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The Inspirational teacher Series – Erica Donaldson

June 29, 2012 in Inspirational Teacher Series by Dennise Goldberg

Today in the Inspirational Teacher Series we profile Erica Donaldson.  Erica has been teaching for 15 years and uses a hands on approach to Teaching.  I hope you enjoy her profile.

1. What is your name?

Erika Donaldson

2. What is your education level and credentials?

Bach of Teaching (Infants/Primary, inc Special Education), Bach Education (Qualifying to Year 10 mainstream SEP to Year 12) Read the rest of this entry →

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The Importance of Remediating Dyslexia

June 27, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Approximately 1 in 5 children are dyslexic. Due to a lack of resources in schools to diagnose kids early, and to provide them with adequate help once diagnosed, struggling readers fall behind their peers.  The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the number of kids with reading and behavior problems who end up in juvenile detention centers, and later in prison.  According to the US Department of Education, “60 percent of America’s prison inmates are illiterate and 85 percent of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.”  There is a direct relationship between reading struggles and behavioral issues.  A main reason is because not understanding how to read, while the rest of your peers take off on a path towards success, drastically affects a child’s self esteem.  Not understanding the information being taught in school contributes to a child feeling helpless and alone, which can lead to behavioral outbursts.  Since many learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, present themselves in children as early as Kindergarten, early prevention is an important step to getting kids the help they need to grow as readers. Read the rest of this entry →

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Crisis Plans in the Classroom

June 26, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

More and more, schools are pushing towards inclusive environments. Classrooms are a mixture of typical children, bright children, and children with a variety of skill deficits and developmental delays. Many of our more atypical students struggle with what can be considered moderate to severe mental health issues. Whereas many of these students are cognitively capable of managing the curriculum, the emotional and social aspects of school are more overwhelming for them than their more typical peers. Read the rest of this entry →

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Soothing the Sensory Soul: Is your child horrible or horribly upset?

June 25, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Chad has been known to me since he was a toddler and his older sister would come to OT and he would wait in the Clinic area with his mom. Having had the opportunity to observe him casually over time, it was not a surprise to me that he was also now participating in an OT program.

What did surprise me was the report from school that he was the “meanest” and the “worst” child they have ever had in their (public) school.

Sensory sensitive to movement with poor figure-ground discrimination, Chad is easily confused in large classrooms. The noise the movement, the rapid changes from one task to another are very unsettling for him to the point of frustration. Read the rest of this entry →

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I See You

June 24, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

I see you.
I see you.
 
Others see you flapping your arms, screaming and melting down.
Not me.
I see the person you really are.
Autism is a part of you BUT you are more than that.
You are a whole person with hopes and dreams and the ability to contribute to the world in amazing ways. Read the rest of this entry →
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A Letter to the School Administrator That Has Lost Perspective

June 21, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Dear Principal, Assistant Principal or Dean of Students that has lost perspective;

Over the past school year I have seen an increasingly troubling trend among a FEW of you entrusted to protect and educate our children.  You have adopted a military philosophy known as, “Kill one, save a thousand.”  At this point I’m sure many of you are screaming foul and yelling at the computer screen that nothing you do actually kills a child.  I would argue that your actions in many ways can have this affect on a child.  At best you are killing their dreams and at worst you are emotionally scaring them for a lifetime in ways you may not even be aware of.  I know you think your actions are justified because you have an entire school full of other children to think about but you are going about it all wrong.  If you want to embrace a philosophy how about the Doctor’s Hippocratic Oath to, “Do no harm.”  Work with the child’s parents and find a solution that helps the situation for all involved and doesn’t harm even one child.  Read the rest of this entry →

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The Inspirational Teacher Series – Patrick Black

June 20, 2012 in Inspirational Teacher Series by Dennise Goldberg

Today in the Inspirational Teacher Series we profile Patrick Black.  Patrick is one of the most popular special educators on twitter and is your go to guy when you are seeking advice on using technology in the special education classroom.  When I originally conceived of this series a couple of months ago I knew I needed Patrick to particpate and I’m glad he did. Read the rest of this entry →

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Teenage Mutant Bipolar Heroes

June 19, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

If it wasn’t bad enough being a teenager, it’s a real bummer if you are developing symptoms of Bipolar. As parents, if we’re honest, we want a bit of rebellion in our children. It’s healthy for them to be reprobates – within reason of course – and getting their elbows out, and testing the life’s realities before they are set loose.

As a male, I went through the normal pattern of trying for the world’ bashing the bishop’ record, but whilst most boys work through the irrational feelings of guilt, the one with Bipolar suffers in ways his parents’ cannot begin to understand. If it’s the Dysthymic phase, the characteristics will be lack of self esteem, poor concentration, a degree of self loathing and depression and a general overwhelming lethargy. Sounds familiar doesn’t it! Read the rest of this entry →

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Today I Celebrate, Tomorrow I Worry

June 18, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Today is my son’s graduation from elementary school. For seven years he has attended this school and he even started way back in preschool. This makes him the longest attending student in this school since none of his other preschool classmates are still around. It’s a monumental day because it marks an incredible triumph in his young life because nothing has come easy for him. I can’t think of one of life’s milestones that my son has accomplished without a little extra support. He doesn’t even grow naturally and requires a daily shot of growth hormones to help nature run its course. It’s been this way for every aspect of his life including eating, speaking, fine motor, gross motor, learning, socialization and more. The amazing thing about my son is he manages these struggles with a huge grin, a heart of gold and the desire to learn when taught correctly. Don’t get me wrong he has many strengths to compensate for his challenges and he ALWAYS find a way to compensate but it takes time, effort and patience to teach him how. This is why today we will all celebrate this major accomplishment in my son’s life because he has progressed so far but this is also why tomorrow I start to worry. Read the rest of this entry →

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What are CILs, and Why Should You Know About Them?

June 17, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Another acronym? Yes! And this one’s been around for forty years. It pre-dates the first federal special education law. CILs remain a vital, but too often untapped resource for people of all ages with disabilities.

A CIL (pronounced S-ill ), is a Center for Independent Living. Sounds like a place where people live, right? But, it’s not.

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are non-profit community-based organizations that are run by people with all sorts of disabilities. CILs are an integral part of the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movements in this country. Read the rest of this entry →

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