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The Five Keys to Unlocking a Successful School Year

July 11, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Executive functioning skills are essential to succeed in life. Certain executive functioning skills, such as time management and organization, help individuals in their jobs, daily chores, and day to day responsibilities. Students with a variety of learning challenges, such as ADHD, learning disabilities, or autism spectrum disorders, may have deficits in such executive functioning skills, which can, in turn, adversely affect the school experience. Although these deficits may seem insurmountable at times, there are ways to tackle them to achieve success.

As a new school year is beginning, high school faculty and staff, parents, and students themselves, are searching for systems to put in place to develop such executive functioning skills and to maximize the classroom learning experience. To help, here are New Frontiers in Learning’s Five Keys to a Successful School Year: Read the rest of this entry →

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How Do You Get Organized with ADHD

April 9, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often struggle with prioritization and organization. Items get lost, bills go unpaid, and projects go unfinished. Creative, smart, and loving individuals suffer from chronic feelings of “not being good enough”. Relationships flounder and lives can spin out of control. People with ADHD can tell you that they simply feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

Fortunately, it is possible to manage ADHD symptoms. There are many extremely effective strategies for coping with difficulties in these areas. In fact, you can become organized and an effective prioritizer if you learn to utilize some of the techniques below.  The first step is to be aware of your weaknesses and take action to address them. The realistic goal is not to become perfect, but to make daily life less stressful. The way you prioritize should depend on your individual needs and problems. Below, we’ll take a look at useful tips that can get you started: Read the rest of this entry →

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10 tips on How Parents Can Help their Child Organize for School

October 20, 2013 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

As we all know, many children with special needs require structure in their daily lives.  From the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed.  We as parents are responsible for organizing their schedule throughout the day with therapies, play dates, after school sports…etc.  However, during those hours most children will also be in some type of educational setting.  Unfortunately, some children with special needs have poor organizational skills which can affect their ability to access the school’s curriculum.  Whether your child is in kindergarten or high school, I’m sure they struggle with organization at some level.  Here are a few tips on how you can help your child with organization for the school environment. Read the rest of this entry →

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Surviving the First Month of Middle School

September 20, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Wow….it’s only been a little over a month since my son began middle school but it feels like it’s been much longer!  So many changes and new challenges my son had to deal with; actually, we as a family had to address.  Before I begin, I must tell you that this is the first time my son is in general education without having access to an aide in the classroom to ask for help; he’s doing it all by himself now.

One of the first challenges was preparing my son to use a combination locker.  The week before school started, I went out to dinner with a close friend of mine who has a son that was also beginning middle school.  I told her I was concerned about my son being able to use a combination lock at school because of his fine motor and processing issues.  My friend told me that she bought a combination lock at the store so her son could practice before school starts….what a brilliant idea!  Of course we immediately bought a lock and made my son practice using it every day before school began; I highly recommend this to parents to alleviate any anxieties your child may have using a combination lock, it was a great help!  When the day came and he received his locker combination, he was able to turn the dial with ease; however, since it was a brand new school, the latches didn’t work well because they were too stiff.  You know how we are as parents, the very next day my husband went to his locker and applied WD40 to the latch……anything to make it as easy as possible for our kid! Read the rest of this entry →

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Using technology to keep track of your child’s school work

September 12, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

As most of you know, our son entered middle school this year.  For the typically developing student, it can be a difficult transition; but for the student with disabilities, it’s much harder to make the transition from elementary to middle school student.  In some school districts, middle school begins in 7th grade but ours begins in 6th grade.  I myself began middle school in 5th grade and would NOT recommend it because I was not ready yet!  Not only do you have to change classrooms every hour but you have to allow time to run to your locker as well.  Let’s not forget changing for P.E. on a daily basis; thank goodness our son’s P.E. class is 6th period.  Like many of you parents, we we’re very concerned about how our son would be able to function in his new environment and be able to access the curriculum successfully; well thankfully there is technology that helps parents keep track of their child’s school work on a daily basis. Read the rest of this entry →

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The Use of Pre-Vocational Goals to Help Your Child Prepare for Middle School

October 30, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

Those of us with younger children have spent the past several years worrying about getting them through elementary school, but there comes a time when we have to think about the next phase…..Middle School! I’m sure I’m not the only parent who is concerned about whether my child is adequately prepared to handle the Middle School environment. As we all remember from our own experience, it’s a whole new world! The campus is larger, the class sizes are bigger and teachers expect students to be able to be responsible for their homework assignments and work independently without constant adult supervision. However, for the student who has organization, planning, or off task behavior problems, they might have difficulty functioning in their new environment. For those parents who have children still in elementary school and are already struggling in these areas, it’s a good idea to add Pre-Vocational Goals to their IEP’s. The purpose of Pre-Vocational Goals is to help train children in specific measurable skill building tasks. For some, the ability to organize, plan or stay on task in class does not come naturally to them. Pre-Vocational Goals can help a student learn how to master these skills so that when they enter middle school, they will be prepared to deal with an environment that no longer holds their hand and tells them what to do every minute in class. Read the rest of this entry →

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Get Organized – From the Outside In

October 12, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

We live in a society of constant demands and where multi-tasking holds high value. Yet organization, especially when managing the many appointments, therapies, medications, latest research, as well as behavioral and emotional demands of a child with special needs, can be far from straight forward.

Organization, cleaning, time-management – these are skills that are often thought of as requiring knowledge of and practice with simple strategies. They may come naturally to some; not so naturally to others. Regardless, they are learnable. As the demands in your life diversify and increase (which undoubtedly happened after having a child with special needs), adapting or refining those skills also becomes necessary.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Get Organized With the Latest Smartphone Apps

September 11, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Who says organization has to be boring? With the latest smartphone applications, your child can keep track of school assignments and have fun along the way. With stunning graphics and state of the art design, the newest apps will keep even the most reluctant students on track. The truth is that the more organized a student is, the better grades they tend to receive. Check out my top picks for apps that can be quickly downloaded to any iPhone or iPad. Read the rest of this entry →

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“My Dog Ate My Homework!” – Tips and Tools to Organize Homework and Reduce Stress

September 28, 2010 in Special Education Articles by Jess

It's back to school time and homework is here. For many students and parents, homework time can often be a chore, or fraught with tension and stress. What is the secret to avoiding homework battles and missing assignments?  Read the rest of this entry →

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Launch Your Child To School Success With This Easy-To-Use Strategy

September 21, 2010 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Michael is a freckle-faced fourth grader always on the move. He loves to read, write and do well in class, so his mom was surprised when Michael's teacher reported that he was not handing in his daily homework. She certainly checked every night to make sure it was done.  Read the rest of this entry →

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