“The 8 Skills Students Must have for the Future”

Michael Sledd writes “The 8 Skills Students Must have for the Future”  on Edudemic.com.  The original article is from Pearson’s 2014, “The Learning Curve”.  These are the strengths of many of the children I work with. As they work so hard on some foundational skills it’s important to remind them that their area of strengths are valued.  —

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Dysgraphia

Many of the learners I work with struggle more with writing than they do with reading.  Although dyslexia and dysgraphia often coexist, children with motor and spatial dysgraphia, more than dyslexic dysgraphia, need Occupational Therapy. In addition to Orton-Gillingham tutoring, which provides solid instruction in language, Occupational Therapy helps with motor planning and an overall understanding of space in general.   A combination approach results in the strongest outcomes for struggling students.

From Dr. RIchard Selznick Blog: “School Struggles, Learning Disablities and Other Kid Stuff” from March 6, 2015.

When children struggle with written expression, “OT,” or Occupational Therapy appears to be the go to recommendation that is often given.

Writing has been shown to be the single most complex skill domain of the academic process.   The following quote from “Developmental  Variations & Learning Disorders” says it well:

“The transmission of thoughts onto paper calls for a delicate and highly complex process of neurodevelopmental integration.   Writing necessitates synchronizing all of the developmental functions (described in part I).  Writing is a final common pathway of these functions, a confluence of processes demanding attention, spatial and sequential production, mnemonic facility, language ability and motor skill.”

Motor skills (the skills targeted in OT) are the tip of the iceberg.   It’s a good first step.  What’s the next step?  Most of the time, I am not hearing the next step.  I only hear about the child getting, “OT.”

Beyond OT, a child needs much more remediation to address their deficits in writing (which are becoming more and more pervasive with the kids I am seeing).

For some time I have been beating a drum (although I understand no one is really listening), that a child struggling with writing needs to work first at the sentence level and master the skill of writing a good sentence before moving on to more complex operations.

Analogous to reading remediation, a child needs to work at very simplistic levels initially, derive a sense of mastery and then move forward to higher levels of complexity.

Most of the kids that I assess have little ability to understand what goes into writing a sentence or a paragraph, so to have them writing lengthy essays is way beyond them. It’s somewhat like asking someone to lift 25lb weights when they can barely lift 10lbs.

Takeaway Point:

Once your child has a had a good dose of “OT” to address his or her writing, ask, “Now what?  What’s next?”

What’s next needs to be the heavy lifting of writing remediation.

2014 M1READ, Reading Credit 2014

 

 

If you’re working on taxes and you’ve paid a tutor to help your child learn to read, you might be eligible for the MN Reading Credit. This credit is currently available only for the 2014 tax year.   The following is directly from the Department of Revenue form:

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Who is Eligible?

 

You may be able to receive a refundable credit for non-reimbursed expenses you paid to assist your qualifying child with meeting state-required academic standards.  To be eligible for this credit, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your child has been evaluated for an Individualized Education Program(IEP) and does not qualify;
  • Your qualifying child does not meet standards for reading competency;
  • You paid a qualifying instructor to tutor your child in order to meet state academic standards in certain areas of study; and
  • The expenses you paid to the instructor meet the criteria identified below.

 

The following is a link to the form,

 

http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/Forms_and_Instructions/m1read_14.pdf

Dysgraphia (difficulty writing): What a Parent Needs to Know

This class is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 9th at Denfeld High School at 6:30 pm.
Does homework your child avoid homework?
Is it a battle every night?
Could something else be going on?
Is their work hard to read?
Or is it easy to read but takes forever?
Is their work full of spelling and punctuation errors?
Do they use both upper and lower case letters interchangeable?
Is their writing ‘scattered’ across the page?
This workshop is designed to give parents basic information to help their children succeed in writing. Dysgraphia, sometimes called disorder of written expression, is a neurology disorder. We will discuss how to detect, assessment, types of remediation, accommodations and technology. Bring a sample of your child’s writing to class.
Go to Duluth Community Ed to sign up

Should the ‘RTI’ model delay evaluation of struggling students for years?

The following the link will take you to a parent’s passionate plea for help for her daughter. She is pleading with her school board to revisit its policies. She praises the child’s teacher who is going above and beyond but unable to give her daughter what she needs.

https://docs.google.com/a/guilford.edu/file/d/0BwodmMudG_2kUDNCaVdjLV9JLVk/edit?pli=1

5 Ways Dyslexia Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

Remember that no two dyslexics are alike. This is a good reminder of how a children can be impacted, yet others may not be.

From NCLD.org

Written by Emily Lapkin

Dyslexia's Impact on Your Child's Social SkillsDyslexia makes reading and other language-based tasks difficult, but it can also affect your child’s social skills. Here are five common social challenges your child with dyslexia may face—and ways you can help.

5 Ways Dyslexia Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life Having dyslexia can sometimes contribute to social issues on top of learning difficulties.

Social Challenge #1: Your Child Doesn’t Get the Joke

The dyslexia link: Dyslexia can make it hard for your child to understand jokes or sarcasm.
How you can help: Tell jokes or stories at the dinner table to help your child practice responding.

Social Challenge #2: Your Child Has Trouble Finding the Right Words

The dyslexia link: Kids with dyslexia can’t always find the words they want to say—especially if they feel strongly about the topic or need to respond quickly.
How you can help: Give your child time to think. Slow down the overall pace of the conversation.

Social Challenge #3: Your Child Misses Social Cues

The dyslexia link: Kids with dyslexia might not pick up on body language, facial expressions and other social cues.
How you can help: Watch your child’s favorite shows the volume off. Ask your child to guess how a character is feeling based on his body language.

Social Challenge #4: Your Child Hesitates to Message Friends

The dyslexia link: Kids with dyslexia may shy away from texting because they have trouble understanding the abbreviations.
How you can help:Show your child how the abbreviations work. Some are based on spelling (“idk” for “I don’t know”) and others on how letters and numbers sound (“l8r” for “later”).

Social Challenge #5: Your Child Remembers Things Inaccurately

The dyslexia link: Dyslexia can make it hard to recall specific words or details. This can lead to confusion about what friends said.
How you can help: Play games that can help strengthen memory. Have your child name the different kinds of cars on the street and then say the names back to you a few minutes later.

Not fitting in can take a toll on your child’s self-esteem. But there are many ways you can help your child build confidence, improve working memory, develop strong social skills and avoid hurt feelings.

What Are the Warning Signs of Dysgraphia?

From the National Center for Learning Disabilities

Just having bad handwriting doesn’t mean a person has dysgraphia. Since dysgraphia is a processing disorder, difficulties can change throughout a lifetime. However since writing is a developmental process—children learn the motor skills needed to write, while learning the thinking skills needed to communicate on paper—difficulties can also overlap.

Dysgraphia: Warning Signs By Age

Young Children

Trouble With:

  • Tight, awkward pencil grip and body position
  • Avoiding writing or drawing tasks
  • Trouble forming letter shapes
  • Inconsistent spacing between letters or words
  • Poor understanding of uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Inability to write or draw in a line or within margins
  • Tiring quickly while writing

School-Age Children

Trouble With:

  • Illegible handwriting
  • Mixture of cursive and print writing
  • Saying words out loud while writing
  • Concentrating so hard on writing that comprehension of what’s written is missed
  • Trouble thinking of words to write
  • Omitting or not finishing words in sentences

Teenagers and Adults

Trouble With:

  • Trouble organizing thoughts on paper
  • Trouble keeping track of thoughts already written down
  • Difficulty with syntax structure and grammar
  • Large gap between written ideas and understanding demonstrated through speech

New Tutor Consortium

Tutoring Duluth is joining a new group of area tutors.  This new cohort is a group of like-minded tutors meeting the needs of students on an individual bases. Most important, for us as tutors, this will help us help our students, but we will also be able to support each other and grow as tutors.  In addition to the reading and writing support I offer, one of the cohort tutor’s does high school and college level support for students in math and science and another is a professional writer.  These tutors will be able to support students in preparation for the ACT/SAT as well as day-to-day academia.  We are scattered around the Duluth-Superior area and the Arrowhead region making it easier for families to find conveniently located services.  Look for the new website….

TwinPortsTutoring.org …..coming soon.

I’m so excited to be part of this group.

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

 

Film Screening– Tuesday, October 29

12:00pm-1:00pm,

and

7:00pm-8:30pm

Lake Superior College 

Room S1981 

(Parking near the S bldg. entrance)

Q&A follows 7:00pm showing 

Refreshments Provided! 

Co-sponsored by

Lake Superior College Disability Services & PASSED

For additional information contact Deb Dwyer                                                 dwyers@boreal.org – 218-340-7393 or PASSED on Facebook

Individuals with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations by contacting LSC’s Disablility Services at (218) 733-7650 or g.robillard@lsc.edu