Archive for the 'learning styles' Category

Handwriting Worksheets: Beware #3

photo

Problem: A visually sensitive student is overwhelmed by the numerous problems on a Mad Minute worksheet!  The sheer number of problems to be completed in a timely manner is causing extreme anxiety!

Solution:

Solution: To reduce the visual on the page:
a. Fold the paper into halves or quarters
b. Use an index card to block out part of the page or use “The Reading Focus Card” (www.readingfocuscard.com) turned sideways as in above picture.
c. Make sure the visually sensitive student is not sitting under flourscent lights which increases the glare on the paper. Try colored worksheets rather than white ones to help reduce the glare.
d. In extreme cases, wearing sunglasses will also help reduce the glare of white paper.

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Writing and ADHD

As an occupational therapist,  I see many students who have attention issues.  I often describe their handwriting problems with the following words:

We expect a little body running at 100 miles an hour to sit down and be still in a chair: Really hard! Even if the body is looking still, the nervous system is still running on high and soon little twitches of movement occur and eyes began to roam the room.

Then we ask the hand to move at 15 miles an hour!  We now have a brain that is thinking faster than the hand can write; a body that wants to move but knows it must not;  and a hand that needs to slow down but yet keep up with the brain.

Result:  Lots of illegible writing with great thoughts OR little writing but legible!  Therefore, what should we expect or want to know? Do we want to know what is in the student’s head that he is trying to get down on paper though it may be illegible? Should we expect fewer thoughts and legible writing?  What are your thoughts?

Parent Teacher Alert!!!

As we rapidly approach February, it is important to think of time lines as Spring Break will be coming our way in March or April.

If you are planning on having your child evaluated, this time of year is one of the busiest for diagnostic professionals.  It may take you several weeks to get your child into see a professional.  Then add a week or two for the professional to score the tests, interpret them, and write the report.  This puts us a month since you picked up the phone and made the appointment.  If your child needs to be evaluated, please don’t wait.

If you are planning to start tutoring or therapy this summer, it is also important to contact the tutor/therapist to place your name on the summer list or to find out the earliest possible date you can do so.  Most tutor/therapists that I know have their summer schedules filled by late March or early April.

Teachers: Please, if you have concerns about a child do not wait till after Spring Break to express your concerns!  As you can see from the above paragraph, parents are probably looking at a month before they receive recommendations after the first contact with the professional.  Spring Break plus a month may mean the end of school.

Jeremiah 29:11

Post Semester Blues: Scenerio #3

Many of you have engaged your child in therapy this past semester and faithfully followed through all suggestions feasible with your families lifestyle.  Suddenly you have realized that great progress has been made in one area while another area has appeared that needs work.  How do you prioritize what you can realistically handle with your child time wise, financially, and family wise?  Prioritizing needs will change as your child’s academic needs change.  That is why it is important to have one or more professionals that will help you understand your child’s changing priorities.  This may mean that you need to switch from your favorite professional to a new professional at times which I know can be very difficult emotionally for you and your child.  But we all know that running from one professional to another each day after school can become very tedious and at times impossible.  Sit with someone who can help you look unemotionally at the whole picture of your child, his needs and your time and energy.  Have a good fit for everyone so no one becomes “burned out”! Make sure there is time for FUN!!!!

Post Christmas Blues

As we regroup from the holidays, it’s time to ponder several different scenarios:

  1. 1. Your child continues to struggle in certain or all subjects: It may be time to have him evaluated by a professional either in school or privately.  It is very important to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses as well as his learning style to enable him to learn in the most efficient and hopefully fun way.

Who to contact for an evaluation:

Developmental / Academic /Behavioral Delays

}  Developmental Pediatrician

}  Psychologist

Specific Motor Weakness

}  Occupational Therapist

}  Physical Therapist

Sensorimotor Problem

}  Occupational Therapist

Visual

}  Pediatric Optometrist or Ophthalmologist

Puzzles and Writing: Is There a Connection?

For older children, puzzles with multiple interlocking pieces offer more advanced
concepts.

  • Spatial concept of “corner”: As the child puts sides pieces together with top or bottom
    pieces, this concept is learned. Interesting we don’t use the word “corner”
    much anymore in our conversations!
  • Attention to details: “Part to whole”: Details/ parts can come together to make a picture.
  • Visual memory: This is encouraged as the child looks at the picture on  the box,
    remembers a part of it, and goes to find pieces.
  • Figure Ground: The child is able to find one piece among many pieces.

Interlocking
multi piece puzzles

Writing

 Concepts of corners  Names are written in the left upper corner of the paper
 Attention to details on the pieces  Attention to details that make a “b” turn into a “d”
 Visual  memory  Ability to picture and remember the “looks” of a letter (Writing of a
letter comes through motor memory.)
 Figure Ground  Ability to sort out words from a busy blackboard or a letter from the
middle of a word; ability to write on a line without being distracted by the
line (letter will be flat on the bottom if distracted by the line).

Puzzles and Writing: Is There a Connection #2

Last blog post, we looked at simple inset puzzles.  Before moving on let’s take these skills we discussed and see how they apply to writing:

PUZZLES WRITING
Inset puzzle
Visual discrimination: Shape of the puzzle piece and the space it  goes in are the same or can be different A letter needs to fit on or between  lines. A half circle and a long stick may or  may not be the same letter (d,b)
Visualization: A puzzle piece must be turned over  or rotated in the child’s mind and in his
hand
A letter may be turned over or rotated to form a new letter (b,p,n,u)
Child must visualize (remember) the shape and where it goes as he  removes the pieces from the board A letter must be visualized (remembered) while writing it to be  matched to the picture of the letter in the child’s mind (long-term memory)
Color or size does not change the shape of the piece A letter’s shape does not change regardless of color or size

Handwriting Questions

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ALPHABET PLAYING CARD DECKS

Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R