Federal Dyslexia Resolution 456:

 

Federal Dyslexia Resolution 456: 

 

 TIME TO ACTIVATE!

Res. 456, “Resolution on Dyslexia” presented by Rep.Bill Cassidy (R-LA) needs the support of at least 100 U.S. Congress members to bring it to a vote in the House

Education and the Workforce committee.

Please contact your representative and tell him or her to sign on to the

Resolution on Dyslexia, now!

Find your representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Sample letter here:

Dear Rep. ————

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) needs the support of at least 100 U.S. Congress members to bring to a vote  H.Res.456 in the House Education and the Workforce committee.  As one of your constituents concerned with the education of all of our children, I am counting on you to support this resolution.  

(Insert your personal story here, if you have one that you’d like to share.)

Rep. Cassidy’s Resolution recognizes each major element of dyslexia: its prevalence (1 in 5);  the cognitive and neurobiological bases; its unexpected nature and persistence; its profound impact on education and the critical need for action by schools.

Rep. Cassidy gets it and I hope that you do too.  The Bipartisan Dyslexia Caucus which he co-founded was a major step forward and now the Dyslexia Resolution brings light and understanding, and hopefully action, to ensuring that children who are dyslexic receive the understanding and evidence-based programs and accommodations that they deserve.  Please act now to support Resolution #456 – 

Bullying and the Special Needs Child

Bullying and the Special Needs Child

Recent research indicates that a child with a disability is more likely to be physically or verbally bullied than typically developing peers. As a special needs teacher/care provider, and therapist with over twenty years experience, I can attest to this data. However, by teaching children to understand that not everyone sees the world the same way, parents can facilitate understanding and healthy interaction between all kinds of children. Developing  social skills and an action plan to prevent bullying can decrease the odds that kids will be bullied, or that they themselves will become bullies when faced with situations that produce social anxiety.

Although children with disabilities are more likely to be the object of bullying, sometimes they are tagged as the bully, often as a result of low self-esteem or being bullied by others. No matter how your child is affected by bullying, these steps can go a long way in preventing this hurtful practice:

When a Special Needs Child is Bullied:

  • Talk to the child about situations that invite bullying.      A child with developmental delays such as Down Syndrome or Asberger’s syndrome is many times to trusting and friendly. Because he does not understand the concept of others playing tricks, he becomes an easy target. You as a parent can help with some simple advice. For example, you can talk to your child about where to sit on the bus for example; when possible sit near the driver or a friend. Sometimes knowing where to be and where not to be can stave off confrontation with bullies.
  • Teach your child about body language. This is very hard for children who are autistic or with learning disabilities,  because they often don’t pick up on social cues such like facial expression, stance, and body language. Help them to understand that a bully will most likely demonstrate quick or jerky movements,      use a loud voice, and distorted facial expressions. Teach your child to assess… “Is this person too close to me?” “Is he speaking very loud?” If so, your child needs tools to use confident body language of his own.
  • Using appropriate social language is a skill many Special Needs children almost never learn. Children with     language delays and processing difficulties cannot come up with a quick response to verbal bullying on their own. Practice confident positive social language (not threats). Try role play practicing scenarios with your child at home, so that he is prepared for a bully if  it comes his way.
  • Children need be ready to take safe action like  leaving the situation or going an adult. A child with a disability which causes her to think very concretely could be reluctant to approach an adult because she thinks she may be creating a problem.  We need to teach them to overcome these feelings, using hypothetical examples, and emphasizing that it is responsible to report unsafe bullying situations.

When the Bully Has Special Needs:

Often the child with a speech difficulty or the child who leaves the “regular” classroom for special instruction is teased and ridiculed by his peers. This child may have been teased for poor academic or social skills, and may look for someone who is weaker in those areas. Bullying in this case may also be the result of misreading social cues or lacking the communication skills to ask for something appropriately. Developing skills in social confidence can reduce the tendency to bully. Here are some examples:

  • Explain the rules. Talk about when something is his and when it is not. Sally’s turn on the swings is just that – Sally’s turn! Whether or not another child wants to swing at that moment it is not an option because someone else is taking a turn. Fair play is an incredibly difficult concept for Autistic and Asperger’s children so extensive practice and role play are important.
  • Teach them body language. Make sure your child knows that a head shake, turning away, or standing up to someone (as well as the verbal “No”) means no. This body language should tell the child to stop. If your child is struggling to pick up on social cues, practice different scenarios at home, role play and discuss what  happened afterward. Reading or telling some of these scenarios at bed time may help to solidify the concepts.
  • You also must use appropriate social language! Help your child practice using her words, not actions, to get what she wants. If she wants to play with a ball or borrow a pencil, remind her to wait for a positive response before just taking the item she wants.

Parents of typically developing children should explain that children with special needs may be struggling with the aforementioned social skills. This is an opportunity for them to take a leadership role and show respect to their classmates. They can help stop the cycle of bullying by supporting their special needs peers.

Stand up!

Stand Up!

This is a video made by a couple of young brothers to combat the bullying and attacks made against their family because their two young sisters are down syndrome. It’s a must see and share!

Loving Brothers Stand Up for Bullied Sisters With Down Syndrome:

One day a family woke up to a horrific sight outside their house…someone had
spray painted awful things about their 2 daughters with down syndrome. Meet the
Hollis Boys, age 6 and 7 that wouldn’t let hateful people treat their sisters or
anyone like that. Here is what they have to say. Watch, share, join
http://www.godtube.com/untilweflyaway/and http://www.facebook.com/everyonematters – to create a
world where EVERYONE is free to be EXACTLY who they are, without shame, apology
– or attack.

down syndrome

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0902FFNU

Aspergers

banner blue puzzleUnderstanding Aspergers:

A   Anxiety seems to come out of nowhere sometimes for no reason. I’m afraid of doing the wrong thing. Sometimes I worry a lot and am scared that I might be a bad person.

S Strange thoughts run through my head at random. Sometimes I can make them stop but other times I can’t. I associate strange things (like the number 11 with white bread dipped in tomato sauce).

P People don’t understand me sometimes and I’m afraid regular ed. kids will never accept me. They don’t think the way I do and don’t understand me.

E Eye Contact bothers me. I don’t know why I have trouble looking at people when I talk to them, nor do I know why I don’t like being touched?

R Routine is important and helps me focus. I hate major change and fear the unknown. I worry a lot about the future and find it hard to organize my life when my routine changes.

G Games, especially video and computer games that let you escape from reality are favorites of “Aspies.” I have an excellent memory when it comes to navigating tunnels in an RPG

E Escapism is vital. I don’t always understand the world around myself or the way others think. I protect myself by escaping into my own world.

R Rejection is hard to deal with, especially if it’s by peers of your own age group.

S Safety, Security, and Satisfaction are things all “Aspies” crave but seldom find unless they try. We don’t succeed in “normal” ways but many of us have special talents and are truly brilliant, something most of us are!

Do some of these describe your child? Aspergers is not a disability but a state of uniqueness! Children on the Autism spectrum live their lives outside the “norms” of society, or so we are taught to believe. However, I see these students as individuals, each with their own set of rules by which to play. With the right instruction, coping mechanisms, and life skills tools they can learn to tolerate those things that separate them from the mainstream.

Contact us today to get started on helping your unique child manage the world he/she lives in.

call 973-534-3402 for free 1/2 hour phone consult

or email specialneedsnj@hotmail.com to schedule a session