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Learning Disabilities

The Most Important Skill for Academic Success Is…

Many of us are familiar with various learning differences such as dyslexia and dysgraphia and how they can make school very difficult for students. And even more of us are aware of the challenge ADHD presents for students in every-day life, particularly with paying attention and sustaining effort. Despite the amount of attention these diagnoses receive, there is an even more important cognitive process that can impact your child’s life: Executive Function. Let’s take a look at what this process is and how it affects your student’s performance both in and out of school. What is Executive Function? Executive function [...]

College Admissions Tips for Students with ADHD

The school year is now officially in full swing. Back-to-School nights, football games, and the first signs of fall are here. Along with these also come college admissions season. College recruiters are scheduling their visits on high school campuses, and application deadlines for seniors are looming. For many students the college admission process can be daunting. For students with learning disabilities, ADHD, or other educational-impacting disabilities this process can be even more challenging. If you have a student who is diagnosed with a learning disability, ADHD, or some other educational-impacting disability, fear not…there is a path for you, too! The [...]

Evaluation for ADHD and Learning Disabilities – What to Expect

If you are reading this, then chances are you are thinking about having your child tested for ADHD or another learning difference. While this process is pretty standard, it may seem confusing, frustrating, and even scary when thinking about what all goes into it. Who Does the Testing? Before you begin the testing process you must first find someone to do the testing. Typically there are two types of practitioners: 1) psychologists, and 2) educational diagnosticians. While both psychologists and educational diagnosticians can administer the necessary cognitive assessments, only psychologists are able to give diagnoses of ADHD and other learning [...]

Back to School Tips for Parents

Wow, how is it already the end of July?! Summer sure does fly by fast. Hopefully your child has kept busy with some good summer activities that let him enjoy some time off but also keep his mind and body sharp. For those of us living in Texas, the school year seems to start much earlier than other places. Usually by mid-August students are preparing for their first day back. Today I want to talk to you, parents, about what you can do now to help ensure a smooth first day back for your student and set him up for [...]

The Best Books for Social/Emotional Learning are . . .

Social/emotional learning has become a hot topic in the counseling world. This particular task involves the process by which children acquire the skills necessary to interact with others appropriately. The rise in diagnoses of autism and other developmental disabilities that hinder social/emotional development has finally pushed schools to devote resources to helping students develop these skills. Today’s guest post comes from my friend and colleague Jenny Carter. Jenny holds her Master’s in Professional Counseling and recently completed her third year as an elementary school counselor. I don’t know anyone quite as passionate about life as Jenny, and I am thrilled [...]

Why ADHD Diagnoses are Set to Rise

  ADHD Diagnoses Will Continue to Increase I just returned from the Texas Psychological Association’s annual conference, which was held this year in San Antonio. It’s a great event that brings some of the best psychologists from Texas and around the country together to discuss current trends and other hot topics. I attended several sessions ranging from topics on executive function to health care reform. The most interesting talk I listened to was a discussion of key updates the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, or what most people refer to as the DSM-5. The DSM is [...]

Understanding a 504 Plan

504 Plan Basics In the last post I discussed IEP Basics. IEPs are comprehensive plans for students diagnosed with a specific disability. Many parents wonder what the difference is between and IEP and Section 504 Accommodations. The difference can be confusing. This post will hopefully clarify the differences and help you decide which to pursue. What are 504 Accommodations? Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals are protected under federal law from discrimination related to a disability. Unlike an IEP, 504 is not specific to school. However, for the sake of this post, Section 504 pertains to students [...]

Understanding an IEP

IEP Basics An IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, may be an important piece for students diagnosed with a learning disability. This post is to help you determine if you should explore setting up an IEP for your student. Below are some common questions regarding IEPs. What is an IEP? An IEP is a comprehensive education plan for students diagnosed with a specific disability. IEP’s are required by law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IEP may provide classroom modifications for your student based on his or her diagnosed disability. An IEP will contain: A description of the [...]

Does My Child have a Learning Disability?

Does My Child Have a Learning Disability? Although the term “learning disability” sounds quite scary, the reality is that millions of students in America are diagnosed with some form of it. Sometimes even the best student in school has a diagnosed learning disability. So how do you know if your child has one? First we must understand exactly what a learning disability is. It can be summed up as: A significant difference between a student’s expected achievement level and his actual performance. So what does that mean? Let’s look at the different types of learning disabilities. Common Types of Learning [...]

3 Qualities to Look for when Selecting a Tutor

3 Qualities to Look for when Selecting a Tutor Anyone can call him or herself a tutor, so finding a good one can be difficult. You don’t want to trust your student’s academics to just anyone. Personality, academic competence, and reliability are all essential. When looking for a tutor for your student you want to look for these 3 qualities and ask the appropriate questions to determine whether the tutor is a good match. Education Background Tutors do not necessarily need to be experts in the subjects they tutor. I have worked with numerous students in math and science even though [...]

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