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.
A generalized seizure, formally known as a gran mal seizure affects both sides of the brain, and starts in all parts of the brain at the same time. About 25 percent of people with epilepsy have generalized seizures. It affects all ages, socioeconomic and racial groups.
There are 4 phases of a generalized seizure:
Prodromal. This is the first phase where an early sign may include a group of symptoms hours or days before the seizure including depression, difficulty concentrating, headaches, insomnia and mood changes.
Aura. Typically, an aura occurs from a few seconds to a few minutes before the arrival of the seizure. Signs may include blurry vision, buzzing, ringing or an abdominal sensation.
Tonic-Clonic. This is the phase where the whole body is affected. The body begins to stiffen and the person loses consciousness and falls. This is followed by a violent uncontrollable shaking. During this phase, the person may have difficulty breathing, an inability to swallow, may drool and begin to sweat.
Postictal. Occurs at the end of the seizure, common signs include confusion, anxiety, depression, embarrassment, fear, memory loss, upset stomach and sleepiness.
There are 6 types of generalized seizures:
Absence (Petit Mal). It occurs throughout the entire brain beginning and ending very quickly. The person becomes unconscious with a blank stare. It may appear the person is day dreaming.
Tonic-Clonic. When the body stiffens and shakes. usually last 1 to 3 minutes.
Clonic. When a person has a muscle spasm in the face, neck and arms may last several minutes.
Tonic. The muscles in the arms, legs and trunk are affected. Usually last less than 20 seconds.
Atonic. the muscles go limp and can cause a person to fall or head his or her head if they are standing.
Myoclonic. Muscles suddenly jerk. The electrical impulses are strong enough to throw a person to the ground.
What Causes Epilepsy with Generalized Seizures?
Possible causes of epilepsy and seizures include:
a change in the structure of your brain
an infections of the brain, such as meningitis or encephalitis
a brain tumor
a stroke, or a loss of blood flow to the brain resulting in brain cell death
congenital conditions, including Down syndrome or tuberous sclerosis
First Aid For Tonic Clonic Seizures:
Call 911 if:
The person has never had a seizure before.
the person has difficulty breathing or waking after the seizure.
The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
The person has a seizure back-to back.
The person is injured during the seizure.
The person has an additional condition like diabetes, or heart disease.
Ease the person to the floor.
Turn the person gently onto the side (this will help the person breathe).
Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp
Put something soft and flat, like a folded jacket, under his or her head.
Loosen ties or anything around the neck including button on a shirt.
Time the seizure.
Familiarize Yourself With The Warning Signs
Each person is different. Typically warning signs of a seizure may include:
Loss of consciousness
Stiffening of the body
Jerking of limbs
A loss of awareness
Do not hold the person down or try to stop his or her movements.
Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow his or her tongue.
Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (CPR). People usually start breathing again on their own after a seizure.
Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.
After the seizure:
After the seizure ends, the person will probably be groggy and tired. He or she also may have a headache and be confused or embarrassed. Try to help the person find a place to rest. If necessary, offer to call a taxi, a friend, or a relative to help the person get home safely.
Don’t try to stop the person from wandering unless he or she is in danger.
Don’t shake the person or shout.
Stay with the person until he or she is completely alert.
Fine motor skill activities should include skill development in using the small muscles in the hand. Most activities focus on using pencils, scissors and tongs. This holiday season, why not engage your special needs child in a fun, engaging activity that will help to improve the pincer grasp and hand manipulation? The following links include fine motor activities with many items you can find around your home.
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.