School Issues

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Ask the Expert: Dr. Mark Bailey on learning disabilities and emotional intelligence

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

One of my children (nine), has learning disabilities and receives learning assistance at school. My other child (11), is gifted and is a grade ahead of her age. How do I maintain the self-esteem of my child with learning disabilities - she constantly negatively compares herself to her sister?

How hereditary can intelligence be?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Researchers have long overestimated the role our genes play in determining intelligence. As it turns out, cognitive skills do not depend on ethnicity, and are far more malleable than once thought. Targeted encouragement can help children from socially challenged families make better use of their potential.

School 101: For adoptive parents

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Starting school for the first time, or a new school year, can present challenges for adoptive parents and their children. We have prepared this brief guide to help ready you and your child for the school experience and, to, circumvent some of the problems you may encounter.

New school, new name

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Amelia moved in with her adoptive family, changed her name, and changed schools this past November.

In the middle of Grade 9, Amelia found herself in a new school, with new friends, a new adoptive family and a new last name. Change is common for youth in care, so this was not the first time she found herself in a new school or home, but, of course, this time it was much different.

Understanding the impacts of your child's early experiences on learning

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The degree of stress your child experienced prior to adoption may significantly impact how his or her brain develops.

As an adoptive parent and a therapist, I am keenly interested in how my child’s early experiences impact her classroom performance and ability to learn. A recent experience at my daughter’s school reinforced how critical it is for teachers and parents to have information that will help educate them in a practical way to respond to children who have had significant early stress or trauma and are struggling to adapt to the school environment.

How to talk to kids about race and racism

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Last week I expressed some concern about whether or not my first-grader was old enough to be learning about some of the more violent aspects of the civil rights movement. One of the frustrating outcomes of that conversation is that the teacher (and a few commenters) misinterpreted my concern as being over conversations about race in general, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I am a firm believer that we should be talking to our kids about racial differences from a very young age.

Give your child school intelligence

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Dr Richard Lavoie, renowned expert on learning disabilities, recalls numerous occasions when parents have cried in despair in his office. These are not tears about their child’s school work—they are about how he or she is managing with the social side of school.

Lavoie gives two examples of social skills that most of us take for granted but that many learning disabled children find difficult.

Handling culture shock and intercountry adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Over the years, psychologist Dr Peter Hotz has worked with scores of adoptive families. He tells me that he has seen adoption from every angle. I’m at his Vancouver office to talk about international, cross-cultural adoptions. Dr Hotz has worked with several AFABC families. I can tell immediately that he has synthesized all that experience into some fundamental messages for parents considering adopting a child cross-culturally.

Neurofeedback helped my internationally adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

At the point when Cassandra Blake and her husband Mike first heard about Neurofeedback, they were desperate to try anything new to help Annie, their 10-year-old internationally adopted child.

When they first met Annie, there were early signs that she had experienced neglect. At almost a year of age, she weighed less than 14 pounds and she couldn’t sit up or roll over. However, within a year or two of living in Canada, she caught up on growth and developmental milestones.    

Help your child: Focus on strengths

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Tara Webber, Registered Clinical Counsellor and adoptive mom, provides her tips on building a struggling child’s self-esteem.

If you ask children what they do well, there is usually a long pause as they search for an answer. Ask them what they don’t do well, and they have an instant list. When I was working as a counsellor in an inner city elementary school, I focused on helping many children build self-esteem. One particular grade five girl, Zoe, who was in foster care, is a good example of how difficult it is for some children to feel good about themselves.

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