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Monday, April 2, 2007

Good parent

How to be a good parent?
There's not just one right way to raise children. And there's no such thing as a perfect parent--or a perfect child. But here are some guidelines to help your children grow up healthy and happy:
- Show your love to them
- Listen when your children talk. Listening to your children tells them that you think they're important and that you're interested in what they have to say.
- Make your children feel safe. Comfort them when they're scared. Show them you've taken steps to protect them.
- Provide order in their lives. Keep a regular schedule of meals, naps and bedtimes. If you have to change the schedule, tell them about the changes ahead of time.
- Praise your children. When your children learn something new or behave well, tell them you're proud of them.
- Criticize the behavior, not the child.
- Be consistent. Your rules don't have to be the same ones other parents have, but they do need to be clear and consistent. (Consistent means the rules are the same all the time.) If two parents are raising a child, both need to use the same rules.
- Spend time with your children. Do things together, like reading, walking, playing and cleaning house. What children want most is your attention. Bad behavior is usually their way of getting your attention.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD which is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be discerned in some children from a very young age that is before they even join school. Astonishing figures come to light, in the United States there approximately 2 million children affected with ADHD. These children find it difficult to have a control over their actions and concentrate on something properly. Behavioral experts say that although the task of rearing children suffering from ADHD is a daunting task in some aspects yet humane treatment from all sides can make it considerably easier. The suffering child should be treated with compassion and receive adequate counseling from guidance counselors and also the public education system should be receptive towards them. To be able to identify children suffering from ADHD one should look out for three basic kinds of symptoms which are hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsivity. However it doesn’t imply that any child having such symptoms is necessarily suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A thorough examination from a qualified physician can only determine the disease.
The treatment of various children suffering from ADHD varies depending upon the other complications or symptoms that the child shows. However, only your health care professional should be able to determine the course of treatment for your child. Of course the child and their family face a lot of behavior problems on account of the illness of the child. However, the child needs to be treated with patience as they cant help being impulsive and inattentive. Regular consultation with behavior therapists is advised. Also interaction with the community at large needs to be constantly present. Secluding the child will make them depressed and frustrated. With the help of the therapist the family is advised on altered behavior patterns for themselves as well as strategies to handle the mood swings of the child as well. Psychotherapy is also an option for the patients of ADHD as it helps them accept themselves in spite of the disorder. Behavioral Therapy is also an effective way of helping the child cope with the mood swings and a lot of other complications which come as a package of ADHD.
To be able to cope with the child’s disorder can be mentally taxing for the family and especially for the parents. To find a method of coping with this, it is advisable to follow a disciplined and scheduled method of life. Assigning a place for all things and also a time for various activities inside the home will give the child and you a sense of order insuring mental peace. The education needs of your child suffering from ADHD will be addressed under a program called Individualized Educational Program which will be conducted by a regular school and not any school for kids with special needs. Until sometime before schools refused to evaluate children with ADHD but now according to the law they can’t refuse to do the evaluation. Children who grow up with ADHD need to regularly consult a therapist to keep the mental commotion felt by them is under check. They find it difficult to live life in an organized fashion and it is always a bother to keep appointments etc. Yet, with professional counseling and family support and compassion, life becomes more tolerable and they can stay away from depression too. If children grow up with ADHD and don’t receive adequate care then they can grow depressed often leading to suicidal situations.

ADHD Child

Ten Tips to Surviving Your ADHD Child
1. Have Realistic Expectations. We all have expectations for our child, just make sure that your expectations are * Realistic * for your individual child. If your expectations are too high (orunrealistic) then you will be constantly be subject to feelings of hurt or disappointment or anger. Be * Realistic *.
2. Keep Your Home Organized. The more "scheduled" you can keep your home, or the more "organized" you can be at home, the better for your ADD/ADHD child. Routines can help your child to accept order in his life. Be consistent with routines.
3. Simplify Your Life. Please don't try to do all things, be all things, lead all groups. Reduce the number of your commitments to others. Your child needs your time and attention more than others do (except perhaps your spouse). Spend more time at home with your child and family.
4. Accept Your Child's Situation. If your child is hyperactive, then come to the place of acceptance that your child is, has been, and will be, a person with very high levels of energy, limited impulse control, and difficulty sitting still. Don't feel guilty about. Did you cause it? No. Is the child intentionally hyperactive? No. Don't waste your time trying to eliminate the hyperactivity, just learn how to redirect it into positive channels. Be patient.
5. Be Fair, Firm, and Consistent with your Discipline. Make sure your child knows the rules ahead of time. Review them as you need to. Always be fair to the child. Be firm, don't reward inappropriate behaviors by ignoring them, but use your best wisdom on how to discipline or punish.
6. Teach to Incompetent Behaviors and Punish Rebellious Behaviors. Kids are weird. And, know the difference between "incompetence" and "rebelliousness." Kids will forget to put the lid down on the toilet seat. They run through the house. They do kid things. When your child acts incompetently, then teach him how to do things the right way, and have him practice doing it right. Rebellious or defiant behaviors, however, need to be disciplined through punishment. Yes, your child does need to know who's in charge, and that person needs to be you, not him.
7. Avoid Allowing Either You or Your Child to Become Fatigued. We all get grouchy and irritable when fatigued. Don't schedule so many activities in your day that you get tired, or he does. If it happens, either you'll be hard to live with, or he will. Cut back on your activities, do less, not more. Save your energy. Slow down.
8. Only Take Your Child to Places Where He Has a Chance to Be Successful. If your child simply cannot handle going to the store, or to church, or to birthday parties where they are serving punch and cake, then don't take him there. Or go but stay around and provide the supervision that he'll need so that he doesn't blow it with his behavior and have the event turn into just another failure in his life.
9. Watch Less TV, Not More. When we are tired, the tendency is to turn on the TV and just "veg out" in front of it. The problem is that the average person (yes, the average person) watches over 35 hours of TV per week. Since I don't watch TV at all, someone else out there is watching more than 35 hours to make up for me! Watching TV simply steals our precious time and the attention that we should be giving our family. Read books, talk to each other, play board games, go for walks --- but don't watch TV.
10. Take Care of Yourself Too! Eat right, work out, spend time with your spouse, your friends, and yourself. Don't focus all of your energies on your ADD child. There is more to life. Read good books, not just ADD books. Pray. Enjoy sunsets. Go for walks. If your life reflects a sense of balance, then in a crisis you will respond with more wisdom and discernment.


What Is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder that some people are born with - it's not something you can catch" or pass along to someone else. It affects the brain and makes communicating and interacting with other people difficult. People who have autism often have delayed language development, prefer to spend time alone, and show less interest in making friends। Another characteristic of autism is what some people describe as "sensory overload": sounds seem louder, lights brighter, or smells stronger। Although many people with autism also have mental retardation, some are of average or high intelligence।
Not everybody with Autism has the exact same symptoms। Some people may have Autism that is mild, whereas others may have autism that is more severe। Because it affects people differently, autism is known as a spectrum disorder। Two people with the same spectrum disorder may not act alike or have the same skills।
As many as one in 500 people have Autism, and it's four times more common in guys than in girls। Although doctors do not know exactly what causes it, researchers believe autism is linked to differences in brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). These differences may be caused by something in our genes - families who have one child with autism have a higher risk of having another child with autism or a similar disorder. Research suggests that it's probably a combination of genes that causes the disorder, not a single "autism gene."
There are other developmental disorders mentioned in the same context as autism, such as Asperger's disorder, Rett syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder। These disorders, along with autism, are all considered pervasive developmental disorders. People diagnosed with any of these disabilities have problems with social skills and communication.
What do doctors do?
Autism is usually diagnosed at a very young age, when a child is 1 1/2 to 4 years old. There are no medical tests to determine whether someone has autism, although doctors may run various tests to rule out other diagnoses। So the best way to identify autism is to watch how a child behaves and communicates. Parents can help by telling the doctor how the child acts at home. Then a team of specialists - which may include a psychologist, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, a speech therapist, and a developmental pediatrician - will evaluate the child and compare levels of development and behavior to those of other children the same age. Together, they will make a diagnosis.How is Autism treated?Autism is not treated with medicine or surgery. Instead, people who have autism are taught skills that will help them do the things that are difficult for them.The best results are usually seen with children who begin interventions when they are very young, as soon as they are diagnosed. Special education programs that are tailored to the child's individual needs are usually the most effective form of treatment. These programs work on breaking down barriers by teaching the child to communicate (sometimes by pointing or using pictures or sign language) and to interact with others. Basic living skills, like how to cross a street safely or ask for directions, are also emphasized. A treatment program might also include any of the following: speech therapy, physical therapy, music therapy, changes in diet, medication, occupational therapy, and hearing or vision therapy. The same specialists who helped diagnose the condition usually work together to come up with the best combination of therapies to supplement the educational program.

Inclusive Education

Inclusive Education refers to placement and education of students with disabilities in general education classrooms with students of the same age who are absolutely normal. It aims at educating children with special needs in mainstream schools wherever possible. All students of the school become part of the group irrespective of their strengths and weaknesses. No individual is made to feel that he is an outsider and can identify with everyone in the group including students, teachers and other staff. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with its 1997 amendments states that schools must educate children with and without disabilities in the same classrooms. It is a totally new way of looking at communities and schools.The relationship that teachers build with their students is of primary importance. Teachers must reach out to every child irrespective of his background and weaknesses. Each child must be handled with respect to a different context. Separate expectations and goals must be set for each student and this is an extremely difficult task for teachers. They must rely on intuition rather than formal methods of education to deal with disabled children. Teachers must work in close co-ordination with parents and other special education teachers to be able to gauge what is the best way of handling different situations. Each child should be treated as an opportunity for improvement rather than a problem. Teachers must be very flexible and learn to take all levels of ambiguity in their stride. All students must be encouraged to improve their self-esteem, not only the disabled ones.Initially all students should be made to learn together and gradually move onto diverse environments depending on specific needs. When the surroundings are adjusted to the needs of students, an overall development takes place. The physical and motor skills develop along with other social abilities.Children with greater developed skills learn to develop better tolerance levels for those who are below average. It is always easier to include children in a group at an early stage rather than trying to fit them into fully formed groups with fixed mindsets later. Inclusive education aims at benefiting each student in the classroom rather than just some of them.There is a school of thought that says students with disabilities which are “cured” should be included only. But what happens to those whose disabilities that may never be cured outside the classroom? Maybe being with normal children is the cure itself. It is very likely that normal children today may have to handle disabilities in the future in terms of their relatives, neighbors and co-workers. Having spent time and grown up with disabled children goes a long way in building patience and strengthening relationships.Inclusive Education must be accepted as an integral part of general education. Regular teachers from the primary level right to the higher secondary level need to be trained in the area of integrated education. Activities and course structures need to be modified. Parents need to be suitably educated and the right level of technology needs to be used. Above all, a positive attitude towards the disability is one of the main factors that will result in successful implementation of this system.

Parental Attitude

Parental Attitude of Children with Learning Disabilities'Learning disabilities or learning disorders are not easy to diagnose. Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, co-ordinate movements, or direct attention. Almost 6 to 10 percentage of children at school suffer from Learning Disabilities.Research indicates that parental reaction to the diagnosis of learning disability (LD) is more pronounced than in any other area of exceptionality. Any other form of disability, say if a child is severely retarded or physically handicapped, the parent becomes aware of the problem in the first few weeks of the child's life. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age, and hence the parent does not suspect that a problem exists. When informed of the problem by elementary school personnel, a parent's first reaction is generally to deny the existence of the disability. This denial is, of course, unproductive. The father tends to remain calm in this stage than the mother because; for he is less exposed to the child's day-to-day frustrations and failures.It is a proven fact that the parents of an LD child face a series of emotion before being able to accept the child and his problem. These emotions are unpredictable and come in at random. These emotions ranges form denial of the problem to blame on the partner and fear that the problem could be much worse than what has been revealed to them. These parents go from comparing with the siblings to mourning for the Childs problem. In their desperation they often take irrational decisions and take their child from doctor to doctor hoping that there had been some mistake at the initial diagnosis. They start believing that they are alone against the entire world and try blaming the teachers, their neighbors and the neighborhood for their Childs problem. Guilt for the Childs condition is a very predominant factor which leads them to act in desperation. Some parents even believe that they could make it go away by ignoring it. The only way in which this emotional turbulence of the parents can be dealt with is through assurance and proper awareness. It is important that they understand that with proper help, most LD children can make excellent progress. The best way to provide these assurances is by providing them examples of successful adults such as attorneys, business executives, physicians, teachers, etc. who had learning disabilities but overcame them. The parents find relief and are assured of overcoming this trauma by letting themselves know that by special education and special care their children can overcome this disability.

Learning Disabilities

Learning DisabilitiesAccording to the National Joint Committee for Learning Disabilities (NJCLD), "Learning Disability" is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to Central Nervous System Dysfunction. Even though a learning disability may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (e.g. sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotional disturbance) or environmental influences (e.g. cultural differences, insufficient/inappropriate instruction, psychogenic factors) it is not the direct result of those conditions or influences.”The term ‘learning disability’ does not mean that the person has a low or high intelligence power. Nor is the person unable to learn things. Its just so that the individual has some processing problem in the body. This processing problem may either be in the eye, ear or any other part. It does not allow the entity to live a normal life like others. Usually an IQ test can prove the abilities of an individual. Anyone with an IQ level of less than 70 are considered as having mental retardation or a mental deficiency. The affected people do have the capacity to learn things like a normal human being but because of the disorder in them, they cease to reach the normal level.For an individual with a learning disability the messages to the brain become jumbled. This makes it difficult for them to learn in one or more of the academic areas; however, they can learn and become successful. You must be surprised to know that individuals like Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Beethoven, Louis Pasteur, Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Nelson Rockefeller and many others had an learning disability. They yearned to learn and they did and excelled in what they wanted to learn but in a different way.To know more about learning disabilities read on…· Characteristics of an affected individual· Causes· Learning disabilities that exist.· Education is an affected person’s life· Remedial measure· Is Schooling okay for such kids· Problems associated with such kids· Management of the same Characteristics of an affected individualThe learning capacity of a person affected with LD is quiet obvious. He is either slow in learning and understanding things or the development process in his body is really slow when compared to a normal human being. There are chances that a person having LD may have a physical disability. But not necessary that all physically handicapped people have a Learning disability. Sometimes we cannot detect the learning disability around us. We sometimes feel that the person is alazy and undisciplined to follow what you have to say. In real they are having a learning disability. Some of the most common characteristics that are obvious in an affected person are as followsShort attention span/easily distractedBad memory power/easily forgets thingsDifficulty following directionsPoor reasoning abilityInability to set realistic goalsPoor reading ability (e.g., adds, omits, skips words when reading)Difficulty distinguishing between p, g, b, d, and qReads "on" for "no", "was" for "saw", etc.Difficulty with concepts left-right, above-below, up-down, yesterday-tomorrow, in-out, etc.Difficulty telling timeDifficulty writingPoor eye-hand coordinationClumsy/accident proneDisorganized/loses thingsQuick tempered/easily irritatedImpulsiveGets caught up in detailsChildish and bossy behaviorNeeds constant recognitionOne must note that’s all people with a learning disability need not show all the characteristics mentioned above. Likewise, a person showing any or many of these characteristics is not necessarily a person with a learning disability.Learning disabilities that existDyslexia, perhaps the most commonly known, is primarily used to describe difficulty with language processing and its impact on reading, writing, and spelling.Dysgraphia involves difficulty with writing. Problems might be seen in the actual motor patterns used in writing. Also characteristic are difficulties with spelling and the formulation of written composition.Dyscalculia involves difficulty with math skills and impacts math computation. Memory of math facts, concepts of time, money, and musical concepts can also be impacted.Dyspraxia (Apraxia) is a difficulty with motor planning, and impacts upon a person's ability to coordinate appropriate body movements.Auditory Discrimination is a key component of efficient language use, and is necessary to "break the code" for reading. It involves being able to perceive the differences between speech sounds, and to sequence these sounds into meaningful words.Visual Perception is critical to the reading and writing processes as it addresses the ability to notice important details and assign meaning to what is seen.Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD/ADHD) may co-occur with learning disabilities (incidence estimates vary). Features can include: marked over-activity, distractibility, and/or impulsivity which in turn can interfere with an individual's availability to benefit from instructionCauses of Learning DisabilityAccording to many research groups, the learning disability is a result of some complication during a pregnancy or during child birth or immediately after the baby is born. But these research results are abstract. There is no single definite reason as to why someone has a learning disability. There are many factors that result in a disability. It is estimated that more number of males are affected than females with learning disability. They may or may not be hereditary. Of the researches done till date, about 200 reasons have been identified and many more still under the researchers nose. They can be categorized as follows.During the birth of a baby it is very important that there is enough supply of oxygen to the baby’s brain. Lack of which may result in complications later on leading to a LD. A premature birth may also be one of the reasons. Like wise, a very fast birth or a very slow birth can also trigger the disability.It can also be a genetic factor. The genes inherited from the parents may reflect a Rh blood incompatibility. Disability like Down’s syndrome is totally an error in the metabolism.If the pregnant mother has experienced any mal-nutrition or had complications like German measles, radiations or tumors the baby might be affected.Not only before birth but children affected with severe chicken pox, whooping cough, high fevers etc can also be victims.The environment also play a vital role in the development of a brain.Malnutrition and very little opportunity for intellectual stimulation might affect the development.
What is an evaluation?
Evaluation is the process for determining whether a child has a disability and needs special education and related services. It’s the first step in developing an educational program that will help the child learn. A full and individual initial evaluation must be done before the initial provision of any special education or related services to a child with a disability, and students must be reevaluated at least once every three years.Evaluation involves gathering information from a variety of sources about a child’s functioning and development in all areas of suspected disability, including information provided by the parent. The evaluation may look at cognitive, behavioral, physical, and developmental factors, as well as other areas. All this information is used to determine the child’s educational needs.Why have an evaluation?A full and individual educational evaluation serves many important purposes:Identification. It can identify children who have delays or learning problems and may need special education and related services as a result.Eligibility. It can determine whether your child is a child with a disability and need special education and related services.Planning an Individualized Education Program (IEP). It provides information that can help the parent and the school develop an appropriate IEP for the child.Instructional strategies. It can help determine what strategies may be most effective in helping the child learn.Measuring progress. It establishes a baseline for measuring the child’s educational progress. The evaluation process establishes a foundation for developing an appropriate educational programWhat measures are used to evaluate a child?No single test may be used as the sole measure for determining whether a child has a disability or for determining an appropriate educational program for your child. Both formal and informal tests and other evaluation measures are important in determining the special education and related services your child needs.Testing measures a child’s ability or performance by scoring the child’s responses to a set of questions or tasks. It provides a snapshot of a child and the child’s performance on a particular day. Formal test data is useful in predicting how well a child might be expected to perform in school. It also provides information about unique learning needs.Other measures of a child’s growth and development, such as observation or interviews with parents and others who know the child, provide vital information on how the child functions in different settings and circumstances. Evaluation also includes other types of information such as:medical informationcomparisons of the child’s progress to typical expectations of child developmentobservations of how the child functions in school, at home, or in the communityinterviews with parents and school staffAs a parent, you have a wealth of information about the development and needs of your child. When combined with the results of tests and other evaluation materials, this information can be used to make decisions about your child’s appropriate educational program.What types of tests are available?There are many types of tests that are used to measure student progress. Here are a few important terms parents may need to know.Group tests. Group achievement tests may not be used to determine eligibility for special services. They furnish information about how a child performs in relation to others of the same age or grade level, but they do not identify an individual student’s pattern of strengths and needs.Individual tests. Tests administered individually to your child can clarify the special education and related services your child needs to progress in school.Curriculum-based assessments (CBAs) or curriculum- based measurements (CBMs). These types of tests are developed by school staff to examine the progress a child has made in learning the specific materials the teacher has presented to the class. They can be useful tools for teachers and parents in determining whether learning is taking place, but they must never be used to determine eligibility for services.Standardized tests. Standardized tests are rigorously developed by experts to be used with large populations of students. The tests are administered according to specific standards. Standardized tests can evaluate what a child has already learned (achievement), or predict what a child may be capable of doing in the future (aptitude).Norm-referenced tests. Norm-referenced tests are standardized tests that compare a child’s performance to that of peers. They can tell you where your child stands in relation to other children of the same age or grade.Criterion-referenced tests. These tests measure what the child is able to do or the specific skills a child has mastered. Criterion-referenced tests do not assess a child’s standing in a group but the child’s performance measured against standard criteria. They may compare a child’s present performance with past performance as a way of measuring progressWhat is functional assessment?While tests are an important part of a full and individual evaluation, sometimes what children can do or need to learn is not reflected in their scores. A functional assessment looks at how a child actually functions at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.Functional assessment for some students includes looking at reading, writing, and math skills. For others, evaluating whether the student is able to ride the city bus, dress independently, or handle money might be more appropriate.What is functional behavioral assessment?When a child has behavior problems that do not respond to standard interventions, a functional behavioral assessment can provide additional information to help the team plan more effective interventions A clear description of the problem behavior.Observations of the child at different times and in different settings. These observations should record (1) what was happening in the environment before the behavior occurred, (2) what the actual behavior was, and (3) what the student achieved as a result of the behavior.Positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address that behavior, and to teach behavior skills.Once the functional behavior assessment has been completed, the results may be used to write a behavior intervention plan or to develop behavior goals for the individualized education program.How are evaluation results helpfulAfter your child’s evaluation is complete, you’ll meet with a group of qualified professionals to discuss the results and determine whether your child has a disability under IDEA. The school must provide you with a copy of the evaluation report and a written determination of eligibility.If the team determines, based on the evaluation results, that your child is eligible for special education and related services, the next step is to develop an IEP to meet your child’s needs.The goals and objectives the IEP team develops relate directly to the strengths and needs that were identified through evaluation.It’s important for you to understand the results of your child’s evaluation before beginning to develop an IEP. Parents should ask to have the evaluation results explained to them in plain language by a qualified professional.You will want to request the evaluation summary report before meeting with other members of the IEP team to develop the IEP. Reviewing the results in a comfortable environment before developing the IEP can reduce stress for parents and provide time to consider whether the results fit their own observations and experiences with their child.When are students reevaluated?Students receiving special education services must be reevaluated if conditions warrant a reevaluation, or if the child’s parents or teacher requests a reevaluation. . The results are used to monitor the child’s progress in meeting the goals and objectives in his or her IEP The IEP team then decides if any additional data is needed to determine if the child continues to have a disability and continues to need special education and related services.

Special Needs

Special educational needsEvery child with special educational needs must reach his or her full potential in school, and make a successful transition to adulthood and the world of further and higher education, training or work.To promote the welfare and interests of children with Autism,ADHD, Down Syndrome and specific learning disabilities and to improve the support they receive, we provides a wide range of materials for teachers, parents and others working with children with sp. needs.I hope this blog blog would prove valuable for parents, schools, teachers, professionals.