How a Father’s Loving Act Went International
Living with Learning Disabilities
National Center for Learning Disabilities, one in every five children are affected. These children are more likely to fall behind causing them to repeat a grade, get in trouble at school/with the law, and eventually they could drop out making it difficult to pursue a career as an adult. How this is prevented is simple, but first you must understand what a learning disability truly is.
The factsThe Learning Disabilities Association of America defines a learning disability as a neurological disorder that comes in many different forms. The forms include dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and dyslexia. Dyscalculia affects the way the brain processes numbers and math facts. Dysgraphia affects a person’s handwriting and fine motor skills. The most well-known is Dyslexia, and this affects reading and language-based processing skills. Kids can be ashamed and carry this disability with them into adulthood. Some may never disclose their disability with close friends or even their significant other. But, what people don’t realize is these kids are just as smart as their peers! Looking for the early signs and identifying the problem(s) will help significantly with your child’s early development skills and reaching their full potential.
Looking for the signsIt can be very challenging to identify if your child truly has a learning disability or not. Pay close attention to the little warning signs when you start introducing them to the first stages of school (informational learning, i.e. memorization). There are different ways to pinpoint if your child has a problem. Preschool/Kindergarten:
- Difficulty connecting sounds & letters or pronouncing words
- Problems with counting
- Difficulties using crayons/paint
- Trouble being understood by strangers
- Difficulty with dressing themselves
- Can’t speak in full sentences
- Continuously forgets newly learned information
- Trouble holding pencil/writing
- Problems following directions & routines
- Can’t play age appropriate games
Next stepsThe first step after you have a suspicion that your child is struggling it is time to seek professional help and have an evaluation done. There are plenty of resources for you to take action. The easiest would be to see your pediatrician to meet with them and discuss your concerns. You could also contact the school your child is attending and let them know you would like to have your child evaluated or to keep them updated with the evaluation process. Most likely, they will have noticed the signs or will recommend you to someone you should see for the professional evaluation. After they evaluate your child’s basic skills, they will go over their results and tell you if your child should need to receive special education services or additional help. If this is the case they will go over a learning plan based on where the help is most needed. Most schools accommodate to the specific learning plan for any child with a disability or already have a plan set for different types of disabilities. During this process, your child could become very self-conscious or embarrassed. This is normal and happens quite often, that is why as a parent it is important for you to help continuously build up their self-esteem. Some easy ways to do this are by pointing out things your child is good at and praising them for that specific attribute. Also, getting them involved in activities they know they do very well at! This will help develop their self-worth and determination to keep striving to succeed even with the extra difficulties. Living with a learning disability can be difficult for all parties. Remember, this does not make someone less than anyone else and with your help, love, and support your child will strive to be the absolute best at anything they put their mind to! « PreviousNext »
Dreamscape Works With Louisiana Elementary School To Create A Sensory Room
A Classroom Not Meant for LearningWhispering Forest is in the process of designing and implementing a complete sensory room. This room will be unlike any other accommodation they have to offer. Fit for any need, a sensory room is a therapeutic space with a variety of equipment that provides students with special needs a personalized sensory input; to help them calm and focus themselves so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others. “Its very hard to explain what the room is and how it works and how it benefits people, without seeing it and experiencing it”, stressed Whispering Forest teacher Peyton Capretto. At first glance it is common the room will be mistaken as a play area. I mean, what kids wouldn’t love diving into a crash pad or jumping on a waterbed? But for children with sensory, mental, and behavioral disabilities, these activities are equally as therapeutic as they are enjoyable. Many children with autism, sensory processing disorder, and other disabilities can experience a sensory overload. A sensory overload is an episode where the five senses take in more than the brain can process. These episodes can happen at anytime, even something as simple as multiple conversations or bright flashing lights can cause an episode. For young children this can be an extremely frightening experience. That is why a safe, conducive environment can play a major role in working through it and preparing for future incidents. Now this room wouldn’t just aid in calming and helping students suffering from sensory overloads. These rooms are also a great way to help children with special needs put themselves in the proper mindset for learning. Students in the Pre-K to 3rd grade levels don’t always focus and pay attention in the classroom. When you can get the students in the right mindset, they will keep focus and increase the effectiveness of each lesson. Sometimes kids just need to blow off steam and get out some energy/anxiety. When children enjoy the learning process, they are more likely to succeed. More so, they are less likely to act up. Bored students become disruptive students, even when they don’t mean to be. This says nothing about the true character of that student, but kids will be kids. It is important to remember and embrace that fact. Allowing small freedoms in a controlled environment where they can throw objects or run and dive into pillows can be all a wild child needs sometimes.
The Sensory Room DécorWhere many sensory rooms have similar objects and equipment, each is unique in its own way. The design at Whispering Forest was strategically planned to have a sensory input for every child’s needs. So what will their room consist of, you might ask? We start with the needs of the students and what would help them best calm themselves and prepare for learning. These needs can range across multiple senses from visual, to sound, and lastly physical. For the visual aids, Whispering Forest plans to implement multiple acrylic mirrors, 2 interactive bubble tubes, and a number of effects projectors. All of which hold a therapeutic purpose. Sound can have a major impact on people with special needs or sensory disabilities. In the sensory room, calming and peaceful sounds/music are all around. Through multiple stereos, sound systems, and speakers, children can listen to sounds of nature, or light calming music depending on what they react to. But that’s not all. In addition, a vibroacoustic platform will be installed which not only plays music but will vibrate in accordance with the beat. Lastly, for physical accommodations. There will be a waterbed surrounded by crash pads and floor mats for the students to lay on and jump into. All these accommodations sound like great fun and excitement, but their true nature is shown when they are seen in action. The impact they can have on an upset child is unlike any other option a school can offer.
Dreamscape’s First Efforts of SupportRecently, on Saturday June 1st, the Dreamscape Foundation teamed up with Twitch Streamer: PaintWithJade, to host a 12 hour charity stream event. But for Jade that wasn’t enough. She decided to continue on and dedicated her following 2 streams towards the campaign as well. As we are still wrapping up the final details and preparing for the raffle prize drawing, we anticipate that through Jade’s efforts, $800-$900 will be contributed towards the school’s fundraising goal of just over $11,400. While we still have a ways to go, this truly was an incredible first step towards helping hundreds of children get the most out of their education. Our next event is still to be determined, but rest assured, there is still more to come! Lastly, all of us at the Dreamscape Foundation and Whispering Forest would like to thank Jade for her efforts and support! For more information on Whispering Forest’s campaign and how to get involved, please feel free to give us a call: (239) 325-1881 or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. « PreviousNext »
Sports Programs for Children with Disabilities
National Federation of State High School Associations, they explain how in 2013 the Office for Civil Rights issued a Dear Colleague Letter spelling out the legal duty all federally funded schools had to provide accessible recreational sports programs to children with all types of disabilities. Making a huge stride to assure no child is left out again.