When you think about when you learned how to prepare for tests, how old were you…..I was in high school. The curriculum is different for our children today; they must learn this skill in middle school. I use the word “learn” because is it’s not something that comes naturally to most children. When a teacher tells their students in middle school “don’t forget to study for your test,” many of them will not have a clue as to how they are supposed to accomplish this task and be successful at it. It’s up to us as parents to help our children with this very important skill which is crucial to being successful in their academic career. The best way to help your child prepare for tests is to give them the confidence they need before taking the test. Here are just a few suggestions which may help your child. Read the rest of this entry →
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Reading is a fundamental skill needed for academic success. In today’s world, strong literacy skills are essential. Children who struggle in reading tend to experience extreme difficulties in all content areas, as every subject in school requires reading proficiency. When children are then faced with further struggles such as speech production and receptive and expressive language difficulties, the effects can be even more detrimental.
To read proficiently, a child requires highly integrated skills in word decoding and comprehension and draws upon basic language knowledge such as semantics, syntax, and phonology. Children with speech and language impairments, such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), have deficits in phonological processing. For these children, phonemic awareness, motor program execution, syntax and morphology will interfere with the ability to acquire the skills necessary to become proficient Read the rest of this entry →
The phone rings. I don’t recognize the number but pick it up anyway. The woman with the southern accident on the other end tells me how she is not a solicitor. She thanks me for my recent contribution to the children’s hospital. She tells me what my measly donation will do. I feel guilty that I did not give more but I just don’t have it to give. She talks about what they can do with more money. I listen not wanting to be rude. Besides I am thinking of a nice way to tell her no, a word I have a hard time with. Finally she pauses. Read the rest of this entry →
As I was perusing the Los Angeles Times website this morning I came across the L.A. Affairs column which chronicles romance and relationships. Normally, I would just move on but the first paragraph caught my attention:
My daughter Peyton is nonverbal and severely challenged by autism. I once believed she'd never experience a meaningful romantic relationship. Then, at a monthly workshop in Los Angeles for people who communicate via keyboard, she met Gabriel, a young man who traveled from Ventura with his support team. Dressed in preppy khakis and a plaid sport shirt, he seemed to turn a few heads, including Peyton's. Read the rest of this entry →
We all know it takes a village to raise a child and to make sure that child receives a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE); the two most important components in making that happen are the parents and the school. In order to do that, everyone needs to do be responsible for their role in educating that child as well as work together to address all their areas of need. I know it’s not an easy task to accomplish; however, the student will have a better opportunity to receive FAPE if both parties work together instead of spending their time working against each other. Here are some tips that might help to achieve a good working relationship between parents and schools. Read the rest of this entry →
Response to Intervention: A General Overview
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a 3-tiered assessment, identification, intervention, and monitoring framework that provides information about student academic and behavioral success. The impetus behind RTI is to identify struggling learners before they fail, and to provide them with appropriate, scientifically research-based interventions, in order to accelerate their learning. Identification, scientifically research-based interventions, and progress monitoring provide educators with information related to the effectiveness of instruction, specific and targeted areas in need of more intense or frequent instruction, reduced referrals to special education, and individual student data for the creation of measurable goals and objectives.
The RTI process utilizes data-based decision making for the early identification of struggling students and monitoring of student progress. Universal screenings of students are usually conducted three times during the school year and provide educators with baseline data (fall screening) and student progress data (winter and spring screenings). These screenings typically focus on those foundational areas that research has shown to best predict success. For example, reading screenings often focus on accuracy, rate, and comprehension while math screenings focus on computation and concepts. Educators analyze screening results, along with other available data, to determine if students require more intense and more frequent instruction than what is provided in the regular classroom. Students are then placed on a tier depending upon the data analysis results. Read the rest of this entry →
Students with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) have significant difficulties in identifying and discriminating sounds despite having normal peripheral hearing. These students often have reading difficulties due to significantly poor phonological awareness, decoding ability and grapheme knowledge. Time and again a student with Auditory Processing Disorder will lack the necessary reading foundation skills that are essential in becoming a strong reader. Read the rest of this entry →
Special Education in America has come very far in the 30 plus years since the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed. The problem is somewhere along the way the spirit of the law and the practice of the law started to breakdown. The cornerstone of the special education law is the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and decisions about the IEP are decided at an IEP team meeting. The IEP becomes useless if the IEP team meeting goes off task. Unfortunately, instead of a team, often it becomes parents against the school and a massive communication breakdown occurs. There can be a significant lack of trust on both sides. Many times I hear from School personnel, “Why don’t parents think we are capable of assessing their children properly?” While on the other side parents think schools are turning them down for eligibility and services due to lack of funds when their children really need help. Read the rest of this entry →
Sometimes, kids come home with assignments that can become a family affair. Maybe it’s a logic puzzle of the week, or a fun assignment for public speaking. Or maybe it’s having a lively discussion about a book your child is reading for Lit. You can increase your child’s commitment to his/her education by showing an interest, without actually doing the work for her! Read the rest of this entry →
When I was in Middle School it was the 70’s…typing classes were part of the curriculum. It was a useful skill to learn back then even though we were using electric typewriters. They were fun classes where you learned to type to music; occasionally we took tests to see how fast we could type. At the time, I took the class because I knew I could do well in it; not thinking about the fact that the class was preparing me for high school and college. As a matter of fact, I used an electric typewriter through college. Typing classes are no longer necessary because technology has come such a long way since I was in school. Gone are the days of struggling to edit your work on a typewriter; where you didn’t have spell check to watch your back! Read the rest of this entry →