Early Intervention

Mother reading a book to her son in the parkEarly Intervention is important for long-term success for individuals with learning disabilities (LD) and/or ADHD. Early identification includes the evaluation and treatment provided to families and their children under 3 years old who have, or are at risk for having, a disability or delay in speech, language, or hearing. A child can quickly fall behind if speech and language learning is delayed. Early identification increases the chances for improving communication skills. Once disorders are diagnosed professionals can help to remediate and accommodate for success at home and in the classroom.

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month!

LDButton-AwarenessMonth

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is working hard this month to shine the spotlight on learning disabilities. It is important during Learning Disabilities (LD) Month to focus less on the disabilities aspect and focus more on the incredible abilities so many of these individuals possess as well as emphasize the phenomenal achievements and important strides so many of these individuals have made. Membership in LDA is a way in which to support and nurture individuals with learning disabilities throughout not only the United States but the world. LDA does make a difference in the lives of those it touches.… Read More »

What is an Individualized Family Service Plan?

Family meeting with a professional

After your young child’s evaluation is complete and he or she is found eligible for early intervention services, you, as parents, and a team will meet to develop a written plan for providing early intervention services to your child and, as necessary, to your family. This plan is called the Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP. The IFSP is a very important document, and you, as parents, are important members of the team that develops it. This webpage focuses on the IFSP–both the process of writing it and what type of information it will contain. The IFSP is a written… Read More »

First Steps for Parents When School Problems Are Observed

Mother and son sitting together on their couch

If a student is having unusual difficulty in school the parent should discuss the situation with the teacher and other school personnel. Most schools have a problem-solving team which works with families in reviewing and solving problems that affect school performance before beginning a formal process of referral for special education and related services as described in IDEA. Problem-solving activities or strategies used by the regular education teacher to address the child’s difficulty may consist of changes in the physical environment, changes in instructional approaches, short-term remedial activities, peer tutoring, or behavioral management plans. Learn more about who serves on… Read More »

Reading Instruction: Tips for Teachers

Teacher working with youg student on reading skills

Reading is the single most important educational skill your students will learn. Understanding the organization and meaning of text and instruction in both phonics and literature is essential to helping young children read. By understanding the prerequisite skills for reading, teachers can build a solid foundation for their students to learn and succeed in school. Here are some ways to create appreciation of the written word, develop awareness of printed language, teach the alphabet, develop phonological and phonemic awareness, teach the relation of sounds and letters, teach children how to sound out words and to spell words, and help children… Read More »

Early Childhood Resource Websites

Young couple online with tablet computer

The following websites regarding early childhood issues provide useful information for parents, teachers, and other interested professionals. Included are general websites from organizations specializing in early education and information for parents, teachers and policymakers; resources on reading to infants and toddlers; and free resources for parents and teachers from the US Office of Education, information on early childhood in IDEA 2004, and a great tool kit developed for parents by the Office of Special Education Programs. Using these resources can lead to additional websites and sources of information to find answers to other questions about the development of babies and… Read More »

Early Writing: Why Squiggles Are Important

Little boy writing with squiggles on chalkboard.

Much earlier than the time when we actually think of children as writers or readers, we must begin to provide opportunities that encourage writing. There are a number of ways to do this. Having conversations with children; answering those why questions; talking about what you see as you drive to various places; sharing stories and storybooks are just a few of the ways that our young children can be engaged in conversations. Even though we are talking about early writing, early literacy is really a more correct statement, as the experiences that relate to early reading go hand in hand… Read More »

Activities For Young Children: Providing Practice For Development

Mother working with letter toys and sounds with young son.

Young children with learning disabilities need many opportunities to practice the skills they are taught. Both parents and caregivers should plan activities to provide the positive practice needed for development. Here are some ideas for playing games using newly learned letters and words; finding numbers, letters and words in everyday items; other games that provide practice with numbers, letters, words and concepts; and using computer games and software to practice skills already learned. As you become familiar with these ideas to help your child become more aware of the ways that letters, words and numbers can be used, you will… Read More »

Parents Are Their Child’s First Teachers

Father playing with his infant son in the tall grass

Many simple everyday occurrences provide excellent opportunities to enhance your child’s development. Never underestimate the value of even 15 minutes of quality time spent with your child. Remember, you are your child’s first teacher! Talk about everything around you and respond with sentences using any words the child contributes. Play games with the alphabet to introduce new letters. Tell stories about your childhood, your child’s favorite book or video character. When reading a story, describe what’s going on in the pictures and ask your child what he thinks. Let your child see that reading is fun and it’s important to… Read More »

Assessment of Readiness Skills During Early Childhood

Dad reading with his two young children

Young children develop rapidly, frequently experiencing tremendous change and growth physically, cognitively, linguistically, and socially. Preschoolers, for example, seem to race from one milestone to the next. Nevertheless, the rate of growth and development among young children varies greatly. Indeed, as a result of this high variability during early childhood that can be seen in nearly any environment with preschoolers and kindergartners, many professionals balk at labeling children as learning disabled. Studies indicate that early intervention can make a significant difference in a child’s development and many other professionals want to respond promptly when they note developmental delays or see… Read More »

Early Childhood Assessment-Birth to Three Years

Mother holding and kissing toddler daughter

It is important for parents and professionals to work closely together. When they become a team, everyone has a better understanding of how an infant, baby or child is responding to the world, how he or she learns, and what he or she can do. To begin this process parents need to observe their child carefully and record their observations so they can discuss their child’s development with the professionals who work with babies and young children and their families. This type of assessment is a developmental assessment. The following guidelines will assist parents of a child from birth to… Read More »

A Learning Disability is Only One Part of a Child

Four infants

When a child is born, it is usually a time of joy for the whole family. How new parents respond to this new little person is influenced by many factors. Some feelings revolve around how comfortable parents are in taking care of the child, whether the child was wanted, and whether the child is welcomed into an intact family. The personality of the infant as defined by Chess and Thomas is also a factor. Some are easy, contented babies, others may be fussy. Tactilely defensive babies, who do not want to be held, may cause the mother to question her… Read More »

Helping Young Children with Learning Disabilities at Home

Mother and young son share reading time together at home.

Many parents of young children with learning disabilities ask what they can do at home to help their youngsters. Generally, the first step is to try to understand the child’s difficulties and to consider how these weaknesses might impact on self-help skills, communication, discipline, play and independence; however, above all, we encourage them to focus on the child’s strengths in order to build self-esteem and to help them become an integral part of the family. Like all parents, they need to consider the delicate balance between providing too much or too little assistance for the child‒a balance between under and… Read More »