Read and Spell Blog

Auditory processing disorder in children
Read and Spell blog
Auditory processing disorder in children

Auditory processing disorder in children

An auditory processing disorder can cause difficulties with understanding in listening.

Understanding ADHD and self-esteem in the classroom
Read and Spell blog
ADHD and self-esteem

ADHD and self-esteem

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is an umbrella term for attention difficulties with and without hyperactivity. A child who struggles with ADHD can have a hard time paying attention at home and in school. He or she may become easily distracted, struggle to follow instructions, and/or find it challenging to stay on task.

Reading comprehension can be a problem and writing difficulties such as poor spelling, messy handwriting and run-on sentences may be observed. Additionally, when hyperactivity is present, a child might be fidgety or impulsive which can lead to social and behavioral problems.

Because attention difficulties can affect academic performance, when they go undiagnosed children with ADHD may believe they are less capable or not as intelligent as their peers. Having a negative self-image can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, which in turn may result in acting out and disciplinary action at school.

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5 Types of learning difficulties and how to help
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5 Types of learning difficulties

5 Types of learning difficulties

A learning difficulty is a condition that can cause an individual to experience problems in a traditional classroom learning context. It may interfere with literacy skills development and math/maths and can also affect memory, ability to focus and organizational skills. A child or adult with a learning difficulty may require additional time to complete assignments at school and can often benefit from strategy instruction and classroom accommodations, such as material delivered in special fonts or the ability to use a computer to take notes.

No two individuals with a learning difficulty are exactly alike and many conditions, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, exist on a wide-spectrum. There is also dyspraxia, a motor-skills difficulty that can affect a learner’s ability to write by hand, and may impact on planning skills. It’s not uncommon for learning difficulties and motor-skills difficulties to co-present. For example, dyslexia and dyspraxia, or ADD/ADHD and dyspraxia can occur together.

helping students in special education
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3 Ways to help students in special education

3 Ways to help students in special education

There a number of reasons why a child may need to attend a special education program at school. Special education can help learners who struggle with developmental delays, such as dyspraxia or apraxia of speech, and/or children who experience challenges with literacy and numeracy because of a specific learning difference.

It may also be that a physical impairment is affecting a student’s ability to learn in the same way as his or her peers and specific accommodations and materials are necessary. The basic requirement for a program to be considered special education is that it must address the individual learner’s needs in a way that wouldn’t be possible in a mainstream classroom. But just because a child receives extra support, it doesn't mean they are less intelligent or talented than their peers.

How to know when handwriting problems are caused by dysgraphia or dyspraxia
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3 Common handwriting problems in children

3 Common handwriting problems in children

Learning how to write is one of the most important things a child will do when he or she begins school. That’s because writing offers a means for self-expression and reflecting on the work of others, but it’s also how knowledge and learning is measured in our society. Writing can be done on a computer or through dictation using speech-to-text technology, but it’s more common for children to learn how to write by hand. This happens between the ages of 4 and 5 and involves becoming familiar with the letters of the alphabet, mastering the pen strokes used to form letters, and practicing with holding the pen or pencil in a tripod grip.

It’s common for new writers to struggle with letter formation, spacing and posture in the beginning, but most are able to produce clear and legible text by the end of the second grade. However, there are some children who continue to struggle with the mechanics of handwriting beyond age 7 or 8. For these learners, writing is often slow and labored, and may cause high levels of stress, frustration, anxiety, and embarrassment at school.

Adult ADD Checklist of symptoms to look out for
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An Adult ADD Checklist

An Adult ADD Checklist

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are commonly discussed in reference to school-age children, but some estimates suggest that up to 4% of the adult population also struggles with attention difficulties. The symptoms include difficulty focusing, impulsivity, forgetfulness, and sometimes periods of hyper-focus.

Individuals with attention difficulties may have trouble sleeping and staying organized. They can be prone to emotional outbursts and can feel overly flustered and anxious when under stress. Someone with an undiagnosed learning difficulty may struggle with a secret sense of shame, believing they are not as smart or as capable as their peers. Poor impulse control is also common. Attention difficulties are not something you grow out of, but many adults develop coping skills to help them get by.

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ADD vs ADHD
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ADD vs ADHD

ADD vs ADHD

Many educators have worked with bright and motivated children who struggle to perform at school due to attention difficulties. This is not unusual given attention difficulties are among the most common childhood behavioral disorders (1).

But if you are confused by the terminology surrounding attention difficulties, especially ADD vs ADHD, you’re not alone. So, what’s the difference?

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7 ADHD blogs you'll want to read
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7 ADHD blogs to check out

7 ADHD blogs to check out

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, commonly referred to as ADHD, is a learning difficulty experienced by children and adults. In younger individuals it may be characterized by an inability to sit still at school, difficulty staying focussed, impulsive outbursts in the classroom, tantrums at home, and trouble staying organized.

A child with ADHD can have messy handwriting and a hard time paying attention during lessons, which may result in poor academic performance. He or she might also struggle with social skills and develop a negative self-image that can lead to acting out. Adults with ADHD find their hyperactivity lessons with age but many still experience difficulties staying focused, prioritizing, planning, and completing projects.

Signs of a gifted child in the classroom
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7 Signs of a gifted child

7 Signs of a gifted child

Giftedness is often defined as an intellectual ability linked to an IQ score of 130 or more. However, not all gifted children excel in an academic area. Sometimes giftedness shows up as a high creative, artistic, musical and/or leadership ability relative to same-age peers.

Giftedness can be focused in a single skill, or it can be more general. It's also important for parents and educators to understand that giftedness can sometimes come alongside specific learning differences that affect performance at school.

In these situations it's important to help a child develop their talents while also overcoming any challenges posed by a learning difficulty.

In some cases of giftedness, it may be appropriate for a child to attend a special program or a school specifically for gifted children. The aim is to ensure ample opportunities for advancement in a classroom environment that is sensitive to the child's needs and provides adequate stimulation.

With access to the right resources and emotional and academic support, every gifted child can achieve their full potential at school.

Writing in all caps
Read and Spell blog
Writing in all caps

Writing in all caps

Capital and lower-case letters can look similar, like 'O' and ‘o,’ or they can look very different, like ‘A’ and ‘a.’ Nonetheless we still recognize that they are the same letter. This is because when children first start reading and writing they learn to associate two forms with the same sound. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that upper and lower-case letters are processed by the brain in the same way for everyone. In fact, incongruent capital/lowercase forms may be problematic for unskilled readers.

10 Fluency strategies for struggling readers
Read and Spell blog
10 Fluency strategies for struggling readers

10 Fluency strategies for struggling readers

Literacy skills are one of the most important areas of ability children develop in their first few years at school. Most children begin by sounding out words and learning to recognize common vocabulary from books and classroom materials. With sight reading and more spelling practice comes greater fluency.

Reading then speeds up and comprehension of more complex texts becomes possible as vocabulary knowledge grows exponentially. However, not all students find learning to read such an easy process. Struggling readers can quickly fall behind their peers and may develop low self-esteem and a lack of confidence as a result.

Because reading ability affects performance across all areas of the curriculum, including writing skills, it’s important to provide adequate strategy training as early as possible. Ideally remediation is tailored to the individual student’s needs, particularly when a learning difficulty is involved.