Dr. William Dodson, expert on ADHD issues states that it is estimated that those with ADHD receive 20,000 more negative messages by age 12 than those without the condition. This may be due to the characteristics of ADHD including:
Unable to give close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes
Struggles to follow-through on instructions
Avoids or dislikes task requiring sustained mental effort
Losing things necessary for task or activities
unorganized and messy.
Children, teens and adults with ADHD more than likely grew up hearing, “you’re lazy and can’t do anything right.” Low self-esteem develops from constant negative feedback believing they are not smart or good enough.
The following articles provide tips, resources and information on ways to build self-confidence in kids with ADHD:
Writing IEP goals and objectives includes collecting data to track the progress of the special needs student. The following links and resources includes information on measuring progression, organizing data and tracking IEP goals
stopbullying.gov– A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human services. Provides resources on State laws and policies, training information and school bullying prevention tips.
Wrightslaw. A webpage offering information on laws and disability harassment including the legal obligation of the school.
Sequence is defined as a set of related events, movements, or things that follow each other in a particular order. For many children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities, the ability to arrange thoughts, information and language may be a challenge due to issues with their executive function capabilities. The following resources, tips and strategies will help you teach sequencing skills.
Matching task activities provide children with special needs an opportunity to learn in a fun, interactive way. Matching activities provide the opportunity for children and adults to master a skill through repetition and leads to higher learning. Matching and sorting helps to strengthen memory and identify the relationship between two or more items. Below are links to worksheets and matching activities.
The individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a written plan that is developed for infant and toddlers up to the age of 3. It is Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act responsible for developing and implementing statewide early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
The difference between IFSP and an IEP, is that ISFP is written plan designed for the family while the IEP focus is the student. ISFP should include the following information:
Your child’s level of functioning and needs
Family information Natural environment
Where your child receives services
Number of sessions your child will receive for the service
Who will pay for the service
Services provided through early intervention based on your child’s needs include:
Occupational and physical therapy
Special education service
Speech and language therapy
Medical and nursing service
Psychological and social work services
Health services necessary for your child to benefit from other early intervention services
Family training, counseling, and home visits
Transportation to enable your child and family to receive early intervention services
Respite care and other family support services
Individualized family service plan team members include:
Parent or caregiver
Other family members
An advocate if requested by the parents
A service coordinator is provided to assist and enable an infant or a toddler with a disability and the family to receive services. The service coordinator also:
Coordinates early intervention services and other services
Facilitates and participates in the development, and evaluation of the plan
Ensures services are provided in a timely manner
Facilitate the development of a transition plan to preschool, or to other services.
Nonverbal Learning Disorder is a disorder you may or nay not heard of. It shares similar characteristics to autism such as the challenge in reading body language but is also quite different. By learning the signs and symptoms of nonverbal learning disorder, the better chance you have in using effective teaching strategies.
Nonverbal learning disorder is defines as a person who has difficulty in interpreting and understanding non verbal cues in the environment If 93% of how we communicate is nonverbal, a person with nonverbal learning disorder is only getting 7% of daily communication.
Dr. Byron P. Rouke of the University of Windsor developed the following criteria to assess nonverbal learning disorder:
Perceptual deficits usually on the left side of the body. The child has difficulty understanding or perceiving information through the skin of both hands but the left hand has more difficulty than the right.
Tends to be clumsy
Difficulty with visual-spatial organizational skills. Finds it difficult to organize notes.
Difficulty when encountering new information.
Difficulty in knowing what is expected of you and hard to see the bigger picture
Distort sense of time. Time is abstract and non-linear
Well-developed, rote and verbal capacity
Repetitive way of speaking
Signs and Symptoms
Excellent vocabulary and verbal expression
Excellent memory skills
unable to see the bigger picture
Poor motor and coordination skills
Difficulty with reading
Difficulty with math reading problems
Fear of new situations
May have symptoms of anxiety, depression
Misreads body language
Better auditory processing skills than visual processing skills
Focus on details
Teaching Strategies For Parents and Teachers
Give assignments in chunks
Give constructive feedback
Create a daily class routine and stick to them
Write the class schedule on the board
Provide several verbal cues before transition
Give the student time to preview and prepare for new activities such as group projects
Offer added verbal explanations when the student or child seems confused
Teach in sequential steps
Rondalyn Varney Whitney/OTR, Nonverbal learning disorder: Understanding and coping with NLD and Aspergers: What parents and teachers need to know (2008)
Woliver, Robbie (2008) Alphabet Kids: From ADD to Zellwer Syndrome.
Tactile difficulties occur when the nervous system dysfunctions and the brain is unable to process information through the senses. Some children and adults with this form of sensory processing disorder will be over sensitive to touch. Between 5 to 13 percent of the population is diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.
Common Signs of Tactile Difficulties
Difficulty with having nails cut or teeth brushed
Becomes upset when hair is washed
Dislikes any clothing with tags including clothes, hats, shoes, and complains about the type of fabric and the style
Dislikes getting their hands dirty or messy
Overreacts when they are touched by other people
Oversensitive to temperature change
Over or under reacts to pain
Prefers deep pressure touch rather than light touch
Avoids messy textures
Prefers pants and long sleeves in hot weather
Eyes may be sensitive to cold wind
Avoids walking barefoot
Avoids standing close to other people
May be anxious when physically close to other people
Strategies for Handling Tactile Defensiveness
Use deep pressure
use weighted items including blankets, vest and backpacks
Seek out an OT
Utilize a sensory diet
Minimize time expected to stand and wait in line by having the child go first or last in line
Allow the child to wear a jacket indoors
Encourage the child to brush his or her body with a natural brush during bath time
Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that is the result of a ring that develops when a chromosome breaks in two places and the short arm of a chromosome has merged with the tip of the long arm.
This anomaly causes recurrent seizures during childhood. It is reported that the seizure can occur at anytime from during the day time to sleeping at night, it is very rare. In fact only 50 cases have been reported in research journals. However, this form of epilepsy can occur from birth to 17 years old.
What makes this rare form of seizures unique is that it does not respond to anti-epileptic medication. Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) tends to be successful as well as the Ketogenic diet in reducing the number of seizures.
Children diagnosed with Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome typically experience several types of seizures including:
Non-convulsive status epilepticus
Frontal lobe seizures
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures
Signs and Symptoms
Children with Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome generally face challenges in the area of behavioral, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. In some instances, children may display physical characteristics including slow growth, short stature and a small size head.
Signs and Symptoms of Intellectual Disability
Decrease learning ability
Delays in crawling
Difficulty solving problems
Lack of curiosity
Language and speech delays
Poor motor skills
Short attention span
Use short and simple sentences
use strategies for remembering such as clustering information together
Provide immediate feedback
Signs and Symptoms of learning disabilities
Difficulty recognizing non-verbal cues such as facial expression