OTHER LEARNING-RELATED CHALLENGES

Dyslcalculia

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America:

“Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math facts.  Individuals with this type of learning disability demonstrate impaired math calculation skills and difficulty understanding numbers and math facts.”

 

ADDitude: Dyscalculia symptoms and treatment 

PDF link/download with overview of definition, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Understood: Dyscalculia fact sheet

PDF with basic facts

Parenting Pod: The complete dyscalculia guide for parents 

Link to article describing symptoms, causes, associated learning disabilities, treatment and resources

Dyscalculia.org 

Link to Michigan-based nonprofit with comprehensive information and resources about dyscalculia

 

 
Dysgraphia

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America:

“Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills. It involves impaired ability to produce legible and automatic letter writing and often numeral writing, the latter of which may interfere with math.  Dysgraphia is rooted in difficulty with storing and automatically retrieving letters and numerals. Individuals with dysgraphia often have difficulties in Executive Functions (e.g., planning and organizing).” 

 

ADDitude: Dysgraphia symptoms and treatment

PDF with overview of definition, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

International Dyslexia Association: Understanding dysgraphia

PDF fact sheet prepared by Virginia W. Berninger, Ph.D.

Dysgraphia.Life 

Site with resources for parents, teens and adults, including tips, success stories, news, database of professionals, and webinars

Dysgraphia.Life: The neuropsychology of written language disorders webinar

Video and handouts for webinar created for parents about developing evidence-based interventions by Dr. Steven G. Feifer

LD Online: What is dysgraphia? 

Online article which includes strategies for children of all ages

 
Executive Function

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America:

“[Executive dysfunction is] an inefficiency in the cognitive management systems of the brain that affects a variety of neuropsychological processes such as planning, organization, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space. Although not a learning disability, different patterns of weakness in executive functioning are almost always seen in the learning profiles of individuals who have specific learning disabilities or ADHD.”

 

PDF Handouts

National Center for Learning Disabilities: Executive function fact sheet

Basic definition, and bulleted lists of abilities affected by EF with compensatory strategies

National Center for Learning Disabilities: What is executive function?

Deeper explanation of executive function through use of narratives and humor.  Includes list of EF abilities with illustrations from the narrative 

 

Search Institute: Strengthening Executive Function 

Well-researched article on the development and importance of EF; includes the SOAR approach to supporting EF in children

 

Super Duper: Handy handouts on executive function 

Compilation of three handouts: Teaching Time Management, Executive Functions - Something to Think About, and Sequencing and Executive Functioning

Links

Understood: What is executive function?

Includes short video explanation, “snapshot” of executive function, signs, causes, assessment and treatment

Seth Perler: What is executive functioning (in plain English) 

Short introductory video, definition, areas impacted, aspects of executive function, damaging misconceptions, ways to help (or not), checklist and further resources.  Additional PDF downloads and quiz available through free sign-up.

 

Association of Educational Therapists: Tips for parents 

10 related blog posts with practical ideas to support your child’s executive functioning skills

Books

Smart but Scattered 

Series of books written by prominent researchers of executive function, Pam Dawson and Richard Guare

 
Attention

According to the DSM-5 criteria for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

“People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.”

 

American Academy of Family Physicians: DSM-5 criteria 

PDF chart of symptoms and requirements for diagnosis of ADHD

 

National Institute of Mental Health: Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

Site contains brief definitions, signs/symptoms, risk factors, treatment approaches, tips and further resources; PDF contains similar information in pamphlet form.

 

National Institute of Mental Health: ADHD - The basics 

PDF pamphlet with similar information as the website link

Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)

Organization committed to serve as a clearinghouse for evidence-based information on ADHD, provide support, and advocate for policies.  Site includes extensive downloadable fact sheets; well-organized topic pages; podcasts; online communities; parent training courses; searchable library catalog for books, articles and other resources

 

CHADD: About ADHD 

PDF pamphlet with basic information

 

Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA): ADHD: The facts 

Links to page covering definition, types, causes, diagnosis, treatment and accommodations with references to research included; ADDA also offers virtual support groups, professional directory, calendar of events, blog, articles and courses

 

ADDitude 

Comprehensive resource for teachers, parents and professionals; includes basic information, relevant articles and research, webinars, newsletters, discussion forum, magazine, podcast

 

ADDitude Magazine: What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD? 

PDF includes explanation of the three primary types of ADHD with lists of symptoms common in each type and examples of behavior in daily life.

 

Video from Understood: What is ADD/ADHD?  

“Here’s everything you need to know about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. Thomas E. Brown, PhD, discusses ADHD diagnosis, ADHD symptoms, available ADHD treatment options, and ADHD medication.”

 
 
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Greater Good Magazine 

Link to online magazine with “science-based insights for a meaningful life” with articles, quizzes, videos, podcast (The Science of Happiness), monthly happiness calendar and resources on “keys to well-being” with some content targeted for specifically parents

 

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) 

Link to the organization that defined Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and supports states, districts and schools in making SEL an integral part of education from Pre-K through high school  

 

MCOE Social Emotional Learning 

Link to site with featured content including video series such as Move, Groove and Grow, and registration for upcoming events for educators, students and parents

 
Processing

Processing refers to our brain’s amazing ability to make sense of sensory information so we can respond quickly and accurately to stimuli.  A processing disorder refers to a disruption in this neural system, causing an inefficient or inaccurate interpretation of sensory information.  Note that processing disorders are not the same as vision or hearing impairment, though it is possible to have a diagnosis of both. The most common processing disorders are:

 

Auditory Processing Disorder:

Difficulty understanding and responding to spoken information, including following directions, conversations or lectures, particularly with background noise

 

Sensory Processing Disorder:

Over- or under-responsiveness to environmental stimuli such as touch (e.g., itchy sweater), loud noises, bright lights, smell or taste. Under-responsiveness may present as thrill-seeking behavior.

 

Visual Processing Disorder: 

Difficulty interpreting visual information.  May present in a variety of tasks such as discrimination (e.g., distinguishing different shapes or symbols), sequencing (e.g., lining up math problems), motor processing (coordinating movement such as copying from a board) and visual memory.

 

Slow Processing Speed: 

Requiring more time to take in, interpret, and respond to visual, auditory or motor information; taking longer than peers to complete tasks.



 

Understood: What is auditory processing disorder?  

Basic information on definition, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and what can help; presented in clear, straight-forward language

 

Child Mind Institute: What is auditory processing disorder? 

Link to article explaining four basic auditory skills, with examples, and overlap of APD with other disorders

 

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):

Understanding auditory processing disorders in children 

Link to article discussing terminology, diagnosis and treatment; intended for professional audience, so includes more jargon and nuanced information, but still accessible to lay audience

 

Understood: Understanding sensory processing disorder 

Link to extensive information including a fact sheet, introductory video, tutorials, “deeper dives”, and first-person narratives

 

Child Mind Institute: Sensory processing issues explained 

Link to short article giving overview of SPD with examples, including good explanation of the “internal senses” proprioception and vestibular

 

UCSF Magazine: The Unbearable sensation of being 

Link to in-depth article about diagnostic debate, the latest research and an emerging framework for treatment

 

Understood: Classroom accommodations for visual processing disorder 

Link to short article geared toward classroom teachers

 

LD Online: Visual and auditory processing disorders 

Link to article discussing common areas of difficulty and educational implications

 

National Center for Learning Disabilities: What is visual processing? 

Link to six-minute Youtube video with Dr. Sheldon Horowitz explaining aspects of visual processing and how they relate to students with learning differences

 

Understood: What is slow processing speed? 

Link to page with parent-friendly definition, signs, causes, how to help, fact sheet and short video introduction

 

ADDitude Magazine: Slow processing speed - signs and solutions for a misunderstood deficit 

Link to short article by a current researcher explaining her findings for lay audience

 

Understood: Slow processing speed and brain structure 

Easily digestible explanation of four current theories on the cause of slow processing speed

Anxiety/Depression

Some children with dyslexia experience anxiety, especially around academic expectations.  Anxiety, in turn, makes it even more difficult for a child to learn, creating a negative feedback loop. Untreated anxiety can also lead to depression, resulting in decreased curricular and extracurricular activities, further perpetuating the cycle. 

 

Anxiety may present as excessive worry or fear around separation, social situations or performance, but it may also present as anger, disruptive behavior or sleep disorders. 

If you notice ongoing, significant changes in eating, sleeping, behavior, decreased interest in previously preferred activities and/or social withdrawal, consult with a mental health professional.  

 

MCOE: Mental health resources for students and families 

PDF list of phone numbers for hotlines, community counseling agencies and hospitals, with links to online resources and books compiled by Marin County Office of Education (MCOE)

PDF: Marin_County_Mental_Health_Resource MCOE.pdf

 

The Atlantic: Parenting kids with anxiety 

In-depth online article exploring potential causes of the increase in childhood anxiety, along with an emerging, evidence-based intervention approach (SPACE) targeting supportive (as opposed to accommodating) parenting 

 

Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) 

Site explaining target populations, treatment protocol, resources, list of providers, and parent forum.  SPACE was developed by Dr. Eli Lebowitz at the Yale Child Study Center.  

 

NY Times: Treating anxiety in children 

Online article