Take the first step toward learning success
Does your child fall apart after school? Do certain homework assignments take an excessively long time to complete? Maybe your child refuses to go to school on certain days, such as when there’s a math or spelling test. These may not be behavioral issues—they could indicate that your child has a learning disability.
Students with learning disabilities often struggle with time management, transitions and organization. These timing troubles can cause problems both in school and at home. But you can learn to recognize the signs and help at-risk children before they experience learning failure.
The most frequently diagnosed learning disabilities include dyslexia, ADHD, executive functioning problems, dysgraphia (an impairment in writing ability) and dyscalculia (which makes basic math difficult to learn). Children may have a variety of symptoms.
This is by far the most common learning disability; studies indicate that 5–10% of the population has dyslexia. The actual numbers may be even higher. Those who have dyslexia use only the right side of their brain to process language, while non-dyslexic individuals use both sides of their brain for this task. Symptoms of dyslexia may include:
- Struggling to detect and manipulate sounds in words they hear
- Having difficulty learning the sound-symbol relationships essential for sounding out words
- Relying on memorization, sight word reading or guessing when it comes to reading words
- Becoming frustrated when reading or showing reluctance to read
- Suffering from feelings of inadequacy or low self-confidence around peers
- Displaying feelings of anxiety or depression, or acting out as a result of challenges
Though children do not grow out of dyslexia, with appropriate interventions, hard work and support, they can overcome or manage associated reading problems. Some of history’s most successful adults—Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin—were dyslexic.
Signs of ADHD are divided into inattentive behaviors and hyperactive-impulsive behaviors.
- Making careless mistakes
- Being easily distracted
- Not seeming to be listening when spoken to directly
- Having difficulty following instructions
- Having trouble organizing
- Avoiding or disliking sustained effort
- Being forgetful, always losing things
- Fidgeting or squirming, trouble staying in one place or waiting his turn
- Excessive running and climbing
- Having trouble playing quietly
- Showing extreme impatience
- Seeming to always be “on the go” or “driven by a motor”
- Excessive talking or interrupting, blurting out answers
Most kids with ADHD have deficits in some executive functions (planning, organizing time and materials, making decisions and learning from past mistakes, to name a few). However, not all children with executive function issues have ADHD.
Help them meet their potential
Children with dyslexia, ADHD and other learning differences may be underachieving in school, even though they are often bright and motivated. The goal for them, as it is for all children, is to meet their potential and support their educational needs as early as possible.
The only way to know for sure if your child has a learning disability is through a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation. This will shed light on your child’s challenges and strengths. That knowledge can open the door to the right resources, and you will be in a position to find an optimal learning environment to help your child thrive.
At The Winston School, bright minds who learn differently® prepare for college and beyond through engaging, innovative, individualized learning led by exceptional faculty in a supportive environment. The school serves students in grades K–12, helping them work through obstacles while celebrating their individuality and creativity. In addition to rigorous core studies, Winston offers fine and performing arts, service learning, student-centered athletics and more ways for children to embrace their education experience. The school’s students are empowered to be confident, well-rounded and lifelong self-advocates.
Winston’s Testing and Evaluation Center is open to all families seeking to understand their students’ learning styles and educational needs. Visit winston-school.org for more information and to connect with the campus’s renowned experts.
“New” Family Time: Together at Home
“During this time of shelter-in-place and distance learning, my “co-workers” often refuse to wear pants. Human resources is aware it’s a problem, but they have to mow the grass and will talk to them at snacktime!”
I’ve seen a string of these kinds of statments on social media recently, and I love them. They give comedic relief to the difficulty of working from home with children. Maybe your “co-workers” are not as focused on Zoom class as they should be, or they’re eating groceries faster than you can go on your next curbside run. It’s hard to maintain an 8(+) hour work day while keeping your children entertained and educated for those same 8 hours.
Follow Your Family’s Natural Rhythm
We are a family that is constantly assessing our schedules. As a family we have a natural rhythm when we wake up, eat, sleep, play, and relax. The more we are in sync with each other, the less frustrated we are. For example, if our family wakes up at the same time, we’re hungry around the same time, and we eat together. We all need quiet and wild time in our days. I need quiet for work, and kids need quiet for sleeping. On good days, those coincide. When my kids are ready for energy-filled playtime and if I’ve used my time well, I feel free to have some active time with them. When it’s their time, I have to make sure I give them my full attention. I try to be intentional to make the most meaningful and memory-filled use of our time together.
Our families are literally together 24/7, but that does not mean we connect. Just like before the stay-at-home order, we must intentionally connect with one another. Some great ways to do that are cooking and eating meals together, watching TV or movies together, family walks, or doing a project together like painting a room or doing chores—always remaining mindful of the large and small joys that each day brings.
Give Kids Direction and Purpose
At school, your kids have a routine that includes a purpose, getting out of their comfort zone, being polite, owning a classroom job, and getting along with people. Now that everyone is at home for school, work, and leisure, attitudes can become a bit snippy. Consider giving them more ownership of household responsibilities. Here are some life skills to teach your children now that will bring rewards long term: setting and clearing the table, taking care of the laundry, organizing toys, taking care of pets, doing yard work, and making their beds.
Reassess, Reallocate, and Release Yourself from Guilt
I become anxious when people say, “we have more time than ever.” That statement causes panic and shame for me because I immediately think of all the things I am not doing with “all my extra time.” We still have the same 24 hours, but we have to reassess our time and understand that we can’t allocate as we did before.
We are all navigating this strange new world together. Hang in there. Be gentle to yourself. We are going to make it. Be blesses, be strong, and be faithful—God’s got this!
Michelle Dwyer, CFLE, POPCS School Counselor
The housing industry is always moving and adapting to the changing economy. In light of the current situation, Shaddock Homes has created a brand new all-virtual home buying program to cater to our buyers. You can shop safely in your PJs!
1. Virtual Consult. A sales manager will schedule a virtual appointment to learn what you are looking for in a home and put together a plan to find your dream home.
2. Virtual Tours. You will be taken on a virtual tour of any home you’d like to view.
3. Virtual Design Studio Tour. You will be taken on a virtual tour of the Shaddock Homes Design Studio, where we can help you make your selections.
4. Electronically Sign. You will be able to sign your contract electronically.
5. Earnest Money Delivery. You’ll wire your earnest money check, or we will help coordinate delivery.
6. Closing Time. We have two options for closings right now: curbside closings or mobile notary.
7. Welcome Home. You are officially a homeowner! Your sales manager will help coordinate key delivery.
Prepare. Learn what types of plans and areas you’re looking for by visiting our website. We have 3D Virtual Tours of all our current models and endless photos of floorplans.
Download Zoom. While we’re able to work through FaceTime, Skype and other virtual video platforms, the best one for screen sharing and interacting is Zoom! Our Sales Managers can help if you need instructions.