Arguments for Teaching Cursive

Posted by Jennifer on October 21, 2020  |   No Comments »

In most schools, cursive writing is taught in the third grade. Children often revert to writing in print unless their teachers in subsequent grades insist on cursive. By the fifth grade most children have reverted to print. So what are the benefits of learning cursive? Actually, there are numerous benefits especially for people with dyslexia.

As Diana Hanbury King writes in Writing Skills for the Adolescent, “In the case of dyslexics, there are several reasons for insisting on cursive. To begin with, in cursive writing, there is no question as to where each letter begins – it begins on the line. The confusion with forms is not merely a left and right reversal as with b/d and p/q; it is also an up down reversal as with m/w and u/n; hence the uncertainty as to whether a letter begins at the top or the bottom. Second, spelling is fixed more firmly in the mind if the word is formed in a continuous movement rather than a series of separate strokes with the pencil lifted off the paper between each one”.

In summation, the argument for using cursive writing for all students, but especially students with dyslexia is as follows:

  • Cuts down on reversals (cursive b/d, m/w, p/q etc.)
  • Letter formation and spelling are better reinforced
  • Cursive writing is faster than print writing
  • Establishes word boundaries

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Posted by Jennifer on October 20, 2020  |   No Comments »

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Learn more about what dyslexia is and is not in this informative video.

Is Medication right for my child with ADHD?

Posted by Jennifer on January 31, 2020  |   No Comments »

Are you on the fence about whether medication is right for your child? This book outlines the pros and cons and can help you make an informed decision.

Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids

How do I get a Child Advocate?

Posted by Jennifer on January 31, 2020  |   No Comments »

Do you feel that you need help getting your child the services he needs at school? I highly recommend that you get a Child Advocate if your child has dyslexia. This is a free service that Advocacy Denver offers. The nice thing about having an advocate is that they know the laws and your rights. Your advocate will make sure your child is getting the services he needs. I just spoke to a parent who when through this process and she was so glad she got an advocate. She said it changed the entire process, in a good way.

Here is how you get a child advocate.
You can call the referral line at 303-974-2530 or you can go online and fill out their form. Here is the link to do that:

Child and Family Advocacy

You’ll need to provide your child’s full name, school, DOB, his disability and a brief overview. If you haven’t had your child evaluated yet you can just state that.

I wouldn’t wait on this as it may take some time to set things up. It’s really nice to have someone on your side of the table who knows the law and what your child needs to succeed in school.

‘My Brain’ a poem written by one of my students

Posted by Jennifer on September 24, 2014  |   No Comments »

One of my students who was recently diagnosed with dyslexia wrote a poem about his brain. It is so beautiful I had to share it. He is ten years old and coming to grips with what it means to have dyslexia. As you will see, he likes who he is because of his brain, not despite it.

My brain
lets me be free.
My brain
lets me open up doors to new worlds
where there is peace and where know one will bug me.
My brain
lets me change the world.
My brain
lets my ideas open free.
My brain
opens up paths that I will follow.
My brain
brings peace to the world.
My brain
lets me roam free and be creative.
My brain
will open up a portal to a great future
where my creations will be in the open.

Must see documentary on embracing dyslexia

Posted by Jennifer on September 1, 2014  |   No Comments »

A question I hear often is “should I tell my child that he has dyslexia? I don’t want to label him.” This documentary tells the story of families who are faced with this dilemma. I urge you to hear their stories as it may help you in your own journey with dyslexia.

What does it feel like to have dyslexia?

Posted by Jennifer on July 16, 2013  |   No Comments »

Check out this simulation that shows what if feels like to have dyslexia. This video gives a great overview of what dyslexia is and what it is not.

 

What is Section 504?

Posted by Jennifer on June 11, 2013  |   No Comments »

Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability – this includes dyslexia and AD/HD.

To learn more, check out A Parent’s Guide to Section 504 in Public Schools

This article answers the following questions:

  • What is Section 504?
  • Who is covered under Section 504?
  • Who decides whether a student is qualified and eligible for services under Section 504?
  • What types of accommodations will my child receive if determined eligible under Section 504?

 

Dyslexia Resources

Posted by Jennifer on May 16, 2013  |   No Comments »

Dyslexia Resource Group DRG’s mission is to provide education, support, and voice for families of students with dyslexia in the Denver metro area. They host monthly events on a wide variety of relevant topics such as Self-Advocacy, Assistive Technology, Accommodations, Social Emotional and Self-Esteem issues, Smart IEPs and 504s. DRG’s founders, Sally Pistilli and Lissa True are two moms trying to make a difference by sharing the knowledge they have acquired over the past ten years while supporting their children with dyslexia.

http://www.dyslexiaresourcegroup.com/

Books

  • From Emotions to Advocacy, By Peter W. D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright
  • Overcoming Dyslexia By Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
  • Learning Outside the Lines By Jonathan Mooney and David Cole
  • The Secret Life of the Dyslexic Child By Robert Frank, PhD and Kathryn E Livingston

Assistive Technology in schools

Posted by Jennifer on May 16, 2013  |   No Comments »

Assistive technology is defined as any device or piece of equipment that helps bypass, work around or compensate for an individual’s specific learning challenges. For example, a student who struggles with reading but who has good listening skills might benefit from listening to audio books. Below are some useful kinds of assistive technologies.

Options for Finding Accessible Books

Bookshare

  • Bookshare is an online resource of books, magazines, newspapers and textbooks for people with print disabilities. This is a free for students once you qualify to use its services. The books are in a special format called DAISY and can be read on an iPad using an app called Read2Go. Bookshare books can be searched and downloaded directly to the iPad using Read2Go. Learn about eligibility requirements for Bookshare at https://www.bookshare.org/_/membership/qualifications

Learning Ally

  • Learning Ally provides audio books for individuals with print disabilities. Learning Ally is an eligibility based service whose qualifications closely match those of Bookshare. Books are also stored in DAISY format but they do not contain text. Learning Ally books must be sync’d manually using iTunes File Transfer. Many students like being able to listen to a chapter the day before the content will be covered in school. Learn more about this service at www.learningally.org