So, this month we’ve been discussing all things Dyslexia. If your child is having reading or writing challenges you may have wondered, “Does my child possibly have Dyslexia?” Today we are going to talk about the signs of Dyslexia and how to go about receiving a diagnosis. While we encourage you to read through these common signs, please not to panic or diagnose your child yourself! We do hope that if you are noticing these common signs, that you speak to your child’s teacher, doctor or us here at Hyperion about them immediately.
So what are the signs of Dyslexia?
So what do you do if you see these signs?
Receiving a diagnosis of Dyslexia can involve participating in testing with multiple professionals including a psychologist, neuropsychologist, speech-language pathologist, and/or special educator. Areas to be assessed include:
So, what can you expect after the diagnosis?
Stay tuned! We will return next week to share some information about what to consider after receiving a Dyslexia diagnosis.
Resource: Sally Shaywitz, Overcoming Dyslexia
Emily here! Happy October! I do hope you are enjoying all things fall. The cooler weather, apple cider donuts, and comfy sweaters are certainly making me feel wonderful. October also brings with it Dyslexia Awareness Month. We at Hyperion LLS are going to bring you lots of information about Dyslexia throughout the month, but let us start increasing our awareness through accepting a definition of Dyslexia. The International Dyslexia Association defines Dyslexia as :
If that definition seems a little difficult to grasp don't worry- you are not alone in that and I can help you unpack it a little. The first part of the definition says that Dyslexia is "neurobiological in origin". This means that there is a change in the way the brain works or processes information. We can actually see, using some pretty fancy technology called fMRI, how the brain of a person with Dyslexia lights up differently during reading when compared to someone who doesn't have the same challenge. These brain changes cause a person to have difficulty processing and storing the sound system (phonological aspects) of a language. This does not have to do with a person's vision or intelligence and happens even when a student receives typical academic instruction in the classroom. This difficulty with mapping the sound system of language in the brain can impact a person's spelling, reading abilities, and vocabulary. If you would like to learn a little bit more about what Dyslexia is you might find this short video to be very helpful.
That is a lot of information to take in so I won't bombard you with much more today. I do want to share this poem with you before we close though. It was written by an 8th grader I work with who has been diagnosed with Dyslexia. I think her words speak louder than many definitions I could provide you with. Maybe try something so soothe... like.. I know this is a lot of information and we will continue to explore the in's and out's throughout the month. But please know this: Your child CAN BE TAUGHT. With the proper plan, they CAN LEAD A NORMAL LIFE. It's every parents' goal to raise their children to their highest potential and we're here to help.
Throughout the month follow us here on the blog as well as on Instagram (@hyperionlanguageandlearning), Facebook (@HyperionLLS), and Twitter (@HyperionLLS) to learn more about what Dyslexia is, how it is diagnosed, how it is treated, and how we as parents and educators can provide support and accommodations for children and adults with Dyslexia.
Emily here! Picture this- It is a Monday morning and no one (kids and grown-ups alike) wants to get out of bed. So the snooze button keeps getting pushed until the very last second and then everybody is scrambling to get up and out the door to get to work and school on time. Does this scenario sound familiar? If you could make some small changes to ease the morning tension and bustle would you? If so, read on!
A couple of weeks ago I shared with you 5 goals I set for myself (If you didn’t read it go ahead and click here then come right back) and one of them was to establish a morning routine that prepares me mentally, physically, and emotionally for the day AND gets me to work on time! For me this starts the night before when I set out clothes and pack my lunch for the following day. This gives me time to press the snooze button once (feels so luxurious), have a quiet cup of coffee while I read or watch the news, and take a short walk with my dog Prescott.
For me, a smooth, easy start to the day sets me up for success. I am more productive, pleasant, and healthy. The same goes for our children and students. It is important for them to arrive to school on time and not feeling rushed. Arrive at school in time for that first bell is super important for many reasons:
If your child is struggling to get up and out to school on time the first step is to identify why. Is is an issue with organization and following a routine? Are there social or academic issues at school? Is your child feeling nervous about some aspect of the school day or the school environment? Once you figure out the root of the challenge you will then be able to address it appropriately. Here are a couple tips and resources to help you out.
If your child is struggling with organization and following a morning routine there are several things that you can do in order to reduce the morning chaos. One small change that can have a big impact is to have your independent dressers put on their clothes before setting foot outside of the bedroom. That way there's no backtracking! Then have them go straight to the bathroom to brush their teeth and within 5-10 minutes of waking up, you could have those two chores off the list! Check out these 3 resources for some more great ideas:
If your child is nervous or anxious about going to school have a brief little chat in the morning that highlights the positives of the school day. Ask about a class or subject he or she particularly enjoys such as- “What game do you think you will play in gym today?” or “What will you be learning in social studies?”. Focusing on the positives can go a long way! Here are some additional resources:
If the root cause seems to be academic or social challenges a meeting with your child’s teacher is likely the most beneficial first step. Work together to create a plan that will positively address any challenges you identify together. This might include some assessments of your child’s academic skills followed by some extra support in or outside of school. To learn more about these types of challenges check out these links:
It is my hope that these resources are of help to you! As always, the tutors at Hyperion and Language Learning Services are here to assist as well! Give us a call today.
Emily here! Homework is a hot topic for educators and parents alike. I’m not here to cheer for Team Homework or tell you why your child’s teacher shouldn’t assign homework. I would like to share some information on the subject and give you tips that you can use immediately to help your child experience homework success!
The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and National Education Association (NEA) both endorse a “10 minute rule” for homework. The rule states that a child should be assigned 10 minutes worth of homework per grade level. This means that a second grader would be expected to do 20 minutes worth of homework and a high school senior 120 minutes. The NEA states that homework is beneficial because it provides practice, can prepare a student for an upcoming lesson, or could also extend a student’s learning on a particular topic.
It is important to note that these organizations simply offer guidelines for educators- teachers and schools are free to design their own homework policies. Here in Southern Maine, the trend for elementary school students seems to be completing 20-30 minutes of reading per night with no other homework assigned. Middle and high school students appear to have more extensive assignments across subject areas.
If your child does receive homework it is important for you to provide support as parent participation with homework appears to be positively connected with academic success. This is particularly true when students are experiencing some learning or academic challenges. A study completed in 1998 found that 95% of students reported that receiving homework support from a parent helped them do better in school.
Some of the benefits to helping with homework include:
The downside may be
There are multiple ways that parents can potentially assist but there is one thing parents should not do and that is simply monitoring that your child has completed the work. There needs to be a active engagement while homework is being done. So how can you help?
Help your child get organized and establish good study habits. You can start by setting rules about when and where homework should be done. Have an interactive conversation with your child about these guidelines and make sure he or she understands them clearly. Then you can enforce the rules and, of course, provide praise when they are followed!
Show interest in what your child is learning. Ask questions about the subject and engage in some conversation. Share what you know about the topic. You might even what to read the same book or article and talk about that.
Stay close during homework time and be available (but don’t hover!). Your child needs to know he or she can reach out to you but that you aren’t constantly monitoring work at every moment. Maybe you can read quietly in another section of the living room? Or make dinner while your child is working at the kitchen table?
Communicate with your child’s teacher about the homework process. This is particularly important if he or she is being frustrated or anxious during homework time or frequently unable to complete the work.
Answer your child’s questions. Some students might need direct help. Do the best you can without doing the work yourself. If your child is becoming confused because you are explaining a concept differently than the teacher is, it might be best to stop. In some cases, parents are unable provide this for a multitude of reasons and in that case you might want to seek out some outside support (Hyperion is here to help!).
I hope that this information helps your family decrease stress and experience homework success! Reach out if you need help!!
Patall, E., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. (2008). Parent Involvement in Homework: A Research Synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 1039-1101. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ursus-proxy-6.ursus.maine.edu/stable/40071154