5 Great Books to Teach Young Children About Empathy

5 Great Books to Teach Young Children About Empathy

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As a behavior specialist and mobile therapist, I always loved using books to teach kids about a variety of social-emotional skills such as how to understand your feelings, how to be a friend, how to accept differences, how to develop empathy, how to solve a problem, how to be a good citizen, etc. Research alsoContinue Reading

Orton-Gillingham-An Instructional Approach to Teaching Students with Dyslexia

Orton-Gillingham-An Instructional Approach to Teaching Students with Dyslexia

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Orton-Gillingham is an instructional approach mainly intended for use with individuals who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing associated with dyslexia. Dyslexia makes it difficult for a person to connect sounds to letters and/or blend combinations of letters quickly and fluently in reading. Dyslexia can effect phonemic awareness, the ability to hear and separate the smallestContinue Reading

Does Research Say that Weighted Vests & Blankets Help People with Autism, ADHD, and Anxiety?

Does Research Say that Weighted Vests & Blankets Help People with Autism, ADHD, and Anxiety?

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Working in public schools for over 10 years, I frequently saw occupational therapists utilizing weighted vests with students diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder.(ASD). When I asked about the purpose of the vests, I was told that they have a calming effect because they give the wearer a sense ofContinue Reading

5 Great Activities to Do with Your Social Skills Group (Adolescents/Teens)

5 Great Activities to Do with Your Social Skills Group (Adolescents/Teens)

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Working in the public school system for many years, I often heard guidance counselors asking for advice about the kinds of activities they should do with their adolescent social skills groups. Students in the groups often had difficulty with skills such as listening, waiting their turn in conversation, staying on topic, sharing materials, understanding anotherContinue Reading

Learn About the Water Cycle, Conflict Resolution & More through These Catchy Tunes

Learn About the Water Cycle, Conflict Resolution & More through These Catchy Tunes

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If you google that title phrase “Can Music Make Your Child Smarter,” you’ll get over 3 million links to articles, studies, and anecdotal evidence of how music affects the brains of both children and adults. Music is such a valuable learning tool.  Many teachers love using music to create a mood – calm music for whenContinue Reading

8 Major Principles of Positive Behavior Support

8 Major Principles of Positive Behavior Support

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While in graduate school for education and school psychology, I learned about the principles of positive behavior support, a research-based practice. At the time, I was working in a group home with individuals with a variety of emotional and behavioral needs. I knew this was the perfect setting to implement my newly learned strategies. I immediately sawContinue Reading

Five Ways Musical Training Helps with Children’s Brain Development

Five Ways Musical Training Helps with Children’s Brain Development

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Music engagement is an excellent way to encourage brain development in children. Music has the ability to activate many different areas of the brain at once, such as areas associated with language, memory, hearing, and areas used to process sensory information. Additionally, music is also adored by children all over the globe, therefore making itContinue Reading

23 Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity  in Teenage Students with ADHD

23 Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity in Teenage Students with ADHD

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My primary goal is to make things easier for students. There are many obstacles students face when studying. I’m trying to simplify their lives by giving them helpful tips. One day, an idea to write an article for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) came to mind. A family member of mine named “John” struggles withContinue Reading

Five Helpful Fidget Tools for Kids with Autism & ADHD! (Fidgeting Improves Focus)

Five Helpful Fidget Tools for Kids with Autism & ADHD! (Fidgeting Improves Focus)

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A recent study on ADHD indicates that fidgeting actually improves, not hinders, focus. Maybe it is time to stop telling our kids to “sit still” or “stop playing with that.” Speaking from personal experience, I know that I actually focus better on verbal input when my hands or feet are moving in some way. What about you?Continue Reading

What is Homeschooling? Is it Right for You?

What is Homeschooling? Is it Right for You?

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A child’s education is no simple matter. There are dozens of choices out there. Should you choose your local public school or a prestigious private one? Which one can you afford? Should academics take precedence over extra-curriculars or should there be a healthy balance? Does your child need special attention? There are so many importantContinue Reading

Please Stop Saying ADHD Isn’t Real! Here’s Why!

Please Stop Saying ADHD Isn’t Real! Here’s Why!

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If you are not familiar with the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), below is an image of the the diagnostic criteria reported in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-V), which is the manual utilized by doctors (i.e., psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians) to diagnose ADHD. After the image, I will discuss myContinue Reading

Help Your Child Improve the Quality of Their Writing with the Sentence Combining Strategy

Help Your Child Improve the Quality of Their Writing with the Sentence Combining Strategy

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In the sentence combining strategy (generally used with children in grades 3 and up), students are taught to combine two simple sentences into one more sophisticated/complex sentence. Example: Simple Sentences: The girl lost her doll. The girl is crying Complex Sentence: The girl is crying because she lost her doll. Research studies demonstrate that sentence-combiningContinue Reading

Starfall: Free Website Helps Students Learn to Read through Fun Interactive Games

Starfall: Free Website Helps Students Learn to Read through Fun Interactive Games

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Working in public schools for over ten years, I have seen many teachers utilize the Starfall website to assist students with attaining basic reading skills. This is a program that can easily be used at home as well. Starfall, a program based on established research studies, can be used for students of any age, fromContinue Reading

How to Handle Temper Tantrums (Home & School)

How to Handle Temper Tantrums (Home & School)

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This is Part 2 of a Series. Please see Part 1: How to Prevent Temper Tantrums in order for Part 2 to make sense. It is not recommended that you read Part 2 without reading Part 1 first. Continuation from Part 1: If your child argues, cries, begs, pleads, throw herself on the floor, etc., even afterContinue Reading

How to Prevent Temper Tantrums (Home & School)

How to Prevent Temper Tantrums (Home & School)

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The contents of this article are based on my graduate school training as a school psychologist and behavior specialist, research studies on behavior, and 20 years of experience working with children with a variety of challenging behaviors. You will find links to more information within the article.  This is Part 1 of a series. Part 2Continue Reading