gifted children

Gifted Students: Bridging the Gap

I came across this interesting article on gifted students yesterday.  It covers a 45 year study on gifted children. There are some important things to note if you have or regularly encounter gifted children:

  • Within the school system they have extra needs
  • They might also have additional sensory or learning issues
  • They are often over looked or under supported
  • As the article points out, they are an untapped resource…it is often these children that will solve the world problems for future generations. Why aren’t they supported more?

The article suggests that a good percent of these children in the top 1% go on to have influential jobs in science, business, law, and politics. The children, however, do not benefit from being called gifted. They do benefit from having access to advanced curriculum. The article states this about different countries approaches:

In the Middle East and east Asia, high-performing STEM students have received significant attention over the past decade. South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore screen children for giftedness and steer high performers into innovative programmes. In 2010, China launched a ten-year National Talent Development Plan to support and guide top students into science, technology and other high-demand fields.

In Europe, support for research and educational programmes for gifted children has ebbed, as the focus has moved more towards inclusion. England decided in 2010 to scrap the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, and redirected funds towards an effort to get more poor students into leading universities.

The article also states that the study found spatial ability impacts technical and creative innovation. The study also supports grade skipping. It shows the children who do this are more likely to advance their education to PhD s and have patents. It also says that just having accessible appropriate materials can help to motivated the children, but to take into account individual personality differences.

 

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dyslexia and work place

Dyslexia and Autism in the Work Force

Dyslexia and autism have a place in the work force. Although this video is a year old, I for some reason just came across it. It is a beautifully articulated answer about how people with different abilities find their individual purposes in this world. We all are created differently for different purposes. It is important to remember this and celebrate it. Individual’s with dyslexia and autism also have strengths to draw upon. Neil deGrasse Tyson answers this little girl’s question about whether or not he works with people with individuals with dyslexia fantastically.

Often times it seems people hear the term disability and hear short coming then sell the individual short. In reality however, we all have shortcomings. None of us are perfect. Also the work force is such a diverse place. It is meant for all the vast intellects, social skills, gross motor skills, doers, and problem solvers. Also many of the labels like ‘dyslexia’ and ‘autism’ are broad. The people within them fall into different categories and function on different levels, just like ‘brunettes’ or ‘swimmers.’ They are all broad labels until you know the individual it is hard to truly know the full potential or the lasting impact they can do.

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Read

Teaching Phonics: Helping Kids Read

Teaching phonics starts at a young age, but even if kids come into your classroom at any age it’s not too late.

First: Address where the child’s at

Data heads most schools, but sometimes when there’s language barriers, it makes these tests harder for students. No matter what additional factors are at play, simple one on one should allow you to know: does the child know their alphabet, do they know sounds, are they starting to get sight words, or just at what level they can read.

SECOND: Create a Goal and A Plan To achieve it

Nobody reaches the finish line without first figuring out where they are headed. Future readers likewise need to have achievable goals, so they can feel the success, and build on it. Notice nuance in each child. If the child is older, they might not be grasping why they even need to learn to read. They need to find inner motivation if they’re going to put forth the effort to master a new skill. This means they might need even more of a game type atmosphere. If you can think of a way to make learning fun, do it! The reward of it for everyone will pay off ten fold!

teaching phonics

Third: Know the Basics of Language yourself

Here is some vocabulary around reading. Although it is not essential to memorize these words, the ideas behind them are what the students and all of us need to master.

Phonemes = any distinct unit of sound that when put together with other phonemes create words (for example ‘d’ in ‘dog’)

Grapheme = the symbols we use in writing (for example ‘d’)

Automacity = For it to be automatic and natural. The more words that fit into this category for the child the easier time they’ll have collecting information from a book or a street sign

Language Structure Also Effects Sound

Closed Words = CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant)

Open Words = 1st syllabol ends in a vowel

Silent ‘e’….also the other silent letter nuances

Vowel Team Words = like ‘Chair’ or ‘Neat’

Consonant ‘le’ and ‘er’ Words = like ‘supper’ and ‘turtle’

Lastly: Start Small

Our language is immense! People get Doctorates in just English, so remember achievable goals. Maybe a third grader just needs to learn the alphabet, but until that goal is accomplished the rest of English will not make sense. Good luck and stay patient!

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baby massage

Baby Massage: Improving Life with Touch

Baby massage can be an easy way to help your child. Here are some ways it helps, and some ideas for getting started. It can be help:

  • If the child has hyper-tonic, high tone, muscles, massage can help in relaxing them.
  • Baby massage can also help hypo-tonic, or low tone, muscles to stimulate the muscles and help them develop
  • It helps both children with hyper and hypo sensitivity to regulate their bodies to touch. Helping a child learn to familiarize touch can help with life long necessary skills. Getting a child’s body in-line can also help to regulate other senses.
  • Massage can also help fussy babies relieve tension and stress. Children who are extra susceptible to this need are drug withdrawal babies, sensitive babies, and babies that have unusual pain.
  • Massage can help all babies sleep longer and deeper if done as part of a nightly routine.
  • Baby massage can help increase social skills and increase bonding
  • Help with digestion- keeping babies more regular and ease gas issues
  • Help babies increase alert state for more personal interactions
  • Help with feeding issues by assisting oral-motor development
  • It may even help some children with weight gain- Perhaps through alertness, feeding issues, and digestive help
  • Baby massage can help improve body awareness, which will help gross motor, fine motor, and self-help skills

Easy ways to start:

  • Keep it simple
  • Make it a routine
  • Place baby or toddler on towel
  • Use lotion
  • Talk with baby

Here’s a simple video to help get you started. There are other ideas that started at legs is easier as they are less sensitive. If you need more guidance many massage therapist and even some chiropractors are happy to help get you started.

 

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allergies

Allergies in Babies and Toddlers: 6 Things to Know

Allergies in Babies and Toddlers can be very intimidating. What do you do for such cute little ones when they seem to be suffering? How do you know that it is only allergies and not something worse? Well I’d love to say that there is a magic cure all, but if your little ones are anything like our little one, even the allergist will be left guessing.

First: Allergies are caused by their bodies immune systems believing that they need to fight something off. As their bodies create extra antibodies, a variety of things can occur.

Second: Note that allergies can present in various ways. They can show as overly dry skin almost anywhere on the body or a personality change. They can also be chronic cold symptoms, red eyes, acne, itching, or the usual rash (which also presents in a variety of ways).

Third: If you are concerned, call your medical provider. In all cases of allergies, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Anaphylaxis is a rare condition, but it rapidly causes allergic swelling blocking the airways.

Fourth: Our son changed allergies as he grew, so just because your baby is allergic to an item, it does not mean they always will be. Take caution and talk to a medical provider about reintroducing foods or environmentally items after your child has been off of them a while.

Fifth: Allergies can be linked to genetics. The specific allergies however vary. In our family that means, what causes anaphylaxis in me is not the same thing that causes it in my son. Also too much dairy bugs me, but my son is super sensitive to sugars. So although the auto immune over activity seems prevalent in certain family line, the things that trigger it seem to be different.

Sixth: It is important that you talk to your medical provider. They will be able to sort out the virus from allergies. They also can help you deal with both so that your child gets feeling better soon.

allergies in babies and toddlers

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