There’s An APP For That: Assistive Technology (AT) & Learning Disabled Children

What are the signs of intellectual disability in children?

Signs may appear during infancy, or they may not be noticeable until a child reaches school age. It often depends on the severity of the disability. Some of the most common signs of intellectual disability are:

Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking late
Talking late or having trouble with talking
Slow to master things like potty training, dressing, and feeding himself or herself
Difficulty remembering things
Inability to connect actions with consequences
Behavior problems such as explosive tantrums
Difficulty with problem-solving or logical thinking

Students with learning disabilities struggle with schoolwork in many ways. Some with reading, others with math, memory, organization or writing. Assistive technology (AT) can enable them to be more independent learners.


How Is ADHD Diagnosed?

If you have a child that seems to act out more than others or who has a difficult time concentrating on homework and other tasks it may be time to find out if they have ADHD. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and effects many child and even adults in our country. But how is this disorder diagnosed? Here are some things you and your doctor should be looking for.

Signs of the disorder are sometimes seen in the child before they even become of school age. Toddlers that have a lack of attention and are easily bored with watching TV or playing games can have ADHD. If a young child seems hyperactive or simply out of control this can be a sign as well. While these behaviors are somewhat normal in young kids it is recommended that they are seen by a doctor if these signs seem more prevalent than in other children their age.

When you do decide it is time to see a doctor they will sit and talk with you and your child to get a little background on the situation. They will try and rule out any other things in their life that could cause this type of behavior. Other things that can make a child act out of control or lack attention are a sudden change in the child’s life such as divorce or death in the family, an ear infection that can cause lack of hearing, a learning disability, or anxiety and/or depression. These other possibilities will be ruled out by talking with you and your child plus any necessary testing.

Once other things have been determined as not an issue with your child ADHD testing will begin. A specialist will put your child in different situations and monitor how their emotions are handled. Situations can include doing homework, putting together a puzzle, playing a board game, being put in a noisy room, etc.  During this time of testing your doctor may ask you and your child’s teachers to fill out assessment forms to see how the child interacts at school in comparison to home.  Be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • Do excessive behaviors affect all aspects of your child’s life?
  •  Do you see these behaviors happening more in your child then those children they interact with?
  • Are the behaviors continuous or do they normal stem as a response to a particular situation?
  • Do these behaviors only happen at a certain place or are they happening at home, school, playground, etc?

Because there is no one test to pin point if someone has ADHD doctors rely highly on your accounts and information. Before you actually take your child in to see the doctor try to remember times where your child has displayed ADHD tendencies and write down these occurrences. When you, your doctor, and your child’s teachers work together this deficit can easily be controlled. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD go on to live happy and productive lives thanks to all of those that helped in the diagnosis.

Written by: Tyler Clark works for the Liahona Academy and is an expert in ADHD information and knowledge.

She is our bundle of joy and has the most pleasant of demeanor regardless of the situation. However, she is truly the definition of Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s rough for a parent to watch as their child simply doesn’t pay enough attention to detail and struggles to do the most simplistic of chores. She has to spend time in a special room at school in order to learn some of the most basic of tasks because she can’t keep focused in a regular classroom. After explaining the letter “W” to her five consecutive times, she will still assume it’s various letters other that “W.” It can be frustrating to say the least. However, we’ve been able to make strides in her development by creating a strict routine to help her stay focused. How does this help our little girl?

1. Repetitive Learning – Although she has a “varying level of ADD,” according to the school counselors, she is still capable of learning. It just takes her a little longer than the average child. In order to facilitate greater understanding of what needs to be done, we adhere to a strict daily routine that is followed to the letter. By repeating the same task over and over, she grasps the concept of what needs to be done and has made a great improvement overall in school and at home.

2. Uninterrupted – As we know that she is easily distracted by some of the smallest of objects, her schedule for the day keeps her away from other diversions. For instance, the small desk she uses for reading and homework is in her room and away from the diversions of television and other people. While I thought that her toys would have been an equal distraction, I found that she stays on task much better when she is alone as I periodically check on her.

3. Planning the Day – As we develop her schedule with her own input, we are teaching her the value of organizing time. She knows that in order to watch television at five o’clock, she needs her homework done by then. We’ve actually began to notice that she keeps track of her time quite well lately. This has been greatly beneficial to helping her retain knowledge of how to tell time. Since fun time is something she anticipates, the five on the clock has been made important.

4. Putting Things Away – One of our regular routines is placing objects back where they need to be. Every time an item is used regardless of its purpose, it needs to be put back. Although this aspect of the routine did take a great deal of time for her to accept, she now is in the habit of putting everything away. This has made additional impacts in how she interacts in the classroom according to her teacher. She is considerate and knows that stuff needs to be put away in order to find them later.

A stable and regular routine over the course of the past year has made a vast improvement in a great deal of her interactions. Although it can be difficult to keep her mind focused on random communications or instances she’s never experienced before, the projects and tasks that are important to her development are manageable and improving. While I am sure we’ll have to adapt as the years go on, the vast strides she has made this past year make the time worth the investment.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @

Music education is a proven way for aiding in the development of your child’s brain. Exposure to music can aid in language development, increasing IQ as well as spatial-temporal intelligence reports an article from PBS.

 Image from

Most parents would love to give their little ones the benefits of an early music education. However, enrolling in special mommy and me classes or private lessons can be an extra expense for which many families simply do not have room in their budgets.

Luckily, with these 5 fun and mostly free tips, you can get on your way to teaching your kids the joy of music and enabling them to reap the learning and development benefits that go hand in hand with early exposure to music.

1. Keep the Rhythm

It may sound simple, but letting your kids pull out those pots and pans can be a great place to start music education. Whether it is sturdy dishes, toy maracas and tambourines or just clapping hands there are multiple ways to incorporate simple musical activities into playtime by showing them how to keep a beat and tap out a rhythm. If you or your spouse are not entirely sure how to go about this, then take advantage of multiple online resources for helping kids to learn rhythm through simple activities.

2. A Musical Field Trip

Perhaps down the road your child will be interested in taking guitar lessons, but right now it is probably simpler to start by simply exposing your little Mozart to the fun of live music. Most cities provide free concerts for children. These might take place on a Tuesday morning at the library or at an afternoon concert for children put on by the local symphony. This is a great way to inspire a love of music in children as watching performers and hearing the loud sound of live songs can be captivating. And many concerts geared toward children are free and put on by the community.

3. Make Your Own Instruments

A fun craft time activity can be made from collecting recycled materials and transforming them into musical instruments. Make a tissue box and rubber band guitar or a rain stick from an old paper towel tube and some dry pinto beans. Empty tin cans can be decorated into a beautiful drum set. The possibilities are seemingly endless. And while your children enjoy using their creativity and learning about music, they will also get the added bonus of being exposed to the idea of sustainability through using recycled materials.

4. Check Out the Public Library

Another totally free resource is the public library. The library will have picture books on the lives of famous composers as well as sound recordings to help your kids experience the different genres of music. Together, you and your child can learn about Mozart’s childhood and Beethoven’s struggle with deafness. This is an excellent way to make history and music come alive for children.

5. Share Your Own Music

Finally, pull out your own records from the era in which you grew up. Sure, the 70s and 80s may not be considered classical works, but they are still wonderful examples of the journey of music through the decades. Dance around the living room with your kids as you share rock and roll and other styles of music that they might enjoy.

Author Bio: Jessica Socheski is a freelance journalist who currently writes about finding ways to save money on health care, fitness, and nutrition. Connect with her on Twitter.

This is a guest post from Arlene Chandler writes about life cover from Suncorp and ways to help people navigate through the depths of parenting.

Being the mother of a special needs child is a situation with added complexity, particularly for those women that are in the role of a single parent.  If you’re a mother in this situation, one of the many positive aspects is that being the parent of a young person with special needs can be the most rewarding experience in life. Not only do you get to craft the best existence possible for your child, but you get to see your true colors shine through as a caretaker.

Choosing An Education For Your Child – Home School Vs Private

Most parents simply send their children to a state school and never really think about the alternatives; after all, that’s the done thing. But more and more families are starting to consider other options and are taking ownership of their children’s education.

Image Credit: A Home School Class Room

There are many options when it comes to education and what is right for one family isn’t necessarily right for another, so let’s have a look at 2 options which are gaining popularity:

What Is Home Schooling?

Home schooling is certainly not a new thing. In fact, several noteworthy people throughout American history have been home schooled (including Abe Lincoln for instance). But it is becoming much more common…

The Advantages

One big advantage to home schooling is that you as the parent have much more control over what your children are taught and although you do have to follow a curriculum you have more flexibility. Exactly how much flexibility you have depends a lot on where you live.

Home schooling is a popular option for children with special educational needs because it allows you as a parent to give them the one on one attention that a regular school might not be able to provide. Not every school is equipped to teach children with special needs.

The Disadvantages

A big disadvantage of home schooling is that you have to dedicate yourself to being a teacher and will probably be unable to earn an income at the same time. For this reason, most home schooling families have one working parent and one stay at home parent.

Additionally, not everyone has the ability to teach and unless you happen to be a qualified teacher already you will have to spend a lot of time learning how to teach, how to plan lessons and what is involved in covering the required curriculum.

What About Private School?

Many families don’t even consider private school because it is expensive. But in reality there are many options that are more affordable. Some of the most famous private schools have fees that only the rich can afford, but there are plenty of schools with more realistic fees.

The Advantages

So why not just send them to a regular school? Well for one thing not all state schools are made equally. Some schools are excellent, but if you don’t happen to live near to a good one, a private school might be a good option.

At a private school classes are generally much smaller, which means that teachers can give each child much more of their attention. Private schools also vet their staff more strictly and only hire very experienced and skilled teachers.

The Disadvantages

Of course the obvious downside is the cost. Compared to state schools which are free, private schooling comes with a non-trivial cost. But compared to home schooling it might be quite affordable when you consider that you can continue working.

It really depends on what the costs are and what you can afford, but it is certainly worth looking into, particularly if you are unimpressed the quality of your local state schools.



About The Author
This guest post was written by James from James is a personal tutor and education expert. Thanks for reading and please check out his website here.

Summer is almost over for a lot of children, and “Back To School” commercials, campaigns and advertising is everywhere.

Going back to school can be challenging and overwhelming for both parents and children, but for families that have special needs children it can be down right daunting.

I have seen many mom bloggers writing blog posts about tips and survival lists to get your children ready to go back to school, talking about getting your children back in to a routine, that we all know we let slide over the summer months.  All of these lists are great, but I would like to add to them from a special needs mom perspective.

Here are some tips that can help you and your child survive the next few weeks or month of what is called the “back to school” season!

  1. Know what medical forms or scripts are needed prior to school so that your child will be able to start receiving the necessary therapies right when school starts.  You don’t want to have them wait to start receiving occupational or physical therapy that may require the need of a script or form from their doctor.
  2. If your child will be needing the care of the school nurse for medication distribution, feedings, etc.  I would ask to schedule an appointment with the nurse, prior to school starting so you can comfortably go over the necessary information.
  3. If your child will be having new teachers or aides, ask to have a meeting prior to school starting to have you and your child meet these new faces that will be caring for your child during the school day.  You can take pictures of them and create a social story for your child to help get them ready for their new environment.
  4. Take pictures of the playground, the cafeteria, library, nurses office, bus personnel, principal.  All of this information will help your child be comfortable with those individuals that will there to support and care for them in the school.
  5. Start reading stories to your child about “making friends”.  I can make this suggestion because I read this book to my son “The Bravest Boy I Ever Knew” by Lisa Eichlin.  What a fabulous book my son really enjoyed it.  Maybe you can find stories about sitting at your table, listening to the teacher, lining up etc.  All of this information will help to create expectations of what you as well as your child’s teachers, aides and other school personnel expect your child to do.
  6. If possible let your child shop for their own school supplies.  This will help them get familiar with the different pens, notebooks and again start getting them in the right frame of mind that school will be starting soon.  Obviously make sure to label all of your child’s supplies as best you can.
  7. Next suggestion would be to create a “Student Snapshot”.  

This student snapshot is just that a quick way to relay important information about your child to school personnel.  You can read more and find the form here.

8. Another great idea would be to create a Back To School calendar that your child can be actively involved in crossing off the days until school starts.

9. Above all make going back to school fun!

Do you have any great back to school resources you would like to share?  Please use the comment section below.