Posts Tagged ‘School’

Transitioning to Middle School Made Easy

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 by Karishma Bakshani

If you have a child with Dyslexia, ADHD, or even Autism, you are probably used to helping your child each step of the way.  However, as children get into middle school, they are faced with different pressures both social and academic.  How do we help our kids transition to middle school and teach them to be independent at the same time?

1.  Confirm or create a support system

  • If your child already has an IEP, the first step would be to have a meeting the Spring BEFORE she starts middle school to discuss any additional supports your child might need as they start middle school.
  • Be sure to know what supports your child already has, what works, and what doesn’t work.
  • Have some samples of your child’s work to show their strengths and weaknesses.  You can even keep track of how much assistance your child needs during homework.  This is a good indication of how much she is retaining from her classes.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher and work together for what is best for your child.
  • Be sure to tell your child what supports will be available to ease any anxiety she might feel about going to a new school.

2.  Organize

  • Children with learning difficulties often have trouble keeping track of their schedule and homework.  If your child’s school does not provide a planner or agenda, go out and buy one appropriate for your child.  If he has messing handwriting, you might consider buy a planner with big spaces to write assignments and due dates.
  • Also, create a system for organizing school work. Assign a color for each subject. For example, science’s blue notebook will have a blue folder to keep handouts and assignments.
  • Put together a daily checklist for before going to school and before coming home.  The checklist will help your child see clearly what he needs to take to school and what he needs to complete work at home.
  • Implement a homework and extra curricular routine to keep your child on track.
  • Praise your child when he is organized and completes tasks.  He will feel encouraged to continue using the methods you have both implemented.

3.  Encourage Independence

  • Teach your child to advocate for herself.  If she is supposed to sit in the front row but has been seated in the back, she needs to be able to communicate her needs to the teacher.
  • Let your child know that you are here to help, but do not do your child’s homework.  Let her come to you for questions.
  • Listen to what your child has to say without judgement. Children are often faced with a variety of new social and academic situations.  Nagging or judging will close the lines of communication.  Listen and give advice calmly.  Let your child know that know matter what the situation, they can always come to you.  If she is able to solve a problem on her own, give praise!  The more our children can take care of themselves, the more success they will see in school and in life!








Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 by admin


As we all know, the only way to help a child with an ADHD diagnosis is to TREAT THE ISSUES! The best way for parents to be sure their child is getting the needed support and services, is to KNOW THEIR CHILD’S RIGHTS!

The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has received thousands of complaints of discrimination based on disability, with 10 % being students with ADHD. The most common concern is that these students are not being evaluated in a timely manner, and are NOT receiving the needed aides and services.

Here are the facts:
1.  Schools MUST evaluate a student when he/she NEEDS or is BELIEVED TO NEED special education or services.

2.  Schools are OBLIGATED to provide services based on SPECIFIC needs, NOT GENERALIZATIONS about ADHD or any other diagnosis. (Each student should be evaluated individually without comparison to previous students or case studies.)

3.  Students who experience behavioral challenges, or seem unfocused COULD HAVE ADHD, and may need to be evaluated.

4.  Schools must allow parents to APPEAL decisions regarding identification, evaluation, or educational placement of students with any disability, including ADHD.

How can we ensure our children are given the necessary services and aides to help them succeed at school?

1.  Be an advocate for your child.  No one knows your child better than their parents (or guardians).

2.  Stay informed!  Know your rights and be knowledgeable about the latest advances and research regarding ADHD.   Being aware of different accommodations and treatments will help you to make the best decisions for your child!

3.  Maintain a good relationship with your child’s homeroom and resource teacher.  Having an open line of communication will keep you and your child’s teacher aware of any important changes in behavior.

The right combination of support from parents, teachers, and mentors is crucial in helping each child succeed!


U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance On Civil Rights of Students with ADHD,  July 26, 2016

Reading is FUNdamental!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 by admin

What was the last book your child was excited to read? What was the last book you were excited to read? We know the importance of reading, but how do we get our children to love books? As with anything, we need to make it fun!

If you were give a choice between reading Poor Richard’s Almanac and the latest New York Times bestseller, what would you choose? I’d choose the book I was more eager to read! Think about your kids for a minute. You can choose books you think they should read, or you can take them to the library or bookstore and have them choose books that they WANT to read.

One of our students with language processing issues had a tough time choosing a book to read for his weekly reading comprehension test. His mother sent a note asking for an age appropriate book from the Flat Stanley series. When her son brought home the book, he quickly lost interest after reading one or two chapters. It was a struggle to finish the book and an even bigger struggle to get him to review the main concepts.

At a trip to the book store she noticed her son looking at the Mercy Watson series of books. She asked her son, “Why don’t you bring home a book about Mercy Watson from the library?” Well that did it! He not only brought home one book about that silly little pig named Mercy, he has been bringing every book in the series, and reading on his own!! He even got a 90% on his last test!

Let’s get our kids on the path to succeed by helping them them love to read!

Stuttering in Children

Monday, October 28th, 2013 by admin

Results of this study out of University of Alberta could increase understanding of the brain and speech production, ultimately improving treatment for stuttering.

This new study has shown that children who stutter have less grey matter in key regions of the brain – the regions responsible for speech production – than children who do not stutter. These findings affirm the importance of seeking treatment early.

Dr. Deryk Beal scanned the brains of children between 5 and 12 years of age (half the children being stutterers). The inferior frontal gyrus region of the brain develops abnormally in children who stutter. This part of the brain is thought to control articulatory coding – taking information our brain understands about language and sounds and coding it into speech movements.

Stuttering is a speech-motor-control problem. Beal sees results as a first step toward testing to determine how grey matter volumes are influenced by stuttering treatment and understanding motor-sequence learning differences between children who stutter and those who do not.

Isn’t it great to know, Camp Academia has the solution?! Brainjogging works! This is one form of cognitive therapy for children who stutter, because it works on speech motor control each and every time a child Brainjogs!

Brainjogging has had great effects for children who stutter – their stuttering reduces remarkably! If you have a child who stutters, contact Camp Academia today!

Not the ONLY Answer!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 by admin

ADHD Meds have been shown to improve concentration, attention, and even short-term memory; however, there is a growing body of research reporting that academic outcomes (grades, achievement scores, and repeating a grade) are no different for students with ADHD who take meds and those who do not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.7 million kids were taking medication for ADHD in the U.S. as of 2007, the most recent data available.

A summer study out of Quebec looked at 4,000 middle-school aged boys, and found that the ones who took ADHD meds actually performed worse in school than those with a similar number of symptoms who did not take medication. Girls taking the medication reported more emotional problems, according to a working paper published on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit economics research firm.

What can we learn from these studies? It is important to realize that research findings are showing that the medicine proves effective on classroom behaviors like sitting still and interrupting the teacher less, but it doesn’t help with other factors important to successful completion of homework or test-taking.  Even if children can focus, drugs don’t help them with what to focus on; rather, it needs to be coupled with cognitive control skills training, such as memory work, working memory in the form of making application of learned information and increasing processing speed.  It is important to build new neurons and strengthen the synapses for a more efficient brain!

Unlike ADHD drugs, cognitive skills training for the brain causes structural changes in the brain to permanently increase the attention skills and reduce or eliminate focusing struggles for those with ADHD. Brainjogging is a rapid and efficient solution! Just 5 to 7 minutes, twice daily, prepares the mind for the day! Add at least 18 cognitive control therapy sessions and the individual is amazingly preparing for lifelong learning!

Make the formula for success a comprehensive one, involving the family, the child, the teacher, the pediatrician, the therapist, and other professionals who can lift the child up for a lifetime of success!


Monday, September 30th, 2013 by admin

Children with learning disabilities can also have gifted brains. This can be confusing for parents and teachers working with the child who performs brilliantly in one area of study while failing miserably in another. There is reason for hope, however, when it comes to learning for these twice-exceptional children!

We know that young brains are more receptive to learning. There are many new connections being made between neurons to store patterns and information collected from the environment. By adolescence, this sensitive period in the brain comes to an end, when learning new things becomes harder.

Angela Brandt, Penn State University, and John Hewitt at the University of Colorado studied children over time and noticed that those with higher IQs had an extended period in adolescence where they continued to learn things at a rapid pace, just like younger children. This sensitive period of absorbing information from the environment seemed to end earlier in individuals with lower IQs.

Many children with invisible disabilities have above average IQs. As parents, it is vital to keep that in mind; school can be frustrating for some, but learning new things is both important and neurologically desirable! Those brains are open to new learning and opportunities, so avoid the mistake of reducing the number of fresh experiences for your intelligent adolescent! Encourage your child to continue to learn a new language, an instrument or some new challenge during this time!

Unlocking “I Don’t Know”

Thursday, September 26th, 2013 by admin

Language Learning Disabilities (LLD) account for the largest percentage of diagnosed learning disabilities. This type of LD causes children to struggle with language, especially in conversation – the way they engage in it as well as process it. Parents can help by teaching their children the art of communicating.

Parents are naturally curious about the school day – “What did you learn at school?” “Who did you play with at recess?” “Did you have a good day?” Ask a quick question requiring a one-word answer, and that is what you’ll get. After a long day at school, a child with a language learning disability may be too mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted to answer a barrage of questions; it’s too much.

Allow for some “down time” after the school day. Encourage your child to run around outside, shoot baskets, ride a bike, or climb a tree. After a healthy snack and some physical exercise, think about switching up your questions! The National Center for Learning Disabilities suggests some of the following questions to help your child engage in a conversation about school:

• What was the best thing you did at school today?
• Tell me the names of four kids who sat closest to you at lunch
• Was there anything you wish you had at school that you didn’t have today?
• What were most kids doing at recess?
• Who has a locker near yours?
• What was the funniest thing someone said at lunch?

These questions help parents inquire about the times during which their children may experience negative social interactions (lunch, recess, and in between classes). Their answers will help provide an inside look at what they are experiencing during social snippets. Practicing this type of communication and question-answer sessions will strengthen your child’s ability to reproduce that back and forth in a more natural way during the school day. Soon the shoulder shrugs and “I don’t knows” will be a thing of the past!