behavioral therapy. Some of these tips may work for some individuals. For others, a combination of the strategies may be required to achieve more successful results. Most likely, it will involve a process of trial and error, arriving at the best strategy or combination thereof.

Behavioral Therapy Tips and Strategies for ADHD

Something called “talk therapy” can be very helpful for both the child and family to understand and help manage some of the stressful feelings related to ADHD. (Please see Additional Behavioral Therapy Resources for ADHD below here for more information on talk therapy for children with ADHD).

A system of rewards and consequences can be an effective tool for parents to use in order to help guide their child's behavior. (Please see FREE Behavior Charts for Different Age Levels in the list of Additional Behavioral Therapy Resources for ADHD at the end of this article.) It will be very important for parents to learn how to handle disruptive behaviors-effectively.

Other tips to help a child or adult with ADHD include:

• It is important to communicate regularly with the child's teacher. For affected adults, it will be helpful and more productive to meet often with educational instructors or with supervisors in the workplace, clarifying expectations and defining one’s job responsibilities as well as progress made.

• Keeping a consistent and structured daily schedule, including regular times for homework, meals, and outdoor activities can make all the difference for someone with ADHD. Remember to make any changes needed in the daily schedule ahead of time---not at the last moment.

• Along those same lines, clear and consistent rules should always be provided (prior to an activity or event) for a child, teen or young adult with ADHD.

• In a child’s environment, limit or eliminate distractions such as pets, non-essential tech devices and television, etc. Even adjusting the lighting, temperature and type of seating can contribute to more focus and concentration for an individual.

• A varied diet, with plenty of fiber and basic nutrients can actually go a long way to promoting more focusing success.

• Allowing for enough sleep can be a very significant factor in achieving a good result.

• Parents will want to keep in mind that praise and reward go hand-in-hand with good behavior.

There are some alternative treatments for ADHD that have become popular, which include the use of herbs, supplements, and chiropractic treatments. Unfortunately, however, there is currently little or no solid evidence that these treatments are in any way effective. At the same time, there are often support groups that can help affected adults or parents of children with ADHD to connect with others who have similar problems.

Source: Adapted from PubMed Health site:

Additional Behavioral Therapy Resources for ADHD

General Overview of ADHD from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)---Causes - Symptoms - Tests - Treatment - Prognosis - Prevention – Resources for ADHD (FREE materials available here)

ADHD Behavior Therapy: Promoting Discipline & Focus in Kids
Article from ADDitude Magazine

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder---General information for ADD, ADHD & Childhood Hyperkinesis from PubMed Health

Talk Therapy for ADHD Children?---The differences between psychotherapy and behavioral therapy for children with attention deficit disorder.
by Nicole Sprinkle
Article from ADDitude Magazine

FREE Behavior Modification Charts for Teachers---Website providing numerous links to various types of printable behavior charts for classroom use

FREE Behavior Charts for Different Age Levels---Downloadable in PDF file format

ADHD Support Group Information

DailyStrength's Online (Forum) Support Group for Parents of Children with ADHD

CHADD Resources for Local ADHD Chapters (of Support)

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"Do You Hear What I Hear?"--- Better Listening Skills with ADHD

It’s that time of year when everything is hustling and bustling---it's the holidays! Whether you are celebrating a Happy Hannukah, Kwanza or a Merry Christmas, this is a busy, busy season. If you, your child or your students are challenged with ADHD, then the season may be more chaotic than busy. In some cases, organizational skills may be lacking more than usual, focus and attention could be more significantly diminished, and the ability to listen well might be even more compromised with all the sounds of the season and the activities that accompany them.

So what is a parent, teacher or adult with ADHD to do during this busiest season of all when it comes to helping yourself or others properly attend to conversations, effectively listen to a discussion or absorb instructions for an activity? At other times of the year, these tasks may already be a struggle for those with attention deficiencies, but right now, those challenges can be intensified with the excitement and busy-ness of the holidays.

During the past week, one of our Facebook fans wrote to us and requested tips for listening and remembering facts in a conversation when one is challenged with ADHD symptoms. This same fan inspired us to write this blog article that we thought might help her and other readers during the busiest season of all. We have included some resources here to help ALL readers who experience these listening issues, especially for those children and adults with ADHD or Asperger’s.

Learn to LISTEN so that YOU can experience success---in the classroom, in relationships, on the job and in life! Happy Holidays and Happy Listening, everyone!

Listening Resources for ADHD

Not Paying Attention? Improve Listening Skills in ADHD Children at Home and School
Article from ADDitude Magazine

Advice for ADHD Wigglebottoms
Blog article from ADDitude Magazine
Book review of selection written by Howard Binkow for ADHD preschoolers, who don't have to sit still to enjoy some basic listening lessons.

Improving your Child's Poor Listening Skills
Learn the best ways to help your child improve poor listening skills, attention and memory with positive behavior supports.

Pay-Attention Tips for ADHD Adults
by Lynn Weiss, Ph.D---Article from ADDitude Magazine

Listen Up: 9 Ways to Help ADHD Kids Follow Directions
by Sandra Rief--- Article from ADDitude Magazine

10 Rules of Listening
by Linda Eve Diamond (excerpts from Linda's book, Rule #1: Stop Talking: A Guide to Listening (LP, 2007)

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

ADHD? Discover Those Strengths & Build on Them!

If you are the parent of a child or teen with ADD, you may often fret over the challenges your child faces at school and at home with the family, concerned about the child's future. If you are an educator in a classroom having one or more students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you may find that you spend considerably more time thinking about how to address the negative behaviors associated with the ADHD than you do about how to teach these students. If you are an adult challenged with ADHD, you may find yourself spending a great deal of time thinking about your daily struggles and weaknesses. These are not unusual situations; however, there is a way to “turn the boat around” in thought and action for children or adults with some form of ADHD.

It is almost always easier to think about the “negative side” of a situation. It takes little energy and no productive thinking to “give in” mentally to “The Dark Side” when thinking about a situation, rarely if ever arriving at a good solution. This can certainly be true when we talk about ADHD. However, you might remember an old song with the lyrics:

“Accentuate the positive. Eee-lim-inate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.”

Well, that’s certainly the advice we have to share with you here.

You might find it a little difficult to do, but consider your child, your students or yourself challenged with ADHD as persons with strengths in addition to the struggles associated with attention deficits. It is even a good idea to make a list of the strengths of each individual, and that may mean YOU. Yes, you DO have strengths. These may be special talents or gifts such as a great sense of humor, the ability to talk or interact well with others or special artistic skills. There are other talents less tangible but very valuable that are gifts as well: honesty and integrity, the ability to be a team player or to be compassionate and generous when others are hurting.

Whatever those gifts are, they are a person’s strengths. When that person is challenged with ADHD, acknowledge those strengths, gifts and talents and celebrate them. Then focus and build on them, diminishing the weaknesses associated with the ADHD. That is not to say that those symptoms are to be ignored or forgotten. No, it means that the emphasis of thinking is on what is positive.

Get involved with or provide activities that will capitalize on those strengths. Allow yourself or the person with ADHD to “shine” as a result of using those special gifts in a carefully chosen activity or exercise. You will find that your child, your students or you will experience increased self-esteem, which in turn will positively impact learning, achievement and daily life experiences. In other words, ACCENTuate the POSITIVE---with ADHD!

Positively GOOD Resources and Apps for ADHD (to Help Build on Strengths)

Resources for Supporting Students with ADHD---List of supportive links to access resources and support for adults challenged with ADHD as well as parents and teachers of children with ADHD

Adult ADHD: 50 Tips of Management---Tips for adults with ADHD that help instill hope and re-establish a positive attitude (includes insight and education as well as self-management strategies)
by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.

Parents of Children with ADHD---Some positive tips for parenting an ADD or ADHD child (includes a planner designed by a mother for her son with ADHD)

ADD/ADHD Resources for Teachers---From assessment accommodations and FAQs, these articles and resources will support and help teachers work with the special nature of students with ADD/ADHD.

Apps for Teens and Adults with ADHD---Supportive apps for improving organizational skills, weight loss and self-esteem among others are available via this link (FREE and low-cost apps)

Image courtesy of:

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of: