October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

October also shines a light with bringing awareness to Dyslexia.  We wanted to share resources for yourself, for your family, and for your child’s school.  Awareness creates understanding which then empowers those around us to be able to see the struggles our children experience.  We are then better equipped to help and teach them in a way they can be successful.

One terrific resource is the International Dyslexia Association:

https://dyslexiaida.org/dyslexia-basics/

 

Read here to find out common signs and symptoms of Dyslexia starting from preschool-high school:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/understanding-dyslexia#item1

 

Click here to experience how a child is dealing with a learning or attention difficulty:

https://www.understood.org/en/tools/through-your-childs-eyes?gclid=CjwKCAjw3_HOBRBaEiwAvLBbomy-fC21AGAv14y2aQkw1iHZOhcYpbzgRiDfqGZ0TlM5cOekC9fOLxoC3SwQAvD_BwE

 

Of course, we feel that all children benefit from being taught as if they have Dyslexia. If you’re interested in hearing more about Orton-Gillingham or a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading, please contact us at confidentolustions7@gmail.com.  Read below for an interesting article on how all children benefit:

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/why-we-should-teach-all-pupils-if-they-have-dyslexia

 

Some research on how a Dyslexic brain works:

http://www.bu.edu/research/articles/dyslexic-brain/

 

20 Things parents of children with Dyslexia would understand:

http://www.lifehack.org/285680/20-things-only-parents-children-with-dyslexia-would-understand
Dyslexia in the general education classroom:

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/dyslexia-in-general-ed-classroom-kelli-sandman-hurley?utm_content=blog&utm_campaign=dylexia-in-gen-ed-class&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_term=link

 

Different types of Dyslexia:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/different-types-of-dyslexia?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=understoodorg
Dyslexia and the law. Can my child receive an IEP, 504 plan, or accommodations? (Hint: Dyslexia is considered a learning disability, which is recognized in schools) :

http://www.reallygoodstuff.com/community/dyslexia-and-special-education-law/

http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/13/nl.1015.htm

 

An excellent book on Dyslexia:

http://dyslexia.yale.edu/book_Overcoming.html

https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Dyslexia-Complete-Science-Based-Problems/dp/0679781595/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498261380&sr=8-1&keywords=overcoming+dyslexia+by+sally+shaywitz
Frequently asked questions:

https://dyslexiaida.org/frequently-asked-questions-2/

From Learning Disabilitlies Association of America:

https://ldaamerica.org/types-of-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/

Question and answer session on the benefits of having Dyslexia:

https://www.wired.com/2011/09/dyslexic-advantage/

Christina tutors students of all ages with Dyslexia and learning disabilities using Orton-Gillingham.  If interested in more details, please reach out to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.
With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy 

 

Dysleic strenght

Advertisements

Social Learning

Recently, we read an article where a physician was quoted as saying kids do “what they can.”  This is very true whether we’re talking about children utilizing good social skills, reading on their grade level, or learning math facts.  It’s not a child’s “fault” that they are not understanding or implementing good social skills naturally.  However, as adults, we tend to have those expectations when it comes to social skills and then try to manage those “behaviors.”

If a child is struggling  learning to read, we teach that child unique ways to learn maybe through phonics, or blending patterns. If a child is struggling with concepts in math, we offer ways of support such as tutoring and breaking down the concepts until they understand the steps. Social skills really are the same.  In school a student will typically have to pull a card, lose a buck or sit at the quiet table. Teachers and administrators report that a child is struggling understanding and utilizing good social skills but the actual skills are not being taught or supported.

Just like special strategies can be implemented to teach a child to read, there are curriculums and specialists who can teach your child social skills. Both types of teaching express the importance of having a strong support network for your child as well as practicing the skills that are being taught.  When we are teaching a child phonics, we would then expect and set up situations where they are practicing the phonic skill. Social skills are the same in that, as children are learning how to “think” about thinking, having a support network of parents/guardians and teachers to help them practice the skills is necessary.

Our social skills classes are called Mindful Thinking for Social Expectations.  Our classes run six-week sessions with each session having a unique focus.  If this is your first time joining a social skills group or if your child has specific “behaviors” that you are unsure how to teach, we recommend beginning with our self-awareness, self-monitoring, and self-control classes.  We currently are teaching a session on “play” which includes how to enter and engage in play, how to read nonverbal language, and beginning to understand other people have thoughts and perspectives.  We keep our class sizes small so the students have the ability to interact and practice the social skills they are learning. This also enables us to offer more individualized instruction.

We also believe empowering parents is important. In conjunction to the student class, we have a parent group that meets at the same time.  The parents are learning information on the importance of reinforcing and practicing the skills their child is learning.

We also offer a teacher letter each week so we can connect with your child’s teacher. We feel this is an important piece so he/she can help reinforce the skills your child is learning.

This is a slow and deep process.  The focus of our classes are not about “managing” behaviors but rather teaching skills that begins to create a shift for students and parents.  Once these skills are learned, the students will be empowered to problem solve social situations that were once difficult for them.

We welcome any questions you have! If you would like to talk with us more about our classes, please reach out to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

Nature's Heart 1 wm quote

 

Upcoming events 

 

 

Upcoming Holiday Session

We will be opening registration for our next social skills groups next week! This next session will be slightly different.  We will continue to have separate small groups, however, the focus of this session will be to begin teaching an understanding of social expectations around the holiday seasons as well as tools for coping with stress.  There will be more specific details about the sessions with the registration post.

The dates for the next session will be: November 13th, November 20th, December 4th, and December 11th.  There will be three groups meeting at a time: A sibling group  (optional), a parent group (required), and a group for your child learning specific social skills.  

Be sure to check our website next Monday with details about the classes and information on how to register.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

blue-hyd-wm

We Would Love to Hear From You

We are deciding which post to write next and we would love to hear your opinion! Which one would you like to read next?

  1. What You Should Never Hear at an EC Meeting
  2. Common Accommodations for Classrooms
  3. A post about Executive Functioning Skills

 

Please write your choice either in the comment section below, the comment section on Facebook, or send us an e-mail at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.  We’ll see which one gets the most responses and will write that blog next.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

 

How You Can Help Your Child at Home

Homework, extra curricular activities, dinner, family time, baths, stories, bedtime. Once your child gets home from school it is a whirlwind. How is it possible for it all to be done? Especially if you have more than one child?  We don’t have a magic solution. Some days, at our houses, our children eat less than healthy dinners and skip bath times. Sometimes we send an email to the teacher and let them know why homework didn’t get done. Other days, we are having a glass of wine while we read Goodnight Moon for the 100th time.

However, I have found a solution that I like. I have created a schedule for my children which has helped them when they get home from school.  I write it on a white board which makes it easy to add or take away things as I need to.  I start with putting my children’s initials at the top of the white board and the rest looks something like this:

H                                   M                                     D

  1. Unpack you book-bag
  2. Put your shoes and socks away
  3. Put your lunchbox in the sink
  4. Do your homework
  5. Pack your lunch
  6. Lay out your clothes

Each child places a check next to the sentence under their initial after they finish . They have tried to say they’ve completed something when they didn’t, so I always make sure to go back through and check behind them. 🙂

When my children know what to expect, they are happier. They don’t have to guess what my expectations are and I’m consistent on what needs to happen. This structure is also teaching independence  in my children which makes them feel good. Some days,  I am able to  allow my children to choose the order they complete their chores. This enables them to have some control over their schedule which helps them gain ownership. Other days, it may be important to do them in a certain  order (mainly because of an extra curricular activity) so I add a note at the top that says, “please do them in this order”.   I also make sure I add the activities  each kid has that evening. This has helped my kids know how much time they can take on each task which is teaching time management. Here is a sample sheet that you can download and tweak for your family:

schedule

Good luck with your after school routine!  We would love to hear what works for you too! Please drop us a note at confidentsolutions7@gmailcom.

With Appreciation,

Wendy

Connections With Students

We feel that, as educators, once you take the time to make those honest connections with your students (whether they have exceptional needs or not),  your classroom will run smoother.  Teaching from your heart, truly seeing the kids individually–what are their worries, fears, wishes, dreams, struggles–is a bridge that connects the desire  for students to learn.  When your students know that you care for them and love them, we have seen children blossom, difficult behaviors grow soft (and even disappear), and classroom communities become more supportive and accepting of each other.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

connections-quote-wm

Sign Up for Social Skills Groups

 

 

Please Don’t Say “It Will Be Okay”

We’re both special educators.  We’ve both worked in a variety of environments and in different roles with children with various disabilities.  We have collaborated and continue to collaborate with other professionals.  We get it.  We understand the paperwork, the state requirements, the long days.  However, we also are both moms to children with disabilities.  We continuously sit on both sides of the table.  We have sat and heard information about our children that hurts our heart.  We see where they’ve been excluded in a game or a social activity at school because of their differences. To their teachers, we promise to try to support you.  As moms with a background of knowledge, we do have times where we  feel frustration with the system, frustration of missed deadlines or IEPs not completely being followed.

With all of this being said, we would like to go back to one point in particular. As a teacher, please don’t say “it will be okay.” Those words stir up my insides. When I come to you to tell you about my child with a disability, please don’t tell me you’ve worked with “kids like him before”. You may have worked with a child with ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, or another disability like my child’s, but you have not yet worked with MY child. He is unique and his triggers are different from the last child with whom you worked.   As parents, we often collaborate with other professionals to help our family and our children.  When we offer to share that information with you, it’s inviting you into our inner circle.  Please take our extended hand instead of saying you already know about this diagnosis and “it will be okay.”  We are asking for you to join us in collaborating for the highest benefit of our child. As parents, we will do our best to speak respectfully to you and help understand your views and perspective.  We ask for the same courtesy back. Parents know their children best.  We can share what our child’s fears are, what his/her dreams are, and what makes him/her happy and sad. Those things are unique to each child and go beyond a diagnosis.

We agree there are some generalizations we can make based on a specific diagnosis. Our children, however, are still unique. It is so important in our children’s lives that the adults   get to know them, just like you do with other children.  Taking the time to make those individual connections with our children will help with understanding what they need to be taught.  Often times, our children need to be taught skills that other children pick up naturally in their development.  Getting to know them personally and collaborating with parents and other professionals helps you stretch and grow as an educator and in return will help our children do the same.

Yes, we too believe that it can “be okay”. We also recognize that for this to even be a possibility, we ALL need to work together and do our best to hear the words that each of us has to offer. This is the reason why we created this company. Let us help by being the bridge that spans the gap. The only way that it can actually “be okay” is if we all learn how to work together for a common interest: the success of our children.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

unique