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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Help Your child Get Organised

Most kids generate a chaos and disorganization - might flit from one thing to the next — forgetting books at school, leaving towels on the floor, and failing to finish projects once started. You'd like them to be more organized and to stay focused on tasks, such as homework. Is it possible?

Yes, it is. A few kids seem naturally organized, but for the rest, organization is a skill learned over time. With help and some practice, kids can develop an effective approach to getting stuff done. And the parents are the perfect persons to teach their children, even if they don't feel all that organized themselves!

For kids, all tasks can be broken down into a 1-2-3 process.

1.Getting organized means a kid gets where he or she needs to be and gathers the supplies needed to complete the task.

2.Staying focused means sticking with the task and learning to say "no" to distractions.

3.Getting it done means finishing up, checking your work, and putting on the finishing touches, like remembering to put a homework paper in the right folder and putting the folder inside the backpack so it's ready for the next day.

Once kids know these steps — and how to apply them — they can start tackling tasks more independently. That means homework, chores, and other tasks will get done with increasing consistency and efficiency. Of course, kids will still need parental help and guidance, but you probably won't have to nag as much.

Not only is it practical to teach these skills, but knowing how to get stuff done will help your child feel more competent and effective. Kids feel self-confident and proud when they're able to accomplish their tasks and responsibilities. They're also sure to be pleased when they find they have some extra free time to do what they'd like to do.

Here's how you might walk your child through the steps:

1. Getting Organized:

Explain that this step is all about getting ready. It's about figuring out what kids need to do and gathering any necessary items.For instance: "So you have a book report to write. What do you need to do to get started?" Help your child make a list of things like: Choose a book. Make sure the book is OK with the teacher. Write down the book and the author's name. Check the book out of the library. Mark the due date on a calendar.

Then help your child think of the supplies needed: The book, some note cards, a pen for taking notes, the teacher's list of questions to answer, and a report cover. Have your child gather the supplies where the work will take place.

As the project progresses, show your child how to use the list to check off what's already done and get ready for what's next. Demonstrate how to add to the list, too. Coach your child to think, "OK, I did these things. Now, what's next? Oh yeah, start reading the book" and to add things to the list like finish the book, read over my teacher's directions, start writing the report.



2. Staying Focused:

Explain that this part is about doing it and sticking with the job. Tell kids this means doing what you're supposed to do, following what's on the list, and sticking with it.

It also means focusing when there's something else your child would rather be doing — the hardest part of all! Help kids learn how to handle and resist these inevitable temptations. While working on the report, a competing idea might pop into your child's head: "I feel like shooting some hoops now." Teach kids to challenge that impulse by asking themselves "Is that what I'm supposed to be doing?"

Explain that a tiny break to stretch a little and then get right back to the task at hand is OK. Then kids can make a plan to shoot hoops after the work is done. Let them know that staying focused is tough sometimes, but it gets easier with practice.

3. Getting it Done:

Explain that this is the part when kids will be finishing up the job. Talk about things like copying work neatly and asking a parent to read it over to help find any mistakes. Coach your child to take those important final steps: putting his or her name on the report, placing it in a report cover, putting the report in the correct school folder, and putting the folder in the backpack so it's ready to be turned in.

How to Start

Introduce the Idea

Start the conversation by using the examples.Brainstorm about what might be easier or better if your child was more organized and focused. Maybe homework would get done faster, there would be more play time, and there would be less nagging about chores. Then there's the added bonus of your child feeling proud and you being proud, too.

Set Expectations

Be clear, in a kind way, that you expect your kids to work on these skills and that you'll be there to help along the way.

Make a Plan

Decide on one thing to focus on first. You can come up with three things and let your child choose one. Or if homework or a particular chore has been a problem, that's the natural place to begin.

Get Comfortable in Your Role

For the best results, you'll want to be a low-key coach. You can ask questions that will help kids get on track and stay there. But use these questions to prompt their thought process about what needs to be done. Praise progress, but don't go overboard. The self-satisfaction kids will feel will be a more powerful motivator. Also, be sure to ask your child's opinion of how things are going so far.

Encourage kids to start seeing tasks as a series of questions and answers. Suggest that they ask these questions out loud and then answer them. These questions are the ones you hope will eventually live inside a child's head. And with practice, they'll learn to ask them without being prompted.

Work together to come up with questions that need to be asked so the chosen task can be completed. You might even jot them down on index cards. Start by asking the questions and having your child answer. Later, transfer responsibility for the questions from you to your child.

Things to Remember

It will take time to teach kids how to break down tasks into steps. It also will take time for them to learn how to apply these skills to what needs to be done. Sometimes, it will seem simpler just to do it for them. It certainly would take less time. But the trouble is that kids don't learn how to be independent and successful if their parents swoop in every time a situation is challenging or complex.

why it's worth your time and effort:

Kids learn new skills that they'll need — how to pour a bowl of cereal, tie shoes, match clothes, complete a homework assignment.

They'll develop a sense of independence. The child who dresses himself or herself today at age 4 feels like a big kid. It's a good feeling that will deepen over time as they learn to do even more without help. From these good feelings, kids begin to form a belief about themselves. In short, "I can do it."

Your firm but kind expectations that your kids should start tackling certain jobs on their own send a strong message. You reinforce their independence and encourage them to accept a certain level of responsibility. Kids learn that others will set expectations and that they can meet them.

This kind of teaching can be a very loving gesture. You're taking the time to show your child how to do something — with interest, patience, love, kindness, and his or her best interests at heart. This will make kids feel cared for and loved. Think of it as filling up a child's toolbox with crucial life tools.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Testing and assessment

Testing and assessment is ongoing with children in special education programs. Some are formal, normed and standardized. Formal tests are used to compare populations as well as evaluating individual children. Some are less formal and used for ongoing assessment of a students progress in meeting his or her IEP goals. These can include curriculum based assessment, using chapter tests from a text, or teacher made tests, created to measure specific goals on a child's IEP.

1. Intelligence Testing

Intelligence testing is usually done individually, although there are group tests used to identify students for further testing or for accelerated or gifted programs. Group tests are not considered as reliable as individual tests, and Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores generated by these tests are not included in confidential student documents, such as an Evaluation Report, because their purpose is screening.

The Intelligence Tests considered the most reliable are the Stanford Binet and the Wechsler Individual Scale for Children.

2. Standardized Tests of Achievement

There are two forms of achievement tests: those used to evaluate large groups, such as schools or entire school districts. Others are individualized, to assess individual students. Tests used for large groups include annual state assessments for No Child Left Behind, (NCLB) and well known standardized tests such as Iowa Basics and Terra Nova tests.

3. Individualized Achievement Tests

Individualized Achievement Tests are criterion referenced and standardized tests that are often used for the present levels part of an IEP. These tests are designed to be administered in individual sessions, and provide grade equivalent, standardized and age equivalent scores as well as diagnostic information that is helpful when preparing to design an IEP and an educational program.

4. Tests of Functional Behavior

Children with severe cognitive disabilities and autism need to be evaluated to identify areas of function or life skills that they need to learn in order to gain functional independence. The best known, ABBLS, was designed to use with an applied behavioral approach (ABA.) Other assessments of function include the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Addition.

5. Curriculum Based Assessment (CBA)

Curriculum Based Assessments are criterion based tests, usually based on what the child is learning in the curriculum. Some are formal, such as the tests that are developed to evaluate chapters in mathematical text books. Spelling tests are Curriculum Based Assessments, as are multiple choice tests designed to evaluate a student's retention of social studies curricular information.

6. Teacher Made Assessment

Jerry WebsterTeacher made assessments are criterion based. Teachers design them to evaluate specific IEP goals. Teacher made assessments can be paper tests, picture or word cards, or even tasks (sort by color, etc.) for which the teacher writes a task analysis and provides the materials.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

AIKYA's Blog - Special Needs Resources: Calling all parents of children with Intellectual and developmental disabilities to Act now !!

AIKYA's Blog - Special Needs Resources: Calling all parents of children with Intellectual and developmental disabilities to Act now !!

Calling all parents of children with Intellectual and developmental disabilities to Act now !!

Calling all parents of children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities :

Act fast, join the campaign :

Back ground :

National Trust Act came into existence because of the hard struggle put up by the parents of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities under the banner of Parivaar. It was Parivaar  leaders who played a very important role in drafting the National Trust Act and when the National Trust Act was passed by the Parliament at the end of the 20th century, we the parents of persons with these disabilities hailed it as the "Gift of the Millennium".

How was the National Trust Act enacted?

 It was brought in to serve the specific needs of the four disabilities covered by this Act. Hence, in principle it is a “service Act”. It serves the specific needs of these disabilities. Following are the objectives of the NT Act:

to enable and empower persons with (intellectual and developmental disabilities) to live as independently and as fully as possible within and as close to the community to which they belong;

to strengthen facilities to provide support to persons with (these) disability to live within their own families;

to extend support to the registered organizations to provide need based services during period of crisis in the family of persons with (these) disability;

to deal with problems a persons with (these) disability who do not have family support;

to promote measures for the care and protection of persons with (these) disability in the event of death of their parent or guardian;

to evolve procedure for appointment of guardians and trustees for persons with (these) disability requiring such protection;

to facilitate the realization of equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation of persons with (these) disability.

With these laudable objectives the National Trust has been working and during the last decade of its existence it has launched lot of programmes and schemes which has brought much needed relief to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But above all the National Trust Act has provided an answer to the most worrying question of the parents “After us What?”

The objectives of National Trust has brought much needed assurance to the parents and families of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities that their children’s future is secure under the provisions of the National Trust Act.

By repealing such an important Act will bring disastrous consequences for the persons with these disabilities, their parents and families.

NT act is basically a service Act providing the services needed by persons with disabilities namely Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and multiple disabilities.

The NT Act is dear to parents because it is the parents' own creation. It is true that the NT Act as it exists today is not perfect. In the changed circumstances it is necessary to revise it and certainly it should be brought in consonance with the provisions of UNCRPD. However, we parents firmly believe that the basic objectives of the NT Act are still very much valid even in these changed circumstances.

The objectives of the National Trust are very much valid even today and it is probably the only disability Act in India which is very progressive and comes very near to the ideals and provisions of the UNCRPD. It is therefore, necessary that the National Trust should be strengthened and its functioning is made more effective.

Repealing such an important Act will bring disastrous consequences for the persons with these disabilities, their parents and families.