4 Tips On Task Initiation For Children and Adults

Task Initiation is often a challenge for children and adults with an executive functioning disorder. For a child, it may be lack of initiative in doing homework while for an adult, it may include forgetting or putting off paying bills. Children and adults with task initiation issues generally have a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, Intellectual disability or a learning disorder.

Signs of a task initiation impaired executive functioning skill would be someone having difficulty in getting started on a task and keeping the effort needed in order to complete the task. A child or an adult require external cues in order to complete the task. Also, it will require understanding what is expected and understanding the task. Here are a few strategies:

  1. Limit Distractions. In the classroom any type of added sensory input can defer the student from getting started in their school work.
  2. Create a List. Visual support will help to increase getting the work done for a school-age child, you may want to create a to-do list which the steps are broken down into smaller steps. When a person with an executive function is given a task, it may be overwhelming, making it more difficult to get started.
  3. Use Cues. A clock or a timer will help the child or adult stay on time and understanding the amount of time it will take to complete a task
  4. Break task down. Create where the work is done in chunks so that the work will not be as overwhelming for the student.

Book Review: My Belly Has Two Buttons: A Tubie Story


Book Review: My Belly has Two Buttons: A Tubie Buttons

Author: Meikele Lee
Illustrator: Rebecca Robertson
Pages: 20

Did you know that according to the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation, there are over 300 conditions that require children to receive a nutritional support through tube-feeding which is expected to continue to rise?  The decision to use a feeding tube can be frightening for parents, children and siblings alike. Meikele Lee, author, mom and pediatric feeding disorder advocate, wrote this book  through the eyes  of 2-year-old Nico who takes the reader through his own journey of using a G-tube describes the meaning of NPO (nothing by mouth) and his MIC-KEY. A MIC-KEY button is used to conceal the tube as well as decrease the risk of snagging and removing the G-Tube. Nico explains his day of using a feeding bag. I enjoyed reading this book. The book does a great job in describing the purpose of a  g-tube and would be an appropriate book for children new to using a feeding tube, family members including siblings, extended family member and teachers interested in expanding disability educational programs in the school.

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World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. A campaign designed to create a single voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down Syndrome. Resources on this page include information on inspiring articles and facts on people with Down Syndrome.

Post From Special Needs Resource Blog:

20 Facts You Should Know About Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome Characteristics

Facts About Down Syndrome (Infographic)

Top Books On Down Syndrome For Parents and Professionals

The following are articles highlighting stories around the country on Down syndrome:

Clemson Student With Down Syndrome To Compete In Pageant

Couple with Down Syndrome Celebrate 22 Years of Marriage

Displaying The Myths of Down’s Syndrome

First Person With Down Syndrome Finishes Local Half-Marathon

Funny Down Syndrome Ad Will Change The Way You Feel about “Special Needs”

Get To Know Madeline Stuart, The World’s First Supermodel With Down Syndrome

Swimmers with Down Syndrome Find Empowerment in the Pool

Walgreens Features Model With Down Syndrome

Woman With Down Syndrome Starts Her Own Bakery

World Syndrome Day Marked In Georgia

30 Must-Know ADHD Teaching Resources

Studies show that in the United States, 6.4 million children between the ages of 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. The average age of ADHD diagnosis is 7. Males are almost three times to be diagnosed with ADHD than females.

30-adhd-teaching

The DSM-V defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of attention and or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning of development. Inattention symptoms include the following:

  1. often fails to give close attention to details
  2. often has difficulty sustaining attention in task or play activities
  3. often does not listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often does not follow through on instructions
  5. Often has difficulty organizing task and activities often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in task that requires sustained mental effort.

Hyperactive symptoms include:

  1. trouble paying attention
  2. restlessness
  3. excessive talking
  4. loud interaction with others
  5. frequent interventions
  6. may have a quick temper

The following links provide tools, resources and information for parents and special education educators on providing support to children diagnosed with ADHD.

Accommodations

Information on classroom accommodations including teaching techniques, learning style, schedule, environment, material, assistance and behavior management.

8 easy classroom accommodations for students with ADHD( Blue Mango)

10 ways to support students with hyperactivity and attention needs  (The Starr Spangled Planner)

Accommodations for ADHD students (ADDCoach4U)

Classroom accommodations for ADHD(Understood)

Every 504 plan should include these ADHD accommodations (ADDitude)

Top 20 ADHD accommodations and modifications that work (Promoting Success Blog)

Classroom Tips and Strategies

The following links are tips and strategies that are specific to teaching techniques and helpful information on behavior approaches, rewards, eliminating distractions and seating arrangements

15 strategies to help students with ADHD (Student Savvy)

30 ideas for teaching children with ADHD (Kelly Bear)

50 practical strategies for teaching ADHD without drugs (ASCD Edge)

ADHD and piano lesson teaching strategies (Teach Piano Today)

ADD/ADHD in the classroom: Tips for teachers and parents (hsana.org)

ADHD Teaching Strategies for the Classroom( Promoting Success Blog)

Classroom interventions for ADHD (pdf)

Classroom rules that keep student’s attention on learning (Additude)

Helping the student with ADHD in the classroom (LDonline)

How can teachers help students with ADHD (Education World)

Ideas and strategies for kids with ADD and learning disabilities (Child Development Institute)

Setting up the classroom (ADD in Schools)

Supporting students with ADHD (Free Spirit Publishing)

Teaching students with ADHD: Instructional strategies and practice (U.S. Department of Education)

Tips for teaching students with ADHD(ADHD Kids Rock)

Concentration

Tips and information from websites on helping students concentrate in the classroom.

5 simple concentration building techniques for kids with ADHD (Empowering Parents)

5 ways to improve your child’s focus (Understood)

17 ways to help students with ADHD concentrate (Edutopia)

Ways to improve concentration in kids with ADHD (Brain Balance)

Executive Functioning

Executive functioning helps students analyze a task, planning, organization, time management and finishing a task. The following links provide articles on understand executive functioning and its relationship to ADHD.

Classroom strategies for executive functioning (Understood)

Executive functioning explained and 20 strategies for success (Minds in Bloom)

Executive function skills (CHADD)

Executive Functioning Issues (Understood)

Handwriting for kids with ADHD (Look! We’re Learning)

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Image result for duchenne muscular dystrophy awareness month

February 13th is the first day of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Week. Here are some facts on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy:

  • It is one of the nine types of muscular dystrophies
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy was first described by French neurologist, Guillaune Benjamin Amand Duchenne in the 1860’s.
  • It is an inherited disorder
  • It is caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that bonds the muscle cell
  • It is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration
  • It occurs in about 1 out of every 3,600 male infants
  • Risks include a family history of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Symptoms start appearing between the ages of 3-5.
  • By the age of 12, most males affected may lose their ability to walk
  • Breathing difficulties and heart disease usually start by the age of 20
  • Very rare are females affected by the disease.
  • Early symptoms include muscle weakness in the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders.
  • By teen years, the heart and respiratory muscles are affected.
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy carriers are females with one normal dystrophin gene on one x chromosome and an abnormal dystrophin gene on the other x chromosome
  • Most carriers do not show any signs or symptoms.
  • Affected children may have delayed motor skills including sitting, standing and walking.
  • Survival into the early 30’s is becoming more common due to advances in cardia and respiratory care.
  • Duchenne is associated with a heart disease that weakens the cardiac muscle
  • Between 400 and 600 boys in the United States are born with these conditions each year.
  • there are a few cases which results from new mutations in affected males
  • steroid drugs can slow the loss of muscular strength
  • There is no known cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

10 Must Read Articles On Special Needs Children and Safety

 

safety

According to the National Autism Association, children with special needs are at an increase risk for injuries than the general population. The following article links provide information on additional tips and resources on a variety of safety topics.

7 safety strategies for kids with special needs

How to teach fire safety to special needs kids

Keeping children with disabilities safe

Keeping your autistic child safe

Special needs children and safety

Teach home and community safety skills to kids with special needs

Teaching stranger safety skills to children and adults with disabilities

Teaching stranger safety to kids with autism

The importance of teaching children body safety

Traffic safety for children with special needs

Braille Teaching Resources

 braille

January is Braille Literacy Month.  Invented by Louis Braille, at the age of 15 years old while attending the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris. Braille lost his sight during a childhood accident at the age of 4. Braille is not a language, rather it is a code that uses symbols formed within units of space that consists of six raised dots , 2 across and 3 down.

The following sites describe Braille:

Braille: Deciphering the code

Braille: What is it?

What is Braille

The following links below include resources on teaching braille:

 

braille-teaching-resources

 

Braille Teaching Resources

  1. A kitchen curriculum for the parents of visually impaired children. A functional skills curriculum for visual impaired children from infants to 12 on up.
  2. 3 tips for teaching young children with a visual impairment how to become strong readers. Kristen Smith describes ways to prepare young children for reading including creating story boxes, and using all the senses.
  3. 5 ways to teach your blind child how to use an iPad. This article includes a few demonstration via videos and an infographic.
  4. 10 strategies for teaching math to children with visual impairments. Hillary Kleck shares ten strategies for teaching math to children who are blind or visually impaired.
  5. Creating a theme for your braille classroom. Liz Eagan shares tips and suggestions on creating a braille station in the classroom.
  6. Fun ways to teach braille to partially sighted students. Game activities for students that are partially sighted braille readers.
  7. Tips for promoting braille in the classroom. A number of suggestions that give students the opportunity to explore and understand braille
  8. Ten tips to help you teach yourself braille. Wonder Baby’s article includes a braille cheat sheet and a downloadable Braille alphabet and numbers sheet.
  9. Teaching Braille Writing. Tracy Fitch outlines 5 ways to help new learners on using a braille writer.
  10. Tracking activities for pre-braille learners. Resources including a variety of tactile material that can be glued to index cards or braille paper

Managing Anxious Behavior In Children:7 Tips

Anxious
Source: (Psych Central)
Author: Tara Bates-Duford

Stress and anxiety is a normal part of life for many people, including children. Children, like adults can struggle with intense feelings of frustration and anxiety leading to challenges in cognition, academic performance, managing emotions, building resiliency, etc. Anxiety in can children diminishes their intellectual, emotional and social development, as well as physical health. Increased stress and anxious behavior in children can be associated with parent’s divorce, abuse, biological sensitivity, personality, stress in school, self or parent inflicted pressure, death of a loved one, significant/abrupt familial changes, rigid schedule, etc.

Anxious feelings do not exist in a vacuum, anyone can experience stressful and anxious feelings, even children who are often overlooked. As with adults, children respond differently to stress depending on their age, individual personalities, and coping skills. When it comes to anxiety in children, very young children may not be able to fully explain or understand their feelings, whereas older kids may be able to express what they are feeling and why they are feeling it. Children struggling with anxiety often struggle with low self-esteem, self-doubt, and difficulty building and establishing social relationships. Children that do not develop the skills to appropriately manage frustrations and anxiety or develop maladaptive coping skills will experience difficulty with building self-confidence. Children that develop healthy coping skills exhibit a higher rate of self-confidence, increased social and self-control skills, have better management and control of their mood, communicate their needs more effectively, perform better in school than peers struggling with decreased confidence, etc.   Click here for the rest of the story

Why Special Needs Moms Are Exhausted All The Time, But Will Never Ask For Help

Why special needs moms are so exhausted all the time, but they'll never tell you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source( Life Over C’s)

“You drink a lot of coffee.” Yep. I do. I hear that one little sentence all the time. The problem is most people don’t want to hear the explanation. Daily life with a special needs child is a series of rapid fire, interrogations that a parent can never answer correctly. In fact, special needs moms have been found to have similar levels of stress-hormones to combat soldiers. I’ve never been in combat, but I do know what PTSD from stress feels like. I know people don’t want to hear this. People are busy. People are tired. But most people are not this tired. Most people are not ‘5-cups-of-coffee-just-to-keep-their-eyes-propped-open’ tired. Special needs moms are exhausted all.the.time…..but will never ask for help. Click here for the rest of the story.

December Special Needs Article Links

specialneedslinks

Welcome to the December links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of December on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

10 good reasons to hire a person with Asperger’s (Hub Pages)

How to decrease tactile defensiveness in children with sensory processing disorder (Brain Balance)

Is there a link between sensory processing disorder and anxiety? (Psych Central)

Local yoga instructor brings yoga to classrooms (Learning Success)

People with autism make more logical decisions (The Conversation)

Points to consider when choosing materials (Active Learning Space)

Simple ways to help your child with ASD sleep without medicine (Autism Parenting Magazine)

Top 10 children’s books for kids with ADHD, learning differences and sensory processing disorder (Brain Balance)

What does success mean for an autistic woman? (Network Autism)

What it feels like to receive an Asperger’s diagnosed later in life (The Guardian)

What it’s like to be married to an ADHD husband (Attitude)