When you are using scissors, it’s necessary for each hand to work separately but yet together. Take a piece of paper and try cutting a circle out of it with a pair of scissors. See how well your two hands work together! Ideally, the dominant hand moves the scissors to cut the paper held in the other hand. The non dominant hand holding the paper will shift the paper, making it more easily cut. However, frequently in my population, the “dominant” hand will hold the scissors still while the other hand holding the paper does all the work. I see a lot of this with children who are late deciding which hand to use; or tend to still be deciding which hand to use; or […]
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 […]
1. Check the color of the paper: Blue may be helpful for those with visual perceptual weaknesses. 2. Clearly mark the writing lines: Anytime the writing lines change either with color, width, or boldness, explain the difference to the child. With notebook paper it may be helpful to highlight every other space so that the child writes a line of words, skips a space, writes a line of words, etc. This will help keep the tails of letters such as p, j, g, from interfering with word legibility on the next line. Mark on the desk where the paper should be placed.Slant of paper and placement does affect quality. If “hugging the left side of the paper” is a problem, first highlight the left margin […]
If you do decide to take a break from tutoring/therapy during the summer, its important to do the following: Ask your therapist/tutor for her opinion. Consult your doctor if there is a medical condition that requires ongoing therapy. If they agree, then together decide on activities that will help with the goals you all have decided on. Choose fun, realistic ones. Make a commitment to set aside a specific time during the summer days to continue to work on the above activities. Some children lose what they have learned unless reinforced. Have a specific date to begin therapy/tutoring again. If you don’t, it will be easy to not start again. Make it clear to the therapist/tutor what your plans are for the school year. Will […]
Every parent and therapist has high expectations for the summer months. Considered “free months”, we tend to forget about vacations, camps, Vacation Bible School, etc. that fill up those “free months” very quickly. As your summer is unfolding and you are dealing with priorities of yours, your children, and the therapist, its important to talk with your therapist/tutor to determine what the goals are for the summer months and how these goals will be achieved. Make sure the goals are realistic for your family and your child. Have FUN activities that will encourage those goals when you go on your trips. It might be writing daily in a journal to help with handwriting. Reading maps or signs along the way to help improve reading skills. […]
Often summer is a time of guilt for families with children who have learning differences, even mild ones. Some of the questions I hear as a therapist include: How should we juggle vacation, camps, therapy/tutoring? Should I let my child drop tutoring for the summer because he needs a break from so much school work? If I do, will he fall further behind or lose all he learned this past year? What about my other children? They need a “normal” summer with activities focused on them for a change! What about me? I have worked hard all year trying to keep things running smoothly! Guilt: What to do with it? Do you have suggestions?
1. Understanding: Understand the child’s inconsistencies in performance. A spelling test may produce more legible writing than a paragraph that the child may have to think of and write quickly. The paragraph which requires complex thought organization and writing of these thoughts on a page in a readable format may be more challenging than writing familar words or writing in a handwriting workbook. Something to remember: The brain seems to prioritize written expression (thought organization, spelling, grammar, punctuation) over motor control and spacing. So if a child is really working on “written expression”, often the writing’s legibility will decrease as well as his ability to space between words or put letters in or on the lines. 2. Encourage organizational strategies such as outlining, webbing. Please see www.donjohnston.com or […]
Check: Personality: Do they work well with children? Do you like them? Can you ask them questions and receive answers? Does your child feel comfortable with them? If asked to do so, will they contact your child’s teacher or other professionals working with your child? Practice: How long have they worked with children? Do they have a good reputation? Do they have adequate credentials for their profession (a degree, accreditation, license, etc.)? Price: Do they accept your insurance? Is the cost with or without your insurance reasonable? Schedule: Will their availability and your schedule work well together? How far must you travel? It truly does take a team working together for progress to be made……choose wisely……..