Sunday, 27 January 2013

Anger Management and specific leaning needs by  Dyslexia Dublin CETC Part one 2013 ©

It is quite difficult for those who are fully abled to react to change, so how can we expect our children with known learning difficulties be the ...same as us?… we can’t is the short answer.
They struggle, as we are aware, to deal with or learn most everyday tasks.
So what causes the anxiety that quickly becomes frustration and, if not tempered, a meltdown?
Our children are constantly watching us, even though we rarely realise this is happening…it’s almost a subconscious act…so possible issues that may cause initial anxiety are:
Economically related (changes in routine due to tightening of funds) different supermarket…reducing happy time out…Mc Donalds, Cinema, etc.
You could be pre-occupied with issues – money, bills, separation, loss, for example.
Changing the car…and even the different colour of new purchase.
Changes to routine… eg. bed time or getting up early due to changes in logistics.
Change of environment…eg. bedroom…furniture being moved…places at dinner table…changing colour schemes…lighting colour…room fresheners…perfume…tooth brush. Yes, even a tooth brush can change moods.
Hairdresser…swimming pool…holiday destination.
Changes at school…new teachers…new classroom and new lesson content or subjects.
Children pick up far more than we realise and react to far more too…they can have a variation of triggers that can tip the scales, like aggressive sounding words, images stored from a previous incident (rather like deja vu), sounds, weather (icy, slippery), that can signal raised levels of anxiety or a rapid change to their feelings of being safe and feeling secure. These can be completely individual and not all of the above will have the same outcome/effect on each child. They will harbour some of these from past events and personal experience and they can also be associated with traumatic events in the past. Also, seeing fear in adults can make them link back through stored feelings and images (not unlike a nightmare in our sub conscious).
Children tend to present us with advanced warning of their unease in regard to these trigger events, warning signals that adults should realise are a precursor to understanding the child might be struggling or finding something very hard to come to terms with. These cues may include facial expressions or nervous tics (mild self-harm) pinching flesh, changes in speech patterns (incoherent or alterations in volume), hot when you are cold…sweating, feeling ill (stomach aches), becoming quiet or withdrawn (introvert…staying in one room), complaining or getting irritable, exhibiting lack of interest in going places, fear avoidance tactics, ie. negative responses when they were normally acceptable (shopping…swimming…Cinema). I recently witnessed a child being very uncomfortable with the noise of the ice crunching machine in a coffee shop…did the parent/carer spot the unease of the child....?
All of our posts are based on personal…family and research sourced in many places…and is for reading and guidance purposes. Part two to follow soon!

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Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Dyscalculia - The Why’s and how to spot some of the Signs by  Dyslexia Dublin CETC ©

Dyscalculia can be described as an innate specific learning disability (in the mind) that prohibits various levels of understanding in mathematics. It is very similar to dyslexia and in some cases, children/adults can have both.
The main difference between the two is the difficulty in understanding nu...mbers, ie. 5 back to front and getting sums reversed (54 x 4 can be read as 45 x 4), learning how to manipulate numbers, learning maths facts and a number of other related symptoms. As with dyslexia, Maths disabilities can also occur as the result of some types of brain injury (apraxia), in which case the proper term is acalculia, to distinguish it from dyscalculia which is of innate, genetic or developmental origin.
Although maths learning difficulties can be generic, occurring in children with low levels of academia, dyscalculia also affects people from across the whole IQ range and sufferers often, but not always, also have difficulties with telling the time and measuring (eg. cooking).
Estimates of the population with dyscalculia range between 3 and 6%.
Dyscalculia can cause problems with the written maths and indeed for those with dyslexia and dyscalculia, algebra can cause particular problems as the calculations and written word become entwined…however, not so with physical maths (eg. counting with fingers or an abacus) as this is visual. Learning Maths through the visual channel is very important (games , etc.). Also, I find that some, but not all, children are no longer being taught by rote (ie. memorising through repetition)…children with specific learning needs would benefit from this method.
Symptoms of dyscalculia could be if you throw down a number of coins or counters in a random fashion the child/adult would have difficulty in arriving at the correct value/number. They would have a far greater chance of accuracy if they were in rows. Also, with varied objects i.e. one of each…cow, pig, horse, dog for example…they would then use their visual image side to great effect and gain the correct answer and with increased speed too.
Reading a clock is also difficult, especially analogue as opposed to digital…again games can speed this up. Also, going in up in 5’s is good (5, 10, 15 mins) and avoid the ‘to the hour’, just use past the hour, ie. 10,20,30,40 mins past, etc. ‘Quarter past/to’ and ‘half past’ can be introduced later on. Also time keeping can be a problem – it’s beneficial to use minutes when giving instruction, ie. we’re going out in 10 minutes, it’ll be time for bed in 20 minutes, as they will find this easier to understand.
As with Dyslexia, left and right is a problem - with map reading people often turn the map towards the direction they need to head.
Other symptoms are an inability to process multiple requests, difficulty in multi-tasking. Also, problems with reading music and with visualisation in general.
Many adults with dyscalculia have learnt to adapt their world to allow them use their strengths. Being creative for the most part, many become writers and artists
Software intended to intervene and improve children and adult’s academic ability is now widely available.
Multi-sensory educational therapy is a very effective way of increasing academic (ability) age up to a person’s chronological age range.
NB. this information is from personal research and also partly sourced through the work of others and is purely for improving the understanding of dyslexia…we do not make any suggestions in our posts. Toby Lee Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2013

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Guest blogs will becoming soon to our site by Adam Harris @ Aspergers Advice...great site packed full of posts on Aspergers...go on take a look.
Top Tip Friday…Fine Motor Skills  Dyslexia Dublin CETC ©

The co-ordination of the skeletal, muscular and neurological body functions combines to perform fine motor skills. Fine motor control is the ability to make small, precise movements, such as picking up a tiny object with your thumb and index finger. There are several things you can do to improve fine motor skill…working with a soft ball…making sure you get your child to squeeze the ball, stretching the fingers and pull the ball in by using mainly the finger tips…rolling up a tea towel is also good for this.
Marbles is a great game for improving fine motor skill and children love to play it. Set up a marbles game and play it for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day. To shoot marbles, set up a small box on its side either on a table, on a carpet or on the floor. Hold a marble between the tip of your index finger and thumb; shoot it towards the box, trying to get it inside. Start close to the box and as co-ordination improves move the box further away, which will also continue to develop more accuracy. You can also use the index finger to flick the marble if preferred
Another exercise to strengthen the fingers and improve fine motor is to get an elastic band and thread it around the fingers and try to spread the fingers as wide as you can and return to normal position. Repeat this (a few minutes at each end of the day) every

This information is for guidance purposes only