Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Turn Your Adapted PE Class Into an All-Star Show

 There are lots of ways that to adapt sports for a education category in education. However, merely ever-changing the sport and keeping it as real as attainable may be boring in some cases. i'd wish to provide some tips to permit students shine by showing off skills which will not be inspired during a every day education.
Basketball is a very popular sport that most students know. The easiest adaption for a lesson in basketball would be to simply place hoola-hoops in the bleachers. However, working on shooting skills on a lower hoop can get old rather quickly. Why not spice things up and host a slam dunk competition? With the hoop lowered, all students will have the ability to dunk safely without needing to jump. Encourage the students to replicate their favorite basketball players and be as fancy as they like. It is very simple to have peers and teachers be the judges, rating each dunk just like in the NBA. Along with rating student's dunks, it is important to create an exciting atmosphere. Cheering and applause after each performance is crucial, let the students know what they did was amazing. Add some fun commentary, "Holy cow! Did you see that slam?! We have a regular Michael Jordan in class!" Students will feed off of this energy and really get into the game.

With a sport like basketball, there is much more that can be done to allow students show off their talents. The game of "Horse" is always a fun game that promotes creativity. Students can show off their ability to do trick shots that people may have never know could be done. Try hook shots or shooting backwards from various distances, some students may even have their own shot to show off.

Dribbling in basketball and soccer allows for a lot of fancy foot or hand work. We have all seen professionals achieve incredible things when handling a soccer ball or basketball. Granted these students are not professional athletes, we need to encourage them to try these fancy skills. Challenge students to juggle the soccer ball as many times as possible. To make this simple, use a beach ball or a balloon so students will be able to juggle for longer. After students have challenged themselves, you can turn it into a team effort. In groups, they can work together to keep the ball up for as long as possible using only their feet. Teach the students how to use their head in a game of soccer (still using a balloon or beach ball) and add that to the juggling contest. The games will be much more fun adding a little flavor with these skill challenges.

These skills may not be conventional or recommended for a class, but adapted physical education is about allowing the students to have fun with their physical activity. Showing off skills is often frowned upon in these sports, but we have to remember this is physical education. We need to promote the showmanship so students can feel like a real superstar in class, something many children dream of all their lives.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

General View of a HGV Training Course

Those who desire to control serious industrial vehicles have to be compelled to secure the proper license from honourable and appointed HGV coaching suppliers within the state. These individuals have to be compelled to possess the correct degree of skills and knowledge in handling such serious industrial vehicles on the road while not endangering any life.

Training courses
There may be numerous HGV training courses in the market but each one specifies different outcomes and objectives with specific category of vehicles in mind. The right attitude coupled with the latest knowledge and road requirements would be crucial for a successful completion of the HGV training to secure the desired license.

Candidates in such courses must exhibit the right driving approach with the taught driving techniques applied along side the sound knowledge for professional driving. There is also a need to be physically fit as endorsed by the approved medical examination in compliance with the higher medical regulations of HGV license.

The training course for a valid HGV commercial license would include theory in the classroom with a theory test at the end of the course. There would be a multiple-choice section and a hazard perception section in the test to examine the candidates' knowledge and skills on heavy vehicles.

The course would be conducted using a lot of technology where the multiple choice test is executed via a touch screen computer and a mouse. The other section of the test also uses a computer mouse button to record candidates' responses.

Both sections of the test need to be passed. The multiple choice section varies according to the vehicle category intended so as to be fair to the candidates. There would not be questions that are outside the scope of the intended vehicle.

But the section on hazard perception applies for all types of vehicles; however, different test categories will impose different pass marks to constitute the total mark of the test for a pass.

The HGV course is limited in theory with a lot of emphasis on practical driving. Specific instructions are given pertaining to the practice of handling the identified vehicle. Such an approach would allow the candidates to be familiar with the vehicle while on the public highways.

The training course for a valid HGV license is only 5 to 7 days long although many components are covered during the sessions. Candidates would be run through the different traffic conditions as well as road types in various urban and rural environments.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Our Auditory System Affects Learning - Underlying Causes of Autism and Processing Disorders

Today, we square measure visaged with many labels or conditions that affect learning. many have a partial underlying cause in our auditory system including autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, biological process delay, dyslexia, central modality processing disorder, and modality processing disorder.

Hypersensitivities to sound may cause an individual to shut out sounds as a defensive mechanism and behave as if he were deaf. On the other hand the same sensitivity may cause another to scream and hold her ears. Learning will be impeded until these sensitivities are normalized.

Another difficulty arises when there is fluid in the ear. Since the Eustachian tubes in young children are more horizontal, fluid can build up and bacteria can form in this warm moist environment. Pressure from the fluid can cause pressure and pain - an ear ache. Repeated ear infections during the first two years of life can greatly affect development of the auditory system. During an infection, the individual hears as if under water and the sounds are not consistent. This in turn can cause receptive auditory problems as well as speech problems. Treating these ear infections without antibiotics or tubes will greatly enhance learning.

Difficulty following oral directions and learning to read using phonics represent just two problems reflected by low auditory sequential processing. When an individual has low auditory sequential processing they cannot remember a series of information long enough to use that information. For example, an individual should be able to look up a phone number or be told a phone number long enough to dial the phone. When parents ask their children to do a short list of chores and within minutes they have forgotten what it was they were to do and they engage in another activity - often play, parents often assume that this is disobedience. It could be disobedience, but it could also be low auditory sequential processing. When a child sounds out a relatively short word, but at the end cannot say the word, it is often due to low auditory sequential processing. Optimally, the solution for these difficulties is not accommodating a deficit, but increasing the auditory sequential processing.

Another major underlying cause for many of these children (and adults) is metabolic - diet / nutrition related. Often these children have what is called "leaky gut syndrome" meaning that nutrients cannot be easily absorbed for use in the body. Many options arise to consider. Elimination diets often remove the offending foods. Other diets work to resolve the issue; some by fixing the leaky gut and others by restoring a balance among nutrients. Families should research the alternatives and find the one that fits their family.

Neurodevelopmentalists look for underlying causes of the missing pieces in development and recommend activities and resources for families, guiding them to solutions.

Maggie operates the Center for Neuro Development in Lakewood, Washington, along with her husband Ronnie. Maggie earned a M.A.in Special Education from Adams State University in 1989. She has been in an internship / independent study leading to certification with the International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists. They offer local, on site services as well as long distance consultation. They work with homeschoolers as well as those who attend school.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Striking the Right Notes to a Successful Career in Music Production and Engineering

Music Production and Engineering (MP & E) is one of the fastest growing fields today with application in almost all aspects of society. Films and theatre, pivotal Indian institutions, demand music specialists for almost every step of production; and practically every Indian firm has acoustic needs - to establish a brand theme tune, for advertisements, as back ground music for corporate events, to play in foyers, etc. - fulfilled only by those knowledgeable in the field of music.

What does it mean to be a music production engineer?

We all know what it means to be an engineer: have an aptitude for science, a strong hold on mathematics, be on top of technology trends, and you're already on your way! But now a days, engineering is becoming merely an undergraduate stamp to put on your résumé, a stepping stone to a further and higher ambition.

Using engineering principles and applying the "engineer's mind," MP&E is that field which combines science and creativity. People involved in MP&E use aesthetics, creativity, and technical knowledge to create a musical production. In short, music production engineers are those involved in every step leading up to the creation of a musical recording. MP&E is cross-disciplinary, using engineering and production techniques to adapt to the music industry's rapidly changing technology and evolving trends.

So is it for me?

Can you pick out harmonies and instruments while hearing a musical track? Can you imagine how various instruments come together to create music? Do you just plain love music and have a knack for science at the same time? Then MP&E may be your thing! However, do beware of a common misconception: just loving to listen to musicis different from 'knowing' music. Most colleges abroad recommend at least two years of intense study of music, including a sound theoretical background, before you join a course in music production. Classical music (Western, Carnatic or Hindustani) tends to have a strong focus on the formation and composition of music, a prerequisite in the composition of sound, so being a student of one of these forms of music is a must.

How can I prepare myself to be in MP & E?

However, there's more to this field then just being a virtuoso instrumentalist or vocalist! As a high-schooler, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself for a career in the music industry. Intern at local recording studios in your area if you are interested in seeing real technology at work. Try to get involved in bands and ensemble playing to experience the fundamentals of team work in a musical setting. Try recording and tracking music using the freeware from trusted publishers such as Sony and Audacity that is available online. It's all about showing initiative, as no class can teach you more than you can learn by trial and error. Did you know that YouTube is one of the biggest platforms of amateur musicians around the world? Embrace the musical side of social networking!

Where can I study MP&E?

MP&E has tremendous scope abroad as well as in India. However, the educational facilities and programmes offered vary greatly due to the demand for courses. One thing is for sure: there's never a lack of options!

Studying MP&E in India

Undergraduate degrees: In India, due to there being few colleges specialising in music, one option would be to do a B.Tech in acoustical /sound engineering, with a dual-major in management studies. The Indian colleges which offer such undergraduate degrees include several large institutes -IIT, NIT, and BITS Pilani. The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune also offers courses in sound engineering. With this training, you can either directly jump into your career with internships or continue your education with an M.Tech in Acoustical Engineering or an MBA.

Diploma courses: Once you complete your B.Tech, you would be well advised to augment your knowledge and education by taking diploma or certificate courses in specific areas in order to jumpstart your career. Several specialised small colleges such as the Sound Engineering Academy (SEA), Kerala, the Audiophile Institute of Sound Engineering, Kerala, the Muzik Lounge School of Audio Technology, Chennai, and the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) institute, Mumbai, offer diploma and certificate programmes specialising in studio work. This is supplementary to your undergraduate degree. You can choose to take courses in a variety of areas, including:

• Diploma in Sound Engineering and Sound Recording: This is generally a one year (two semester) course, taken full time.

• Certificate in Sound Recording: 6 month course

• Certificate in Live Sound: 3 month course

• Certificate in Pro-recording: 2 months

Studying MP&E abroad

Undergraduate degrees: Abroad, MP&E is often offered as a separate four or five year course at the undergraduate level. A prerequisite is to have formal education in physics and mathematics. Scholarships are often awarded to those who show proficiency either in vocalability or instrumentals, and also demonstrate a clear interest in, and knack for, music. The great thing about MP&E and acoustical engineering is that it's a viable option in several reputed universities. Indiana University, Texas State University, and John Hopkins University, for example, offer very interesting undergraduate programmes in MP&E.

Diploma courses: There are also small private schools in the US that offer diploma and certificate courses in MP&E that can be taken in a short period of time, after your undergraduate degree, similar to those diplomas available in India. Here are a few specialised colleges for music production and engineering:

• SAE Institute: The SAE Institute is one of the largest audio engineering colleges in the world, with campuses in 23 countries (including India - in Mumbai, as mentioned earlier). The full-time programme spans nine months, while the part-time takes twice as long. Scholarships are available as well.

• Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences: Located in Tempe, Arizona (USA) this college has only 12 students per class, enhancing the overall learning experience. The programme lasts for 42 weeks and scholarships are available as well.

• McNally Smith College of Music: Looking for a college with a lot of options, reputed staff, and a larger student body? This Minnesota, USA based college may be the right fit.

• Institute of Production and Recording: Yet another Minnesota college, this institute provides rigorous course work and classes to efficiently train you for immediate job placement after earning a bachelors' degree in audio engineering.

Do keep in mind that MP&E is one of those majors with hands-on practical training. It requires constant interaction with musicians, producers, and engineers.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How Can I Prepare for Study Abroad?

Studying abroad is an eye-opening experience. People, culture and even the weather differ from what you are accustomed to. However, there are other important details to consider when you prepare to study abroad. Some points are as below -

1) Health
2) Documentation
3) Insurance
4) Accommodation
5) Money Challenges
6) Packing
7) Communication

The above 7 points are the basic but useful points when you are going to migrate yourself into a new country----

1) Documentation - This is main area where the students is really care about. While moving into the other country, passport and VISA are the most critical and important documents that student really need in a foreign country. Keep the photo copy always away from the original documents.

This way, it will be simpler to generate new documents if your original ones are lost or stolen while you study abroad. One copy should be at your home with your parents and one copy should be in the file of student counselor through which you have came to foreign to further studies.

2) Health - Before leaving to any country, Consult your Doctor for the full examination check up and take doctor endurance that you are totally fit for the travelling and you have a good health. Bring along the medical records copy in case of any emergency overseas.

Become immunized as per the host country requirement before your departure.

3) Insurance - Get a reliable Insurance policy before leaving to the host country, that would include the evacuation and repatriation if medical emergency occurs somehow.
You may also consider a comprehensive travel insurance if you are willing to travel a lot in host country

4) Accommodation - To economize, kindly request on-campus accommodation when you apply for study program. Universities always gives priorities to the foreign students who are willing to study in their country. On-Campus Accommodation may offered for a limited number of days, like for a single semester or 3-4 months. During this, survey the local market to avoid paying expensive rent due to lack more affordable options.

5) Money Challenges - It's a mandatory to develop a realistic budget for your study and stick closely to it. Mark the fixed cost of living and other fixed expenses like rent and other utilities. Always bank the money for extra expenses like entertainment at the end of the week and for shopping stuff.

When you reach the host country, setup and account for any reliable bank with branch offices near to you campus and where you live and also have some money transferred facilities. For safety, avoid too must cash in your pocket.

6) Packing - Pack only what you need to settled in the host country. Avoid bring clothes for a whole year.

Place the appropriate photocopy of your original documents in a separate bag and keep it with you all the times while travelling. Know the weather when you are arrived to the host country airport so that you can wear the appropriate clothing. Remember to bring adapters if your carrying your own electrical appliances.

7) Communication - Regular communication with your relatives, family & with friends is essential while you study abroad. You can buy an international calling card instead to make affordable calls to home

Friday, September 28, 2012

Digital Classroom - Brighter Tomorrow For Children Today

Education has always been an important foundational aspect for any society. It is the pillar that holds various economic, social and political factors together. With the changing times, there needs to be a change made in the traditional classroom system as well. This is where the digital classroom comes into the forefront. The students of today are very tech savvy which makes this type of a class room advantageous for them and the overall learning process.

With the Smart classroom, there will be a variety of factors that will be implemented in terms of teaching the children:

    Encouragement: Students need to be encouraged through the use of technology. No matter what they are doing, children should always be given the approval and there should be a refrain from making any sort of discouragement.

    Energy: Being an enthusiastic educator is important in the Virtual classroom. The teacher will always bring in lots of energy into what ever social cause he or she is involved in. Children too will follow suit and give all their energy.

    Fun: Since these are kids who are aware of the technological importance, teachers should not take away the element of fun. There should be a proper balance between what is right and good and what is fun and appeals to little students in the digital class room. The child learns faster when there is a lot of playfulness in the activities. A serious approach is not mandatory.

    Experimental Approach: Do not stick to conventional forms of teaching when it comes to the virtual classroom. Try new and more effective methods of teaching by making the classroom digital and more interactive. Get the student to make it as well and then do it with him or her. If there is information to be collected, do it with the students. Don't just sit and command.

    Practice What You Preach: Do not oversell the concept of a smart classroom if one does not believe it oneself. Follow and strengthen those qualities of the technological advancement and incorporate them in your everyday lives. Students are more susceptible to examples than they are to hollow teachings.

    Never Obstruct: Do not stand in the way of something that the student wishes to do of which you are unaware of. First gain information about the particular topic and then provide judgment.

    Do Research: Make sure you have done proper research of all the technologies used in the Smart classroom that the children are involved in to ensure they are properly suitable for students and do influence the civic duty within them.

    Look And Leap: Make sure that there are activities that involve both students and teachers.

The digital classroom is all about fun, interaction and learning. Hence, it is important to incorporate the traditional ways of teaching with the more radical and advanced teaching methods from these technological aspects. There needs to be a balance in order to gain the best of both worlds.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Use Your Mediation Training For a Successful Career

Times are changing and new careers open up to those who are willing to learn new skills. If you are basically an honest, cool-headed, fair, good communicator, team player and interest in resolving conflicts through negotiation, then you can enroll in a Mediation Course and become a professional mediator.

What exactly is a mediator? A mediator is somebody who resolves issues of various concerns from child custody to neighbor-to-neighbor conflict to labor issues to anything that will need a third party to come up with solutions that are acceptable to parties involved. Basically, anybody can become a mediator with proper training and practice.

If you want to become one, inquire with local mediation board about the requirements they have. It will help if you enroll in a conflict resolution course so you will have an idea how the process of mediation goes. You can also decide what type of conflicts you want to mediate. If you already have training in psychology, sociology or any social sciences field, you can use that in mediation. You are dealing with people's behavior anyway and you can apply what you have learned as you go on with your practice.

You don't need to leave a current job just to get the required education. There are online courses that would suffice requirements by various companies. After finishing a short course, it is important that you practice. This will further develop the skills that you already have. Through experience you can learn a lot more and may want to study complementary courses to enhance your mediation practice.

Mediation training and education are important if you are planning to work with government, schools, universities, insurance providers or legal service providers. Some of these companies or entities require experience. There is no reason to fret if you are new in the field though because there are ways to gain experience after finishing a course.
One of the best ways to gain credentials as a mediator is to volunteer. Check community services or local courts if there are mediation sessions that are open to observers. You can offer to assist experienced mediators in whatever needs they have, even clerical or secretarial, just to get exposure and see them in action.

Becoming a mediator can open new doors to other careers like in law enforcement, counseling or therapy. There are many online courses that you can take to enhance your career options. If you want to stay as a mediator for a few more years, you can choose to get certified, if your state requires this, to have better earning and promotion opportunities.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hearing and Deaf Perspectives

A lovely bench sits sheltered in trees within a beautiful Southern California meditation garden.

There are signs posted to "Please Respect the Quiet", the peacefulness and this special place where many come to relax and meditate. On a recent visit, I sat on this bench to enjoy some peace and quiet after a busy week.

Ahhhh... with eyes closed, I first noticed the feeling of the breeze wafting through the trees around me. I could hear the water bubbling in a nearby Koi pond. As I tried to quiet my mind, I wondered what it would be like to have complete silence in this space. No noise of any kind. And then I started noticing and creating a mental list of the sounds surrounding me. So much for turning off my thoughts! Beyond these gardens, lies a road, sidewalks and a quaint beach town. In the span of less than five minutes, this is what I heard... in this order.

A car trunk slammed
A zipper - - probably a camera case
Cameras clicking in the gardens
A teenager talking on a cell phone on the sidewalk outside the gardens
A plane flew overhead - - military - - loud
A car engine starting
Somebody sneezed
Somebody whispered "bless you"
The beeping sound of a large truck backing up
A security guard helping an older woman with her walker
A baby cried
Squeaky car brakes
Birds in the trees overhead
Wind blowing through the leaves
Footsteps walking through gravel

For 'hearing' people, these are sounds that play in the background of our daily lives. And these sounds are heard in a place which is designed to be quiet. Venture out into the city and add in other voices and horns blowing and endless ambient sounds.

For many of us, I think the closest we get to silence is when we slip underwater. Of course, this doesn't count if one is in a community pool on the weekend. The sound changes, but it's definitely not silent.

While our tendency is often to ponder how curious the Deaf must be regarding sound, I wonder how many hearing people are curious about the experience of complete silence. Does the brain finally relax when not constantly noticing, categorizing, evaluating and processing sounds? Or is it the opposite? For the Deaf, is it possible that the brain remains on 'high alert' using the other senses... compensating for the lack of sound? I can't help but wonder.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What Are the Advantages of Franchising?

Making a foray into an unknown territory would send the alarm bells ringing in the minds. But what if you get into an already trodden path? The risks though exist, may be few and there are people who have already tackled them. If you are seriously pondering about what are the advantages of franchising, then this is the big advantage. You are not the only one battling it out with a totally new concept or a business idea. There are already people who are into it, have tested and tried it and tasted success too. By opting for a franchise you are associating yourself with an already existing brand and business thereby trying to make a source of income out of it.

With the consolation that the main basis of the business has been a proven idea you can embark onto the new venture with a sense of confidence. Just imagine what your plight would be if you make a foray into a totally unknown territory, with no leader to lead how you could go about the business. It would all become a case of trial and error and in the mean time you may burn a big hole in your pocket. But with the franchising system of taking over business, you are assured of a safe start.

When you have to explain to someone about What are the Advantages of Franchising, you can also tell them that you would be associating yourself with a well recognized brand name as well as trade mark too. You will not have to separately fend for advertising and promoting strategies because the franchisor will take care of the entire stuff. And perhaps this will be accomplished in a highly professional way with the help of experts in the field of marketing and advertising. If you were on a business of your own it is you who will have to think about all these aspects and you will have to set aside a said amount towards ad spend. And spending beyond a certain limit would definitely mean a pinch on your budget.

There is tremendous support from the franchisor. In some cases it may be in the form of help while setting up the new business, training of how to go about selling the products, and also advice regarding how to take the business forward. There may be meetings too with the franchisor wherein you could benefit from sharing ideas and strategies and also gaining support from co-franchisee owners in the network. Finding finances for the business becomes easy if you are associated with a franchise that has good reputation.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Who Is a Franchisee? What Is a Franchise?

Have you ever wondered who is a franchisee and what is a franchise? These are very common terms for people who are a part of business and the business already has a good branding. Let us delve deeper into what is a franchise and who is a franchisee.

what is a franchise? A franchise is an authorization that is granted by a business or a company to a group of individuals or an individual to carry out the commercial activities that are carried out by this business.

There are different forms of doing business and franchising is one medium through which business can be conducted. It is hailed as a popular method and a powerful marketing tool too for huge businesses to go on an expansion mode for their business and by doing so enhance their market share considerably with rapid speed but with low costs. There are different types of franchise options that people can find out in the market but identifying the one that gives them great returns is the key to success. There are the distributorships, brand name licensing or trademark options and the business format franchises.

The franchisor offers the franchise with the license to sell the products or services and also implement similar business techniques. The franchisee pays an initial amount to get this right and from there on he pays a certain percentage of the gross sale to the franchisor. This agreement may last through the term decided upon in the contract. The franchisee gains all those privileges that the franchisor's business has and in addition to that will also receive pertinent training in the relevant field. Coupled to this training the franchise will also continue to receive ongoing support. Of course, there are a few additional responsibilities too which the franchisee has to be careful about.

The franchisee has to work towards meeting all the quality controls that have been set up by the franchisor for it is the brand reputation that may be at stake when things are not done in line with the guidelines provided by the franchisor. There may also be a few restrictions on the kind of sales and operations they can perform on the name of the company.

Franchisees definitely have clear-cut advantage over their competitors, especially the nonfranchisee ones as they have full liberty to use the already established brand names. The nonfranchisee however has to start from the scratch and there may be a lot of time that goes in as an investment too before they can actually witness profits. A franchisee however can adhere to the franchisor's business practices and provide quality goods and services to the customers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Special Needs Assistant Description

A special needs assistant works specifically with one or more students who have special needs. The number of students each assistant will work with varies, depending upon the level of need each student requires.

Many special needs assistants work with only one student, because this one student cannot truly function on his or her own, for whatever reason. An assistant who works one-on-one with a student with special needs will spend the entire day with this student-the assistant's responsibilities may include monitoring the student, helping the student perform everyday skills, teaching the student new life skills, and/or assisting the student in the learning process by clarifying or re-explaining what the teacher says.

Sometimes the primary issue with a student with special needs is the way the disability affects his or her behavior. In these instances, the aide might seek to help the child learn appropriate behavior through a program of positive reinforcement and relevant consequences. The assistant would also make sure the child's behavior does not negatively impact the learning of other students in the class and in the school. This may mean removing the child from the classroom to work more privately with the student.

Other times, the primary issue is that a child simply cannot perform basic life skills alone. In these cases, the assistant essentially guides the child through the entire day, providing assistance when necessary. Sometimes the problem is that a child has a physical disability, in which case the assistant would help the child perform tasks he or she cannot perform with the disability. Or, perhaps the child suffers from autism and cannot communicate or correctly socialize with other people in the school. In this case, the assistant would essentially monitor and help this student throughout the day.

A special needs assistant might also work with several students who do not require as much assistance. This assistant would work with several students with learning disabilities who can otherwise function normally. During tests, the assistant may take the students out of the classroom, either to read the test to them or to simply provide them with a quieter and more private work environment. Also, during instruction, the aide may work with these students in a smaller group to re-teach or re-enforce concepts that may be challenging to them.

Special needs assistants are crucial to a school because they help prevent teachers from being spread too thin. Furthermore, they provide the necessary attention to students with more intensive needs that will help them succeed, as well as keep them from falling through the cracks. An assistant who works with students with special needs can expect great fulfillment and confidence in knowing that the student or students he or she works with will be forever impacted by the individual help they receive!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ADHD and School - How to Succeed

It's really not that difficult to imagine that someone with ADHD or ADD might have trouble with school. Between having to focus for a long time to having to sit still for what feels like even longer, ADHD and school just don't seem to mix.

However, there are quite a few things ADHD students can do to improve their school results. One of the things is to change the way they study. Most ADHD students do better while studying in a quiet place, free from distractions. If they study at the same time each day, they are more likely to be able to focus during that time, as they will have trained their brain that this time is time to focus.

Another study tip for students with ADHD is to find a specific study technique or system and follow it religiously. One of the best systems for this is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves using a timer set for 25 minutes to regulate study time, followed by a brief 5 minute break to refresh.

ADHD students also benefit from learning and applying a memory system, such as the loci method or other visualization techniques. This makes remembering things a more active and involved process, leading to higher recall during tests and at other times.

All this is well and great for studying, but what about tests? ADHD and studying is one thing - students usually have some degree of control over their surroundings while studying. But tests are a different story altogether. There is pressure to perform and unavoidable distractions and noises from the surrounding students. What are some things that ADHD students can do to maximize their productivity during tests?

For starters, ADHD students can usually request some sort of accommodation, and teachers usually grant it. For some, taking the test by themselves, or at least separated from the rest of the class, can lessen distractions and greatly increase focus.

During tests, students are encouraged to "distract themselves." Of course, this doesn't mean to actually distract themselves, but instead means to change physical positions, take a deep breath, look around the room or up at the ceiling. If students can successfully "create distractions" like this, they are less likely to succumb to real distractions.

Finally, students should always be on their guard against carelessness. Double-checking answers should be a matter of course, and writing neatly not only keeps the grader happy, it keeps the student's brain organized.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Understanding and Managing Students With ADHD

Aggressive... Impulsive... Disorganized... Impulsive... Absent-minded... Daydreamer... Delinquent... Bully... Mental case... Brain damage... Kulang sa Pansin... Low IQ...

These words are just among those that are usually attached to children with ADHD, especially if not yet diagnosed. Unknown to many, these words are mere "judgements" with unreliable bases. It is indeed true that our society still needs to be informed of this condition that affects millions of the Philippine population and other countries including the United States. With further education, judgements and mishandling of ADHD students in the educational setting and any other social functions can be lessened, and hopefully soon be eradicated.

To begin with, what is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. According to studies, ADHD is more prevalent among males than in females. In an article by Yam dela Cruz (2010), the statistics from the ADHD Society of the Philippines says that

80% of the adolescents have the symptoms of ADHD

60% of adults have the symptoms of ADHD

40% - 50% of children with ADHD have learning disabilities

30% - 50% of children with ADHD engage in disorderly conduct and exhibits signs of anti-social behavior

35% of children with ADHD do not finish high school

25% of children with ADHD oftentimes fight with other kids

20% - 25% of children experience hyperactivity

3% - 5% of the world population has ADHD

ADHD is not a product of an unhealthy environment, parenting gone wrong, poverty, stress, poor diet, laziness, and many other myths that most people concocted based on the child's behavior.

Although there is no definite cause for it yet, experts say this condition involves the brain mechanism, specifically how it receives and delivers signals from the brain to the other parts of the body and vice versa, which greatly affects one's behavior. Many factors were discussed by professionals on how this happened in the human body such as trauma, fetal disposition in the mother's womb, mother's diet during pregnancy, illnesses, and genes.

How can you tell if a student has ADHD?

Formal tests are conducted before a student may be said to have ADHD. These tests are done by neuropsychologists. However, family members and teachers can watch out for these symptoms and note the frequency of occurrences for certain situations:

a. inattentive

b. forgetful

c. disorganized

d. easily distracted

e. squirmy and fidgety

f. talks too much

g. unable to stay in one place

h. acts and speaks without thinking

i. blurts answers

j. impatient in waiting for turns

k. interrupts conversations or class discussions

How can teachers and family members make use of the characteristics of their ADHD child for success?

In any kind of set-up, an ADHD kid benefits from structure and sincere understanding. Remember, this condition is not something they put themselves into. In addition, even if students have ADHD, it doesn't mean they have low comprehension levels. Many personalities became successful despite having ADHD. As a matter of fact, most of these people with ADHD have their condition to their advantage. On the other hand, there is still a great number of students with ADHD that are heading for academic failure, which affects their emotional disposition. That is why it is important to provide the needed structure for learning and behavior management in school and at home.

Here are some tips on how to manage children with ADHD:

a.Set it straight. Be clear and specific.

Teachers/Parents together with the ADHD student must work together in identifying acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Having identified these behaviors, it is also important to set goals with the child, which he or she must work on. In doing so, make sure instructions/wordings used are specific, short, and clear to avoid misunderstandings.

b. Keep it quick yet effective.

Activities must be given in a checklist or schedule. It is a way to give the child a set of tasks to look forward to. This is done to avoid inattention and distractability while on-task. Furthermore, to be able to sustain their attention span, activities must be quick but still suitable for your objectives/goals. It also helps to make the students aware of the amount of time they are expected to finish the task. Assist in keeping track of time by showing a countdown on the board and announcing it to the class.

c. Utilize the multisensorial teaching and learning approach.

Making activities very engaging and dynamic can greatly support child's involvement further ensuring comprehension and mastery of skills. Take advantage of their energy by constructing activities that allow them to use most of their senses together. This way, the ADHD students will be occupied learning through the set-up activities.

d. Post rules and reminders inside the classroom.

Reminders to monitor their behavior must be given when needed. For students with ADHD, reminders are always needed. This is to keep them on top of the situation, and to avoid impulsive actions resulting to misunderstandings. Posters or visual cues of the set of rules must also be verbalized to the students to keep them further reminded about it even if they're on their own.

e. Lessen distractions.

ADHD students are easily distracted even by the most minute detail that attracted their senses, thus it is important to organize their learning centers more effectively. It is a matter of placing the things inside the classroom in the appropriate places. Colorful visual aids can get their attention, but hopefully not to the point of focusing solely on the object itself disregarding its purpose. Multimedia presentations can promote comprehension among students just keep it direct to the point.

f. Acknowledge behaviors.

To acknowledge desirable and undesirable behavior, it is important to keep the students aware of the consequences of their actions through "processing" or "one-on-one talk". Give praises where it's due, and avoid reprimanding a child in front of the group because they easily get discouraged by that.

g. Model.

Modeling the appropriate behavior sets the child's mind and environment in doing the same behavior. The more they get to observe such behavior, the greater the possibility of acquiring it themselves.

h. Processing.

Always see to it that for every misbehavior done by the child, a processing must be done. Corporal punishment is not an option because it can only lead to trauma for the child. Hearing out the child's side, and explaining why his/her actions are unacceptable is more effective if the goal is to instill in them the awareness and application of desirable behaviors. Discuss with the child what happened, his/her reason/s for reacting in such a way, what he could have done in the situation, and what he/she can do to make it better. Processing behaviors must be immediate to avoid the chance of forgetting about the specific details leading to further misunderstandings.

There are tons and tons of videos, articles, books, and journals on how to understand and manage ADHD children in school and at home. All of these can provide helpful information for everyone, especially teachers and parents. With this article, it is in great hope that ADHD students can find more people and institutions that can provide them with the most effective structure and well-deserved understanding to aid in their goal to be successful in life just like everyone else that have DREAMS.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Is Your Child Struggling to Read? Symptoms of Dyslexia in Children

Is your child struggling to read? If your child isn't keeping up with his classmates in terms of reading or writing then he may have some kind of learning difficulty.

Could he be dyslexic? There's a chance that he is if he's displaying any of the following symptoms of dyslexia in children.

Dyslexic children are often bright and intelligent with a high IQ but are often labelled "lazy" or "stupid" by their peers and teachers may think that they aren't trying or that they have behavioural problems so they don't receive the help that they need. As a result the child himself thinks he's stupid and develops low self-esteem. He tries to hide his weaknesses by misbehaving or daydreaming in class and becomes frustrated easily when faced with reading, writing or mathematical tasks. In general, such a child will be:

• unable to read, write or spell at a level considered to be normal for his age
• not able to complete written tests although he may do well orally
• good at non-academic subjects such as music, art, drama, business, woodworking, design or engineering
• able to learn more effectively by demonstration and visual aids
• able to count but will have problems with counting objects or money
• unable to do sums without using his fingers or other such aids; he will come up with the right answer to simple sums in this way but won't be able to put the workings down on paper and won't be able to progress to higher maths or algebra

Specifically, the child will read haltingly, leaving out words or substituting different words, reversing letters or numbers or even words and will understand little of what he's read. Letters, words, numbers and explanations may cause confusion and spelling will be inconsistent. There are also some physical manifestations such as:

• headache, dizziness or stomach ache while reading or a feeling that a fictional something is moving and causing distraction
• vision problems although an eye test reveals nothing
• very keen sight and observational skills or poor peripheral vision
• hearing things not audible to others
• speech problems including mispronunciations, transposition of syllables, words and phrases and stuttering when stressed
• being ambidextrous
• repeated ear infections
• a sensitivity to food additives or chemicals

Other symptoms of dyslexia in children concern motor skills and may include:

• writing difficulties often because of an unusual way of holding a pencil; writing may be inconsistent or illegible
• clumsiness and a lack of co-ordination, not good at ball sports or team games, difficulties carrying out simple tasks that require a degree of motor skills
• a confusion between left and right or over and under

In addition, a dyslexic child may have problems telling the time, managing time or learning or remember sequences, facts or information that he hasn't personally experienced but will probably have a good long-term memory for people, places and experiences.

Behaviour and development can be an accurate indicator that a child has dyslexia and shouldn't be confused with normal childish behaviour. Behaviour can be compulsive or obsessive and could be at either end of the spectrum such as:

• tidiness or untidiness
• too noisy or too quiet in class
Development can be either very early or very late when it comes to crawling, walking and talking and the child may be a very light or deep sleeper or may continue to wet the bed long after it is normal to do so.

The child may have a very high or low pain threshold and may be sensitive emotionally.

Any of these symptoms of dyslexia in children will appear to a greater degree if the child is confused, stressed, under pressure of any kind or in poor health.

If your child is displaying any of these behaviours or traits, do get him tested for dyslexia right away so that the appropriate education can be started before the symptoms become worse or eventually unmanageable.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Handling Self-Injurious Behavior in Children With Autism

I have read recently and understand that some parents are desperately seeking advice for handling their child's self-injurious behavior. Self-injurious behavior, also known as SIBs, are classified as any aggression towards oneself. The most common forms of self-injurious aggression is hitting or biting but some older children may also be involved with cutting. Other forms of SIBs may also include head butting, body slamming, picking or scratching, and using other objects to hit. Before talking about strategies that help to replace these SIBs and decrease the severity of the injury, let's discuss how critical SIBs are.

If your child is demonstrating SIB, then it is time to get a behavior consultant involved if there is not one already. The reason for this is because it is crucial to get to the root of the problem and find out exactly why your child is acting out in an aggressive way. He may be desperate with communicating his needs and incredibly frustrated. She may be seeking out deep sensory input. He may be trying to gain access to some tangible that he can't have. Unless a functional behavior assessment is done, you will not be able to truly address the SIB because you won't know exactly what is causing it. I will focus another few posts on functions of behavior but it is important to note that when you know the function of the behavior, you can act proactively to help prevent and/or at least decrease the behavior that is inappropriate. So seeking out the help of a professional behavior consultant may be your first step. Now, this may take some time to get set up. In fact, just getting an agency, evaluation, behavior consultant, and/or services in place, (if you do not have already) can take a tremendous amount of time. So, here are some tips that you can try now to handle the everyday occurrences until you have more help in place.

I know it must be SO incredibly frustrating and disheartening to see your child hurting himself. You're willing to try anything because you know your child may end up causing himself severe injury, if not hospitalization. You also may be very puzzled as to why your child is acting this way. Some children will casually bite their hand and stop biting because it hurts. This is a natural consequence. They will stop biting because they feel pain. However, many children with Autism Spectrum Disorders do not feel pain like typical children do. Many of them have an extremely high tolerance for pain and may not even cry when they get hurt. Many of them also seek out deep sensory input. They crave, not only deep pressure, but some kind of impact to their bodies in order to help feel more regulated. These are children with sensory processing disorders known as the "sensory seekers." Biting can be due to an oral fixation, the need for sensory input to the mouth. As odd as it may sound, children who are orally fixed and may be biting, may continue to bite because it brings them a sense of joy and regulation, NOT pain. Don't forget that most SIBS are caused by some level of frustration in the child, not just sensory needs. A biter may be seeking input but may also be acting out of frustration for another need or want. That is why a behavior assessment needs to be done to truly understand the cause.

Let' also discuss the issue of restraint. When a child is acting out against himself or someone else, retraining him/her can be an option. HOWEVER, it is very important to note 3 things. 1. Restraining a child should only be done to help prevent further injury to the child or someone else, especially in extreme measures. 2. There is a protocol, a heirarchy, and training involved with restraining a child appropriately so that you and the child do not continue to get hurt in the process. If you are not trained properly, nor understand the protocol, then I would not recommend restraint in any way. 3. If restraining the child makes matters worse, i.e. causes your child to completely lose control, fight back, and increase rage, frustration, SIBS, and/or aggression, then restraint should not be used. I will discuss the methodology of restraint in other posts but please keep these tips in mind if considering it as a reactive measure to SIBs.


Biting can be very harmful as bite marks and bruises can occur without too much force. If you have a child that bites, you should invest in some kind of a chew object. There are companies that sell chew tubes that help children who need to chew or bite due to lower oral motor function or who may need sensory input to the mouth because of a sensory disorder. Chew tubes also work great for children who bite because you may be able to replace the biting of one's arm to biting this rubbery object and still give your child the oral input that they may be craving. If the biting is done out of frustration, it is still done in a safer way. One company, The Sensory University, offers a pack of chew toys called CHEWY RETRACTABLE BITE BUDDIES that can be attached and retractable to a belt loop so they are on hand immediately whenever they are needed. There are also CHEWY TUBES as well as a TRI CHEW toy that looks like a triangle.


Hitting can be a little trickier, depending on where the child is hitting himself. Some times, hitting can be prevented by holding down the child's arms. You want to do this only with enough force to prevent the child from lifting his arms to hit. You can also place your hand between your child's hand and the place your child is hitting. For example, if your child is hitting his forehead, you may be able to place your hand on the child's forehead to block the hit. This has worked with some children. I had a student who stopped hitting once he felt another hand there, blocking his face. He may hit one to two more times but then stopped. Another idea is to have the child wear a helmet if he engages in repetitive and severe hits or blows to his head. The best type of helmet to use is a soft foam helmet that is easy to put on and does not harm the head further if pounded on. It simply creates a soft space between the hand and the head to protect the head. One such helmet would be Playmaker Headgear. Be sure to get a helmet that fits your child's head properly. The helmet should only be put on while head hitting is occurring and then it can be removed.

Remember that these are measures that can be taken to help reduce the severity and/or harm that can happen as a result of SIBs. They are only tips that can be tried as a reactive strategy. They are not to be considered solutions. The best way to handle SIBS is to assess what is causing the SIB and address the specific function of the behavior. In this way, you can learn to be proactive and help prevent SIBs from happening at all.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Problem Behavior in Children With Autism

If you have a child who has behavior outbursts, it can leave you desperate for things to try to stop the behavior or reduce its intensity. As a behavior specialist, I have learned many reactive strategies that help to reduce behavior if it is already occurring. Without giving you too much technical terms about ABC data, finding functions of behavior, and setting up a behavior intervention plan, (which you should have a behavior therapist do), here are 5 strategies/consequences you can try when you are in the heat of the moment:

1. Ignore the Behavior. Please know that this means you are not to verbalize the behavior that is happening. If your child is doing something dangerous to himself or others, you obviously have to intervene but you still do not have to draw attention to the actual behavior. This strategy only works if you know that your child is doing this behavior to get attention, even if the attention is negative. You don't want to reinforce inappropriate behavior, so ignore and then also try a strategy below.

2. Redirection. If your child is a acting out, verbally or physically, it is important to redirect her to another task or activity. Instead of focusing on the behavior, focus on what you want her to do next.

3. Decrease Demands. Sometimes, your child becomes frustrated with the task at hand and does not know how to ask for help, so instead, he acts out. Lower the demands that are placed on him. This can include lowering the amount of time he has to be on task before he gets a break. You may just have him work for one more minute. Decrease the number of questions or offer assistance to complete the task together.

4. Decrease Stimulation. Often with children with sensory processing disorders, the environment or setting can be causing your child to demonstrate behaviors. If the setting is too loud, has too many people, too many pictures, or is too lit up or too dark, it may be overstimulating for her. Use headphones, a preferred electronic device like an iPhone or iPad to distract her, or simply take a walk outside or to a quieter location. This may help you get through a trip to a restaurant, family party, supermarket, or store.

5. Use a Calming Down Protocol. It is very important to try to help your child self-regulate and calm down before the behavior escalates to a dangerous situation. Teach him how to take deep breaths, fold his hands to avoid hitting/punching, count to a designated number, close his eyes, go for a walk, etc. You can also try some sensory integration in your protocol like deep pressure or light scratching on the arms if your child is calmed by this.