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Showing posts from April, 2018

Building the Core Cognitive Skills to Overcome Dyslexia

Although dyslexia is called a learning disability, it does not mean that one is unable to learn. Instead, dyslexia is a learning difference that often requires multisensory instruction as well as cognitive remediation. Therefore, certain cognitive skills that may come easily for most students may require additional attention and training for many students that struggle with dyslexia.

What Types of Cognitive Skills Need This Extra Attention?
Each individual with dyslexia has their own unique profile, but here is a list of some of the common cognitive deficits that result in a diagnosis of dyslexia.
Auditory processing: Auditory processing problems do not originate in the ear. Instead, it is an issue with how the brain processes auditory information. Visual processing: Visual processing problems also reside in the brain. There are no problems with vision; rather, they are difficulties with how the brain makes sense of visual stimuli. Language processing: Language processing is the way pe…

New York State Tests: 10 Reasons to Opt Out

In New York State, most middle schoolers are amidst state-mandated standardized tests. This involves four days of testing for ELA and Math, and many families debate about whether it is best to let their children take these tests or opt out altogether.

What is the Purpose of the Testing? 
According to the NYS Department of Education: "The federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 maintains the requirement that students in Grades 3-8 are tested once a year in English Language Arts and Math."  They purport that, "The tests are designed to measure how well students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom instruction and ensure that students are on track to graduate from high school."

Can Parents Opt Their Children Out of State Tests or Request an Alternative? According to the NYS Department of Education, if students want to opt out of state tests, their parents need to consult their school district's principal. Principals should respect a parent&#…

How Can I Improve My Higher Order Language Skills?

When concepts first move from concrete ideas to abstract ways of thinking, some students start to struggle for the first time. This can happen because they have weaknesses in higher order language skills. Higher order language skills, also called higher level language or metalinguistic skills, refers to advanced language processing.  It requires abstract and deductive verbal reasoning skills and the understanding of advanced vocabulary and word relationships.  But what are the common signs?
You Might Have Higher Order Language Problems if:
You have problems predicting outcomes.You have difficulties with implied meaning or inferences.You have problems with pragmatic or social language skills.You have difficulties expressing your ideas in words.You struggle with writing skills.You have problems with main ideas and details.You have difficulties understanding jokes, riddles, and humor.You struggle with writing summaries and paraphrasing.You have difficulties sequencing events.You struggle w…