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Showing posts from June, 2009

Luke Deserves So Much More

Luke Deserves So Much More Stephen Drill - Article from Sunday Sun
June 21, 2009 10:26am LUKE Modra spends 20 hours a day locked in a spartan room. He's alone. His guards pass his food through the door.He has a TV in his room, but no remote control.For Luke, simple luxuries such as toasters or a kettle are banned in the suburban Melbourne house that has become his prison. Luke has never broken the law. He has never been charged or convicted of any wrongdoing. But he has been given a life sentence - autism, a complex condition of developmental disorders that affect communication and social skills. "Everybody deserves somebody to love, something to look forward to. Luke doesn't have that now," his mother, Ellen, said. Luke, 20, is considered one of Victoria's most severe autistic cases. So bad are his symptoms that his heartbroken parents have been unable to care for him at home for the past five years. Because of his violent tendencies, he now lives in a Department o…

Thinking Positively: How Some Characteristics of ADHD Can be Adaptive and Accepted in the Classroom

Are ADHD kids annoying? This is a question that I ask in my seminars. Depending on the course and the teacher comments range from "oh yea" , "Sometimes", "Not Really" I then tell my participants that what ever they think they are they are" Our intervention is typically guided by our perception of the child or student. How can behaviours that are displayed by some of our ADHD kids be accepted in the classroom?
Sherman, Rasmussen and Baydala note that children who are ADHD respond to salient or novel stimuli and become easily distracted. Thus attention problems result in decreasing ability to attend to tasks that require sustained attention.
Some strategies that may help children read and write
paraphrasinglimiting distractionsscanning for headingsgraphic organizers - flow charts, models of written work, and aiding in self-editingThe authors found that strategies helpful for ADHD students are beneficial for all students.

Thinking differently can cha…

People With Autism Better at Problem Solving

A new study done by Harvard and University of Montreal compared the abilty of 15 Autistics and 18 non-autistics in completing the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM) - a test that measures hypothesis-testing, problem-solving and learning skills.

"While both groups performed RSPM test with equal accuracy, the autistic group responded more quickly and appeared to use perceptual regions of the brain to accelerate problem-solving," says lead author Isabelle Soulières, a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University who completed the experiment at the Université de Montréal. Critics of the study said that autistic people would not be able to complete the test because of its complexity. The study showed that Autistics could complete the test as efficiently and had more highly developed perception than non-Autistics.

"This study builds on our previous findings and should help educators capitalize on the intellectual abilities of autistics," says senior research…

Building A Solid Foundation for School - A Communities Approach

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth presented a paper titled "Building a Solid Foundation for School - A Communities Approach. The paper argues that there are more factors involved in school readiness than just the child's ability or maturity level. Readiness for school involves a partnership between the family, child, school, the community and the services provided within that community. The integration or partnership of these components build a solid foundation that caters for the social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs of all those involved in the partnership.

The child can no longer be looked at as a bystander to their own development and involvement. The authors note that "The agentic child is defined as a social actor who participates in his/her life and co-constructs education with adults and peers [2]. It is the collaboration between the child and the adults that makes for a successful process. Indeed, recent policies focusing on
young c…

Talking to Your Kids About Their Abilities

Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay is a remarkable young man from south India with a special talent. Severely autistic and nearly non-verbal, Tito can communicate his thoughts and feelings through remarkable prose and poetry - written in fluent English. Tito's view of the world provides an extraordinary opportunity to explore the hidden world of autism.

Children with a disability know they are different in some way to their peers but sometimes have difficulty expressing their feelings around these issues. They may present behaviour that seems aggressive or non-compliant as a way to communicate their sadness or fear around being different than their peers. Some important things that may help:

1. Adults sometimes get very busy. Remember to take the time to sit down and talk with your kids not at them. Try to discuss things that may be bothering them.

2. Actively listen. Acknowledge their feelings. If your kids say that they hate being different. Our first reaction is to say something…