Wednesday, September 29, 2010

School Lunch Funding Before Congress

I found this article about the National School Lunch Program enlightening (with video -image from CNN) about how schools struggle to feed kids healthy food. The issue is before currently before Congress and we can only hope they do the right thing.

(CNN) — Dana Woldow issues a challenge to every member of Congress: "Try school cafeteria food in your district. Then see if you continue to make the same decisions about how you fund the program."

Read the article and view the video here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

McDonalds Nutrition - Good News?

McDonalds Nutrition. Seriously? Well, maybe. The healthy menu options are better than the regular menu items and there are actually some pretty decent choices. The Apple Dippers and Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait have been around for a while and they continually add new salad offerings.
Years ago when most parents today were still kids, none of the fast food restos had over-sized fries and drinks - it was just a burger, small fries and a small drink. Today, the over-sized menu items translate into over-sized Americans - kids and adults alike.
A little moderation goes a long way, and that holds true for diet AND exercise. We can all use it, but it's especially true for kids with learning disabilities.
A child that struggles in school has a brain that works overtime just to keep up with listening or taking notes. Doing both at the same time can be overwhelming and exhausts the brain, which is why these kids are so tired when they get home from school.
So it's important for these kids to get good nutrition to fuel the brain and a healthy dose of exercise to maintain the brain. McDonalds healthy menu options combined with a McDonalds PlayPlace just may be a winning combination. Find out more at the Easy IEP Help website...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Learning Disability Acronyms

It's IEP season and if you're new to the IEP Process you're probably new to all the Learning Disability Acronyms. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it.

Before long, you'll be able to tell the difference between APD (Auditory Processing Disorder) and SLP (Speech Language Pathologist). You're off to a good start if you know that IEP stands for Individualized Education Program (or Plan). Good luck!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fast ForWord Reading Intervention

This summer my daughter was enrolled in the Fast ForWord ® summer program to help with reading comprehension and learning proficiency.

The program was 5 days a week for 6 weeks for just less than two hours a day. The entire time was spent on a computer, essentially playing games, which is great for a 6th grader.

Based on 30 years of research, more than a million kids have used Fast ForWord to increase reading and language skills by improving brain processing efficiency.

The benefits of Fast ForWord include:

  • Increased Cognitive Skills
  • Improved Listening Skills
  • Heightened Engagement
  • Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence in Learning

Our final assessment at the end of the program showed an increase of 4 grades in reading improvement.

It's still early in the school year but so far so good.

Scientific Learning
888 358-0212 Toll Free

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Autism & Asperger Social Skills Training Videos

It's no secret that children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome have difficulty with social skills and interactions with other children and adults. This makes it especially hard to teach them the necessary skills.

Recent studies have shown that "video modeling" can be an effective way to help them develop the social skills necessary to succeed. Watching videos that show proper social behavior has shown promise that may help these children get on the right track.

Fortunately, Model Me Kids has created an entire series of Autism and Asperger Social Skills Videos. These videos are available for children 2 to 17 years of age and are highly targeted for specific social situations.

For more information visit:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

California Releases 2010 Academic Performance Index (API)

The results of the 2010 California Academic Performance Index (API) have been released by the state.

The API rating system compares year-over-year test scores and is used as a way of measuring improvement.

The Great Schools website has scores available for any city or school district.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Waiting For Superman Documentary

The documentary Waiting For Superman, directed by Davis Guggenheim, opens in New York and Los Angeles on September 24, 2010 and nationwide in October.

The film explores public education in America and First Book and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have already pledged to donate 250,000 new books to schools so far.

The website offers users a chance to pledge to see the film with other donation options.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are You Considering Kindergarten a Year Later?

It's been a popular trend for more than a decade now. It's called Redshirting Kindergarten and it's gaining in popularity.

You may have heard talk about it around your school, or it may have been suggested to you - either way, think long and hard before holding your child back a year before beginning school.

There are pros and cons to having your child start school in Kindergarten a year after they meet the age requirements. If it's not necessary, don't sweat it. But if you have any reservations, here's some points to ponder in this article:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Earobics Can Help With Reading

Earobics can help with reading if your child is struggling in school and is in Grade 3 or below.

With so many reading intervention and cognitive tools available today, Earobics is one of the first programs to begin with but to take advantage of this program you must begin early. Fortunately, many schools offer it and most of the time you can get a licensed copy from your school. Be sure to ask about it at your IEP.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

School Bus

Sometimes even the school bus has to wait in line to pick kids up from school.

And I thought the line was long. Things moved quickly after the bus filed up.

Make sure you have an easy iep - take food - teachers get hungry too!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Definition of Learning Disability

It's probably more important to gain an understanding of what Learning Disabilities are than hearing the formal definition.

Children with learning disabilities have challenges with one or more of the following:

  • reading
  • writing
  • listening
  • speaking
  • reasoning
  • math

If you suspect your child may have a learning disability, document everything and discuss it with their teacher(s). There’s no shame in having a learning disability, it does not mean your child is dumb, and it does not mean they are lazy, even if they do have a messy room. :-)  It means they need help learning and you should do everything you can to help them.

But...some people still need more, so to Define Learning Disability, I usually let the Department of Education handle that.

Here is how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines specific learning disability:

"...a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia."

However, learning disabilities do not include, "...learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage." 34 Code of Federal Regulations §300.7(c)(10)