Recommended Reading (1): Healing the New Childhood Epidemics

Recommended Reading 1: Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders by Kenneth Bock, M.D. and Cameron Stauth In When Learning Goes Awry we discussed many possible contributors to a student’s lack of performance. Since then we have focused mainly on physiological function. This to some extent, reflects the artificial divide between the services schools provide as “educational” vs. what insurance will cover as “medical” with the many gaps in between, as well as the move away from the country doctor who knew you personally and had a more holistic approach …

The Most Important Deposit

We have spent a lot of time discussing how to identify and deal with “issues”.  I have also mentioned it is imperative that your child not feel like an issue.  It is the reason we have moved away from disability first language, but that is not enough to make a person feel like more than their “problem”. In Of Bank Accounts and ATMs we discussed the currency of love. It can be challenging to find out what the currency is for the person you are interested in showing love to and find the resources to make a deposit. Suppose your …

Splintered

In my last post I discussed remediation.  For a variety of reasons rehabilitation often is not done.  The main reason is because educational testing does not take the next step necessary to answer “why?” (is this child performing or not performing in this way).  As a result, rehabilitation is never even identified.  The result is the services provided more closely resemble tutoring.  However, this is an expensive mistake which I am going to explain here. Academic concerns is what drives a student assessment.  Since the school system is only obligated to provide the support necessary to help a child succeed …

Remediation

You have a good differential diagnosis, now you need to figure out how to treat the problem. We call this remediation.  There are other terms that are used interchangeably, which leads to confusion as each term has its own meaning.  Here I will clarify.  Consider Remediation the overarching plan to treat the problem, one that has different spokes, or parts, to it. There are three branches to remediation: 1) Rehabilitation 2) Compensation 3) Accommodation Rehabilitation is the work we do to strengthen or fix the weak area.  This may mean a corrective surgery, exercises or simply time to recuperate. Compensation …

To Treat or Not to Treat, That Is The (Million Dollar) Question Part II

Treatment always involves an investment of time and money. The return on investment (ROI) has to be worth it. There are a few questions that must be answered to help assess ROI. Handicap (see previous post) is not a simple measure. You need to identify the areas that may be impacted by the disability and then check those areas to see if they are affected in this particular instance. You also need to consider that certain diagnoses are termed “presumptive” because research has taught us to expect handicap down the line. A child who is born with a hearing impairment …

To Treat or Not to Treat, That Is The (Million Dollar) Question, Part I

Sammy and Jake both have a hearing loss.  Do they need speech and language therapy? Some of you may know that hearing loss would be considered a presumptive diagnosis.  This means that this condition automatically qualifies these children for support services.  What therapy should you give them and how often? Should they get the same therapy?  If you answered “yes” would grouping them be a good fiscally efficient option? Without knowing anything more about each of these children it is hard to answer the above questions. What if I told you that Jake is 10 years old and has a …

Inconvenience or Opportunity?

On July 25, 2018 Citi Retail Services published the findings of their survey indicating that a parent’s bill for school supplies tends to be higher when their children help them shop.  The post did not provide any solutions, just merely suggests it is a dilemma for parents. I imagine most parents already knew this truth since we shop more than once a year.  When my children were little I would leave them home with my husband on Sundays so that I could go to the Supermarket without the inconvenience of time lost “discussing” with my children why we weren’t going …

Just an Observation Part 3: Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Perhaps the worst consequence of judging rather than observing is that the person judged tends to live up to the label given them.  Common labels given to students are “lazy”, “sloppy”, “stupid” or even “class clown” or the like.  Thus, the judgement does nothing to help solve the problem but rather makes it more complex to identify since a behavioral component has now been added to the actual underlying issue. Behavioral psychologist, Dr. David J. Lieberman, points out that children have no sense of self.  As a result, children tend to identify with the message of their primary care giver.  …

Just an Observation Part 2: Differentiating

In part one we discussed the difference between an observation and a judgement. Ideally you would have the opportunity to have all the relevant and varied discipline specific professionals present on how to improve the proficiency of your observations for better targeted referrals.  Until this comes to fruition what can you do? I like to call this process the “Whole Task Analysis”.  It is very common for instructors to think about the sequence of steps necessary to accomplish a task.  This makes it easy to recognize where in the process the learner is getting stuck.  The next step is to …

Just an Observation Part 1

We have previously discussed the importance of identifying struggling students and referring appropriately but just how do we do this? Just what is the difference between a judgement and an observation?  An observation is merely a statement of facts seen, heard or touched without any emotional connotations or personal opinions attached.  If this topic sounds familiar it is because we touched on this in Of Fidget Spinners and Fake Education and When Learning Goes Awry.  You may observe that someone has goosebumps but could mistakenly judge them to be cold when in fact they could be frightened.  You may also …