Haley Smilow, 12, and her family are on a mission to visit every Major League Baseball stadium and interview professional baseball players. So far, Haley has interviewed 15 players, including Yankees star Curtis Granderson, Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher David Price and Miami Marlins hitter Giancarlo Stanton. Her interviews have been printed in Sports Illustrated Kids and Baseball Youth. Haley has dyslexia and her mother says that the process of preparing and interviewing players has boosted Haley’s self-esteem and speaking abilities. Read More >
By: Jen Kasten, Parent Contributor Published Date: November 04, 2013
Jen’s Daughter “M” Painting
“I think one of the hardest and most courageous things a parent does is to acknowledge their deepest fear and then marshal all the resources they can to deal with it.”–Joyce Millard Hoie, Executive Director, Raising Special Kids
My daughter “M” was four years old and in pre-kindergarten when, at our first parent-teacher conference, we learned the teachers had some “concerns.” “We just love M,” they told us. “She is such a good friend, her artwork is quite advanced, and she’s always happy and eager to participate.” But… here it comes… I thought to myself. “We’re concerned, because she seems unable to remember the names or sequence of the letters of the alphabet, including the letters in her first name.” It wasn’t quite that simple, they continued. She would seem to remember a particular letter one day, but the next day, it was as if she’d never learned it. Given these difficulties and the fact that M was easily distracted during “circle time,” they recommended that she repeat pre-K instead of beginning kindergarten in the fall. They said she’d probably grow out of it. Read More >
By: Jillian Levy, NCLD Team Published Date: November 01, 2013
ADHD is defined by inappropriate levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. I can tell you from personal experience that those characteristics are indeed true. When I was a kid my parents would always tell me to “sit still” or “stop fidgeting,” as I was constantly moving around. In fact, I would often kick my family members under the dinner table just so I could find a comfortable position. Still to this day, I find it difficult to sit in the same position for a long period of time. I marvel at people who can sit down and stay in seated in the same position for longer than five minutes. I found this internal restlessness especially difficult to control during school. Trying to stay focused during a 40-minute class while sitting in an uncomfortable chair was pretty torturous for a young student with attention issues. I remember asking to go to the restroom during most classes, not because I needed to use the facilities but because I needed a minute to get up a walk around. Read More >
By: Robbi Cooper, Parent Contributor Published Date: October 29, 2013
Robbi Cooper and her family.
My husband and my son are dyslexic. My husband, Andrew, did not understand that he was dyslexic until adulthood, long after reading difficulties in school left him frustrated—a fate that we did not want for our son.
My son, Ben, came into the world a bright and vibrant child, but when he entered kindergarten we were told that he was not learning the way he should. We waited for the school to tell us how they were going to help him, but instead of holding Ben back, we asked for early testing. He was diagnosed with dyslexia in first grade. That’s when we decided as a family that we needed to be a part of the solution—so we began to research ways to help our child and to support our local school system with ideas. Read More >