Feb 28, 2007

Youth with Special Needs... Learning Disabilities

In my constant search for information regarding learning disabilities and ADHD, I come across numerous bits of valuable information. The following article entitled, Resources for working with Youth with Special Needs, is a wonderful example. It give the definition of each type of LD, causes, characteristics, and offers help for leaders. It also provides three links to other sites which can provide further information. So, I hope you will take the time to stop by and check it out. It would also be an excellent starting point for anyone just beginning the journey of LD.

A New ADHD Drug Gets FDA Approval

(CBS News) The FDA has approved a new prescription drug, called Vyvanse, to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD).

Vyvanse, a stimulant, will bear the same warnings as all other ADHD drugs. Those warnings include reports of heart-related problems — including sudden death — and new or worsening psychiatric problems. To read the rest of this article in it's entireity go here.

Here a few more links to more detailed information about this drug, it's side effects, etc.

Feb 26, 2007

"Supernanny" Confronts ADHD Issues

Tonight's episode of Supernanny was especially interesting to me. It focused on a mom and dad who have three children (and another on the way). The oldest child, age 6, has ADHD. He has been "on and off" of medication and, at the time the show was filmed, was "off" of it. It showed the difficulties the mom has in controlling her ADHD child. Everything from homework to snack time was a battle. Jo, a.k.a. Supernanny, showed the mom what every day life is like for her ADHD son by having her wear headphones and listen to music while trying to read a newspaper article. She also had the three children go into the room and try to distract her as well. The mom soon realized how chaotic her six year old son's life is all the time. What a good analogy I thought. I had never thought of it like that. Jo also realized that it was difficult for the mom to separate her feelings for her son from his actions. She took his misbehavior (yelling, kicking, hitting, screaming) personally and had a hard time letting it go in order to be close to her son. To get past this, Jo had her write down all of the son's positive traits on a piece of poster paper with his picture in the center. This was to reinforce the positive side of her son. She was told to refer to it any time she felt overwhelmed by her son's actions so she could remember the good things instead of focusing on the negative. All in all, I thought it was a good episode. I hope that it enlightens those who do not deal with ADHD on a daily basis. It is a lot of work to raise a child with this disorder. And, without the proper help and support can be overwhelming at times. My only thought was....why isn't the child on medication? The mother clearly stated that since taking him off of it he has gotten worse. ?? For more information about Supernanny and Helping Your ADHD Child Behave, you can visit the show's website here. You may also want to read this post I wrote last year about the positive traits of ADHD. Supernanny also emphasized the importance of positive feedback to get positive results from an ADHD child. To read more about this topic, go to this post.

Also, lest I forget, here are my ADHD son's positive traits:
  • caring
  • funny
  • loving
  • inquisitive
  • compassionate
  • thoughtful
  • creative
  • persistent
  • resourceful
  • genuine
  • handsome

Feb 24, 2007

I Hope I'm Raising a Bee!

My cousin, Susie, sent me a wonderfully enlightening link today. It is a mini movie, Animal School, created by Ellen at RaisingSmallSouls.com. It speaks to the abilities that each of our children possess. It stresses the importance of remembering "each child is as unique as his fingerprints." I can only hope that my husband and I are raising two fluttering bees. I hope they always flap their wings regardless of where they are.

Feb 15, 2007

Visit my group at MothersClick

There's a great new web community called MothersClick. It's a great place to meet up with other mom online or in your own community. I joined and created a group especially for moms of children who have ADHD and/or LD. You're invited to click on over and take a peek.

Dyslexia, Dysgraphia & Dyscalculia...the three "D's" of Learning Disabilities

My son happens to have all three of the "D's" of learning disabilities, so I am all to familiar with them. However, many people are not. They are dyslexia (reading problems), dysgraphia (writing problems) and dyscalculia (math problems). I recently learned that approximately 10% of the population have learning disabilities. I came across this post that explains them all in layman's terms. The NCLD (National Center for Learning Disabilities) is also an excellent resource to learn more about each.

IEP Meetings * Update *

This coming Monday I have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting for my nine year old son. I tend to get so frustrated at these meetings. It seems that the only time any of them are truly concerned with his progress is at these meetings. They lay out a vague plan for his accommodations and suggested progress for the coming year. We all sign the bottom and that's it. It is then up to me (his only true advocate) to look out for him. I make sure the teacher is following the IEP, I aggravate the resource teacher because she isn't on the same page as his classroom teacher, and the vice principal and psychologist are not heard from again until the next meeting. In addition to these frustrations, I'm also going to request that he be retested before the end of school. His last assessment was three years ago and I believe it is no longer accurate. His needs have changed. I'll let you know how it goes and what I do (or do not) get accomplished. In the meantime, here are a few online resources that I have found to be helpful in the past when preparing for these meetings:

And, on a lighter note....the Top 10 signs that you are going to have a bad IEP meeting.

*UPDATE* - The meeting went very quickly. They totally agreed that he needed to be retested. He is scheduled to have this done the first week in March. We will meet again after that to discuss the findings and change his accommodations if necessary. Stay tuned!

Feb 14, 2007

Help with Learning Multiplication Tables

My nine year old son (who has LD's) is having an extremely difficult time learning the multiplication tables. We've tried flashcards, songs, manipulatives, etc. None of them have been successful. However, I'm really hoping that what I recently found will do the trick. It's a workbook entitled Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables: Fast, Fun & Easy with Dazzling Patterns, Grids & Tricks! . I saw an ad for it in this month's edition of ADDitude magazine. I immediately went to amazon.com to check it out. It looks really promising. I have ordered it and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival. I will post a review, good or bad, after I receive it and work on it with my son. Stay tuned.....

Feb 13, 2007

LD & Assistive Technology

According to Wikipedia.com Assistive Technology (AT) is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices and the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. AT promotes greater independence for people with disabilities by enabling them to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to or changed methods of interacting with the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.

Below are a number of site that (I hope) will assit you in your search for AT for your child.

Feb 12, 2007

Snappy comebacks to ADD doubters

We've all encountered them, those who doubt that the diagnosis of ADD actually exists. Or, we've had to defend our child's diagnosis to others. I've recently found an excellent resource that will help with this very issue in the future. Want to take a peak? Head on over to ADDitude magazine and see what you think!

Learning Disabilities in South Carolina

Today I received my winter edition of the Pro Parents newsletter. There were some interesting statistics in it regarding learning disabilities in S.C.

  • There are 108,756 children in South Carolina receiving special education services.
  • Most (47,412) of the students receiving special education services in S.C. are served under the disability category of learning disability.
  • The next highest disability category is speech/language, serving 21,193 students.

My nine year old son falls into the LD category. I was amazed to find out that the majority of special education students are receiving services for the same condition. As compared to the "normal" student population my son is in the minority. However, as compared to the special education population, he is in the "norm."

For more U.S. statistics you can visit the following links:

Feb 9, 2007

Parenting an ADHD child

Doing a recent "ADHD +blog" search on Google turned up some very interesting things. One of the more informative blogs I found was "Parenting the At Risk Child." Dr. Leedom, the author of this blog, is a psychiatrist and is raising an at risk child herself. Her post entitled "Parenting Pitfalls with ADHD Kids" really hit home. She offers good advice on how to avoid the pitfalls that I'm sure we have all fallen into a time or two. Also, in addition to her blog, she also has a website packed with information. You can read it here.

Feb 8, 2007

3-D Learner Systems

I recently came across this website and wanted to share it with you. They offer a free online test to see if your child may be a visual-experiential learner. If, according to this test, your child is found to be this type of learner, they offer a large list of possible tips/tricks to help him. They also offer a free online teleclass as well. Granted you also have the option of purchasing their products, I learned something just from the free assessment.

Feb 5, 2007

IEP Meeting - UPDATE

Well, the meeting went well...all five minutes of it. Everyone involved agreed with me that my son should be retested. Yeah! That will be done within the next 4 - 5 weeks. I'm anxious to see the results. We will then have another meeting to go over the results and modify his accommodations if necessary. I'll keep you posted.