Teaching Self-Confidence to Children with ADHD

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:

4 small ways to build confidence in kids

5 ways to boost your ADHD child’s confidence 

10 strategies for helping kids with ADHD build self confidence

Build self-esteem in your child with ADHD

Childhood ADHD and poor self-esteem

Don’t let ADHD crush children’s self-esteem

How to boost your ADHD child’s self-esteem

How to vanquish a child’s low self-esteem

How to Improve Self Esteem In Kids with ADHD

The importance of self-esteem for kids with learning and attention issues

 

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Data Collection for Special Education Teachers

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

16 hacks for making data collection a piece of cake

Data collection for IEP’s: Measuring progression toward a goal

Data collection for individualized education plan implementation

Data collection for special education teachers

How to organize special education data for easy review

IEP and goals data collection 

IEP data collection

IEP data collection methods

Tips for setting and tracking IEP goals

Using Google docs to collect data for IEP goals

Bullying and Special Needs Children

A survey conducted found that half of parents surveyed have a special needs child who had been bullied during school hours.

Warning Signs of Bullying

  1. Unexplained injuries
  2. Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry
  3. Feeling sick or faking illness
  4. Changes in eating habits
  5. Difficulty sleeping
  6. Declining grades
  7. Self-destructive behavior
  8. Feelings of helplessness

A bullying guide for parents. Developed by the National Autistic Society in the U.K., offers tips and resources for parents.

Council for Exceptional Children. Q&A with Dr. Chad A. Rose on the Interpretation and Information regarding the Department of Education’s Letter Addressing Bullying Among Students with Disabilities

National Bullying Prevention Resources. Offers parents and educators bullying prevention resources including educational toolkits, awareness toolkits, contest ideas and promotional products

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.

Articles

8 ways to help your child with autism stop bullying at school

Bullying: Children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder

Bullying among children and youth with disabilities and special needs

Bullying and students on the autistic spectrum

Signs of bullying in special needs children

How can I protect my autistic child from bullying?

How to deal with bullied children with disabilities

Why autistic kids make easy targets for school bullies

What is a Generalized Seizure?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. Tonic-Clonic. When the body stiffens and shakes. usually last 1 to 3 minutes.
  3. Clonic. When a person has a muscle spasm in the face, neck and arms may last several minutes.
  4. Tonic. The muscles in the arms, legs and trunk are affected. Usually last less than 20 seconds.
  5. Atonic. the muscles go limp and can cause a person to fall or head his or her head if they are standing.
  6. 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:
  • genetics
  • a change in the structure of your brain
  • autism
  • an infections of the brain, such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • head trauma
  • a brain tumor
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • 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.
Steps
  • 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
  • Slight twitching
  • A loss of awareness
Do Not:
  • 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.

 

Resources

Epilepsy Ontario

Epilepsy Talk

Healthline

University of Chicago Medicine

WebMD

Holiday Fine Motor Activities

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.

5 fine motor holiday activities

Candy cane Christmas fine motor skills activities for kids

Candy cane pipe cleaner garland

Christmas cards cane fine motor activity

Christmas crafts for kids

Color sorting activity for Christmas

Easy ornaments for kids 

Grow your own Christmas tree

Jingle bell painting

Playing with pine needles

Pom pom painting Christmas tree craft

Popsicle stick snow ornaments

Present wrapping fine motor skills activity

Recycled cards Christmas fine motor skills

Recycled ornament garland craft

Styrofoam tree decorating Christmas craft activity

Tissue paper wreath ornaments

Yarn and bead Christmas tree craft

Resources For Teaching Sequencing Skills

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.

How to teach sequencing skills at home

How to teach sequencing skills to children

How to teach sequencing to preschool children

Sequencing activities for students with autism

Sequencing skills teaching strategies 

Story sequence strategies

Strategies for teaching your child sequencing skills

Teaching sequencing skills

The importance of sequencing skills in a child’s development

Tips to teach sequencing skills in children

Matching Tasks Activities

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.

All words-to-pictures matching worksheets

Color matching activity

DIY kids emotion matching game

Match the number activity worksheets

Matching activities supporting reading development

Matching animals to pictures

Matching colors when you only have a minute

Matching words to pictures

Rainbow bear color matching spinner game

Teaching preschoolers to mix and match

Understanding The Individualized Family Service (IFSP)

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
  • Outcomes expected
  • 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:

  • Audiological services
  • Vision services
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Special education service
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Medical and nursing service
  • Nutritional services
  • 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
Team Members

Individualized family service plan team members include:

  • Evaluator
  • Therapist
  • Service Coordinator
  • 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.
Resources

Center for Parent Information and Resources

Family Connect

Pacer Center

Understood

What is Lowe Syndrome?

Lowe Syndrome also known as Oculocerebrorenal Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects the eyes, brain and kidneys. It has a prevalence of 1 in 500,000 and mainly affects males.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Congenital cataracts
  • eye abnormalities and eye disease
  • glaucoma
  • kidney abnormalities (Renal Fanconi Syndrome)
  • dehydration
  • abnormal acidic blood
  • progressive kidney problems
  • feeding problems
  • bone abnormalities
  • scoliosis
  • weak or low muscle tone (hypotonia)
  • joint problems
  • developmental delays including motor skills
  • short stature
  • intellectual disability
  • seizure
  • behavioral issues

Children and adults diagnosed with children and adults may also show the following signs and symptoms due to an intellectual disability:

  • decrease learning ability
  • delays in crawling
  • delays in sitting up
  • difficulty solving problems
  • lack of curiosity
  • language and speech delays
  • poor memory
  • behavior problems
Teaching Strategies

The following strategies will help when teaching a child or an adult diagnosed with Lowe Syndrome:

  • Use short and simple sentences to ensure understanding
  • Repeat directions
  • Teach specific skills when possible
  • Use strategies such as chunking, backwards shaping, forward shaping and role modeling.
  • Use concrete information
  • Provide immediate feedback

Image thanks to Robert Thomson on Flickr.com (creative commons)

Resources

National Organization for Rare Disorders

Genetics Home Reference

Dove Med

Wikipedia

Teaching Strategies For Students With A Nonverbal Learning Disorder

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Tends to be clumsy
  3. Difficulty with visual-spatial organizational skills. Finds it difficult to organize notes.
  4. Difficulty when encountering new information.
  5. Difficulty in knowing what is expected of you and hard to see the bigger picture
  6. Distort sense of time. Time is abstract and non-linear
  7. Well-developed, rote and verbal capacity
  8. 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
  • Well-developed vocabulary
  • 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
  • Minimize transitions
  • Offer added verbal explanations when the student or child seems confused
  • Teach in sequential steps
References

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.

Learning Disabilities of America

Understood