Only a small percentage of students with special learning needs attend college, but parents have the opportunity, from the moment their child is born, to insure that their child is one of the successful college graduates. Read more
All parents need to know about executive skills. These are the skills that help us monitor and direct our lives. We use our executive skills to plan and organize our behavior, make well-thought-out decisions, overrule immediate desires in favor of longer-term goals, take conscious control of emotions, and monitor our thoughts in order to work more efficiently and effectively.
Kids with ADHD have difficulty with one or more of the executive skills. And other types of learning issues can cause a child to have trouble developing and using their executive skills. Read more
The homework routine often becomes an activity that neither parent nor child look forward to. The parent’s role in the homework process is to be sure the work your child brings home is appropriate and to set up the conditions in the home that are necessary for your child to be successful. Read more
It is very important for parents of kids with special learning needs to work with their child’s teacher to make the school year as productive as possible.
Learn everything you can about your child’s new teacher by talking to the principal and looking on the website. Try to arrange an informal visit with the teacher before school starts.
Take your child to visit a new school before school begins. Be sure to point out the cafeteria, lockers, gym, classroom, bus stop, play areas, restrooms, and main office. Children need to know how to get around and find all the people and places they need during the day. Read more
I’m often asked how my educational therapy approach is different from tutoring. Tutors focus on teaching bodies of facts, and sometimes a small number of study skills. Tutors are basically helpful to students when the student learns relatively easily and has just fallen a little behind for some reason such as being ill.
But tutors are NOT trained in the way the human brain learns so they don’t know how to help students who learn differently or who have complicated learning needs. Read more
On this episode of Special Kid School Talk Dr. Kari interviews Emily Iland, parent, author, and leader in the autism field about the best strategies for teaching children to understand what they read. Emily’s new book, Drawing a Blank: Improving Comprehension for Readers on the Autism Spectrum, is a wealth of resources for parents and educators. Ms. Iland is also the co-author of Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z (2004). Many children with special needs such as autism and learning disabilities have trouble making sense of what they read. What makes it even more confusing is that these kids can have good “decoding” or ability to sound out the words. Parents and teachers want strategies to help these kids!
Click here to see Ms. Iland’s website.
Individuals with ADHD and ADD often have difficulty with Executive Skills, also called Executive Functions. These are the skills that help us manage and direct our lives. They are analogous to the activities that an executive engages in to manage and direct a company or business.
Executive skills allow us to plan and organize our behavior, make well-considered decisions, overrule immediate desires in favor of longer-term goals, take conscious control of our emotions, and monitor our thoughts in order to work more efficiently and effectively.
There are a number of different theories and definitions of the skills that constitute executive functions. The following is a compilation that illustrates the full range of skills needed to effectively manage our lives.
Planning and prioritizing
The ability to create a plan to complete a task or to develop an approach to achieving a goal. This skill includes making decisions about what to direct attention toward and the ordering of the steps needed to achieve the goal.
One meaning of the term “bracketing” is “to place within.” This concept of “placing within” is a helpful strategy that students and adults can use to identify and appropriately deal with distracting thoughts.
In stage one, students decide whether their current thoughts are appropriate for the task at hand. If they are not, students can bracket them in stage two.
It is very helpful to teach students (and adults) to classify thoughts into three groups:
Now: appropriate to follow up on now, i.e. thoughts that promote full engagement in the lesson or other current task. During reading, for example, a “now” thought would be about the content of the reading (reading comprehension) or about ways to stay focused on reading.