Oak Tree Academy is wondering, when did it become funny to make fun of, scare, or belittle your children for minor annoyances?
Wowzers...that's a whopper of a title, right? Nothing else felt quite right when we were thinking about this post. Let us explain how we got here.
A couple of days ago, we got a Facebook suggestion for a video the Facebook algorithm we may enjoy. We could tell by the thumbnail made it apparent that it was somehow related to parenting and was posted by a page that we’d never heard of before, but intrigued we decided to give the video a look-see. It hadn’t played for more than a minute when we realized it wasn’t our cup of tea. It showed a Mom pulling up to school drop off and losing her mind when her child can’t jump out of the car. He has taken his shoes off. The mom has a meltdown. First, we want to be clear; we understand that parents are first and foremost, human beings, they aren’t superheroes or feelingless creatures who are unfazed by everything they encountered. However, we can’t imagine screeching like a wounded owl because our child isn’t flying out of the car at school drop off, under the headlines, “End of School Drop Off Be Like” We completely missed the humor. We took a quick scan through the comments and noticed another mom who seemed to have the same reaction. She wrote, “I don’t get it I was a mom of three, and I don’t remember yelling and screaming like that especially trying to get out of the car nice” Then, we noticed a nasty clapback that the page owner posted in response. She wrote,
(BPT) - Building the confidence to try, experiment and keep going even when things get hard is a critical part of the educational process. Confidence comes more naturally to some students than others, yet new research shows that confidence levels today impact learning outcomes for students.
Three-quarters of teachers say anxiety and lack of confidence hinder learning among their students, according to the Confidence in Learning Poll conducted by Harris Insights and Analytics on behalf of LEGO Education. Two-thirds of parents agree their children are not more confident than their peers or themselves at that age.
This is impacting students' education in many ways, particularly in the important STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). The poll found fewer than one in five students is “very confident” when it comes to learning STEAM, while only one in three teachers says their students are more confident in STEAM subjects compared to five years ago.
As we think about preparing students for the future workforce, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in new jobs that don't yet exist, according to the World Economic Forum. This makes confidence in STEAM especially important as we prepare kids for unknown needs.
After you’ve made your request and signed a consent form, the clock begins to tick for the school to complete the assessments as part of that request. The process cannot effectively move forward.
The entire team, which includes you the Parents, teachers, specialists, like the speech and language pathologist and occupational therapist and guidance counselors will use the information gained to identify your child’s strengths, weaknesses and progress.
You've requested an evaluation, but it was denied and you aren't sure of the next steps.
We've outlined what you should do next in the infographic below.
If you have noticed that your child is struggling, event at the preschool level, don't ignore it. As early as preschool, the signs of dyslexia can be present.
Preschoolers or Kindergarten age children with dyslexia may:
Many times, school encourage the wait and see method, their a boy/girl, the need time to mature, things just haven't clicked. These are all stall tactics and are a waste of your son's or daughters precious time. The earlier you find out what is happening the better off your child will be in the long run.
Back in my advocacy days, I had a client who had been evaluated and found to be a student with dyslexia at age six. Up until middle school, he was enrolled in private school. He presented as an unusual case because he had a significantly higher comprehension rate than should have been seen and enjoyed writing, at a level three to four years above his current grade level.
Fast forward to an IEP meeting to discuss results showing a lower than expected reading level. The reading "specialist" a term I will use loosely, began spouting off her qualifications to hodge podge together a reading program. It included work with two specialists who espoused the benefits of whole language and a handful of weekend seminars. She was not all to pleased when her offer for remediation was declined.
Although most schools are going to try to convince you that they have a specialist, like the one I mentioned or a scientifically based, peer reviewed reading program, it is very unlikely that they do or what they have to offer is going to be effective for a student with dyslexia. A school will not willingly offer Orton-Gillingham (OG) tutoring/remediation. Almost always, it is because the school does not have anyone with OG training and certification. That combined with they'd have to pay to have someone trained and they don't want any of the other parents to find out they spent money on training.
In the 1930’s neurologist Dr. Samuel T. Orton and educator, psychologist Anna Gillingham developed the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction for students with Dyslexia but the approach can be beneficial for all learners.
I’ve been called in to copious IEP meetings after a parent has presented a medical diagnosis for their child at their IEP meeting. They are disheartened after the team, or truly, the other side of the table, fails to qualify their son/daughter for any services. There are often two issues at play. The first is that the presence of a disability doesn’t automatically qualify a child for individualized services and two the school somehow feels compelled to ignore the diagnosis of the medical doctor or say the child in question doesn't qualify for services.
This morning in the local newspaper, there was a child find education brief from a location school district. Sadly, it contained a significant amount of incorrect information. It stated:
"XXX screens special-needs students
School City — XX Public Schools looks to identify children who may be in need of special education services. The child must be found to have a documented disability, must not be making effective progress in the general curriculum and need specialized instruction or related services.
Students who live in XXX who are enrolled in private schools or have left school without a diploma also may be eligible.
Screening appointments for children ages 3 to 5 may be made by calling ... For concerns about students ages 5 to 22, contact the special education office at ..."
Here is the actual child find information:
"Schools are required to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21. The Child Find mandate applies to all children who reside within a State, including children who attend private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))
This includes all children who are suspected of having a disability, including children who receive passing grades and are "advancing from grade to grade." (34 CFR 300.111(c)) The law does not require children to be "labeled" or classified by their disability. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(B); 34 CFR 300.111(d))."
Please note that if you see your child struggling but they are receiving passing grades, advancing to the next grade, or are over the age of five, you can, in writing, refer them to the principal for evaluation to determine if they needs specialized education to meet their unique needs.
Here is a form that you can use to send to the principal, guidance counselor, or the special education director at your child's school.
Initial Evaluation Request
(EZIne)-Looking after children who have dyslexia can be a really tough job. Parents often do not know how to give the best education to their kids. No matter how good their intentions might be, they simply cannot find the best option for them. Since children with dyslexia are different than other children and have learning needs which are quite unique to themselves, it can be especially hard to find the right school for such children.
Parents often wonder if they should hire a private tutor for their child or let them go to a normal school. But given that children with dyslexia have a hard time grasping letters and words, their learning curve is a lot different than that of an average kid. For this reason, when choosing schools for them, parents need to take utmost care and choose the school that is best suited to the needs of their children.
Many parents find themselves confused between choosing a private school vs. a public school for their child, who has dyslexia. They often think that choosing a private school for their child's education will mean that their needs will be taken care of. While private schools are able to give greater attention to each child, given the optimum student teacher ratio, it doesn't always mean that such schools have special provisions for children who have dyslexia.
Children with dyslexia have needs that are quite different from other children and choosing a school that caters to their needs can work wonders for their education. Since we know how hard it is to find the best school for dyslexia, some of the points mentioned below will help immensely to find the right school.
I read with great interest a recent advertisement letter from the director of a local disabilities group. There has been a recent influx of plastic straw banning after the now infamous video of a gentleman yanking a straw from the nose of a sea turtle. Of course, we were all disturbed because that is awful and anyone with half a heart would think so. However, the conversation quickly turned from praise to discrimination when disabilities rights organizations came out against the banning of straws.
The Oak Tree Academy mission is to improve the quality of life of people with language-based learning disabilities and their families by developing programs and disseminating knowledge based on current research.