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Archive for the ‘learning disabilities’ Category

world_chess_game

Image: pda.88000.org/wallpapers/12/World_Chess_Game.jpg

I’ve blogged before about Dyslexia, Hyperactivity, Chess Research and also about the Irlen Syndrome. Irlen Syndrome is an eye condition that relates to Dyslexia. All the links about these topics are at the bottom of this post and all links  will open in a new window. If you’re Afrikaans speaking, then you will find Juffer’s entry about severe low muscle tone interesting or click here to read about it in English, it’s also called hypotonia. Some children with low muscle tone sometimes find it hard to stay focused on activities in class and therefore have concentration problems. You do get different degrees of low muscle tone.

chess-comic

Image: edcollins.com/chess/chess-comic
I’ve had parents with children in the lower grades in Primary School whose children were diagnosed with ADHD. They’ve heard or read that chess is one solution to solving concentration problems. Yes, it is, but if your child has no interest in chess or he’s not motivated, why would you bother to burden him/her to learn the game to improve his concentration?  I can’t see the point as those children will not concentrate on the game and will only attend the chess club because: “my mum/dad said I have to“. You’re really not doing your child any favour of  forcing him/her into chess, nor the teacher that has to produce the results!  Parents also expect the results within a short period of time and sometimes don’t understand that it’s not possible…and if it doesn’t happen in that short period of time…they don’t believe that chess is good for their child’s concentration. Of course you will reap the fruit if you’re child is interested/motivated! I’ve had one little boy and he ended up playing chess for Gauteng Junior Chess…but not with my help only…it was more his coach of course, but at least his dad gave me the credit for getting him enthusiastic about the game…hehehe..What I also found interesting each year, (when starting with a new group – especially if they were Grade 1/Grade 2 ) I could immediately identify the little ones with concentration problems and could then point them out to their teachers and that helped them to know who needs support in that field quite early on.

I have an article for you to read and a couple of links. On the two links – near to the bottom, you can read more about ADHD too, but I would like to advise you to follow my blog-links first as you might find more useful information/links than the two near the bottom.

Playing chess may well help child diagnosed with ADHD
Parenting by Dr. Marilyn Heins
Tucson, Arizona | Published in the Arizona Daily Star: 07.22.2007

I recently was introduced to our neighbor´s 8-year-old grandson, who has been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The child has been extensively evaluated by medical practitioners, pediatricians and psychologists, and he has been on medication for five weeks.

I´m still reading up on this matter, and I saw some of your articles. However, before I was aware of his diagnosis, I was told that he had a problem sitting still and concentrating for any length of time. I immediately suggested that he be exposed to the game of chess, because my experience is that playing this game improves concentration and thought processes, and builds self-esteem. Some time ago, I also read a doctoral thesis from South Africa that dealt with chess as a tool to help children with learning difficulties.

I´ve been teaching this boy to play chess for about two weeks, and he´s able to sit still for up to two hours while playing. I´m pleasantly surprised by his grasp of the game and his thought processes. Do you have any views on teaching chess to children with ADHD? I´d also like to know whether one can overstimulate a child with playing chess, and if so, what´s the maximum time this child ought to be playing the game?

The relationship between chess and acquiring math, reading and critical-thinking skills is fairly strong. One study showed critical-thinking skills improved by seventeen percent in students taking chess classes, compared with five percent for other classes. Chess also teaches patience and courtesy while waiting for your opponent to make a move. I think one reason playing chess can enhance learning is that the child realizes chess, unlike other games dependent mostly on chance, demands skill and a plan to win. This makes winning such a game so much fun that kids may want to translate skills and planning to other areas, such as schoolwork.

There are no real data, but there are lots of anecdotes about chess improving concentration and focus in ADHD kids. And this can translate into better school performance. Indeed, professional chess players in international tournaments are tested for Ritalin, a drug that improves focus, just as athletes are tested for bodybuilding steroids. However, some children with ADHD become more distracted with the stress of competing, so parents can´t assume that chess is a panacea for everything.

The best thing about chess is that it provides attention from an adult and time away from TV! Both factors benefit all children, whether or not they have ADHD. When you think about it, zoning out in front of a television set is the direct opposite of focus. You just figuratively inhale what the network presents, commercials and all.

My father taught me and all his grandchildren how to play chess. For me, it was a very precious time. I knew my father played postcard chess with a brother who lived across the country. (These were the days before cheap cross-country flights and long-distance calls, so my father and uncle did not often meet.) My dad kept one chessboard set up for this cross-country game and looked forward to his brother´s next move.

I knew this game was special for my father, and it was a great honor when I was considered knowledgeable enough to move Uncle George´s men on the board. Playing a game of chess with my father was a great treat. Winning was like being awarded an Oscar.

I don´t play chess anymore, and neither do my children, but it taught me a lot about thinking ahead and planning a strategy. Chess also taught me something about family ties and the importance and joy of imparting the skills you´ve learned — whether they be chess or cooking or fishing — to your child.

It sounds as though the boy you´re teaching is taking to the game of chess very well, and it´s improving his ability to concentrate, which I hope will translate into better school performance. There´s no danger of overstimulation — either the child will stop playing or the adult can tell from the child´s behavior and body language that it´s time to stop.

Dr. Marilyn Heins is a pediatrician, author, newspaper columnist, lecturer, wife, mother, step-mother, and grandmother.
She has written over 800 parenting columns published in the Arizona Daily Star. Resource :
http://www.internationalchessinstitute.org/ChessAndADHD.asp

chess-adhd

 

On this link you can read about chess  in schools as a subject in different countries.

The next PDF-link will open in a new window too and you can read about it or even save it on your pc for some midnight reading before you turn the lights out…and of course if I didn’t like chess and need to learn this wonderful game, I would love to have a chess set like the one in the next image! That will get me into chess..haha…

https://chessaleeinlondon.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/chess-and-content-orientated-psychology-of-thinking.pdf

art_chess

Image: ursispaltenstein.ch/blog/images/uploads_img/art_chess.jpg

Great chess players are great thinkers

adhdart

Read on the next two links about ADHD.

http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/lens/article/?id=75

http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/lens/article/?id=74

Links on my blog..for you to read more…
On
this link you can read about the Irlen Syndrome and HERE about Dyslexia and Hyperactivity…and HERE about Chess Research…and education…that was carried out a few years ago. Even South African female chess players agree about the benefits of playing chess. The news article is in Afrikaans unfortunately.

Update: September 2009 -On this next link you can read about chess research that was done in Germany.

http://clevergames.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/games-news-chess-and-education-in-germany/#comment-264

SA vroueskaak

Drie van Suid-Afrika se skaak-Groot-5. Carmen de Jager (19), Daleen Wiid (17) en Ezet Roos (17) was in van die topvyf-posisies wat die junior vroue tydens die Afrika- junior skaakkampioenskap onlangs in Bronkhorstspruit verower het. Foto: Leon Botha.
Kliek op hierdie link vir die oorspronklike artikel. Die link sal in ‘n nuwe bladsy oopmaak.
http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2450553,00.html 

5 SA vroue is Afrika se junior skaakkampioene
Jan 08 2009 08:48:07:700PM  – (SA)

Leon Botha

Suid-Afrika het die vyf topposisies vir vroue verower tydens die Afrika- junior skaakkampioenskap wat die afgelope week in Bronkhorstspruit aangebied is.

Melissa Greeff (14) van Kaapstad, drie Pretorianers – Ezet Roos (17), Daleen Wiid (17) en Carmen de Jager (19) – en Nicola Alberts (17) van Port Elizabeth het onderskeidelik die eerste vyf plekke voor die neuse van hul mede-Afrikane opgeraap. Altesame 12 lande, waaronder Libië, Angola, Botswana, Kenia en Uganda het aan die kampioenskap deelgeneem.

Ezet, Daleen en Carmen speel al bykans tien jaar lank saam skaak. Hulle het al in 2001 in die Wêreld-jeugskaakkampioenskap saam deelgeneem.

“Die lekker van skaak is om iemand se brein te klop,” verduidelik Ezet.

“Skaak leer jou baie meer oor die lewe as net die spel. Jy leer om geduldig te wees en om te konsentreer. Dit leer jou ook uithouvermoë en om altyd ’n oplossing vir probleme te vind; met skaak sit jy heeltyd met ’n probleem voor jou.”

Daleen vertel dat die meeste vroulike spelers verdedigend speel. “Die belangrikste is om jou skaakstukke op die bord te ‘ontwikkel’, die koning veilig te kry en dan vir jou opponent se swak punte te kyk.

“Maar jou gemoedstoestand speel ook ’n rol. Soos jy daar (by ’n kompetisie) instap, gaan jy klaarmaak; wanneer ’n mens af is, waag jy net minder kanse.

“In skaak moet jy ’n plan hê. Dit moet so ’n agtskuifplan wees. Jy moet ook meer as een plan reghou. As jy byvoorbeeld voor twee moeilike keuses staan, leer skaak jou om die situasie te ontleed. Skaakspelers dink in detail; ons is nie impulsief nie. ’n Mens moet ook skaakfiks bly en gereeld speel,” sê Daleen.

“Die ander Afrika-lande se skaakspelers is sterk spelers,” meen Carmen, “maar hulle het nie genoeg diepte nie. Skaak is egter baie groot in Afrika.”

 

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p1010106

All links in this post will open in a new window. I’ve found at last what I was looking for! Tree interpretations! and then you can read my post I’ve done earlier…

The House-Tree-Person (H-T-P) projective technique developed by John Buck was originally an outgrowth of the Goodenough scale utilized to assess intellectual functioning. Buck felt artistic creativity represented a stream of personality characteristics that flowed onto graphic art. He believed that through drawings, subjects objectified unconscious difficulties by sketching the inner image of primary process….read on the link more…

Tree interpretations: The trunk is seen to represent the ego. sense of self, and the intactness of the personality. Thus heavy lines or shadings to represent bark indicate anxiety about one’s self, small trunks are limited ego strength, large trunks are more strength… (think about the saying that a tree that bends lasts through the wind, but one that doesn’t snaps, like the ego that is flexible and healthy lasts through the world, but the inflexible and neurotic ego ends up broken). A tree split down the middle, as if hit by lightening, can indicate a fragmented personality and serious mental illness, or a sign of organicity.

Limbs are the efforts our ego makes to “reach out” to the world and support “things that feed us” what we need. Thus, limbs detached are difficulties reaching out, or efforts to reach out that we can’t control. Small branches are limited skills to reach out, while big branches may be too much reaching out to meet needs. Club shaped branches or very pointy ones represent aggressiveness. Gnarled branches are “twisted” and represent being “twisted” in some efforts to reach out. Dead branches mean emptiness and hopelessness.

Leaves are signs that efforts to reach out are successful, since leaves growing mean the tree is reaching out to the sun and getting food and water. Thus, no leaves could mean feeling barren, while leaves detached from the branches mean the nurturing we get is not very predictable. Pointy leaves could be aggression, obsessive attention to detail on the leaves could be Obsessive Compulsive tendencies.

Roots are what “ground” the tree and people, and typically relate to reality testing and orientation. No roots can mean insecurity and no feeling of being grounded, overemphasized roots can be excessive concern with reality testing, while dead roots can mean feelings of disconnection from reality, emptiness, and despair.

Other details: Christmas trees after the season is over can mean regressive fantasies (thinking about holidays and family and good times to make yourself feel better). Knots or twists in the wood, like gnarled limbs, indicate some part of the ego is twisted around some issue. Knotholes are an absence of trunk, and thus an absence of ego control. Sometimes they are seen as indicating a trauma, and the height up the tree represents the age of the trauma (so, halfway up for a 10 year old is at age 5). Squirrels and small animals are an Id intrusion into an area free from ego control. Research does show that weeping willow trees are more common in depressed people. People with high needs for nurturance draw apples.

Link: http://www.orthopedagogiek.info/house_tree_person_drawings.htm

update link 24/7/2011: The above link doesn’t exist anymore and I’ve found the following link –

http://www.intelligentietesten.com/house_tree_person_drawings.htm

 

On this link I’ve written about Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia. During my studies of this two year diploma, we had to read widely too and I was very much interested in children’s art and how you can tell from their drawings what kind of emotional problems they experience in their lives. During my training as a Primary Teacher in South Africa, I had art as a subject too and one task was to look at Pre-Primary art and that triggered my interest as one little boy – 5 year old – didn’t draw me something when I asked the class to draw me anything. He took the purple wax crayon, put it down flat on his sheet, pressed very hard on it and press-pulled it from the top of his sheet to the bottom. His teacher informed me about his circumstances at home, which was obviously not very positive at the time. What I found in one book, had me even more interested in the emotional difficulties-aspect and here is what I want to share: These tree images! Some child psychologists might tell children to draw various things when they do their diagnostic tests in their first session with a child. Some might  start with: “Draw me a human”, as they want to see who’s the dominant parent in the house or the parent the child relates best to…or other reasons. Some might also want to ask the child to draw a tree too for various reasons. Yes, a tree can tell you many things.  A tree can tell you if the child experiences love/friendship at home, grieve, loneliness and many more! These winter-tree photos were taken in our street…about 2 weeks ago. They don’t look really beautiful as it’s winter now of course, but they look at least a bit “healthy” …but what is an unhealthy tree? you may ask…well, a tree that has been chopped down is one example. So if a child draws a tree that has been chopped down, you might wonder…hmm… but!! you have to see things in context! The child might have gone to a place where they saw trees that were chopped down the day before! So, it’s not to say this child has some problems and you start raising your eyebrows! Therefore, it’s dangerous for anyone just to assume that you have a child with emotional problems…there’s many questions to be asked by the experts before you can make assumptions…so, if you’re a parent, please, please, please, don’t start doing all sorts of “tests” and then go and sulk in the corner of your room and think you’ve got some problems! In this activity, the shape of the tree is also quite important.

I’ve found two google-book-links for you to look at about the tree-drawing…at the bottom of this post. I was also looking for more links about the tree-drawing activity and I came across a very interesting site with info about colour personalities…I think I’m a  Group3-person here, some sort of an “expert” has told me  that I’m an “autumn”-person, and reading the Group3 -information, I think I sort of agree, but there is some of Summer to which I feel I relate to too. Take some time and enjoy reading it, the link is at the bottom of the post too…see the “Source”-link.

tree1

tree2

 

 

Colour Psychology — Personality Types


There are just four personality types and each has its own distinctive characteristics and typical responses to a variety of situations. Each individual personality will be best supported and expressed with a specific palette of colours. Working in California, USA, in the early 1980s, Angela Wright realised the links between patterns of colour and patterns of human behaviour, when she put the four personality types together with the four colour families that Johannes Itten (an artist at the Bauhaus, earlier in the twentieth century) had noticed. This began to explain why individuals have such different responses to the same colour.
People say it is impossible to classify all the millions of people in the world into just four types. Yet the grand designer only divided humanity into two. The basic patterns are absolute, just as the basic male/female patterns, but equally, there are probably as many variations as there are people. Each of us contains elements of one or more of the other three, but understanding the archetype is the key to understanding ourselves and others.

These classifications indicate where humanity fits into the natural world. Human colour patterns are a reflection of nature’s patterns, and the constant play of light shows us wonderful colours and harmonies that change consistently. We rely on the colour signals in our environment to orient ourselves, so for example, in many parts of the world, when the leaves change colour and go through golds, reds, purples and browns before they fall off the trees, we know that the natural cycle is drawing to a close. We prepare for nature to shut down and hibernate, as regeneration begins under the earth. We ourselves instinctively draw in. As long as this happens in October and November, we are quite comfortable; but can you imagine how deeply disturbed we would be if it happened in June? We depend on the natural order more than we realise.

These patterns are fundamental to nature and are demonstrated in a variety of ways: for example, the play of light in any one day gives us four distinct moods – at sunrise, noon, sunset and night. The most spectacular and readily identifiable manifestation is in the four seasons of the year, in many parts of the world. Although this does not occur in the same way everywhere, the yearly cycle is recognisable everywhere and we react in similar ways.

It is important to understand that all four personality types can be found all over the world; however, Group 3 predominates, worldwide, in the indigenous populations of Australia, New Zealand, the Americas and Africa – as well as most of Europe. Group 4 personalities predominate in the Orient and parts of the Middle East. Group 1 people are particularly to be found in Scandinavia, but they are everywhere. Group 2 personalities are rare, but they can be found everywhere – oddly, they predominate in Norway. (It is interesting that, at the time of writing, Norway has been making tremendous diplomatic efforts for some years to bring peace to the Middle East).

The archetypal Group 1 personality reflects the patterns of springtime.

If you go out and look at nature in spring, it has a very specific colour scheme and an unmistakable personality. Everything is coming back to life after the long dark winter months and it is very lively. Birds make a lot of noise and the whole animal kingdom is busy; bright warm colours burst forth and spirits lift. The melting snow and ice fill the earth with water and create a sparkling awareness of the fresh and the new.

The personality that reflects all this is externally motivated and eternally young. They can be blonde, brunette or redhead, but they will never be very dark or heavy – even when they put on too much weight, they are light on their feet, love to dance and have an indefinable quality of lightness to their being. Their features tend to be rounded and delicate. They need plenty of light in their lives and are particularly prone to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). They have great charm and the kind of career that this type should ideally pursue will be working with many people – nursing, caring, communications and media, sales, entertainment (particularly musical comedy). They have a natural affinity with the young and they love the outdoors, so they make wonderful PE and sports teachers. They are often very clever, but not interested in heavy, deep academic debate. They like to get on with things; they have a strong practical streak and inexhaustible energy. They do not respond well, for example, to the beauty of linen, as it never looks properly ironed (unless their subordinate influence is autumnal). They like, and suit, crisp fresh fabrics and small patterns, such as polka dots.

The challenge for this type is single-mindedness; they have the gift of attending to many things simultaneously, but might be accused of being superficial and frivolous. Their emotions can be very fragile.

Examples of famous people who appear to reflect this pattern are: Tony Blair, the late Princess Diana and Bill Clinton.

The colours that reflect and express these characteristics are warm and clear; they can be bright, but not necessarily. Just as everyone does, the spring personality needs ease as well as stimulus, so their ideal palette of colours will include soft peach, cream or turquoise, alongside the brighter scarlets, cobalt or sky blues, warm emerald greens and pure yellows that express their varying moods. Neutral colours to support them are light camel, French navy and light warm greys.

The archetypal Group 2 personality is linked to the natural patterns of the summertime in many parts of the world.

As the year progresses and the earth begins to dry out, a softening process sets in. The vivid green leaves tone down to a cooler, darker green that perfectly enhances the soft colours of roses, sweet peas and wisteria. Our instinct is to break off and relax after so much energy has been expended. When the sun beats down, the colours are bleached out; the concept of coolness becomes very attractive and the colours of summer flowers echo that feeling. Imagine a quiet summer afternoon sitting under a tree, contemplating the peaceful countryside and the heat haze in the distance.

The archetypal Group 2 personality is cool, calm and collected. This person is internally motivated, but equally very sensitive to what others are feeling. Their features are gently curved and their eyes have a misty quality to them – they are most often blue, with no flecks or lacy patterns in them, but they can be grey, cool green or brown. Group 2 eyes do not dance, as Group 1 eyes so often do – they are still and serene. Their hair is unlikely to be predominantly red, although there could be warm lights in it; it will probably be cool brown or blond. Summer related people abhor vulgarity and their humour is subtle and often dry; they can be very witty. Ideal careers for this type are any that involve creating order out of chaos, and keeping the peace – diplomats, administrators, human resources – and, since they have an acute sense of touch, particularly in their fingertips, they are often gifted artists or musicians. Their gentle nature and keen analytical skills also make them good general practitioners (medical). They need order. They are very uncomfortable with poor-quality fabrics and love pure silk jersey (with its slight sheen and the flowing lines it creates), chiffon and cashmere.

The challenge for the summer personality is in appearing aloof and unfriendly – and the need to resist the efforts of their livelier friends to jazz them up!

The Group 2 personality does not seek the limelight, but some famous people who appear to demonstrate these characteristics are HM The Queen and Prince Charles (who had it thrust upon them), the late Princess Grace of Monaco and Nelson Mandela.

The colours of the Group 2 palette are cool and subtle; they can be dark, but never heavy. Some typical Group 2 colours are maroon, raspberry, oyster, rose pink, grapefruit, powder blue, lavender, viridian and sage green. Good neutrals to support them are mushroom, taupe, dove grey and cool navy.


Archetypal Group 3 personalities are linked to the autumnal pattern.

Go back again to the countryside and see how things have changed since the first warmth of spring. The temperature might be the same, but nature’s mood is quite different and so is her apparel. The bright, perky spring flowers, in warm blue, lilac, orange, and yellow, have been replaced by rich golds, fiery reds, purples, burnt orange and brown – and not in flowers, but in the leaves. Autumn is abundant, as we harvest all the fruits of the year’s cycle; it is mature and ripe, with great drama in the landscape.

The Group 3 personality is, like Group 1, externally motivated. However, there are great differences – autumnal people are intense and strong. They are all fiery, to a greater or lesser degree (depending on their subordinate influences); if they have a strong summer influence, this might not be apparent, but it is there; they can also be flamboyant. They could be blond, brunette or redhead and their eyes could be blue, brown or green and almost invariably have flecks of gold or tan in them. However, the Group 3 eyes are more often brown or green; hazel eyes do not occur in any other type. The textures that appeal to the Group 3 personality are those where the interest is inherent, rather than printed on a smooth finish – raw silk, linen, and tweed. Group 3 personalities have a strong sense of justice and are constantly fascinated with academic questions and how things work. They are very aware of environmental issues. Good careers for them are anything requiring detection and digging beneath the surface – police officers, psychiatrists and archaeologists and lawyers. They are attracted to the armed forces. They are often good writers, particularly in investigative journalism. Physical comfort and solid substance are important to them and they abhor anything flimsy, whether ideas or physical objects (such as furniture).

The challenge for Group 3 personalities is to keep their wish to save the world in proportion. They might be perceived as bossy and tedious.

Famous personalities who appear to be linked to Group 3 abound: they include Sir David Frost, Germaine Greer and Bob Geldof.

The autumnal palette is offbeat – there are no pure primary colours. Examples are vermilion, tomato, burnt orange, olive green, moss green, golden yellow, terracotta, petrel blue, and aubergine. Good neutrals to support these colours are most shades of brown.

Archetypal Group 4 personalities are an expression of the natural pattern of winter.

The winter landscape is hushed and when snow falls heavily, it is virtually achromatic – everything disappears under a blanket of pure white. But under the surface there is powerful energy as the regeneration process develops. Without leaves on the trees, outlines are stark and minimal, with strong contrasts. Imagine a snowy field, where you see an expanse of white and the apparently black shape of a leafless tree, its bare branches etched against an icy blue, or cold grey, sky. We treat the winter with respect, and when a storm breaks out, we run for cover. We view dramatic snow-covered mountain peaks or a majestic icy terrain with awe.

Similarly, Group 4 personalities automatically command respect. Physically, their features are usually well defined and their eyes compelling, whether they are blond or brunette; redheads rarely occur in this type. They are internally motivated and have a gift for seeing the broader picture and for delegation. They set their sights on the objective and they are not easily diverted. They are often very efficient, and precise in everything they do. They can’t stand clutter, or cluttered minds and they do not suffer fools. Their response to foolishness will often be sarcastic and, unlike Group 3 – who will stop and explain, fifty ways if necessary – they will simply move on. In difficult times they are very stoical. They do care, but they are unsentimental and do not get bogged down with emotional issues. They are self-assured and ideal careers for them are usually at the top – they are very effective in government and finance. They also shine in the theatre and films, as well as PR, and in fashion (they do not follow fashion – they are usually arbiters of it), they are perfectly suited to the catwalk. If they choose to pursue a medical career, they will be wonderful surgeons. If they decide to pursue a legal career, they make brilliant barristers. The textures that echo this pattern are shiny – glass and chrome in interiors, pure silk and satin for themselves. They never need to create a drama, as they are innately dramatic – but it is the drama of a frozen snowflake, or a flawless diamond on a black velvet cushion.

The challenge for Group 4 personalities is to pay attention to other people’s feelings. They can be perceived as elitist, cold and uncaring.

Famous personalities who appear to embody the winter pattern are Sean Connery, Gordon Brown, Margaret Thatcher and Diana Ross.

The colours of winter in the natural world are few – and a winter personality instinctively recognises this. They often favour simply wearing black all winter and white all summer. They are the only type who look good, and are supported by, unrelieved black or white. Other colours in the tonal family are crimson, lemon yellow, Persian orange, jade green, cold emerald, magenta, royal purple, midnight blue and flag blue. These colours work particularly well in strong contrasts and the best neutrals for this palette are black, white and clerical grey.

 Source HERE about colour-affects.

Please click here for ‘drawing trees and your personality’. This is a google-book and you can click here to read on google books another book about asking children to draw a tree during psychiatric diagnoses.

trees

Image: picturethis.pnl.gov/im2/trees1/trees

Pierneef is a South African artist and I like his style, have a look at his trees in these paintings. You can read more about him on the Wiki-link at the bottom of this entry.

pierneef1

pierneef3

pierneefrustenburgkloof

Read on this Wiki-link more about Pierneef, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobus_Hendrik_Pierneef

Pierneef received numerous honours and awards during his lifetime, including:

1935 – The Medal for Visual Arts for his Johannesburg Station Panels as well as for his panels in South Africa House in London.
1951 – Honorary Doctorate, University of Natal.
1957 – Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy, University of Pretoria.
1957 – Honorary Membership of the South African Academy for Science and Art.

pierneef_hardkoolbome

Please click on this link to read about exceptional trees of South Africa. The link will open in a new window.

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Irlen

Image: Irlen.com

Update: Irlen Syndrome: 18/3/2013

Irlen_syndrome
By Cynthia Mccormick
cmccormick@capecodoline.com
July 17, 2008
For years, Tracy Bowman of Buzzards Bay tried to get her elementary-school-age daughter to pick up a book and read.

She stocked her home with the newest children’s literature and beloved classics.

But Bowman ended up reading the Junie B. Jones books out loud to Dayna, now 10, after the child complained that reading hurt her eyes.

Bowman had her daughter’s vision tested.

It was fine.

The staff at James F. Peebles Elementary School had Dayna tested for learning disabilities.

She was fine.

Some people thought Dayna might just be lazy, but when Bowman saw her vivacious, active daughter getting off the bus every day in tears after another failure in school, she knew something else was going on.

“She couldn’t read like her friends did,” Bowman says. “It was breaking my heart. I would have to read her homework directions to her.”

Dayna’s teachers puzzled over her case, too. Then, on a hunch, a Bourne special education teacher had the girl tested for a little-known perceptual problem called Irlen syndrome.

Also known as scoptopic sensitivity syndrome, Irlen syndrome causes problems with the nervous system’s understanding of visual information, such as printing.

Most sufferers are bothered by light sensitivity, especially fluorescent lights. Reading makes them feel strained or sleepy and can give them headaches — which is not surprising, since words seem to move around the page, and readers have trouble finding their place.

Really bad cases of Irlen syndrome can make it almost impossible for sufferers to sit down and read for any period of time. Children with milder cases may be good readers who don’t progress as much in their instruction as teachers expect.

“I’d never heard of it before,” Bowman says.

Diane Godfrey, the special education teacher, explained that Dayna saw the written page differently from other people.

“It was like looking at an optical illusion all the time,” Bowman says.

The solution to Dayna’s reading problems was surprisingly simple.
All Dayna required to put her back on track with her peer group was to have a transparent colored overlay placed on her reading material.
Irlen expert Georgianna Saba of Medford determined that the best color transparency for Dayna was pink, so now the girl goes to school with an 8-by-10-inch, rose-colored transparent page to put over her schoolwork. She also was fitted with a pair of nonprescription glasses with pink-tinted lenses.

The transformation was amazing, Bowman says.

“Dayna is now getting the best report card she ever had,” she says. “She is going to bed reading. She says, ‘Mom, can I please keep reading? Please?'”

When Dayna’s tutor lent her a book about Irlen syndrome, called “Reading by the Colors,” Bowman felt a flash of recognition.

“I was reading about myself,” she says. A hairdresser, she had decided to forgo college because she doubted she could keep up with the coursework.

“Reading was labored and difficult for me,” Bowman says. “My brain would shut off, and I’d fall asleep.”

Together with a now-retired social worker from the Bourne school system, Julie Sacchetti, Bowman founded a local company called the Irlen Connection, which refers children and adults to testing for Irlen syndrome.

The main purpose of the Irlen Connection is to raise awareness about the perceptual problem, which is not picked up by regular special education testing or physicians, Bowman says.

She and Sacchetti are lobbying the Legislature to include testing for Irlen syndrome in the normal battery of special education tests.

While House Bill 539 initially would require an outlay of approximately $838,250 to train testers in screening methods, it would save the special education system millions of dollars, the women say.

Irlen syndrome is named after Helen Irlen, the educational psychologist who discovered the condition while working with adult learners in California in the early 1980s.

Irlen found that some students’ reading improved when they covered a page of print with a colored overlay.

Bowman and Sacchetti say cases of Irlen syndrome often are misdiagnosed as attention-deficit disorder or other issues that can require costly educational interventions. Once Irlen syndrome is diagnosed, the only cost is for colored transparencies and glasses.

Saba, the Irlen expert, estimates that after 12 months of Irlen testing, 1,000 students would be able to be pulled off Individual Education Plans for a savings of about $6.7 million.

Massachusetts Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll has called the 45-minute Irlen screening method “very efficient and economical.”

Arizona has passed a bill for a pilot project, and California has a pilot project for its prison population, Bowman says.

Representatives in the Massachusetts House are scheduled to vote on the testing bill by the end of the month.

Bowman is optimistic the bill will get passed this time, even though similar legislation has languished in the Statehouse for years.

She predicts that Irlen screening would boost MCAS scores, as students bone up on reading.

Bowman can’t even put a price tag on how much emotional pain can be deflected by screening for Irlen syndrome.

“My daughter used to cry and say no one understands,” she says. “We have to help these kids in elementary school. There’s nothing wrong with their intelligence.”

Irlenpink

Irlenyellow

Irlenblue

Which colour do you prefer as a background colour when reading these text? Have you heard about Irlen-syndrome? No? Well, read further…and read on the link on Irlen.com even more! You will also see a book in this post- at the end. A book which  scanned through when a friend of mine was busy with her studies in becoming an Educational  Psychologist. People with Irlen-syndrome prefer to read with a coloured background, therefore the colour buttons on the site of Irlen.com for you to enhance the colour of the site’s background. In some schools Senco’s also advise teachers to have light yellow as a background for Power Point slides and Interactive Whiteboard slides. Even the children I’m teaching prefer yellow as a background! These colours have absolutely nothing to do with ‘getting children to relax’ – like I was ‘corrected‘ recently… it is to reduce the ‘glare’ of the slides reflecting in children’s eyes, causing problems such as headaches.

Read about the dyslexic/hyperactive child on this link. The link will open in a new window.

The Irlen Method –
Helping Children and Adults with processing problems for over 25 years The Irlen Method is the only research-based color method backed by over 4,000 school districts. Used by educators since 1983, this patented method and color-based technology was discovered by Helen Irlen, MA, LMFT, the nation’s leading expert in perceptually-based reading and learning difficulties.

The Irlen Method is a non-invasive, patented technology that uses colored overlays and filters to improve the brain’s ability to process visual information. It is the only method scientifically proven to successfully correct the processing problems associated with Irlen Syndrome.

This technology can improve reading fluency, comfort, comprehension, attention, and concentration while reducing light sensitivity. This is not a method of reading instruction. It is a color-based technology that filters out offensive light waves, so the brain can accurately process visual information.

We help children and adults suffering from

Reading and learning problems
Dyslexia
ADD/HD, Autism and Asperger Syndrome
Behavioral and emotional problems
Headaches, migraines, fatigue and other physical symptoms
Light Sensitivity/Photophobia
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), whip lash, and concussions
Certain medical and visual conditions.

This method has received international acclaim and is included in professional journals and textbooks. It has also been featured in national and international media, including National Geographic, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, ABC World News, NBC News, the BBC and TV shows in Ireland, Hong Kong, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, and Australia.

What is the Irlen Method?

The Irlen Method has been used for over 25 years to identify and help people with a type of processing problem called Irlen Syndrome, formerly known as Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS). Irlen Syndrome is not an optical problem. It is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. This problem tends to run in families and is not currently identified by other standardized educational or medical tests.

Irlen Syndrome can affect many different areas, including:

Academic and work performance
Behavior
Attention
Ability to sit still
Concentration

This problem can manifest itself differently for each individual. This problem is not remediable and is often a lifetime barrier to learning and performance. If you suffer from any of the following, Irlen Syndrome might be your problem:

Print looks different
Environment looks different
Slow or inefficient reading
Poor comprehension
Eye strain
Fatigue
Headaches
Difficulty with math computation
Difficulty copying
Difficulty reading music
Poor sports performance
Poor depth-perception
Low motivation
Low self-esteem
Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome
Light Sensitivity

Bothered by glare, fluorescent lights, bright lights, sunlight and sometimes lights at night
Some individuals experience physical symptoms and feel tired, sleepy, dizzy, anxious, or irritable. Others experience headaches, mood changes, restlessness or have difficulty staying focused, especially with bright or fluorescent lights.

Reading Problems

Poor comprehension
Misreads words
Problems tracking from line to line
Reads in dim light
Skips words or lines
Reads slowly or hesitantly
Takes breaks
Loses place
Avoids reading

Discomfort

Strain and fatigue
Tired or sleepy
Headaches or nausea
Fidgety or restless
Eyes that hurt or become watery

Attention and Concentration Problems

Problems with concentration when reading and doing academic tasks
Often people can appear to have other conditions, such as attention deficit disorder, and are given medication unnecessarily.

Writing Problems:

Trouble copying
Unequal spacing
Unequal letter size
Writing up or downhill
Inconsistent spelling

Other Characteristics:

Strain or fatigue from computer use
Difficulty reading music
Sloppy, careless math errors
Misaligned numbers in columns
Ineffective use of study time
Lack of motivation
Grades do not reflect the amount of effort

Depth Perception:

Clumsiness
Difficulty catching balls
Difficutly judging distances
Additional caution necessary while driving

Distortions:

Words on the page lack clarity or stability; i.e., may appear to be blurry, moving, or disappear. See more distortions on the Irlen.com-site.

irlen seesaw

irlen river

irlen washout
Read more on the Irlen website. The link will open in a new window.

Afrikaans readers:

Watter kleur verkies jy om as agtergrond te he wanneer jy lees? Kyk na hierdie gedeeltes, presies dieselfde stuk, met verskillende agtergronde! Dit is waaroor Irlen-sindroom gaan. Lees meer daaroor hier en op die webbladsy-link wat ek gegee het. Gaan lees gerus by “juffer” ook – link onderaan die pos – oor leesprobleme. Lees ook my ondervinding met ‘n leerling in my klas wat ek laat skandeer het deur ‘n vriendin. Die berig wat ek hier plaas het ek ook deur “juffer” gekry, wat natuurlik ‘n paar jaar terug verskyn het, daarom glo ek dat die statistieke wat daarin genoem word, vandag natuurlik bietjie “anders” sal lyk. Onthou, kinders met enige leerprobleem, is nie “dom” nie. Daar bestaan vir my nie so ‘n woord in my woordeskat wanneer dit by kinders/leerprobleme kom nie. Kinders leer verskillend, is verskillend! en reageer verskillend op die leerinhoud wat deur Onderwysers voorgehou word, ek glo dat Onderwysers meer van hulle kant af moet doen om die behoeftes van kinders aan te vul, wat betref hul onderrigstyl, omdat kinders verskillende leerstyle het!
Afrikaans Readers….Hierdie is ‘n koerantartikel..wat in 1989 verskyn het.

RUBRIEK: POLS
Jou `lui, dom’ kind is dalk ‘n Irlen-lyer
Inge Verster

Duisende kinders ly onwetend aan Irlen-sindroom, wat hulle onnodig as onderpresteerders en ongemotiveerd brandmerk. Inge Verster het meer oor die verskynsel uitgevind.
******
Soos wat jy besig is om hierdie woorde as ‘n sinvolle geheel te lees, is ‘n optiese wonder aan die gebeur. Dink daaroor. Elke 250 millisekondes word jou oë met nuwe, inkomende, visuele stimuli gebombardeer.  En terwyl jou kykers vinniger as springmieliepitte in kokende olie rondspring om dit te verwerk word daar van jou brein verwag om sin te maak uit die horde stilstaande letters en woorde op die koerantpapier voor jou. Geoefende chaos vir die meeste van ons, maar bittere stryd vir duisende mense wat êrens ‘n kortsluiting in die visuele verwerkingsproses beleef mense soos dié met Irlen-sindroom, ‘n verskynsel wat onderwysers, sielkundiges en mediese wetenskaplikes tot nou toe aan die raai gehad het omdat dit nie deur standaardvisuele, -opvoedkundige en -sielkundige skooltoetse opgespoor word nie. Amerikaanse navorsers het gevind dat nagenoeg 12 tot 14% van kinders van skoolgaande ouderdom aan dié sin droom ly. Die tragedie is egter dat die meeste Irlen-lyers onwetend met die sindroom saamleef, en lewenslank etikette soos “onderpresteerder”, “dom”, “lui” of “ongemotiveerd” kry.

Enorme oningeligtheid heers oor die sindroom, ook in Suid-Afrika, waar dit maar eers die afgelope sowat drie jaar werklik in die kollig is, sê Martelean Venter, ‘n opvoedkundige sielkundige van Nelspruit en een van twee gekwalifiseerde Irlen-diagnostici in Suid-Afrika. Die sindroom ook bekend as – Skotopiese Sensitiwiteitsindroom (SSS) – dra die naam van Helen Irlen, die Amerikaanse opvoedkundige sielkundige en pionier op die gebied van behandeling van die toestand met gekleurde filters.

Irlen-sindroom is ‘n visuele persepsuele probleem, eerder as ‘n oogprobleem. Mense wat hieraan ly, sukkel om al die kleure in die ligspektrum te verwerk en ondervind gevolglik persepsuele distorsies. Dis ‘n komplekse, veranderbare toestand wat dikwels in kombinasie met ander leer- of leesprobleme, hiperaktiwiteit, aandagafwykings of disleksie gepaardgaan. Lees verg groter moeite en konsentrasie van Irlen-lyers omdat hulle letters en woorde anders as normale lesers sien. Hulle moet hulself voortdurend inspan om by verwringings van die gedrukte teks of die wit agtergrond aan te pas. Die gevolg is dat hulle vinnig moeg word, sukkel om met begrip te lees en nie lank kan konsentreer nie. Genetiese oordraag-baarheid speel ‘n sterk rol in dié neurologiese probleem.

‘n Australiese studie het bevind dat 84% van een of albei ouers van ‘n kind met Irlen-sindroom ook simptome toon. Irlen en disleksie, ‘n moontlike simptoom daarvan, word dikwels met mekaar verwar. Na raming is een uit elke tien mense disleksies en/of sukkel met ‘n  vorm van leergestremdheid. Daar word gereken dat sowat die helfte van dié groep aan wisselende grade van die Irlen-sin droom ly. Irlen-lyers word dikwels bloot as disleksies geklassifiseer, sê Venter.

Disleksiese volwassenes sonder Irlen neem ‘n betrokke bladsy op dieselfde manier waar, onafhanklik van hoe lank aaneen hulle lees. Irlen-lyers, daarenteen, sukkel om ‘n konstante beeld van die bladsy te vorm en vind lees al hoe meer inspannend, hoe langer hulle dit doen. As teenvoeter vir dié probleem het Helen Irlen in die vroeë jare tagtig met gekleurde filters in die vorms van lense en dekblaaie vorendag gekom. Een van die teorieë agter die gekleurde lense is dat dit die kontras tussen die agtergrond en die letters verskerp. Só herstel dit die kortsluiting wat Irlen-lyers vermoedelik ondervind tussen die “vinnige” en die “stadige” paadjies wat stimuli in die visuele korteks in die brein vervoer. ‘n Ander teorie lui dat die visuele verwerkingstelsel deels deur verspreide rooi lig ge¨nhibeer word. Die veronderstelling is dat ‘n blou filter, wat die rooi lig uitblok, die korrekte tydsberekening help bewerkstellig. Volgens die Irlen-Instituut in Long Beach, Kalifornië, is daar wêreldwyd nagenoeg 50000 mense wat Irlen-filters dra. Die sukses daarvan wissel van individu tot individu.

Onlangse navorsing in Australië het getoon dat meer as 80% van mense steeds ná ses jaar tevrede was met hul lense, sê André Greyling, opvoedkundige sielkundige en Irlen diagnostikus van Arcadia, Pretoria. Plaaslik vertel die lense ‘n suksesverhaal. Dit gebeur wel dat die simptome oor die jare verander, veral in ‘n kind wat nog ontwikkel, en dan moet sy lense aangepas word. “Sowat 98% van Irlen se simptome kan deur die lense verlig word. Maar omdat dit ‘n sindroom is, raak die persoon nooit heeltemal ontslae daarvan nie.” Irlen-filters is allermins ‘n blitskuur vir disleksie. Mense kan nie skielik voorheen onbekende woorde herken of beskik nie uit die bloute oor nuwe fonetiese vaardighede nie. “Die lense neem die distorsies weg, maar die swak lees- en skryfvaardighede wat oor die jare aangeleer is, is steeds daar.” ‘n Duideliker, meer stabiele waarneming van enige vorm van drukwerk  is ‘n verbetering wat kan intree. Die leser is meer ontspanne en kan langer aaneen lees. Synde self ‘n Irlen-lyer, onthou Venter die gevoelens van ontoereikendheid, minderwaardigheid en verwardheid wat sy as “onderpresteerder” op skool ervaar het. Ure se vasberade gesukkel agter die boeke smiddae ná skool het haar nie veel meer in die sak gebring as kwaai hoofpyne nie iets wat geen leesbril of mediese toetse kon opklaar of verklaar nie. In Suid-Afrika is daar nou opgeleide Irlen-sifters wat vir die sindroom kan toets. Pasiënte word verwys na die twee Irlen-klinieke, waar omvattende diagnostiese toetse gedoen word om ‘n korrekte filterkleur uit ‘n haas onbeperkte spektrum kleurkombinasies te kies. Dit is wenslik dat mense ‘n optometriese toets aflê om die aanwesigheid van enige oogprobleme vas te stel voordat hulle lense kry. Behandeling in die Irlen-klinieke is holisties die kind se mediese, sielkundige en opvoedkundige agtergrond word in oënskou geneem. Irlen-filters sluit nie verdere remedierende terapie uit nie. Vroeë tekens van Irlen is soms te bespeur in voor-skoolse kinders wat byvoorbeeld sukkel om ‘n bal te vang, fiets te ry of tussen die lyne in te kleur.
Dit kan ook gebeur dat kinders dalk in die eerste sowat drie skooljare goed regkom met lees, en dat die simptome eers daarna kop uitsteek wanneer die leer- en leeslas toeneem.

Baie volwassenes, wat onwetend aan Irlen-sindroom ly, ervaar daagliks erge frustrasie weens onverklaarbaar lae produktiwiteit by die werk. Harde werkers sukkel om hul werk betyds klaar te kry, kan nie vir lank op ‘n dokument konsentreer nie, word gou moeg en neem dikwels ‘n kwaai hoofpyn of migraine smiddae huis toe. Dit kan ook in skryfgewoontes manifesteer. Die persoon ervaar skryf as uitputtend. Die skrif is oneweredig, skuins teen die kantlyn af, soos ‘n enkele kolom in die middel van die blad of vol spelfoute.

Bron…Die link sal in ‘n nuwe bladsy oopmaak.http://152.111.1.251/argief/berigte/beeld/1998/12/4/14/10oud.html

Ek was baie gelukkig om deel te kon wees van die heel laaste groep studente in SA om die kursus te doen wat hulle voorheen die MBD-kursus genoem het. Dit staan vir “Minimale Brein Disfunksie”. Die Dept. van Onderwys het toe besluit dit klink te…er…”erg” en toe ons groep se kwalifikasie-benaming “herdoop” na: “Psigoneurologiese Leergestremdhede”. Kortliks, dit sluit alles in oor die vroeër jare se Hulpklas, in kort, leerders wat leerafwykings/leerprobleme het. Dit sluit nie die kind in met Spesifieke Leergestremdhede nie, bv. Die blinde kind, dowe kind, ens.alhoewel ons studierigting ook voorsiening gemaak het vir al daardie komponente en ons dit ook bestudeer het, maar die uiteindelike kursus was gemik op die Hulpklas in  Hoofstroom Onderwys.

Ek het ‘n leerling/leerder in my klas gehad – daardie stadium was hy Gr3 – wat leesprobleme ondervind het. Terselfdertyd het hy ook konsentrasie-probleme gehad en selfs sy handskrif het probleme opgelewer. Ek was altyd, sedert my RO-kwalifikasie en later ook die MBD-kwalifikasie, baie sensitief vir enige simptome/afwykings wat leer by die enige kind kon/kan beinvloed. Ek het op dieselfde stadium ‘n vriendin gehad wat gestudeer het as Opvoedkundige Sielkundige en ons het altyd heerlik oor leerders se leerprobleme gekommunikeer en inligting/feite uitgeruil. Sy het met een kuiersessie haar jongste boek saam gebring wat sy besig was om deur te werk vir haar kursus…”Reading by the Colours” geskryf deur Irlen. Natuurlik het ek hom net daar geleen en self deurgewerk, maar haar intussen vertel van Johan (nie sy regte naam nie) in my klas. Johan was ‘n uiters intelligente kind, ontsettend sportief, ‘n  briljante skaakspeler, – die volgende jaar Gauteng-Noord Kleure in Skaak verwerf! en ‘n oulik-gebalanseerde kind wat uit ‘n gebalanseerde normale ouerhuis kom. Sy ouers was baie ondersteunend en sou berge vir hul kinders en Onderwysers versit waar en wanneer hulle kon. Ek het dadelik my vriendin dieselfde kuiertjie gevra om Johan te skandeer vir die probleem….met die wete dat ek geweet sy ouers sou net te bly gewees het, alhoewel ek hul toestemming gevra het. Natuurlik was my vriendin geneë met die gedagte omdat dit vir haar studies baie sou beteken het. Uit die skanderingsessie het dit geblyk dat Johan geel as agtergrond verkies om te lees. My vriendin was so gaaf en het vir hom ‘n geel “overlay” gegee wat hy oor sy leesboek/leesmateriaal moes plaas wanneer hy gelees het. Ons kon dadelik ‘n verskil agterkom, maar die verskil was nie drasties nie. Johan is wel later deeglik getoets vir sy probleem. Ek was nie bewus (soos baie ander onnies op daardie stadium) van die sindroom – voordat ek daarvan in tydskrifte gelees het o.a. Huisgenoot – en deur my vriendin meer daarvan gehoor het. Omdat Onderwysers in die hoofstroom nie daarmee te doen kry nie, is hulle nie altyd bewus van enige simptome nie. Sommige Onderwysers se ingesteldheid moet ook soms verander word met probleme rakende leerders, omdat baie Onderwysers in baie gevalle dink dat kinders sommer net “stout” is en probleme afmaak as “luiheid” of “stoutigheid” / “laksheid/lyf-wegsteek” ens. As ‘n kind nie lief vir lees is nie, is daar een van ‘n paar probleme:
1. Die betrokke kind is as ‘n jong/kleiner kind (ouderdom ongeveer 4-8) nooit aan interessante/lekker verhale blootgestel nie, veral tuis en later by die skool waar die skool die ouers “aanvul”. Ek blameer ouer/Onderwyser, maar die ouer se aandeel is die grootste, die skool kan nie “regstel” as daar van die ouer se kant niks gedoen word nie of selfs afbreek wat Juffrou probeer! Slegs hierdie week het ons weer so ‘n geval gehad van ‘n ouer (ma) wat ‘n brief skooltoe gestuur het met ‘n “attitude” wat skrik vir niks, alles in die brief dui daarop dat sy totaal vere voel vir haar kind se skoolonderrig en sy het dit in soveel woorde gesê dit  sodat die kind dieselfde houding inneem! “can’t be bothered”.  Hoe kan die Onderwyser dan ooit wen!
2. Die betrokke kind het heel waarskynlik ‘n oog-probleem. Onderwysers kan nooit verkeerd gaan om net seker te maak nie! Liewer “safe than sorry”! Selfs ouers!! kan maar gerus hul kind teen die ouerdom van 11 neem vir ‘n goeie oogtoets, omdat jou kind se oë nog ontwikkel tot ouderdom van 10! Fokus…as ek reg onthou, ontwikkel nog op daardie stadium. Soms kry jonger kinders ‘n bril slegs vir ‘n tydperk..en sodra hul ouer word…11/12 ens…dan het hulle nie meer die bril nodig nie…
3. Ouers forseer kinders om te lees/koop hul kinders om om te lees, sodat hulle dalk hul kinders kan liefmaak vir lees. (ja!! dit het ek gekry gedurende my skoolhou-tyd in SA! ‘n Twaalfjarige meisie wat vir my vertel het dat sy ‘n aantal boeke moes lees voordat sy per boek betaal was, wat ook haar sakgeld was en as sy dit nie gedoen het nie, was daar probleme! Arme kind! Sy het lees elke minuut gehaat, want haar pa het die boeke gekies! en dan het hy gekies waarvan sy nie gehou het nie…allerhande feite boeke….ver bokant haar belangstellingsveld.  Wat ‘n straf vir so ‘n kind!! en wat ‘n breinlose ouer! – jammer, vir hierdie sterk woord, maar dit maak my die hoenders in as ouers nie vir hulself kan dink wanneer dit by lees/hul kinders kom nie.

Gaan lees gerus wat Juffer hier op haar blog se oor jou kind se leesprobleme.

You can order this book/read inside at Amazon’s site on the given link.

http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Colors-Revised-Helen-Irlen/dp/0399531564
The link will open in a new window.


reading by the colors

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http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/learning_problem/dyslexia.html


http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/learning_problem/learning_disabilities.html

Unfortunately, spammers love this link and therefore, comments are turned of for this entry, but feel free to leave a message on the ‘About’ page, if you feel to leave a comment. Thank you.

Read about the characteristics of students with dyslexia at the bottom of this entry, this entry is very extensive..slide down, please.

Please click on THIS link to read about Learning Disabilities…this is a great link and… another great link to read.

Eye problems: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dons/part_1/chapter_4.html

I’ve heard many times that children think they are “dumb” when they have learning difficulties. I always tell them there is NO such thing in this world as a ‘dumb’ child. Everybody learns in a different way. Some children are visual learners and some are kinesthetic learners, etc.The brain is also very important. Those synapses – sending electronic messages around to the receptors – a synapse might have a disconnection and needs to follow a different route to get the message where it should go – that ‘route’ might be a longer route, but eventually, the message comes through to the receptors. 

On this link….http://school.familyeducation.com/intelligence/teaching-methods/38519.html… you can read about learning styles. And on this link —http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm — you can take a test to see which style is your learning style!



This newspaper article is from the London newspaper…London Lite. Please click on the newspaper-image to have a larger view to read it. It also says that Teachers in England identify too many children with Hyperactivity and they should get more  help [or training] to know how to identify these children. I was lucky to be one of the last Teachers in South Africa to complete the course that Teachers in South Africa needed to be able to teach children in our ‘Support Classes‘. [It was called Support Classes in the Northern part of the country.]  Some schools have Teachers teaching children with dyslexia with only  Remedial Education as one of their subjects during Teacher training. You couldn’t teach in a Support class with only a Remedial Education, you had to study further to gain a qualification, earlier called: Minimal Brain Dysfunction [MBD in short].  We used to have no more than 9 children in such a Support Class and the children were identified more or less by the end of Grade 1 – some earlier, if the class teacher had noticed/identified the problem as a ‘severe’ problem. Teachers in Grade 1 always allow the child to settle in first and it gives the teacher enough time to make a proper assessment. The environment is all new and the child needs to adjust first.

Depending on the problem/disorder that was identified, the child could be placed back into mainstream after a year in the Support Class, but sometimes it took about 2 years. Most children went back to mainstream after two years. Today some schools have an SEN-class with about 20 children,  but the teacher teaches, as usual, in groups and she doesn’t work on a particular individual designed programme – like in the smaller Support Class. That was my dream, to work with those children in a Support Class and my dream was scattered into pieces when our ‘lovely and wonderful‘  Government started closing down those classes in 1998!  It was very sad for us as Teachers to know that we were the last bunch for that particular course that was called MBD (minimal brain dysfunction). The name was also then changed – only for our last group – to Psycho-neurological Learning Disabilities – before the course was finally abolished. 

The current course, I have been told – is more like Remedial Education, which was one of my academic subjects during my time as a trainee-teacher. It sounds like a dumb down course, after talks with some contacts I still have.  What made this course very difficult for us, was the in depth study of the brain and how it functions – almost like a medical course! I had to know the brain inside out, upside down. Plus all the extensive study work – assignments and written exams.  The practical part was in your second year, when you had to work with a child individually on a weekly basis – for an hourwas great. With full time teaching, it was very hard, because we were not allowed to buy any resources. I agree with the reasons: Every child is different. Every child is an individual and NO resource has what you need for an individual child with an individual problem. Yes, you get TONS of resources with 1 page here, one page there about the problem, but not a single book from page 1 – 30 to suit a particular child’s problem.  

Night after night, I sat creating own resources – hand written and the theme of your program had to be evident in ALL resources. e.g. if you use FLOPPY [ORT] as your dog character on page 1, Floppy must be the dog’s name on the LAST page of the complete program as well. I don’t think anyone will know WHAT kind of labour goes in such a ‘program’ for a child. You cover literally everything as in everything. Not just a few pages to draw a line from A to apple – that’s child’s play and not part of such a  program. You have to think about visual discrimination, auditory discrimination, gross motor, fine motor, visual analysis and synthesis, etc etc etc

We used a few text books. This one in my post  from Janet Lerner is really FANTASTIC and a must-have. It’s an American text book and, if you’re a teacher and you’re interested in knowing more…this book is really a MUST! Part of my course included also the child with Down Syndrome, Autistic children, Visually disabled children, etc. and I was fortunate to work with these children over the past years! I worked very closely with a Down Syndrome Child, which was great fun and a fantastic experience. Oh, did I mention this course was a two-year part time course…so all of that planning and study was done while I was teaching full time too….phew! I don’t think I will manage something like that ever again!

In South Africa I was fortunate to support many parents with the knowledge that I gained from this course. In the UK I have had conversations with Parents during IEP meetings with our Senco and the Senco left me to do the ‘talk’ with the Parents, as she realised soon I knew more than what she knew and that she also gained some insight in what I know, which helped her as well. It is also easy to identify children in my class, experiencing problems and to know with first-hand knowledge how to support them in the best way, although I was teaching in mainstream. [in SA]

My class was near the main entrance of the school and there was a little round-about near the entrance. From my desk, I could see the roundabout. I used to send my ADHD children, that I know was a little bit hyper, to go a few rounds around the roundabout to give them a little break from class, as these children do need a break through-out lessons. It’s really hard for them to stay focused for a long time. They usually find that it helped for them and the rest of the class always envy them for having that type of break. I can also recall how a child with petit mal — Read on THIS LINK about Petit Mal. — was identified in my class, if you know more about it, you would know it’s not possible to identify it by an EEG-scan. Read on this link about an EEG-scan.http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/scanning/eeg.html It was interesting to have had the Educational Psychologist, who worked closely with Pete [not his real name], to come and visit me and advised me how to observe him, before she made her final conclusion. Even today, I’m very aware of children and their responses – like the way Pete responded in class in that first two months of school in my Gr3-class.

I want to stress it out, that you shouldn’t look at the list of symptoms and think that your child has got at least one or two of the symptoms and that classifies your child as a child with hyperactivity! Only if there are at least 10 or more of the symptoms, I would advise you to speak to an expert. Your child needs to be observed over a period of time by professional people who know what they need to be looking at [not even all teachers know] and see your child as a whole. [A one-off observation is NOT enough!] Some children are very easy identifiable but some children need to be observed over a longer period of time. Every child is different and every child responses differently in particular situations, therefore, he/she can not be observed in an hour’s session or in a day’s time!! You need to observe the child in different situations – busy with different tasks.

My experience with children starting the new year to play chess was also an eye opener. You can immediately see which child will be able to focus on the game and will stay focus! As chess is a game where you have to sit still, focus on the game…that means tons of concentration! If you think your child has got concentration-problems, let him play chess! But, don’t punish him with chess if he doesn’t want to play it! He needs to enjoy the game! Chess is fun! IF you know about all the “tricks”! hehehe…like…”en passant”… a fork…a pin…a dragon …what more fun could there be? Also, don’t expect chess to solve that problem immediately, if your child [with concentration problems] starts playing chess. It is a long process and you might only see results after a year – it all depends on the child!


Learning Disabilities: Theories and diagnoses and teaching strategies – the ‘Bible’ of our course.

learningdisabilities_9

 

The best book! This was my teaching ‘bible’!

See this link for the book on the previous image

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Learning-Disabilities/Janet-W-Lerner/e/9780618224050


ADHD: Overview
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), sometimes inaccurately referred to as ADD (There is no clinical term by this name) is a disorder usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolesence. In the United States, approximately 3 – 5% of children are diagnosed with this disorder currently, with the peak around ages 8-9 years of age., with approximately 50% of cases diagnosed before age 4. The ratio of males to females is 3 males for every 1 female diagnosed.

There are 4 recognized types of ADHD. They are: ADHD – predominantly inattentive type; ADHD – predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type; ADHD – combined type (inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity); and ADHD – Not otherwise specified.

Some of the symptoms of ADHD – hyperactive-impulsive type include: overactivity, impulse inhibition, language disorders, rejection by peers, aggressiveness, and conduct disorders. These children are generally referred for their behaviors early in their schooling or by their parents, and the symptoms have a high chance of persistence. More males than females have this subtype of disorder. Thus, the younger the age a child is diagnosed, the greater the chance they will be diagnosed with ADHD – hyperactive-impulsive subtype.

Some of the symptoms of ADHD- inattentive type include: sluggishness, organization, subtle deficits, social withdrawl, anxiety and depression. These children are generally referred for learning disabilities later in school, and have a greater chance for adjustment. Males and females have a more equal chance of being afflicted by this subtype of the disorder. Those diagnosed in their teen years are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD – inattentive subtype.

There is a high level of correlation between children with ADHD and other psychiatric illnesses. This included illnesses ranging from behavioral, mood, family, anxiety, cognitive, social to school functioning, with the greatest increase in those with the ADHD – combines subtype. 45% of those with ADHD ADHD exhibit symptoms of OppositionalDefiant Disorder, and 25% Conduct Disorder. Younger children are more at risk for social phobia, while adolescent children are at risk for depression.

 The symptoms of ADHD change over time. As children enter adolescence, ADHD is persistent, although the diagnosis appears to change from ADHD – hyperactivity-impulsive or ADHD – combined to one of ADHD- inattentive. This is possibly due to the hormonal changes. At this point, only 70-80% still meet the full criteria for ADHD, lowering the percentage of teenagers with ADHDto 1-2%. Entering Adulthood, the estimates range from 30 to 70% of those diagnosed as a child still meeting the full criteria, though there is general agreement that those who do meet the criteria have a definite lessening of the hyperactivy-impulsivity of the disease.

Substance abuse is common among those with ADHD. 75% of males with ADHD who were not on medication are reported as having a substance abuse disorder, 25% of those on medication having a substance abuse disorder (18% of the general population has a substance abuse disorder for comparison), and adults with ADHD were 2 times as likely to develop a substance abuse disorder. They esimate that 33% of adults with ADHD abuse alcohol and 20% abuse other substances.

The primary treatment for ADHD is stimulant medications such as Ritalin or Adderal, sometimes combines with supportive psychotherapy, especially when other psychiatric disorders are present.

With appropriate psychotherapy, that focuses on controlling their environment to increase or decrease stimulation as needed, working on coping mechanisms, among other factors, approximately 50% of adults with ADHD can stop medications by some reports.

Learning Disabilities
Imagine having important needs and ideas to communicate, but being unable to express them. Perhaps feeling bombarded by sights and sounds, unable to focus your attention. Or trying to read or add but not being able to make sense of the letters or numbers.

You may not need to imagine. You may be the parent or teacher of a child experiencing academic problems, or have someone in your family diagnosed as learning disabled. Or possibly as a child you were told you had a reading problem called dyslexia or some other learning handicap.

Although different from person to person, these difficulties make up the common daily experiences of many learning disabled children, adolescents, and adults. A person with a learning disability may experience a cycle of academic failure and lowered self-esteem. Having these handicaps–or living with someone who has them–can bring overwhelming frustration.

But the prospects are hopeful. It is important to remember that a person with a learning disability can learn. The disability usually only affects certain limited areas of a child’s development. In fact, rarely are learning disabilities severe enough to impair a person’s potential to live a happy, normal life.

This booklet is provided by the NationalInstitute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Federalagency that supports research nationwide on the brain, mentalillnesses, and mental health. Scientists supported by NIMH are dedicated to understanding the workings and interrelationships of the various regions of the brain, and to finding preventions and treatments to overcome brain dysfunctions that handicap people in school, work, and play.

The booklet provides up–to-date information on learning disabilities and the role of NIMH-sponsored research in discovering underlying causes and effective treatments. It describes treatment options, strategies for coping, and sources of information and support. Among these sources are doctors, specialeducation teachers, and mental health professionals who can help identify learning disabilities and recommend the right combination of medical, psychosocial, and educationaltreatment.

In this booklet, you’ll also read the stories of Susan, Wallace, and Dennis, three people who have learning disabilities. Although each had a rough start, with help they learned to cope with their handicaps. You’ll see their early frustrations, their steps toward getting help, and their hopes for the future.

The stories of Susan, Wallace, and Dennis are representative of people with learning disabilities, but the characters are not real. Of course, people with learning disabilities are not all alike, so these stories may not fit any particular individual.

What Is a Learning Disability?
Unlike other disabilities, such as paralysis or blindness, a learning disability (LD) is a hidden handicap. A learning disability doesn’t disfigure or leave visible signs that would invite others to be understanding or offer support. A woman once blurted to Wallace, “You seem so intelligent–you don’t look handicapped!”

LD is a disorder that affects people’s ability to either interpret what they see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up in many ways–as specific difficulties with spoken and written language, coordination, self-control, or attention. Such difficulties extend to schoolwork and can impede learning to read or write, or to do math.

Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions that, in some cases, affect many parts of a person’s life: school or work, daily routines, family life, and sometimes even friendships and play. In some people, many overlapping learning disabilities may be apparent. Other people may have a single, isolated learning problem that has little impact on other areas of their lives.

Please click HEREto read about the different types.

What Causes Learning Disabilities?
Genetic Factors — The fact that learning disabilities tend to run in families indicates that there may be a genetic link. For example, children who lack some of the skills needed for reading, such as hearing the separate sounds of words, are likely to have a parent with a related problem. However, a parent’s learning disability may take a slightly different form in the child. A parent who has a writing disorder may have a child with an expressive language disorder. For this reason, it seems unlikely that specific learning disorders are inherited directly. Possibly, what is inherited is a subtle brain dysfunction that can in turn lead to a learning disability.

There may be an alternative explanation for why LD might seem to run in families. Some learning difficulties may actually stem from the family environment. For example, parents who have expressive language disorders might talk less to their children, or the language they use may be distorted. In such cases, the child lacks a good model for acquiring language and therefore, may seem to be learning disabled.

Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use — Many drugs taken by the mother pass directly to the fetus. Research shows that a mother’s use of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy may have damaging effects on the unborn child. Therefore, to prevent potential harm to developing babies, the U.S. Public Health Service supports efforts to make people aware of the possible dangers of smoking, drinking, and using drugs.

Scientists have found that mothers who smoke during pregnancy may be more likely to bear smaller babies. This is a concern because small newborns, usually those weighing less than 5 pounds, tend to be at risk for a variety of problems, including learning disorders.

Alcohol also may be dangerous to the fetus’ developing brain. It appears that alcohol may distort the developing neurons. Heavy alcohol use during pregnancy has been linked to fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that can lead to low birth weigh, intellectual impairment, hyperactivity, and certain physical defects. Any alcohol use during pregnancy, however, may influence the child’s development and lead to problems with learning, attention, memory, or problem solving. Because scientists have not yet identified “safe” levels, alcohol should be used cautiously by women who are pregnant or who may soon become pregnant.

Drugs such as cocaine–especially in its smokable form known as crack–seem to affect the normal development of brain receptors. These brain cell parts help to transmit incoming signals from our skin, eyes, and ears, and help regulate our physical response to the environment. Because children with certain learning disabilities have difficulty understanding speech sounds or letters, some researchers believe that learning disabilities, as well as ADHD, may be related to faulty receptors. Current research points to drug abuse as a possible cause of receptor damage.

Please click HERE to read more about it.

Symptom Description…ADHD Behavioral Checklist
Trouble attending to work that child understands well
Trouble attending to work that child understands poorly
Impulsive (trouble waiting turn, blurts out answers)
Hyperactive (fidgity, trouble staying seated)
Disorganized
Homework not handed in
Inconsistent work and effort
Poor sense of time
Does not seem to talk through problems
Over-reacts
Easily overwhelmed
Blows up easily
Trouble switching activities
Hyper-focused at times
Poor handwriting
Certain academic tasks seem difficult (specifiy)
Seems deliberately spiteful, cruel or annoying
Anxious, edgy, stressed or painfully worried
Obsessive thoughts or fears; perseverative rituals
Irritated for hours or days on end (not just frequent, brief blow-ups)
Depressed, sad, or unhappy
Extensive mood swings
Tics: repetitive movements or noises
Poor eye contact
Does not catch on to social cues
Limited range of interests and interactions
Unusual sensitivity to sounds, touch, textures, movement or taste
Coordination difficulties

By Martin L. Kutscher, MD
Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, New York Medical College, Medical Professional
Pediatrician and Neurologist

Some of the most famous celebrities of today and yesteryear are dyslexic personalities. The owner of Virgin airlines Richard Branson, John Lennon of the music group Beatles, actors like Tom Cruise,
Robin Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg, photographer David Bailey. Even people from past times like Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Alva Edison, and Albert Einstein are also said to suffer from learning problems like Dyslexia.

 ritalin
Ritalin – what you need to know and please find out more too! Please note that I myself is no expert on Ritalin, this info is from a source and you can find the source at the end of the article. All I can say is: I have the experience of kids in my class who used to take Ritalin. I’m not for Ritalin, but not completely against it. Every child is a different case and only a Medical Specialist can decide what’s best for your child – in collaboration with the parents/teachers.  Don’t trust every quack of a doctor! Make sure you go to a specialist trained in the field of children with ADHD and not only learning problems. My opinion: Most kids – with problems – can go without Ritalin. All you need to do is to give your child attention and love!
dog help
This doggie needs “help” too…but not in the form of Ritalin. He needs attention and love. Image: flatrock.org.nz
 

What is Ritalin?

Generic Name: methylphenidate (METH il FEN i date)
Brand Names: Concerta, Metadate CD, Metadate ER, Methylin, Methylin ER, Ritalin, Ritalin LA, Ritalin-SR

Ritalin is a mild central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy (an uncontrollable desire to sleep). When given for attention deficit disorder, Ritalin should be an integral part of a total treatment program that includes psychological, educational, and social measures.

Ritalin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Ritalin?
Do not use Ritalin if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you use Ritalin before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body. Do not use Ritalin if you are allergic to methylphenidate or if you have glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe high blood pressure, tics or Tourette’s syndrome, angina, heart failure, heart rhythm disorder, recent heart attack, a hereditary condition such as fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption, or sucrase-isomaltase deficiency, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation.

Ritalin may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Ritalin should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Ritalin?
Do not take Ritalin if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you use Ritalin before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Do not use Ritalin if you are allergic to methylphenidate or if you have:

glaucoma;

overactive thyroid;

severe high blood pressure;

angina (chest pain), heart failure, heart rhythm disorder, or recent heart attack;

a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome;

severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (methylphenidate can make these symptoms worse); or

a hereditary condition such as fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption, or sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency.

Some stimulants have caused sudden death in children and adolescents with serious heart problems or congenital heart defects. Tell your doctor if you have a congenital heart defect.

If you have certain other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before using Ritalin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

a congenital heart defect;

a personal or family history of mental illness, psychotic disorder, bipolar illness, depression, or suicide attempt;

epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or

a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Ritalin is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether methylphenidate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Long-term use of Ritalin can slow a child’s growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.

Do not give Ritalin to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take Ritalin?
Take Ritalin exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take Ritalin at least 30 minutes before a meal. The extended-release forms of methylphenidate (Ritalin-SR) can be taken with or without food.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release TABLET. Swallow the tablet whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the tablet would cause too much of the methylphenidate to be released at one time.

If you have trouble swallowing the extended-release CAPSULE, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

Measure liquid Ritalin with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

To prevent sleep problems, take Ritalin early in the day, no later than 6:00 pm.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Ritalin. You may need to stop using the medicine the day of your surgery. Store Ritalin at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Methylphenidate is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much Ritalin. An overdose of methylphenidate can be fatal.
Overdose can cause vomiting, agitation, tremors, muscle twitching, seizure (convulsions), confusion, hallucinations, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, blurred vision, dry mouth and nose, and fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Ritalin?
Ritalin can cause side effects that may impair your vision or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Ritalin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking Ritalin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;

feeling like you might pass out; fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; aggression, restlessness, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or motor tics (muscle twitches); easy bruising, purple spots on your skin; or dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious Ritalin side effects may include:

stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

vision problems, dizziness, mild headache;

sweating, mild skin rash;

numbness, tingling, or cold feeling in your hands or feet;

nervous feeling, sleep problems (insomnia); or

weight loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

What other drugs will affect Ritalin?
Before taking Ritalin, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs: a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); clonidine (Catapres); dobutamine (Dobutrex), epinephrine (EpiPen), or isoproterenol (Isuprel); phenylbutazonie (Azolid, Butazolidin); cold/allergy medicine that contains phenylephrine (a decongestant); potassium citrate (Urocit-K, Twin-K), sodium acetate, sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer), citric acid and potassium citrate (Cytra-K, Poly-Citra), or sodium citrate and citric acid (Bicitra, Oracit); medications to treat high or low blood pressure; stimulant medications or diet pills; seizure medicine such as phenytoin (Dilantin), phenobarbital (Luminal), primidone (Mysoline); or an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), citalopram (Celexa), doxepin (Sinequan), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor) paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Ritalin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Ritalin only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. (‘Multum’) is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum’s drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum’s drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.  Source:
http://www.drugs.com/ritalin.html

More info on the following links too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylphenidate

http://www.mentalhealth.com/drug/p30-r03.html

http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/drug_info_details.asp?brand_name_id=971

DYSLEXIA:
General Characteristics:
Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to read, write, or spell at grade level.
Labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, “not trying hard enough,” or “behavior problem.”
Isn’t “behind enough” or “bad enough” to be helped in the school setting.
High in IQ, yet may not test well academically; tests well orally, but not written.
Feels dumb; has poor self-esteem; hides or covers up weaknesses with ingenious compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales,
business, designing, building, or engineering.
Seems to “Zone out” or daydream often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
Difficulty sustaining attention; seems “hyper” or “daydreamer.”
Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.

Vision, Reading, and Spelling
Complains of dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading.
Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.
Complains of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading, writing, or copying.
Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don’t reveal a problem.
Extremely keen sighted and observant, or lacks depth perception and peripheral vision.
Reads and rereads with little comprehension.
Spells phonetically and inconsistently.

Writing and Motor Skills
Trouble with writing or copying; pencil grip is unusual; handwriting varies or is illegible.
Clumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks; prone to motion-sickness.
Can be ambidextrous, and often confuses left/right, over/under.
Math and Time Management
Has difficulty telling time, managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time.
Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and other tricks; knows answers, but can’t do it on paper.
Can count, but has difficulty counting objects and dealing with money.
Can do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math.
Memory and Cognition
Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
Poor memory for sequences, facts and information that has not been experienced.
Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).
Behavior, Health, Development and Personality
Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
Can be class clown, trouble-maker, or too quiet.
Had unusually early or late developmental stages (talking, crawling, walking, tying shoes).
Prone to ear infections; sensitive to foods, additives, and chemical products.
Can be an extra deep or light sleeper; bedwetting beyond appropriate age.
Unusually high or low tolerance for pain.
Strong sense of justice; emotionally sensitive; strives for perfection.
Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health. Read more on this next link that will open in a new window:
http://www.dyslexia.com/library/symptoms.htm



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