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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dyslexia Cognitive Remedial Therapy Defined and Tools for Success




Have you heard that the brain is plastic? Brain plasticity or neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize, change, and grow new neural pathways throughout the lifespan. But did you know that cognitive exercises can play a significant role in plasticity? This can be a game changer for individuals with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, because these learners can actually strengthen weak areas of cognition.

What is Cognitive Remedial Therapy?

Cognitive Remedial Therapy is an approach that uses focused cognitive activities to improve core neurocognitive abilities such as attention, working memory, mental flexibility, planning, processing speed as well as visual, auditory, sequential and simultaneous processing.

Can Cognitive Remedial Therapy Erase Deficits?


Much like a personal trainer can strengthen a weak tendon or muscle through targeted, repetitive workouts, a learning specialist or educational therapist can enhance and improve cognition, through focused mental exercises. There is a three step process. First, assess a student’s cognitive processing abilities. This information can be gleaned from psycho-educational or neuropsychological reports. Second, you want to define the cognitive processing weaknesses. This can be determined by locating the lowest cognitive test scores. And third, you want to implement focused exercises that commence at one’s current ability and gradually increase in difficulty.

What are the Tools for Success?


You can create and implement your own exercises, or you can use a bundle of activities and games created for students with dyslexia. Again, be sure to follow the three step process. First assess cognition. Second, define weaknesses. And third, implement exercises. For the best results, do the activities for 10-15 minutes, 3 times a week.

Come Watch my Video on Cognitive Remedial Therapy




I hope you found this helpful! Please like, share and comment on the video!
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dyslexia and Learning Through Music: A Podcast with Nathan John

This blog shares my most recent video podcast, featuring dyslexia advocate and entrepreneur, Nathan John. This is the fourth of many free video podcasts for Go Dyslexia!


Having overcome the barriers of being an undiagnosed dyslexic at school, Nathan John became a successful event organizer and DJ while completing a university degree in Applied Economics. Now, Nathan is a successful multi award-winning entrepreneur who has been publicly endorsed by the Prime Minister as well as Richard Branson.  What’s more, he was appointed young ambassador of the year for the Prince’s Trust, granted an entrepreneurship role model for the Welsh Government and represented the UK as a business delegate.


Nathan founded Rewise Learning in 2008 and specializes in providing innovative educational solutions covering a range of services including, education, training, e-learning, consultancy, public-engagement and participation events. Rewise Learning is constituted of four distinct brands, each offering a unique approach.
LearnThruMusic Courses: A specialist education and training provider aiming to engage people with education in a fresh way. We work with a variety of learners including mainstream, special educational needs, young offenders, NEETS (Not in Education or Employment Training) and other vulnerable groups. We use music, informal lecturing, song-writing, song recording and music production to engage and teach learners new skills and qualifications.
LearnThruMusic: A revision and learning website covering the core academic subjects. These effective learning resources were developed in consultation with teachers and students at Hawthorne High School (Pontypridd) to develop the product in line with learner needs and to test and prove the concept.
PhonicsThruMusic: A new approach to the synthetic phonics system of teaching reading, developed in conjunction with students and teachers at Woodlands High, a special educational needs school in Cardiff. PhonicsThruMusic is a series of 20 eBooks aimed at SEN (Special  Educational Needs), Primary and secondary schools, international TEFL (Teaching English as a Second Language) schools and individual learners aged 11 – 19.
Sing-In Success: SingIn Success provides inspirational, innovative and dynamic training services to businesses and organizations throughout the United Kingdom.
Nathan is also a founding director of Surfability UK CIC, Wales' first inclusive surf school for people with disabilities and learning difficulties.  Nathan has helped Surfability create a sustainable business model for inclusive surfing in Wales and identified and helped the organization win funding and development capital.
Nathan is also founder and Director of The Rewise Foundation CIC, a not for profit organization providing support and educational opportunities to the most disadvantaged members of our society. To date they have delivered projects for high profile funding partners such as Children In Need and the National Lottery.


Click the image below to watch our Podcast on Youtube.


You can download the audio podcast on my site


Resources mentioned in the video podcast:


**Click Below to SUBSCRIBE for More Videos:


Dr. Erica Warren – Your Podcast Host
Dyslexia video podcast, video blogs, & resources:https://www.godyslexia.com


Come watch the video:
Let us know what you think!!

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Reading Comprehension Problems: 4 Causes and 12 Solutions

I'm sure most you have experienced the act of reading a book, while your mind was wandering elsewhere.  So, you can probably appreciate how easy it is for youngsters to miss meaning while reading.  Although teachers, reading specialists and even parents spend an enormous amount of time instructing young learners how to decode the written word, they often neglect to fully teach the metacognitive skills required to comprehend text.


What are the Common Causes of Reading Comprehension Problems?
There are a number of indicators that can be used to flag students who will likely require explicit instruction in reading comprehension.
  1. Learners that have or had weak oral language skills when they were in preschool.  
  2. Students that have underdeveloped word decoding skills.
  3. Learners with weak executive functioning skills, especially in working memory which involves the use of one’s “inner eye” and “inner voice.”
  4. Learners with poor language processing abilities.  They may struggle with any of the following difficulties
    1. Semantic processing - the processing of perceiving words and placing them in a context that allows for deeper meaning.
    2. Vocabulary - all the words known by an individual person.
    3. Inferences - the act or process of reaching a conclusion about something from known facts or evidence.
    4. Text structure - the many ways text can be organized.
    5. Grammar - the study of the classes of words, their inflections, as well as their functions and relations in the sentence.


What are Some Reading Comprehension Strategies?
  • Teach students to be active participants in their reading.  Exhibit aloud your own inner voice as you use your own metacognitive skills to actively engage in reading.
  • Develop decoding skills to automaticity - so students have the “cognitive space” to engage with the text.
  • Foster a robust vocabulary by both teaching individual words as well as how to glean the meaning of new words from the surrounding text.
  • Teach the grammatical rules that make up language.
  • Instruct students about the morphological structure of words so that learners can figure out the meaning of many unknown words by evaluating prefixes, roots, and suffixes.
  • Illustrate higher order language skills and teach students how to question, infer meaning, make personal connections and generate predictions.
  • Teach students about text structure such as the setting, characters, initiating events, problems, resolution, explicit themes, cause and effect, compare and contrast, as well as problem and solution.
  • Show students how to annotate text or take notes that summarize and sequence important events.
  • Develop each student’s ability to generate mental imagery while reading.
  • Show learners how to create their own inner questions that can focus attention on content and help them to make meaningful connections.
  • Teach students how to monitor their attention and comprehension through mindfulness practices.
  • Do pre-reading activities that explain the meaning of key words, activate relevant prior knowledge and generate mental imagery.


Don’t feel that you have to teach all of these reading strategies to every student that has weak comprehension skills.  Instead, evaluate the needs of each student and tailor instruction to address their specific deficits.

If you would like to view a video blog that reviews this content, click on the image below:
Let me know if this is helpful!!

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Learning Specialist Secrets: A Free 3-Part Video Course

Are you a tutor, learning specialist or educational therapist? If not, would you like to establish a business helping learners to reach their true potential? Whether you would like to create a private practice from scratch, or you already have an established business, I would love to help you. For the past 18 years, I have directed my own business, Learning to Learn, and it's been the most rewarding experience of my live.

I am so excited to share my free course: Learning Specialist Secrets: a Free 3-Part Video Series! In this course, I reveal the benefits, mistakes, and strategies for building your own practice as a learning specialist! I will cover:

  • The 5 Key Benefits of a Learning Specialist Practice. 
  • The 10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes. 
  • The 7 Most Common Questions and Answers About Establishing a Practice.
  • As an added bonus, I created a demonstration that shows you how I quickly turn a blog into a video! This can help you to grow your audience on YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms.  What's more, your blog followers will love it!

You will also learn tips on how you can create a practice that honors YOUR expertise and passions! To learn more and sign up for my free course:
I look forward to getting to know you on the inside!
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Developing Fine Motor Skills with Osmo's Monster and Creative Set

I have been a fan of the Osmo from the day it was released, and I'm always excited to see what new interactive app they will create next. Well, I couldn't be more excited about their newest release, Monster. I just got it today! It comes with a dry erase board and a magnetic eraser that also serves as a storage pouch for a set of six colorful markers. If you don't already have the starter set, you will need that too. Once you get your package from Osmo, all you have to do is download their free app, set it up the ipad as in the image above, open the app and let the magic begin.

What is this New Game?
Mo is a cartoon character that requests players to make drawings that he then uses in animated activities.  Kids can have hours of fun sketching objects that Mo brings to life on the screen.

Are There Any Cognitive or Educational Benefits to Osmo Monsters?
Yes.  There are a number of benefits.
  • Drawing helps kids to develop fine motor skills.
  • Creative play helps to develop the imagination.
  • Playful animations kindle a love for learning.
  • Mo's nonjudgemental acceptance of the player's draws develops pride and confidence.
How Can Learning Specialist Use Osmo Monsters?
  • You can add additional directions to Mo's requests to develop listening skills.
  • You can encourage your students to visualize their sketches before they draw.
  • You can ask your students to verbalize their visualizations before drawing to develop metacognitive skills.
What are the Other Games?
The inventors or Osmo claim that their games foster learning in "social-emotional skills, creative thinking, art, STEM and common core.  They have six other games and each develops unique skills:

  • Coding - logic and problem-solving skills
  • Tangrams - visual processing, fine motor, and spatial relation skills
  • Words - spelling, critical thinking, and reasoning skills 
  • Newton - creative problem solving, spacial and visual processing skills
  • Masterpieces - fine motor, visual processing, drawing and creative confidence skills
  • Numbers - quantitive reasoning skills as well as counting, addition and multiplication skills
CLICK HERE to purchase Osmo Monsters.  By using this link, the first 5 people to order the full Osmo kit will get $5.00 off.

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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