The Homework Debate

difficult school homework

A few times in my career, I wrote medical excuses to keep students from doing homework. I know it sounds ridiculous, but what I saw were students who were in great mental pain, as were their families, from homework that was way beyond their means, especially due to significant mental health disorders that affected their ability to learn and their ability to even engage in the process of learning or wanting to be in a learning environment. When they got home all they wanted to do was crawl under their blankets, but instead their parents felt that they must drag them to the kitchen table and make them do homework. There were a number of times that the student would go off the deep end and the police were called.

Removing homework stabilized the families. The schools had to find a different means of working with the student. In the end, the students didn’t fail – although they would have if they hadn’t turned in their homework. The students did learn.

Here is a link to an article on homework I wrote on LinkedIn.

Now if your student does have to do homework and has ADHD, I have also written an ebook on Amazon entitled The Pediatric Profiler’s Guide to ADHD & Homework.  This may help you understand why your student struggles and how to help.

Bill to Adopt Internationally Recognized Definition of Dyslexia Now Law – Cape May County Herald

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

By Press Release TRENTON — Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew and Senate Education Chair M.

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is such an important action by New Jersey for all those with dyslexia.  We as a nation don’t recognize dyslexia as the neurologic, language-based disorder of oral and written language that it is.  It is sad that knowledg has to be legislated but sometimes that is the only way to get people to acknowledge something they need to know more about.  Now lets get the rest of the states that are not already on board (which is most of them) so that accurate identification and remediation can be put in place for our children.

Contact your elected officials to see where your state is (Iowa doesn’t recognize it for example) and push for a bill to be introduced and pushed to passage fort his significant minority of our population (1 in 7 to 1 in 10 depending on how it is classified).

See on www.capemaycountyherald.com

Dropout Indicators Found for 1st Graders

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Researchers in Montgomery County, Md., have identified warning signals, such as poor grades or a high number of absences, that can flag students as early as 1st grade who are likely to drop out later.

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This could be the start of a means of getting ahead of the fallouts.  As schools can be able to identify the at risk students, they can begin to change how they work with them, that targets the skills they need to close their gaps (language, academic, behavioral) so that they will become a statistic of success rather than a statistic of loss.

This is one of the main reasons why I speak around the country about understanding and working with children experiencing developmental and behavioral challenges. As schools can understand and develop effective methods of intervention before the gap widens, all children will learn better.

See on www.edweek.org

Stressed Out? | Reasons Your Child’s LD Might Stress You Out – NCLD

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Parents of children with learning disabilities and ADHD endure many challenges that can trigger stress. Being aware of your own stress levels and specific reasons for stress may help you cope.

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is a very important article to read because these are real reasons why parents of children with learning problems struggle.

Having worked with these families for 30 years, I know about these stresses and about how many people (friends, family, schools) want to add in their two cents as to what the parents must be doing wrong, or not doing, when the child doesn’t magically lose their learning disability with the interventions provided by the school.

Share this with others who are raising children with learning disorders.

See on www.ncld.org

A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Inclusion

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Learn about the practice of “inclusion” in classrooms, and the theory behind how it can benefit students with special needs.

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

I find this an interesting read since I was in school before PL42-142 was even a law.  I didn’t have interactions in school with students with special needs.  We had levels of classroomsin high school  so that the material could be taught to different levels of learners.  There were some classes where we were intermingled but for hard core academics the schools placed students in the level of difficulty class that they felt they would be most successful in.  The focus was on learning the material, not socialization.

I remember the early push for full inclusion in the 90’s as a relatively young developmental pediatrician (I had small kids myself then).  In theory it sounded wonderful.  After working with children within that model for the last 20 years, however, I can say that the needs of many children with special needs were not and are not being met.  One of the biggest barriers is that the regular education teacher has been handed this diverse group of students, ranging from gifted to mild to moderate intellectual disability, along with children experiencing learning problems at different levels of severity without the needed support, both personnel-wise and professional development-wise to have success in “Leaving No Child Behind”. Our teachers are drowning in the over the top expectations that have been put on them to meet everyone’s need by themselves.

I truly believe that this is one factor in the significant behavioral problems we are seeing even in young children since those who are struggling are not being addressed in a timely and effective manner.  I am aware that there are other factors too for the behavioral problems we are seeing, but create a no win classroom for teacher and student puts significant stress on both.

I have for many years said that for many special needs students, the LRE (least restrictive environment) is not the general education classroom, but a classroom where they can receive the teaching and intervention they need to truly close the academic gap. This article and several others I have read recently say the same thing.

This should be part of the discussion of education reform.  We need to develop educational environments that help all students succeed as best they can, not just the ones who can learn above the chaos.

See on www.specialeducationguide.com

Why Have an IEP? – Tips for Parents on Their IEP Role

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

The Individual Education Plan, IEP, outlines the services your child needs to meet his learning needs. Parents are an important asset to the IEP team.

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

School may be out for the summer, but for many parents this is when they are finally getting into agencies and organizations that provide assessment for developmental, learning, and behavioral issues.  Information from these assessments may be important in advocating for an IEP for their child when school resumes in the Fall.

This is definitely an article to bookmark as you make plans for the next school year in either working for an IEP or updating the IEP that your child has.

 

Want a copy of my free report on oppositional children?  Click Here

See on kidcompanions.com

The Deafening Silence of Teachers

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

As Americans we have always been taught that one of the greatest things about living in this country is that we are protected by the First Amendment in the United States Constitution.

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is an important opinion piece to read.  Teachers have so much to share about why we are having struggling students, stressed students, and out of control students.  What can we do to listen to and help these teachers?

Want a copy of my free report on oppositional children? Click here.

See on theeducatorsroom.com