On Your Marks, Get Set, School!

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Ready, Set, Go! Get Ready for the School Start

The summer holidays are sadly coming to an end. The adventurous days with family and friends, the long summer evenings outdoors and the enjoyable sleep in the next morning have made the last few weeks really great. So that nothing stands in the way of a successful re-entry into the school life, we have some tips for you.

Organisation, Organisation, Organisation!

Pencils sharpened, coloured pencils, ruler and protractor are ready, the first day of school is here! A new classroom, schoolbooks and unknown faces – a new school year always brings some changes and some challenges. The best way to support your child is to ensure that everything is prepared and organised to allow the first days to run as smoothly as possible.

Step one: Make sure that they have the necessary school supplies.

Step two: Clarify when any extracurricular activities take place and hang up the new timetable in a visible place in your home.

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Developmental Dyscalculia

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

What is Developmental Dyscalculia?

Developmental dyscalculia can be either genetic or environmental and even an interaction of the two. It is a specific learning disability that affects the normal acquisition of arithmetic skills. It is equally common in boys and girls and impacts on 5-6% of the population.

Genetic Causes

Genetic causes include known genetic disorders such as Turner’s syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Velocardiofacial syndrome, Williams syndrome. In addition studies suggest that there are genes present in the general population which increase the risk of dyscalculia.

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Weekly Roundup: The Wonders of Nature & Famous Dyscalculics

“The Wonders of Nature” – How Nature Strengthens our Well-being and Provides our Brains with the Necessary Rest

A new post this week is all about the incredible benefits a trip into nature can have on our bodies and our brains. Not only is it a place of tranquillity that provides us the necessary rest from our busy city lives; it also gives space for those that have the added stress from a learning difficulty or ADHD. In this article we list these benefits and share with you how one person with ADHD found a way to use nature to train his brain and control his sensory stress and attention.

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“The Wonders of Nature” – How Nature Strengthens our Well-being and Provides our Brains with the Necessary Rest

School, homework, music lessons, ballet, football training, an evening class…

All family homes are busy and active spaces, as we perform everyday life tasks in a growing family. Everything is run on a tight schedule, appointments are squeezed in and the children are busier than ever. However a recent study shows that over-organized activities can negatively affect children’s brains. That’s why many professionals are calling for a return to a more free and relaxed way of educating your child – a more outdoor and natural way.

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Weekly Roundup: Events & Learning to Read in Later Life.

Photo by Nick de Partee on Unsplash

This Weeks Top Dyslexia & Dyscalculia Events

Just a little reminder that we keep a weekly updated calendar of dyslexia, dyscalculia and EdTech events across the UK and sometimes further afield! We’d like to try to have a comprehensive list of everything that’s happening, so if we have missed your event we would love to hear from you!

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Top 5 Dyslexia Ted Talks

1. Aditi Shankardass – A Second Opinion On Learning Disorders

Aditi Shankardass looks at developmental disorders in children, which are typically diagnosed through the observation of the child’s behaviour. She suggests that it is necessary to not stop there and also study brain reactions. She tells a story of misdiagnosis and how correcting these have transformed children’s lives.

 

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IMPROVING LIVES: Autism and Learning Difficulties

Last week we were in Manchester at Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties, a conference by Open Forum Events. It was a true eye-opener and gave us a true understanding of current thinking on the topics from a huge list of expert speakers who have an incredible amount of first-hand experience and knowledge. Not only were there many professionals at the event, but people also shared their amazing and inspiring success stories that showed us how it can be made possible and what needs to be done for a better future of neurodiversity. In this article we have highlighted some of the talks from the event, it was difficult to choose, as the day was crammed with incredible presentations.

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Make Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia Testing Free on the NHS.

Photo Credit: KootenaiUrgentCare Flickr via Compfight cc

An important step has been taken by British citizens who started a petition aiming to make dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia testing free on the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

Today a cost of such test costs around £500, which is not affordable for many British families. While schools may help with the costs of a test if they believe one is necessary, they are not obliged to do so. Therefore many young British children are not diagnosed at a young age, leading them to have difficulties while learning, feeling discouraged and in some cases being bullied by their classmates.

Diagnosing learning disabilities at an early age needs to be a national goal and would help many children and avoid mental health issues in the future.

If you are eligible, please don’t to forget to sign the petition here.

Weekly Roundup: Reading & Dyslexia, Events

Photo Credit: jayneboo Flickr via Compfight cc

A new book on reading and dyslexia by Mark S. Seidenberg

In the newly published Language at the Speed of Sight Mark S. Seidenberg, professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as well as Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories, discusses the science of reading and points out the disconnection between research and education. Seidenberg believes that the core of the problem lies within education. He emphasises that the way children are introduced to reading can create discrimination in economically poorer areas and even discourage reading completely from a younger age. This situation particularly affects children with reading disabilities such as dyslexia, as the difficulty to read is often misbelieved to be linked to the lack of hard work, rather than a physiological problem. The inability to read can lead to as far as illiteracy and should thus be addressed from the youngest age.

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What Is Multi-Sensory Learning?

Multi-sensory learning with shapes, color, touch

If you’ve spent any time reading up on interventions for learning disabilities then you have probably come across the term multi-sensory learning. The phrase pops up fairly often in descriptions of dyslexia therapies, for example. But what exactly is multi-sensory learning, other than a buzzword? Read on to find out.

We absorb information in many different ways. Sometimes we learn by seeing, such as when we read a text. Or we may learn by hearing, as when a teacher explains a lesson to us.

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