Monday, December 20, 2010
The Nagpur Trip was extremely fruitful. We delivered a 3 day workshop on 17, 18, 19 December 2010. The Teachers, Paediatricians, Psychologits and Principals were very responsive and we enjoyed the interaction. This is just the beginning of a long term relationship with the Orange City!!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Workshop 1: ‘TEACHING, LEARNING & ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES FOR DYSLEXIA’
Date: Friday 17th. and Saturday 18th. December 2010
Open to anyone passionate about children: School Teachers, Tuition teachers, B.Ed & Psychology students, Parents of children diagnosed with Dyslexia etc.
Workshop 2: ‘HELPING DYSLEXICS – ROLE OF ASSESSMENT; INDIVIDUALISED EDUCATION PROGRAMMES (IEP) AND COUNSELLING’
Date: Sunday 19th. December 2010
Open to Psychologists, Special Educators and anyone working with Special Children
Special Session: The Institute is also holding a special 2 hour session from 3 PM to 5 PM for School Principals and School administrators. This session will focus on topics like: Setting up a Resource Room”,“Involving Parent Support Groups” and “Special Needs Personnel” etc.
The workshops will be conducted by Mrs. Chetana Keni, who is a Psychologist, Special Educator and Counselor, and Ms. Apoorva Deshpande, a Clinical & Counselling Psychologist.
Dyslexics are extremely unique, talented and creative people. If properly assessed, remediated and counseled they can be contributing citizens. The dyslexic has stronger ability to analyse complex ideas. They need love, trust, understanding and help from parents and teachers.
Apart from the teachers who will ensure a fair learning ground, the Psychologists play an important role by correctly diagnosing difficulties, improvising ‘Individual Education Programmes’ (IEP) and provide Counseling for each child. The Special Educators will follow the IEP, provide Remedial Education Services and work towards integrating the child in the Mainstream, Famous People with Dyslexia are Walt Disney, Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein, Tom Cruise, Winston Churchill etc.
This workshop is an extension of our vision to be the guiding light in the lives of children with Dyslexia and equip them and those responsible for their upbringing. We endeavor to help Teachers and School Administrators to help them excel in the main stream along with all others.
The workshops will be organized at Hotel LB, Mount Road extn., Nagpur from 9AM to 5PM on the three days. For participation details, Mr. Chauhan may be contacted on 9226989792.
Both the workshops are being held in association with Rotary Club of Nagpur East and Sheikh Asgharali Hasanali Maimoon Charitable Trust, Nagpur; under their ‘Late Mrs.Khadija Iqbal Maimoon Memorial Project for Management of Dyslexia’
For The Chetana Keni Institute of Remedial Education
Mrs. Chetana Keni.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
“I have to repeat the same instructions a hundred times and still it doesn’t get done!”
“Ive given up. I just do all the work myself so I don’t get into arguments with my children.”
Is this your story? Do you find yourself getting stressed repeating instructions like, 'brush your teeth', 'Do your homework', 'clean up your room', or 'go to bed'?
It can be really frustrating and stressful for parents! We often get into the pattern of telling our child to do something, then telling them again 10 minutes later, and again 30 minutes later when we notice that she still hasn't done what we asked!
Your child has probably developed several strategies to put things off as long as possible like
• distract you by whining, bringing up something else she has to do right now (like watching the rest of her "favorite" tv program)
• starting an argument
• ignoring you
Since you are probably busy doing something, it's easy to forget for a moment that she has not done what you asked. When you have to ask her again, you are just a little bit frustrated. The third time - you are angry, and a simple request becomes a source of tension and conflict.
Let’s see how you can change this.. YES unbelievable but you can!
The following are simple steps to follow each time you ask your child to do something. They take just a little bit more time and attention at the first request, but will save time and frustration in the long run. With practice, they will become a habit. The results will be less frustration, anger, and stress for you and more respect, compliance, and self-discipline from your child.
1. Decide in your own mind what you want the child to do and the time frame you will accept for her compliance - immediately, within 15 minutes, whatever.
2. Get her attention. Begin with making eye contact. Don't yell it from the kitchen. If you are busy in another room, ask the child to come to you before you make the request.
3. Tell her specifically what you want her to do. "Go brush your teeth right this minute so you can get to school on time."
4. Watch to make sure she starts to do what you asked.
5. Praise her for doing what you asked. (Don't leave out this step!)
6. If she does not begin doing what you asked or does not complete the task, then reconfirm, ask her "What did I ask you to do?"
7. If she correctly tells you what you asked her to do, say, "That's good, now do it."
8. If she does not do what you asked then - STOP THE WORLD - the child does not do another thing until she does what you asked.
9. If the child begins to throw a temper tantrum or continues to avoid doing what you asked, put her in a short time-out. When she comes out tell her to do what you asked.
Don't let it go or she will learn to avoid responsibility by causing uproar.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
All children are unique and hence each one has a special need. The world is developing at a fast pace and the concepts of relationships, marriage, parenting, schooling and education are also undergoing a paradigm shift. People all over the world are facing adjustment related issues in all arenas. Children are struggling with the stimulating fast paced media and the boredom in classrooms.
There is an increasing tribe of “special needs” children with ADD/ADHD/Dyslexia and behavioral issues more so due the inadequacies in the educational system, parenting, nuclear setups and several other factors.
There is hence, a need for Special Educators and Counselors to step in and bridge this gap, to enable the psychosocial adjustment of these children and to facilitate learning through child-centric, tailor-made resources.
Every child whether attention deficit, hyperactive, gifted or a slow learner all can become valuable and contributing citizens of the world with guidance.
All humans are basically good and are able to find solutions to their problems with a little help to have that insight.
Self awareness and Self-reliance is a central tenet of our Processes
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity, Dyslexia, Autism Features:
Dyslexics are extremely unique, talented, creative and entertaining
people. When properly trained and informed, a dyslexic can use their natural abilities to shift perceptions, enhance creativity, refine thinking, and improve physical performance.
The dyslexic has stronger abilities to analyze complex ideas and resolve ambiguities. These are the inventors and the change leaders of tomorrow. They can think in ways alien to the normal minds.
They can even overcome and learn social behaviors to a large extent when love, trust, understanding and help are extended by parents and teachers.
To help parents, educators and teacher educators understand that the true meaning of education is for us to evolve- as better humans, as better citizens to enable us to live in peace and tranquillity. Education is not participation in the rat race to get ranks, to land in good jobs and take a fat salary home.
To bring about the awareness for the need and importance of special education/educators in the education system
To make this service available and affordable to each and every child in need, in every school by sensitizing all teachers to identify and accommodate their special needs
To enable parents to discover, accept and respect the unique abilities of their child and help them to cultivate these abilities
To enhance the lives of those we meet
- By helping them face demanding and challenging situations
- To have an optimistic attitude, enthusiasm and sound mental & social wellbeing
- To enjoy life to the fullest and pursue their goals with confidence
- To live each day with faith, confidence, individual worth, knowledge, good work and integrity through continued personal progress and education
We accept the child as an unique individual irrespective of his difficulties. We look at the Disabilities presented in the reports as a deviation to the so called “normal”. For us there is no ‘normal’ because we understand that the human race is evolving and the children being born in the last 10 years or so, with all kinds of labels, are different and may be so for a reason.
We strive to help the child adapt and adjust to the existing world, giving him the skills and strategies, that will not only allow him to be a contributing member of the family and society, but also empower him to be happy and contended within himself.
We facilitate learning that comes from a three pronged approach - Accept, Illume and Transform. Our teachers respect, care for and empower the children by allowing them to harness their inner potential by using their unique gifts.
Our methodologies and teaching aids are catered to fill the gaps in Learning -Academic, Communication And Social. We have worked with children with Dyslexia, Slow Learners, Mild Autism, Aspergers, ADD and ADHD.
The child is an important decision maker in the Intervention Process and most times the child leads the way the remediation is planned and executed. This is our first step in enhancing communication. The child learns to communicate what he wants.
We emphasise a lot on Perceptual Training that helps the child to pay attention to relevant stimuli which is an important factor for both academic & social learning. We have seen children making great strides of improvement after attending our remedial within a day/week at times.
Skills are taught in context. For eg. if a child has problem in writing, we help the child to apply whatever the child has learnt to read that day in creative writing. Remediation in writing is done on the go as the child writes. This helps to safeguard the self-esteem and build confidence by enabling the child to put the skill into practice immediately while retaining his creativity.
Broad objectives in our Remedial Program :
- Attention building
- Visual and Auditory Sequencing Skills
- Visual and Auditory Figure Ground
- Oral Language
- Reading, Writing, Spelling, Math and Written Expression
- Social Communication Skills
- Behaviour Management
- Increasing Confidence
- Study Skills
- Identification of Learning Difficulties, Behavioral, Emotional and other issues that interfere in the learning process of children including referral for educational/psychological assessments or any other professional help
- Interventions – Remedial and Counseling for children with learning difficulties, adolescents, gifted and slow learners
- Workshops for parents and teachers in handling different learning needs, cognitive, emotional and behavioral issues in children
- Vocational Guidance for Grade 8-12
- Life Skills workshops for Personality Development in Children
- Counseling Interventions – Psychosocial, Academic, Cognitive, Emotional, Personal and Behavioral Modification Needs
- Group Counseling Interventions
- Setting Up Resource Rooms for Schools
- Setting up Counseling Kiosks at Schools
Friday, June 11, 2010
Dyslexics have many strengths: oral skills, comprehension, good visual spatial awareness/artistic abilities. More and more dyslexic children could become talented and gifted members of our schools if we worked not only with their specific areas of difficulty, but also their specific areas of strengths from an early age.
To do this we have to let go of outmoded viewpoints that a dyslexic child must first fail, in order to be identified. These are the children of our future and they have a right to help and support before they develop the dreadful sense of failure which is so insidious.
Class teachers dealing with dyslexic children need to be flexible in their approach, so that they can, as far as possible, find a method that suits the pupil, rather than expecting that all pupils will learn in the same way.
Above all, there must be an understanding from all who teach them, that they may have many talents and skills. Their abilities must not be measured purely on the basis of their difficulties in acquiring literacy skills.
So what is an accommodation?
We must understand that an accommodations at not a change in the curriculum. It is neither a crutch nor an excuse. Instead accommodations are slight changes in the way tasks are presented or expected. Accommodations are fair. They enable a child to receive equal access to education despite a child’s disability.
Accommodations are required by dyslexic children because their gifts are hidden deep inside the layers of deficits that they usually have. Its only when accommodations are given that these children feel lighter, respond better, perform to their abilities and achieve their dreams.
The academic concessions sanctioned by Karnataka Government and Indian Boards were as follows: -
- Dyslexic children would be exempted from studying extra languages, other than the main one (focus on one language facilitates their academic progress).
- The thrust would be more on oral exams than on written ones.
- Spelling errors in their answer scripts would be overlooked, except in cases of nouns.30% extra examination time would be provided to children with learning disabilities.
- These children would be allowed to use a simple calculators (since they have this tendency to interchange numbers. Calculators also aid them with visual memory).
- The children during exam hours can avail the assistance of someone to read out the questions for them.
But the above are for the Board exams. With early intervention now becoming easier, we identify more and more dyslexics in the Primary and Middle School. The following is what we can do to enable their adjustment in their schools
An understanding of the pupil's specific difficulties, and how they may affect the student's classroom performance, can enable the teacher to adopt teaching methods and strategies to help the dyslexic child to be successfully integrated into the classroom environment.
Use of Assistive Technology (AT) Assistive technology is any piece of equipment or product used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. It serves to augment an individual's strengths, and to provide an alternative mode of performing a task.
- Timepieces, computer organizers to help with organization
- Books on tape
- Tape recorders help students review class materials
- Voice recognition software for transcribing dictated reports
- An optical character recognition system to enter text or printed material into a computer by use of a scanner.
- Software programs like Spell Check to correct spelling and syntactical errors
- Word processors for composing written text
- Spread out the classes during the Time Table to ensure than children do not get heavy workload for more than 30 minutes. Dyslexics generally have problem in English and Math Classes. Ensure they are never one after the other.
- Allow a student to tape-record assignments. Kids with learning disabilities tend to have trouble remembering spoken instructions.
- Provide the child with a note-taking partner. Dyslexia- related handwriting problems can make it hard to keep up when taking notes.
- Grant extra time for test-taking. The idea is not to make the exam easier for the child but to level the playing field, by providing sufficient time for the child to show what he knows.
- Letting the student run occasional errands for the teacher. This can help hyperactive kids burn off some energy.
- Accept dictated homework-Dyslexic ,/b>students can dictate answers much more easily and quickly than they can write them down.
- Allow parents to act as a scribe.
Reduce homework load
Give a lighter homework load. This is appropriate for children with dyslexia who struggle to get their homework done. The questions are just as hard - there are just fewer of them. Many teachers create homework assignments by estimating how long it would take a "normal" student to complete it. They may not realize it takes a dyslexic student 3 to 4 times longer to complete the same assignment.
By the end of a school day a dyslexic child is generally more tired than his peers because everything requires more thought, tasks take longer and nothing comes easily. More errors are likely to be made. Only set homework that will be of real benefit to the child.
In allocating homework and exercises that may be a little different or less demanding, it is important to use tact. Self-esteem is rapidly undermined if a teacher is underlining the differences between those with difficulties and their peers. However, it should also be remembered that far more effort may be needed for a dyslexic child to complete the assignment than for their peers.
Set a limit on time spent on homework, as often a dyslexic child will take a lot longer to produce the same work that another child with good literacy skills may produce easily. Teachers should agree to a maximum time to spend on homework. Parents should sign the end of the homework page showing the amount of time spent on the assignment.
A dyslexic child's ability to write down thoughts and ideas will be quite different from the level of information the child can give verbally. For successful integration, the pupil must be able to demonstrate to the teacher that he knows the information and where he is in each subject. Be prepared to accept verbal descriptions as an alternative to written descriptions if appropriate.
Alternative ways of recording should be looked at, such as :
The use of computers for word processing.
Audio tapes for recording lessons that can then be written up at a later stage.
Written record of the pupil's verbal account, or voice activated software can be used.
More time should be allocated for completion of work because of the extra time a dyslexic child needs for reading, planning, rewriting and proofreading their work.
For a dyslexic child the feeling of being 'different' can be acute when faced with the obvious and very important need of 'specialist' help for his literacy and possibly mathematical skills. Some specialist methods can be incorporated into the classroom so all children can benefit from them, thus reducing the feeling of 'difference'.
Some more accomodations…
- load priority scheduling.
- reduced course – test only chapters that are building blocks for the next grades).
- front row seating.
- extended time for in-class writing assignments
- quiet test environment (e.g. in a side room).
- large print-size tests.
- a reader (sometimes called an 'amanuensis')
- books on tape.
- provision of someone to write for them (scribe)
- use of an electronic spell-checker.
- use of a calculator.
- tape recorded lectures.
- note-taking assistance.
Opportunity to clarify information and instructions with teachers.
Provision of handouts of lesson notes or copies of overhead projections.
Dyslexic children, like all children, thrive on challenges and success. It is for sensitive and proactive people like us to ensure that that they are provided accomodations so that they have an equal ground with their peers to perform and excel.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Many proactive teachers also ask me the same question.
I am happy to see so many people wanting to know more about Dyslexia.. This can save a misdiagnosis as a slow learner or something else. So for all of us here I am writing down a list of Symptoms to look out for.
- Slow and hesitant reading.
- Tires easily with reading or complains of sore eyes
- Sounding out when reading
- Failure to recognize familiar irregular words, e.g. “whose”, “right”, “hour”
- Reading words as anagrams, e.g. “was” as “saw”, “on” as “no”
- Confusion between “b” and “d” and sometimes” “p”
- Repeatedly getting stuck on the same words throughout a passage
- Difficulty understanding overall content
- Dislikes reading
- Omission or addition of words or lines
- Poor standard of reading in comparison with oral ability
- Slow at learning to spell
- Letters and numbers often reversed
- Spelling tends to be bizarre
- Incorrectly formed or written letters
- Failure to write “p” and “g” or “q” sitting down on line
- Confusion between “b” and “d” and sometimes” “p”
- Difficulty in keeping writing on lines of page
- Confusion between “b” and “d” or always writing them as capitals
- Order of letters within a word frequently incorrect
- Great difficulty in spelling common words.
- Words spelt in different ways in same piece of writing
- Difficulty in reading back what he/she has written
- A dislike or avoidance of writing
- Difficulty in copying from book or blackboard
- Poor standard of written work in comparison with oral ability or drawing
- Confusion between right and left
- Difficulty tying shoelaces or remembering which foot to put each shoe on
- Difficulty doing up buttons into correct buttonholes
- Difficulty in carrying out more than one instruction at a time
- Difficulty in remembering what day/month it is
- Difficulty in remembering anything in sequential order, e.g. stories, songs, rhymes, months of ear etc.
- Difficulty in learning to tell the time, learning times tables or number sequences
- Easily distracted, Poor concentration on reading or writing tasks
- Generally lacking in confidence
- A bright child who wants to learn and understand how things work
Remember not all of them can exist in one child at the same time. There may be some other co-morid conditions as well. These are just are minimum to raise the flag. You must consult a Child Psychologist or an Educational Assessment Centre to understand more after this.
If you live in Bangalore we could do an educational assessment to find out if your child has any learning difficulties and if yes then what help and how much help he needs.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
And boy! I am enjoying every bit of it. Most people are blessed with a child once or twice in their lifetime but I am blessed with one every day :-) sometimes even more :-) And such exceptional ones!!
Last week I met two children with a diagnosis of Aspergers. Since they live very far I have extended a home program for remedial but I wish I would have got a chance to work with them.
In the last couple of years, however, Ive got an opportunity to briefly work with a couple of children diagnosed with Aspergers.It was an interesting experience.. I also watched "My name is Khan" the movie. I think the movie has helped to bring about some awareness in the public of this condition. I thorughly enjoyed the movie as much as I enjoyed working with the children.
I have attached below a brief writeup of what Aspergers is.. However I have seen children with Dyslexia also having some if not all of these traits but they are 'ok' on the social interaction front... But I ve worked with children with a diagnosis of Autism/Aspergers using a remedial program that focusses on imprving perception. There seems to be a reat deal of improvement in the areas of hyper sensitivity, social interaction, speech clarity and sitting tolerance.
Since all these conditions have so much overlap, the labels that we come up with after an intial assessment must be dealt with a lot of caution..
Ive seen so many changes over a period of 2-6 months in children that the intial diagnosis seems to be just a pointer and not the final truth!
Ok for those of you who want to know more ...
What is Aspergers Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome was named after Dr Hans Asperger, a Viennese paediatrician who described it in a 1944 paper. It remained mostly unknown to the English speaking world, until it was picked up by Lorna Wing in an influential review and series of case reports in 1981. “Asperger’s Syndrome” was made “official” in 1994 when it was included in the DSM manual used by psychologists to classify mental conditions.
Current thinking places Asperger’s Syndrome on the “autistic spectrum”. It is believed that individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to have an IQ ranging from average to genius, and there is much speculation that the likes of Albert Einstein and many other philosophers, scientists and genius musicians had Asperger’s Syndrome.
The main characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome are often (but not always) a deep focus on a specialist subject or area, a difficulty in understanding human interactions and human social codes (almost like being an alien trying to understand a strange species) and a difficulty with changing environments which need to be learned and adjusted to.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to have a normal to high intelligence, often coupled with a special skill or ability (e.g. extraordinary mathematical or linguistic abilities).
In addition, people with Asperger’s Syndrome are sometimes hypersensitive to stimuli such as light, noise and pain, and their motor skills may be less developed than the norm (e.g. they tend to play less sports).
Many of them are partially face-blind (have a problem remembering faces). They have to invest a lot of energy in understanding interactions and would often need to consciously plan their social behaviour in advance, including when they walk down a busy pedestrian road, and have to avoid running into people.
That intuition – the innate ability to translate human body-language and non-verbal cues is simply not there for them. People with Asperger Syndrome often describe their experience as that of “being on the wrong planet”. They have to learn how humans interact and simulate it. It isn’t a natural trait for them as it is for everyone else.
Asperger’s Syndrome is characterised by a neuro-biological difference from the norm, which means Aspergians process information differently. This is an important point to understand. Asperger’s Syndrome is not a mental illness or a disorder: it is simply a neurological variation from the norm. It is inherited genetically and very often will run in families.
Sourced and adapted from the Asprgia website: An alternative, positive, and sometimes comic view of Asperger’s http://www.aspergia.com
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Both of them were so similar yet so different.. As the assessments ( done seperately) progressed I noticed that they had reading and spelling ages of 8/9 years, comprehension and oral language skills of a 10 year old. As I spoke to them more and more I realised that these were 10 year olds trapped in a body of a 5 year old!. Their mind processed information in speeds that their body couldnt catch up with.. it was a frustrating experience that they both related to me.
How can they relate with thier peers who were half their age ?
How can they write a-z repeatedly when their minds were weaving creative thoughts that they could convert into poetry/stories if only someone guided and supported them.
How can they concentrate on a class of phonics when they were itching to read the encyclopaedia that they saw in the book shelf?
How can they believe in stories like "eat fast or the bad man will get you" when they can clearly see thats not true
How can they trust and learn from a teacher who didnt understand their needs? Who didnt give any logical explanations to the mundane tasks they were asked to do.
How can they trust a parentwho felt embarassed about their curiosity to know things beyond their age?
How can they sit in one place when the whole world is inviting them to explore and learn?
I am working on a full immersion program for these children , their parents, teachers and other adults around them to understand, facilitate and celebrate the giftedness they are born with:-)
While I do that I felt te need to put up here some of the signs that you can look out for if you suspect your child is behaving beyond his age!
Characteristics Checklist for Gifted Children
OFTEN THE EARLIEST identification of gifted children takes place by simple observation The following lists were adapted from one compiled from various sources. Note it is not expected that any gifted child will show all the traits listed in any section.
General intellectual ability
is an avid reader
has avid interest in science or literature
provides very alert, rapid answers to questions
has a wide range of interests
is secure emotionally
is venturesome, wanting to do new things
tends to dominate peers or situations
is an entrepreneur - readily makes money on various projects or activities
needs little outside control - applies self discipline
is resourceful - solving problems by ingenious methods
is creative in new ideas, seeing associations, pursuing innovations
displays a great curiosity about objects, situations or events
has the capacity to look into things and be puzzled
is involved with many exploratory type activities
reveals originality in oral and written expression
is perceptually open to his or her environment
displays a willingness to accept complexity
has the capacity to use knowledge and information other than to memorise
shows superior judgement in evaluating things
is a good guesser
makes good grades in most subjects
learns rapidly, easily and efficiently
uses a lot of commonsense
retains and uses information which has been heard or read
uses a large number of words easily and accurately
asks many questions of a provocative nature
has a power of abstraction, conceptualisation and synthesis
has an interest in cause-effect relations
has a liking for structure, order and consistency
has a power of concentration, an intense attention that excludes all else
has a high energy level
is friendly and outgoing
Specific academic aptitude
shows similar characteristics to general intellectual ability but concentrated around one or a few fields
has a long attention span in areas of interest
learns rapidly, easily and with less repetition in one or a few specific areas (probably not all subject areas)
likes or loves one or a few areas of knowledge
likes to study some subjects more than others
spends time voluntarily beyond ordinary assignments on projects of interest to him or her
is able to extend learning from these key areas to various situations somewhat unrelated in orientation
is able to show broad perspective on one or more subject areas
is able to judge own and others' relative abilities in key areas of interest
seeks assistance of others beyond his or age peers in extending knowledge in areas of interest
Creative thinking and production
is fluent in producing and elaborating on ideas
makes unusual associations between remote ideas
is flexible in thinking patterns
senses when problems exist
acts spontaneously, intuitively
tolerates ambiguity and uncertainty
senses inconsistencies and discontinuities
readily guesses and makes hypotheses
juggles or redefines elements of a problem or task
can show intense concentration on a task
retains own ideas in a discussion or collaboration
provides multiple solutions or responses to problems
is uninhibited in expression, sometimes radical
is intellectually playful, interested in fantasy, imagination
always trying to adapt or improve things
has a keen sense of humour, seeing humour in situations others don't
doesn't mind being different
doesn't accept authoritarian pronouncements without own judgement
asks provocative questions, challenges parents, teachers, written and other authorities
is bored with memorisation and recitation
displays energy, sometimes disruptively
produces unexpected, sometimes "silly" responses
is considered, and perhaps resented, by some peers as "crazy"
can show unusual degrees of originality, concentration and persistent hard work on projects that capture their interest and imagination
can stimulate and arouse others
recognises skills and abilities possessed by others
interacts with others easily showing social skills
recognises and can articulate the goals of a group
can articulate ideas clearly
can listen to others empathetically
understands how people feel and how groups function
can give directions clearly and effectively
exercises authority reliably and responsibly
can adopt non-leadership roles within a group
can establish the mood of a group
supports others in a group when appropriate
can coordinate the work of several individuals
is often asked for ideas and suggestions
is looked to by others when something must be decided
likes to play physically
has a suitable body build
is coordinated, balanced and confident in physical activities
is inventive in constructing or modifying games
is able to understand the intellectual aspects of psychomotor activities
demonstrates endurance, stamina and persistence in physical activities
demonstrates prowess in physical activities common amongst age peers
Visual and performing arts
has good sense of rhythm
discriminates musical and other sounds well
understands musical relationships
enjoys musical activities and demonstrates musical feeling
shows tonal memory
responds readily to rhythm, melody and harmony
uses music to express feeling or experience
makes up original tunes
enjoys dance and dramatic activities with musical elements
demonstrates interest and enjoyment in dramatic activities
readily shifts into role of another character, animal or object
uses voice to reflect changes in mood
demonstrates understanding of conflict when acting out a dramatic event
communicates feelings by means of facial expressions, gestures and bodily movements
enjoys evoking emotional responses from listeners
demonstrates ability to dramatise feelings and experiences
brings a dramatic situation to a climax with a well-timed ending when telling a story
draws a variety of objects
puts depth into drawing, showing planning and good proportion
treats art seriously and enjoys it
shows originality in modes of undertaking art
is willing to try out new materials and experiences
pursues art in spare time
uses art to express feelings and experiences
is interested in other people's art, both appreciating it and criticising it
likes to model three dimensionally with clay, soap carving, plasticine etc
Friday, March 19, 2010
· Understanding brain
· Effective Learning
· More Memory
· Exam Secrets
· Note making and Note taking
· Time Management
· Balancing friends and study
Age 10-16 (2 groups) Batch I – April Batch II – May 9am-10am Rs 1250/-
· Handling peer pressure
· My relationships
· Health and hygiene
· Self awareness
· Social responsibility
Age 10-16 (2 groups)Batch I – April Batch II – May 9am-10am Rs 1250/-
My Growing Child Workshops for parents
· Managing behavior
· Sitting down to study
· Time management
· Teaching reading and writing
· Teaching spelling and math
· Me and my time
Age 10-16 (2 groups)Batch I – April Batch II – May 9am-10am Rs 1500 single/ Rs 2500/couple
Saturday, March 13, 2010
After School remedial Sessions are now open for Dyslexic children in the age group of 5-16 years for ICSE/CBSE/IGCSE and State Syllabi.
Weekend Workshops are also open for Parents and Teachers to understand how to teach Reading Writing Math and Spelling Skills to Children.
Group Counseling sessions for adolescents on weekends in progress. Admissions open
The workshops and group counselling are open to everyone and not only for people interested in Dyslexia.
Email me to sign up!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I am a Special Educator and a School Counselor working with children with Learning Difficulties. I have also homeschooled my gifted son with Specific Learning Difficulties in Reading, Writing and Spelling for three years after which he has decided to join school again for social interaction and collective/collaborative learning opportunities which was difficult for me to provide.
However the 3 years of a Total Remediation Program helped him to cope up, regain confidence and also complete 5 grade levels in English, Math and Science.
Coming back to the Remedial School, the emphasis will be on helping these children to pick up the 3R’s using techniques which I have designed, tried and tested in the past four years. Our advisory panel consists of Special Educators who have worked with LD since the last 20 years.
Children with LD have average to above average intelligence and generally do not fit into the mainstream because of the one size fits all curriculum and rote learning. In my experience these children learn and want to know the Why and How of anything they are asked to learn and learn best when these questions are answered.
The School will share the campus with a mainstream concept school run by a well known group who are into education from several years. They use innovative teaching methods drawing upon the multiple intelligences of the child. The curriculum is also delivered using a multisensory approach like LCD Projectors and Videos etc.
Parents of children with LD will have a choice to either place their children for a total remedial program at the Remedial School or elect for a mix of the mainstream school with remedial assistance. A stop gap arrangement also is available where children from other schools can take a few months or year off from their regular school and attend here. Homeschoolers who would want to continue with homeschooling can choose the earlier program. The Remedial School will run from 9 am to 2 pm.
In addition we are offering an After School Remedial Program for children attending any other mainstream school and who need help in specific areas like Reading, Spelling, Written Expression and Comprehension. Special Study Skill workshops and Group/Private Counseling is also offered for adolescents
The curriculum is being designed with the CBSE guidelines which will have a total remedial base. This is to help children build up the required concepts right from the beginning to enable them to successfully appear for the Open Schooling/IGCSE exams. Children can also elect to seamlessly move into a mainstream school when they feel they are ready.
If any of you need more details kindly email me at email@example.com. Volunteers, Teachers and suggestions are also welcome.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Official Definition #1. According to the World Federation of Neurology, dyslexia is "a disorder manifested by difficulty in learning to read despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and sociocultural opportunity."
Translated into plain English, this means that if a student isn't dumb and he isn't surrounded by people who hate schools and if he goes to school and if he gets the "conventional instruction" (Look-see or whole language) and if he still has problems reading, it must be that he is a dyslexic. The underlying assumption is that the school's reading program is adequate for all students. The fault cannot be theirs. It must belong to the student, therefore the student is "dyslexic." I dont actually buy this description because I see so many cases of aquired LD because the teaching instruction was faulty!
Official Definition #2. According to the International Dyslexia Association's Committee of Members in November, 1994, "Dyslexia is a neurologically-based, often familial, disorder which interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. Varying in degrees of severity, it is manifested by difficulties in receptive and expressive language, including phonological processing, in reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and sometimes in arithmetic. Dyslexia is not a result of lack of motivation, sensory impairment, inadequate instructional or environmental opportunities, or other limiting conditions, but may occur together with these conditions. Although dyslexia is life-long, individuals with dyslexia frequently respond successfully to timely and appropriate intervention."
Translated into plain English, this means that dyslexia has to do with how the brain organizes what the eyes see and the ears hear. The condition is such that traditional methods of teaching reading will not work with a person with dyslexia. However, dyslexics may be taught to read and write with proper instruction. This usually involves multi-sensory approaches
Official Definition #3. According to the International Dyslexia Association's Research Committee in November 1994, "Dyslexia is one of several distinct learning disabilities. It is a specific language-based disorder of constitutional origin characterized by difficulties in single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities. These difficulties in single word decoding are often unexpected in relation to age and other cognitive and academic abilities; they are not the result of generalized developmental disability or sensory impairment. Dyslexia is manifested by variable difficulty with different forms of language, often including, in addition to problems reading, a conspicuous problem with acquiring proficiency in writing and spelling."
Translated into plain English, this means that if someone has normal intelligence but has severe problems learning to read and write despite "conventional" instruction, that person is dyslexic.
Official Definition #4. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Developmental dyslexia is a specific learning disability characterized by difficulty in learning to read. Some dyslexics also may have difficulty learning to write, to spell, and, sometimes, to speak or to work with numbers. We do not know for sure what causes dyslexia, but we do know that it affects children who are physically and emotionally healthy, academically capable, and who come from good home environments. In fact, many dyslexics have the advantages of excellent schools, high mental ability, and parents who are well-educated and value learning.
Translated into plain English, this means that when you can't find a reason for a child not being able to read, it must be he is dyslexic.
Official Definition #5. Dyslexia is a term that has been loosely applied to reading disabilities. Specific definitions for dyslexia vary with disciplines. Those in medicine define dyslexia as a condition resulting from neurological, maturational, and genetic causes, while those in psychology relate dyslexia on the basis of the specific reading problems evidenced and give no reference to causation. All disciplines would probably agree that dyslexia is evidenced by persons of otherwise normal intellectual capacity who have not learned to read despite exposure to adequate instruction.
Translated into plain English, this means that when you can't find a reason for a child not being able to read, it must be he is dyslexic.
courtesy AVKO Educational Research Foundation
Early Intervention is a process of assessment and therapy provided to children, especially those younger than age 6, to facilitate normal cognitive and emotional development and to prevent developmental disability or delay.” It can be both remedial and preventive in nature. The aim is manifold- to enhance the child's development, to provide support and assistance to the family, and to maximize the child's and family's benefit to society
It can result in parents having improved attitudes about themselves and their child, improved information and skills for teaching their child, and more release time for leisure and employment. Parents of intellectually gifted preschoolers also need early services so that they may better provide the supportive and nourishing environment needed by the child.
Major Developmental Areas where Early Intervention helps:
· Physical development -a child's ability to move, see and hear
· Language and speech development -a child's ability to talk and communicate
· Social and emotional development -a child's ability to play, interact and relate to others
· Adaptive development -a child's ability to handle self-care functions, such as feeding and dressing
· Cognitive development -a child's ability to think and learn
Some Professionals that will formulate the Remediation Program
· Developmental teachers/ Special Educators
· Occupational therapists/ Physical therapists
· Speech and language pathologist/audiologists
Diagnosis – The First Step
Identification of children who need and can benefit from early intervention is important.Diagnostic hunting by parents is now on the rise. Schools are also reporting the gaps they see in the child’s development. There are several varieties of diagnostic conditions that can possibly affect children in this age group. However multiple issues can coexist at various levels and within different degrees. Eg. a child with emotional and behavioral disorders might show associated learning and attention disorders.
Thus it becomes important to get an ‘intelligent’ diagnosis that takes into account such overlapping layers and also take appropriate decisions about a primary condition vs. other associated features displayed. An accurate diagnosis is a prelude to planning the right program for intervention. The diagnostic label provides both a target and a direction for the program.
However, parents must guard against getting carried away in finding the ‘right’ label for their child. A search for a diagnostic confirmation will only result in loss of precious time. Schools also must not discount the child’s strengths if he/she has been diagnosed with any disability. Tagging the child with all features of a diagnosis will put the intervention program on a wrong track. A child with hearing impairment may be a loner or shy away from his peers due to his inability to communicate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has impairment in social interaction, a feature of Autism.
Family Involvement - Vital Element of Early Intervention Success
One of the most powerful ways to achieve maximum and quick results is to extend home based training programs from professionals to parents and caregivers.
Parents of children with a disability undergo a variety of psychological reactions like shock, shame, guilt, denial and ambivalence. It is important to accept the disability at the earliest, to embark on an intervention program. While therapists and other specialists who work with your child are considered experts in their fields, they are not the most important elements of early intervention. It’s the parents. Being informed, taking counseling support, joining parent support groups can all give you a clear perspective of the situation you and your child are in. Many of the conditions diagnosed are fairly reversible given early identification and intervention measures, particularly if your child is diagnosed ‘at risk’.
Parents have a greater investment in their child both in terms of time and emotional attachment. While professionals can bring their experience and technical knowledge, parents can provide valuable information about the child’s behavior, interests, temperament etc and also have greater physical and psychological proximity. When parents practice the techniques taught in therapy at home, it aids in the child's ability to improve. Studies have shown that when parents are not involved, therapy takes longer and the child has to work harder.
Schools and Caregivers – Get the basics right!
Helping a child develop an optimistic outlook can be one of the greatest gifts a parent can give. Empowering a child with the required education, independence, increased self esteem and hence ready to face the world is the greatest service schools can provide.
Nowadays infants and children as young as 2 years are being sent to crèches and play homes due to various reasons like parental expectations, nuclear families, and working parents. Many of these play homes are housed in small, diminutive and enclosed spaces giving almost no opportunity to develop their motor skills. Readiness skills for various tasks required in school are also not developed due to untrained staff, ignorance of scientifically proven techniques, lack of a governing body etc.
While infants do not get extensive practice on pre-walking activities, language development etc., children at the tender age of 2.5 yrs are expected to do various fine motor and concentration demanding activities like writing. These children surely do badly on reading and writing tasks and then get diagnosed under various heads. Eg. ‘Motor-coordination disorders’, attention issues, hyperactivity etc.
Therefore it is mandatory that all preschoolers go through a rigorous training on all nursery level motor and pre-academic activities.
Gifted Children and children with developmental delays/disabilities need special educational services and can be held back in school or need more social services later in life. Providing early intervention can not only decrease the chances of this but also increase the chances of completing high school and attending college, increase scores on achievement tests and decrease anti-social and delinquent behaviors
Friday, February 19, 2010
I am not sure I can agree with your assessment on dyslexia - don't you think dyslexia is problem with parents/elders who think certainperson/kid has a learning disorder? Does the kid/person think they are dyslexic?
What do you intend to 'teach' them?
Apologies if am trying to point fingers at "already accepted" research in this field.
this was my answer
Its great that you ask this question.. becuase I myself stated asking this question 5 years ago when i quit my 10 year long career in IT for this cause. Thats when the world called my gifted child a Dyslexic. I reasearched for a whole year before I could accept that he was actually facing difficulties. Thats when I saw the gift of Dyslexia. These children who seem that they are not able to pick up even basic reading spelling and writing skills are excellent in something or the other. They are able to think in creative and abstract ways that can put even adults to shame. By this time I had quit my career totally and decided to work in the research department of a school to undertand the education system and pedagogy. A year later I was armed with so much information and a couple of diplomas too. But still my child couldnt read, write legibly and spell. He was 2 years beyond his other classmates in everything else!
This is when I started to learn about the Brain and the way the Brain is programmed and how its differnt for a child with Dyslexia. I met and networked with several specialists in India and abroad. The different wiring allows them to do things we cannot but then they cannot do what we can easily do.. the 3 R's!! Some of the reasons are they they are visual spatial, some others have difficulty with auditory perception and others with visual perception.
But working with several children with a mix of all these issues, ADD, ADHD etc. I have understood that these children learn and learn much faster when taught the way they learn My son learnt several times faster when we started homeschooling. And we hardly studied for 2 hours everyday. But I sure did devise several techniques and material to teach him the way he learns. And each and every chld I met had a gift.. If one could remember hundreds of geograpy facts on his finger tips, the other was a born musician, some were good at art, others at drama. My son is good at Science, starting making his own toys when he was as little as 3, then I met a boy just yesterday who can listen to a song just once and play it on the piano. Oh! They are such a joy to work with and believe it or not each one of them has been asked to leave school or are on the verge of being asked to. My son also had been thrown out from 2 schools until we found this really great place for him The Samahita Academy in Bangalore. Still many have repeated each grade twice thrice despite them being way ahead in the concept understanding.
The experience and the success and the celebration of being different is what I am taking out to everyone now. Several bright children who are dyslexic are being thrown out from school I see so many of them everyday. Homeschooling is the best approach that I would suggest but I realise that we on this group have been lucky to be able to do that but there are several others who cant make that call due to several issues like money, single parenting, not qualified enough etc..
Hence this is my way of helping those people find a place for their children where they are accepted , their gifts nurtured. Becuase I want to see the smile that I see on my sons face on every childs face. It really means a lot to me and their parents.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Slow and hesitant reading. Tires easily with reading or complains of sore eyes
Sounding out when reading
Failure to recognize familiar irregular words, e.g. “whose”, “right”, “hour”
Reading words as anagrams, e.g. “was” as “saw”, “on” as “no”
Confusion between “b” and “d” and sometimes” “p”
Repeatedly getting stuck on the same words throughout a passage
Difficulty understanding overall content
Omission or addition of words or lines
Poor standard of reading in comparison with oral ability
Slow at learning to spell
Letters and numbers often reversed
Spelling tends to be bizarre
Incorrectly formed or written letters
Failure to write “p” and “g” or “q” sitting down on line
Confusion between “b” and “d” and sometimes” “p”
Difficulty in keeping writing on lines of page
Confusion between “b” and “d” or always writing them as capitals
Order of letters within a word frequently incorrect
Great difficulty in spelling common words.
Words spelt in different ways in same piece of writing
Difficulty in reading back what he/she has written
A dislike or avoidance of writing
Difficulty in copying from book or blackboard
Poor standard of written work in comparison with oral ability or drawing
Confusion between right and left
Difficulty tying shoelaces or remembering which foot to put each shoe on
Difficulty doing up buttons into correct buttonholes
Difficulty in carrying out more than one instruction at a time
Difficulty in remembering what day/month it is
Difficulty in remembering anything in sequential order, e.g. stories, songs, rhymes, months of
Difficulty in learning to tell the time, learning times tables or number sequences
Easily distracted, Poor concentration on reading or writing tasks
Generally lacking in confidence
A bright child who wants to learn and understand how things work
Monday, February 15, 2010
• Interventions – Remedial and Counseling for children with learning difficulties, adolescents, gifted and slow learners
• Workshops for parents and teachers in handling different learning needs, cognitive, emotional and behavioral issues in children
• Vocational Guidance for Grade 8-12
• Life Skills workshops for Personality Development in Children
• Counseling Interventions – Psychosocial, Academic, Cognitive, Emotional, Personal and Behavioral Modification Needs
• Group Counseling Interventions
• Setting Up Resource Rooms for Schools
• Setting up Counseling Kiosks at Schools
There is an increasing tribe of “special needs” children with ADD/ADHD/Dyslexia and behavioral issues more so due the inadequacies in the educational system, parenting, nuclear setups and several other factors.
There is hence, a need for Special Educators and Counselors to step in and bridge this gap, to enable the psychosocial adjustment of these children and to facilitate learning through tailor-made resources.
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