Saturday, June 29, 2013

Helpful Stroke Recovery Resources

Updated November 3, 2014

Did you know that stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.? Unfortunately, this is true. In addition, approximately 795,000 strokes will occur this year, one occurring every 40 seconds.

This past March, we published an article providing lists of apps for stroke recovery. Since that time, we have seen an increasing number of visitors to the webpage for that article (Apps to Shorten the Road to Stroke Recovery In fact, we have seen the readership for that post average more than 300 visits per week.

As a result, we thought it would be helpful to create a list of “go-to” resources for stroke recovery and prevention to help the many readers who visit our blog searching for helpful information on these all-important topics. So, for this week’s post, we have gathered together here the BEST resources available to inform and support individuals and families affected by stroke. We have also included organizations that offer information about stroke prevention. We think you’ll find the list of links below to be helpful---but let’s hope you or those you care about will never need it!

National Stroke Association
This organization's website provides much information to support stroke patients, their caregivers and families affected by stoke. It is the “go-to” stroke resource for so many.

HOPE: A Stroke Recovery Guide
This guide is divided into four sections and contains a collection of important post-stroke issues and suggestions for how to address these concerns. To order a bound copy of this guide call 1-800-STROKES.
Download the full, FREE guide or individual sections via this link:

American Stroke Association
Created in 1997, the American Stroke Association is dedicated to prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke — America’s No. 4 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. The organization funds scientific research, helps people better understand and avoid stroke, encourages government support, guides healthcare professionals and provides information to enhance the quality of life for stroke survivors. To learn more, call 1-888-4-STROKE or visit the following website:

Helpful Tips for Stroke Prevention
Studies show that almost 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by working with a healthcare professional to reduce your personal risk. This means that it is absolutely vital that you manage your personal risk and know how to recognize and respond to stroke signs and symptoms. This link contains a list of helpful tips to help prevent stroke.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
The mission of NINDS is to reduce the burden of neurological disease - a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world.

Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,759)
Inexpensive and customizable reading tools to help challenged readers with stroke recovery (especially for aphasia or alexia), ADHD, dyslexia, low vision and other issues that affect reading success. For stroke recovery, darker "face" colors are recommended (black, brown or blue). Colored filter choice may vary, but the 3 different colored filters (recommended by developmental optometrists) are included in every package.

Apps to Shorten the Road to Stroke Recovery
This article contains lists of both iPad and Android apps particularly helpful for stroke recovery patients.

Reading Focus Cards App (Patent 8,360,779) (for Macs & Windows PCs---Price: $5.99)
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, stroke recovery (aphasia) and other conditions that can affect reading success. It promotes more FOCUSED 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 Windows PCs:
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.)

2. Another option to access this Windows PC version:
Visit Gumroad at

3. For Macs:
Visit the Mac App Store and search for "Read and Focus" or go directly to

For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

All Kinds of Brain-Training Exercises ---for You & Your Child!

You may already know that certain brain games and critical thinking activities can help train the human brain to improve cognitive skills. These are the skills needed for successful learning.

Recently, medical experts in the field of neurology (science of the brain) have made an important discovery. Your brain is an organ that possesses what is called plasticity. This means that it is mold-able and can be strengthened or even changed. The neurons in your brain, and their connecting synapses, can actually be re-arranged to promote faster, more efficient learning. Cognitive brain training exercises take advantage of this plasticity.

At the same time, did you know that playing a game of Hopscotch, Four Square or even Jumping Rope can also help improve your brain? Yes! These games and others like them can actually exercise your brain as well---as the rest of your body---and improve its function. This happens through the mastering of hand-eye coordination, balance, sequencing and other skills that promote brain connectivity or the crossing of the brain’s mid-line, a necessary part of brain training.

So, this week’s article is all about resources for improving brain function both with specific, physical exercises and with other brain-building activities. By adding a few of these to your and your child's daily regimen, you'll both be ready for just about any cognitive skill workout. What's more, your child's next school year could be even more productive! Do them together, and imagine what great things could develop for BOTH of you!

Physical Activities to Improve Brain Function

10 FREE Brain Gym Exercises (Downloadable Handout)—by Colleen Evans, Ph.D.

Physical Exercise for Brain Health

Other Brain Training Activities

25 Sites and Tools to Exercise Brain

VIDEO: Best iPad Apps for Kids: Brain Training Games
This is the easiest way to find the right apps for your child. Over 500 iPad app reviews broken down by child's age and topic. What's hot? What's FREE?
Direct Link to Related Site Providing the Apps & App Reviews

BEST Brain-Training Apps for More FOCUS!


For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

GREAT Activities to Keep ALL Kids Learning!

During this month of June, we have been providing numerous summer reading resources here to help parents and teachers. We thought this would be a good time to include a few “read-make-n-take” activities to keep young brains sharp and keep all kids learning over the summer break.

We have compiled a list of resources that should provide our readers with both brain-building and creative activities to help ALL kids avoid the “summer slide” this year. Hope you find them to be helpful and FUN at the same time!

50+ Fun Things to Do for Summer
Enjoyable AND inexpensive things you can do with your kids this summer.

10 Ways to Help Kids Avoid the Summer Slide
School’s out for summer! Cutting loose during vacation comes easily to kids, but it’s also important to ensure they keep busy with activities that will help them continue learning throughout their break from the classroom. Here are some of the best ideas for family activities that help prevent the “Summer Slide.”

Pinterest Summer Link Up: Tons of Ideas for Summer Learning and Fun!
This link will help you to easily find (and possibly follow) some of the best summer learning Pinterest boards.

Brain Games
Free trials of online and downloadable games that provide brain-building fun for kids of different age groups

17 Acrylic Painting Techniques to Try With Kids
Exploring acrylic painting techniques with your kids is a wonderful way to get them used to the medium. Any time kids play with an art material, they become more comfortable with it and will approach future projects with confidence.

BEST Critical Thinking Apps = GREAT “Brain” Workouts
Here is a list of enjoyable, brain-training apps.

Activities for Preschool Children
If you are looking for fresh ideas for activities for preschool children, here are some ideas you can do. Activities for preschool children is a fun activity or an educational game.

Special Needs Summer Fun Activity Tips for Parents
10 activities that provide fun for ALL kids---Help your child reach his or her full developmental potential by providing fun and interactive activities all summer long.

For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of: Activities for Preschool Children

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Reading & Fun---ALL in One!

At this summer-time of the year, parents and teachers often look for activities and resources that can help them promote and maintain reading skills for their children and students. Some of the goals parents have for the summer frequently involve discovering ways to help their children retain what was learned during the past school year. Teachers have objectives for their summer enrichment or remedial classes that include enhancing what has been learned and preventing the loss of developed skills. This is particularly important for reading and math skills.

To help parents and teachers achieve these goals and objectives for the summer, we have gathered together a list of reading activities and resources that children should find both interesting and fun. We believe that when activities, reading and learning are enjoyed, more information is understood and retained.

We hope parents and teachers find that this summer 2013 list of resources will help plan for successful reading and learning all summer long! Your children and students will have FUN, too!

Top 10 Ways to Keep Kids Reading and Writing This Summer
This is a great list of activities to help children retain reading and writing skills during the summer break.

25 Books with Crafts to Match
After more than 5 years of blogging, this mother paired countless books with crafts. Consider this list of 25 books a kind of “cheat sheet”.

Summer Reading Resources for Kids 2013
Do you worry about your kids losing some of what they learned during the school year over the summer? There are so many wonderful programs aimed at keeping kids learning and reading during the summer. Here is a list of just a few of these programs.

5 Ways to Get Your Kids Psyched for Summer Reading
We’ve got be cool. We’ve got to be creative. And we’ve got to be careful.
This article presents the ‘how-to’ right here, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is.

It's Summer, the Season to Keep on Readin’!
Ideas and resources to help you and your family establish this summer as the season to keep on reading.

For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Helpful Summer Programs & Resources for Dyslexia

As many of you may know, we are all about finding resources and connecting parents and teachers with information they need most to help children and teens with reading challenges. Because of the requests and questions we have received recently about summer programs for LD (and more specifically dyslexia), we thought it would be of interest to our readers to publish an article this week with resources and information on this topic.

So, here is our list to help you choose a good summer program or to locate specific resources for your child or student with dyslexia (and other LD). As always, we hope you find the list of links beneficial to a challenged reader you wish to help.

Summer Programs & Resources for Dyslexia-2013

Dyslexia Summer Camps (Listed by State)
These learning programs that specialize in dyslexia understand the way your child thinks and learns and they teach accordingly. They will teach your child educational skills that will help them during the regular school year. Many of these programs teach dyslexic children or teens by using a multi-sensory approach to learning.

Dyslexia Summer Programs (Provided by the The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity)
A partial listing of summer programs on the East Coast is provided here to help parents begin the process of finding a situation that best suits their child with dyslexia.

FREE Help for Dyslexic Students---by Kyle Redford (The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity)
The Children's Dyslexia Centers currently have 50 Centers in 13 states. Centers provide tutoring at no charge to children from early elementary through high school who have been diagnosed as dyslexic
Visit this link to find a location near you.

Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA-RMB)
This branch of The International Dyslexia Association provides a forum where parents, educators, individuals with dyslexia and researchers share their knowledge about a disorder that affects up to 20 percent of the U.S. population. The IDA-RMB provides workshops and resources to increase public awareness of dyslexia.

Tips for Choosing a Summer Camp for Your LD Child---by Ann Cathcart
Article with great tips to help you choose a good summer camp for your child with learning challenges!

For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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