ARTICLES FOR PARENTS

ARTICLES FOR PARENTS

ACCOMMODATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Program accommodations and modifications are available to children who receive services under IDEA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq. with Michele Schneider, MS
for Smart Kids with LD

Accommodations and modifications are tools used by your child’s IEP team to help level the playing field for kids with learning difficulties. Understanding the differences, along with what the options are, can help ensure that your child’s needs are met at school.

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ANXIETY

by Liz Driscoll Jorgensen, CADC, and Mary Murphy, PhD., with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

It’s not unusual for children with LD and ADHD also to experience high levels of anxiety during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. But you can help them manage their worries by finding the strategies that work best for them.

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by Liz Driscoll Jorgensen, CADC, and Mary Murphy, PhD., with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

It’s not unusual for children with LD and ADHD also to experience high levels of anxiety. But you can help them learn to manage their fears and worries by finding the strategies that work best for them.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Students with LD feel as if they don’t “fit the mold.” They tend not to feel supported by parents or school personnel. They sense a double standard at school between the standards they’re held to and those for non LD students. Parents play an important role by validating their children and respecting them for who they are.

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by Susan Bauerfeld, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Behavior is heavily influenced by the part of the brain that is most active at any given time. Helping a child deal with worry and anxiety involves understanding how the brain works and applying strategies that will help your child regain control.

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ATTENTION-DEFICIT / HYPERACTIVITY
DISORDER (ADHD)

by Ellen Littman, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

How you parent your child with ADHD can have a profound impact on his happiness and success. Making family members an integral part of the treatment plan will improve family dynamics and provide the steadfast support your child deserves.

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by Ellen Littman, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

ADHD and co-existing executive function challenges are highly complex conditions that have far-reaching effects not only on the individual with the condition, but also on those with whom they interact. Understanding what drives the behavior of your child with ADHD may help you respond in supportive and compassionate ways rather than with anger and resentment.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Ryan Wexelblatt has devoted his career to working with boys with ADHD. In a recent webinar for ADDitude this licensed clinical social worker shared several strategies to help boys with ADHD learn to compensate for their shortcomings, in order to prepare them to become resilient and independent young adults.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

ADHD impacts children in similar ways, whether they are Black, Brown or White. But studies indicate that cultural considerations such as stereotyping, racism, implicit bias, research representation, and care disparities negatively affect the way Black children are evaluated and treated by mental health professionals and in school settings.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Despite the large number of children and adults who have ADHD, the condition is still widely misunderstood. Separating truth from myth can help reduce stigma and ensure that those with ADHD receive the help they deserve.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

In their new book, ADHD 2.0, Drs. Edward Hallowell and John J. Ratey delve into the latest research on ADHD and make the case for fundamental changes to how kids with the condition are treated. Moving from the traditional negative framework to a positive one, the authors advocate for strategies that build on kids’ innate strengths and creativity.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Emotional regulation is key to being a successful, independent adult, yet many teen boys with ADHD have an especially hard time with that task. An essential part of parenting an adolescent male with ADHD is teaching him how to manage extreme emotional responses and develop life-long coping skills.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.

Because ADHD involves a range of issues and may include multiple co-existing conditions, diagnosing it is challenging. Families turn to a variety of professionals to diagnose ADHD with varying results. Understanding the pros and cons of each can help you determine which professional is best-suited to your child’s needs and your family’s situation.

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by Mark Bertin, MD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For children with ADHD who do not take medication, managing symptoms successfully includes the consistent application of proven behavioral and educational interventions at home and at school. There is scant evidence to suggest complementary and alternative therapies work.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research by Dr. Daniel Amen shows that ADHD is not a single or simple condition. There are seven distinct types of ADHD, each one requiring a particular treatment. Amen’s studies show that when the type of ADHD is treated properly, the results are effective.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For kids with ADHD, EF impairments are typically “chronic and severe” and the consequences of lacking focus and sustained attention can be considerable. Learning to drive is an example of this.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research shows that physical activity is a promising alternative or additional treatment option for kids with ADHD. Regular exercise helps these kids by activating the brain systems that support attention, focus, memory, self-regulation, sensory input, and executive functioning.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

In an enlightening report published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, students described their childhood and adolescent struggles with loneliness, isolation and misunderstanding, as well as their successes with supportive environments and strategies.

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by Alan Wachtel, MD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

About half the children with ADHD also have co-existing conditions such as learning disabilities or mood disorders. The challenge is to figure out if other problems are co-existing conditions or a result of the ADHD. True co-existing conditions must be treated; conditions resulting from the ADHD may resolve themselves with successful ADHD treatment.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Although ADHD and OCD are often thought of as polar opposite conditions, they are in fact more similar than you’d think. This can lead to confusion and misdiagnosis. Understanding what motivates the similar behaviors can provide clues to an appropriate treatment plan.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Understanding what motivates these behaviors will help you determine the best treatment.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When children are diagnosed with ADHD, they often don’t have the tools to explain it to their friends and classmates. In a webinar for ADDitude, licensed clinical social worker and ADHD expert Ryan Wexelblatt shared advice on how to help your children talk to their peers about ADHD.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

In Black children behaviors commonly associated with ADHD may be symptoms of trauma, depression, or stress related to difficult living situations.

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by Jacob Presson

When a student teacher returns to the preschool he once terrorized, a young child triggers memories of his struggles with ADHD.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Musical activities engage various centers of the brain that often cause problems for those with ADHD. Rhythm, melody and tempo activate attention and focus • Moving to music helps organize the brain. Playing music enhances sustained attention, impulse control, planning, self-esteem, complex decision-making, and the ability to make sense of sound in noise.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Navigating adolescence is challenging for most kids (and their families), but for boys with ADHD, the teen years can be particularly trying. But you have an important role to play in helping your son master the skills that will eventually lead to self-sufficiency and independence. Leaning in with these strategies can make the transition easier for all involved.

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by Ellen Littman, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Having a child with ADHD often impacts the entire family. Educating family members about the condition can help ensure realistic expectations, which will lead to a more positive, less stressful dynamic at home.

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by Alan Wachtel, MD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with ADHD who are treated comprehensively have the most positive outcomes. A comprehensive plan involves medication in conjunction with educational, behavioral, and psychological interventions. Parent advocacy is critical to ensuring that the treatment plan is implemented properly.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Traditional talk therapy and social skills groups rarely work for boys with ADHD. The better option is to seek out ADHD clinicians and coaches who understand gender-based differences and have experience working with young males.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Inattentive ADHD is characterized by the ability to focus intensely on areas of interest while paying little or no attention to tasks that are unexciting. Here, Dr. Thomas Brown, a leading expert in the field, explains the nuances of this form of ADHD along with the challenges of diagnosing it.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with ADHD may have other mental health issues that complicate their learning challenges. In fact, about 30% of kids with attention difficulties also have OCD or a related anxiety disorder. In such cases, it’s important to understand and treat both issues.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq. based on a presentation by Alan Wachtel, MD
for Smart Kids with LD

When left untreated ADHD is among the most debilitating disorders to live with. The risks of not treating ADHD include academic, social, and emotional problems in childhood. The problems may follow a person into adulthood impacting job performance, marital and family relationships, mental health, and automobile safety. Children with ADHD who are not treated are more likely to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

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AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psychology Today

We need to dispel the myth that autistic people lack empathy.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psychology Today

When we don’t understand autistic kids we create a toxic environment for them.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psych Central

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Journal of Health Service Psychology

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Autism Parenting Magazine

A look at whether the mainstream education system is doing the best it can for children with autism.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Journal of Health Services Psychology

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psych Central

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psych Central

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psychology Today

We tend to mistake sexuality with having sex.

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Autism Parenting Magazine

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psychology Today

Why do some autistic adults reject the term “high functioning?

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More About Marcia Eckerd

BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

A functional behavioral assessment is used to help identify the reasons behind problem behaviors. In an FBA the evaluator gathers information about the time, place, and severity of negative behaviors in order to understand patterns that result in acting out. The information is used to develop interventions to alter the factors that precede or reinforce unwanted behaviors.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

This article is based on the presentation by Ross W. Greene, PhD, Children Do Well When They Can: Identifying and Solving Problems That Cause Challenging Behaviors. Dr. Greene, a leading authority on Oppositional Defiant Disorder, is the originator of the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model and founding director of the nonprofit Lives in the Balance.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

During a school disciplinary hearing, kids with identified disabilities have special protections under the law. Parents need to understand these unique rights and be proactive about ensuring their implementation.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Students with LD and ADHD are suspended from school at greater rates than their peers without learning challenges. Increasingly, school codes of conduct penalize behaviors that these students struggle to control on a regular basis, putting them at risk for suspension.

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DIET AND NUTRITION

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

The link between artificial food dyes and hyperactivity in kids is a hot topic for researchers, regulators, policymakers, and consumer advocates. Anecdotally, parents, too, attest to the harmful effect food dyes have on their child’s behavior as well as on school performance.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Food dyes can affect ADHD and hyperactive behavior, but they do not cause it. But for some kids, dietary changes in conjunction with standard ADHD care may help with their behavioral issues.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Do you see a connection between your child’s behavior and what she eats? Numerous controlled studies have concluded that food dyes can worsen behavior in some children with and without ADHD.

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DIGITAL DEVICES

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research shows that kids with ADHD are particularly vulnerable to screen addictions and the negative effects that follow. Design elements intrinsic to digital media play into the neurobiology of the ADHD brain, heightening the risk for negative impacts from electronic devices.

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by Dave Sylvestro, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children who spend an excessive amount of time in front of screens miss the opportunity to develop important skills. Use common-sense approaches to encourage actual social interaction and limit screen time.

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by Susan Bauerfeld, PhD, and Chris Parrott, MSc, Post MSc Dipl, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

The emergence of a screen culture challenges parents to rethink family goals and their approach to technology. With few guidelines to follow, many feel intimidated, overwhelmed, or defeated. Crafting a family-friendly policy begins by exploring the options between all-or-nothing extremes.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When teens and young adults consume a steady diet of disaster news through their social media outlets, the impact can negatively impact their health and well-being.

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EMOTIONAL SUPPORT STRATEGIES (FOR PARENTS AND FOR KIDS)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Unstable emotions and behaviors underlie several learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Dialectical Behavior Therapy has been used successfully with adolescents struggling to regulate attention, mood, anxiety levels, substance use, and eating habits, as well as those who have suicidal thoughts and self-injurious behaviors.

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by Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

In a well-intentioned—but misguided—effort to protect our children from failure, we’ve created a generation lacking the skills to overcome adversity. But it’s never too late to change the dynamic. Here’s how to get started helping your children develop grit, the quality that will allow them to live their best lives.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For various reasons fathers are frequently skeptical when their kids are diagnosed with learning challenges. Their reluctance to accept an LD or ADHD diagnosis may exacerbate negative behaviors at home and at school. To overcome the problem, Ryan Wexelblatt, an expert who specializes in boys with ADHD, also works with dads to help them better understand their child’s challenges.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

COVID-19 has limited most everyone’s social life, but for kids with LD and ADHD who normally struggle with social issues, the pandemic is having an outsized impact on emotional health. Building the social skills kids need to weather the loneliness of online learning and social distancing falls to parents.

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by Dave Sylvestro with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Parents play a key role in helping a child with a negative attitude adopt a more positive outlook. Being intentional in how you communicate is fundamental to building confidence, resilience, and independence • Even when resolving conflicts, choose your words carefully.

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EVALUATIONS

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For parents who suspect their child may have learning disabilities, the evaluation and recommendation process can be daunting. In fact, the process is a problem-solving exercise that need not be intimidating. This article is a straightforward explanation of what you can expect, with answers to your most fundamental concerns.

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by Donna A. Chauvin Quallen, MEd, CAS, and Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

If done properly, the results of your child’s evaluation should form the basis for their IEP. A thorough evaluation points out strengths and deficits, both of which must be incorporated in the goals and objectives the PPT establishes for your child to succeed.

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by Donna A. Chauvin Quallen, MEd, CAS, and Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When academic performance suffers, an educational diagnosis is done to help define the student’s academic strengths and learning needs and translate them into an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

With the COVID-19 school closures, teaching has shifted from classroom, small group, and individual instruction to distance learning. Teachers and service providers are working hard to adapt to remote platforms. As parents, you are in a unique position to let your school team know how your kids are responding to online learning

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

RTI is an individualized, comprehensive assessment and intervention process that utilizes a problem-solving framework to identify and address academic difficulties through effective, research-based instruction. The goal of RTI is to separate children with true learning disabilities from those who perform poorly as a result of poor instruction.

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EXECUTIVE FUNCTION SKILLS

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For kids with ADHD, EF impairments are typically “chronic and severe” and the consequences of lacking focus and sustained attention can be considerable. Learning to drive is an example of this.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Promoting responsibility and independence in kids requires parents to step back from doing things for them rather than with them. Breaking the pattern involves motivating new behaviors through positive communication and encouragement.

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by Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For parents of teens with weak executive functions, helping your kids improve these skills takes a concerted and intentional effort, some of which may not come naturally. Applying these strategies can help you find the balance between too much support and not enough.

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by Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Students with ADHD and other learning challenges often have weak executive function skills. Strengthening these skills will benefit your child at school and beyond. Share this article’s strategies with your child’s teacher, and follow them at home as well.

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by Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

The turbulence associated with adolescence is partially due to underdeveloped executive functions, putting teens at risk for unhealthy behaviors. You can counter these natural tendencies by explicitly teaching executive function skills.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Inattentive ADHD is characterized by the ability to focus intensely on areas of interest while paying little or no attention to tasks that are unexciting. Here, Dr. Thomas Brown, a leading expert in the field, explains the nuances of this form of ADHD along with the challenges of diagnosing it.

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HELPFUL THERAPIES

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research shows that music training benefits the brain in ways that may be particularly beneficial to children with learning challenges, ADHD and executive function issues.

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by Jacob Presson

When a student teacher returns to the preschool he once terrorized, a young child triggers memories of his struggles with ADHD.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Musical activities engage various centers of the brain that often cause problems for those with ADHD. Rhythm, melody and tempo activate attention and focus • Moving to music helps organize the brain. Playing music enhances sustained attention, impulse control, planning, self-esteem, complex decision-making, and the ability to make sense of sound in noise.

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INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Becoming the advocate your child deserves requires that you participate fully in his IEP meetings. Preparing ahead is fundamental to achieving the outcomes that will ensure educational success, Showing up with a collegial attitude will help with problem-solving.

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LEARNING DISABILITIES (LD)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Bookshare is an online library of accessible eBooks and educational materials for children (and adults) with diagnosed language learning disabilities and other issues that make reading difficult. Members have access to over 400,000 titles, including textbooks, bestsellers, children’s books, young adult books, college prep and career books, newspapers and magazines. Books not already in Bookshare’s collection may be ordered.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with disabilities are among the most likely victims of school bullying. Parents play an important role in keeping their children safe by openly discussing the issue and working with the school.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Experts believe that approximately 7% of the population has symptoms of dyscalculia. But dyscalculia— often referred to as “the forgotten learning disability”— is neither well-researched nor entirely understood.

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by David P. Sylvestro, CSP, and Hallie A. Buckingham, EdD,
with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Girls with LD have unique social-development challenges. As boys and girls grow up they learn to express anger and frustration differently. It’s important to provide girls with specific social tools to avoid the negative consequences of the “mean-girls” culture.

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by Cynthia Keefe, PsyD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Stress is a normal part of being a parent. Parents of children and adolescents with ADHD, LD, anxiety or other special needs, however, experience significantly more daily and chronic stress than other parents.

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by Jonathan Cohen, PhD, and Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Social, emotional, and ethical literacy may be more important than academic skills when it comes to achieving happiness and success. As a parent you can help your child develop competencies in those areas. Use your child’s evaluation as a tool to improve in areas other than academics.

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by Jacob Presson

When a student teacher returns to the preschool he once terrorized, a young child triggers memories of his struggles with ADHD.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For children with dyslexia, the optimal time frame for addressing reading deficits is before most children are diagnosed. This may become more possible as new tools are being developed to identify at-risk kids when treatment can be most effective.

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by Jerome J. Schultz, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

This article is based on “Stress and the LD Puzzle,” the Keynote presentation by Jerome J. Schultz, Ph.D., Harvard-based clinical neuropsychologist, author and consultant, at the conference Best Practices and New Perspectives in the Field of Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficits.

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by Margie Gillis, EdD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with dyslexia can learn to read, but there is no quick fix for this reading disability. Teaching these children requires a systematic approach that builds on previously learned skills one step at a time. Instruction must be individualized to address each child’s unique challenges and abilities.

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by Dave Sylvestro with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Parenting a child with LD or ADHD can be an emotional roller-coaster ride. Your child’s unique characteristics present daily challenges in all facets of life. Understanding what they go through on a daily basis can help you help them manage the challenges.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research shows that music training benefits the brain in ways that may be particularly beneficial to children with learning challenges, ADHD and executive function issues.

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NON-VERBAL LEARNING
DISABILITIES (NVLD or NLD)

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

As with other learning disabilities, the evaluation for Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (NLD) involves a thorough history in addition to comprehensive neuropsychological testing. An NLD evaluation is best done by a psychologist familiar with NLD.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Teachers and school personnel often do not know about or understand NLD. It is up to parents to educate those who work with their children every day. Share basic information such as how NLD shows up in the classroom and on the playground, as well as strategies to help school staff address related issues.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Because nonverbal learning disabilities are not well understood, parents of kids with NLD challenges often feel alone and unsupported—even by those who should be natural allies such as family members, school personnel, and medical professionals. Rather than trying looking for help from those who aren’t willing to be educated, seek out people in your community who are experiencing similar struggles.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Kids with NLD tend to have trouble with social rules. The challenges are often misinterpreted as problematic nonconformity, when in fact these kids just don’t “get” social customs. Understanding where the difficulties stem from and how to deal with them can help you help your child navigate social situations.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

For kids with NLD, tone of voice is one of many nonverbal cues that often elude them, leading to misinterpretation and miscommunication. Working with a professional can help them learn to better decipher the intonations of others as well as express themselves in a way others find easier to understand.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Although kids with NLD have many strengths, they often have social skill deficits. There are some simple techniques you can do to help your child develop the skills they need to manage social situations effectively.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Because students with NLD often excel academically, problems with language deficits may go undiagnosed. As academic demands increase, problems with comprehension and written expression may become apparent.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Challenges for parents of children with NLD include learning to manage inflexibility, preventing meltdowns, and navigating social awkwardness. Successful parenting strategies include communicating clearly, previewing situations, anticipating frustration, and reinforcing positive behaviors. Educating others about NLD is critical for those who interact with these children.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Although ADHD and OCD are often thought of as polar opposite conditions, they are in fact more similar than you’d think. This can lead to confusion and misdiagnosis. Understanding what motivates the similar behaviors can provide clues to an appropriate treatment plan.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Understanding what motivates these behaviors will help you determine the best treatment.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with ADHD may have other mental health issues that complicate their learning challenges. In fact, about 30% of kids with attention difficulties also have OCD or a related anxiety disorder. In such cases, it’s important to understand and treat both issues.

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PARENT COMMUNICATION
AND ADVOCACY

by Eve Kessler, Esq.

Becoming the advocate your child with LD deserves means learning how to navigate the school system. It’s essential to educate yourself on policies that impact your child as well as develop positive relationships with those in a position to give your child what she needs.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.

As a parent, it’s your job to manage your child’s education and secure their rights under the law. Here are some tips to help you establish a collaborative partnership with your school to achieve those goals.

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PLANNING AND PLACEMENT TEAM (PPT)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Despite school closures the Department of Education expects IEPs to continue. As a key member of your child’s IEP team, your input is vital to the process. Before the meeting, take the time to prepare your thoughts and questions to ensure the optimal outcome for your child.

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by Noreen O’Mahoney, SDA, CSW, and Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For kids with LD, the importance of the IEP meeting cannot be overstated. The questions you ask at those meetings will help influence the discussion and decisions made by your child’s team.

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SECTION 504

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Section 504 is a federal law that prevents discriminating against those with disabilities. If your child does not qualify for protections under the IDEA, he or she may still be eligible for support and accommodations under Section 504. Eligibility is based on an assessment.

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TEENS

by Gail Schwartz, MS, MSW, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Guiding your adolescent toward adulthood starts with a dose of commonsense, coupled with clear expectations, and mutual respect. Most of all it involves not getting dragged into the drama that defines those tumultuous years.

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by Gail Schwartz, MS, MSW, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

The teen years are notorious for being challenging. They are marked by confusion and uncertainty, which helps explain why teens often make life difficult for those around them, and themselves. Add learning disabilities or attention issues to the mix, and the challenges may be even more difficult to manage.

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TRANSITION

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When students with learning differences transition from high school to college, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) replace the IDEA as their source of legal protections. This ushers in a new standard for receiving Assistive Technology (AT) services: college students with disabilities must be provided with aids, benefits, or services that level the playing field and that provide them with an equal opportunity to achieve the same result or the same level of achievement as others.

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by Daria Rockholz, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Helping your child prepare for college involves more than just academic readiness. Encouraging the independence they’ll need to succeed begins in high school by having them assume greater responsibility for all facets of their life.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When looking for a college, it’s important to match the types of services needed with the services offered. Typically, colleges offer one of three levels of support.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Going from high school directly into college may not be the best choice for your child with learning challenges. Understanding and evaluating the alternatives can help put your young adult on a career path in line with her abilities, strengths, and maturity level.

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by Jacob Presson

When a student teacher returns to the preschool he once terrorized, a young child triggers memories of his struggles with ADHD.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

College is not the only route to career success. Helping your non-college bound teen find his path is the specialty of Rick Fiery, co-founder of Inventive Labs. This article, based on Fiery’s ADDitude Magazine Expert Webinar, Encouraging Your Children to Find Their Own Paths, summarizes his strategy for helping teens find their way to a successful career.

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ACCOMMODATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Program accommodations and modifications are available to children who receive services under IDEA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq. with Michele Schneider, MS
for Smart Kids with LD

Accommodations and modifications are tools used by your child’s IEP team to help level the playing field for kids with learning difficulties. Understanding the differences, along with what the options are, can help ensure that your child’s needs are met at school.

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ANXIETY

by Liz Driscoll Jorgensen, CADC, and Mary Murphy, PhD., with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

It’s not unusual for children with LD and ADHD also to experience high levels of anxiety during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. But you can help them manage their worries by finding the strategies that work best for them.

ARTICLE

by Liz Driscoll Jorgensen, CADC, and Mary Murphy, PhD., with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

It’s not unusual for children with LD and ADHD also to experience high levels of anxiety. But you can help them learn to manage their fears and worries by finding the strategies that work best for them.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Students with LD feel as if they don’t “fit the mold.” They tend not to feel supported by parents or school personnel. They sense a double standard at school between the standards they’re held to and those for non LD students. Parents play an important role by validating their children and respecting them for who they are.

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by Susan Bauerfeld, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Behavior is heavily influenced by the part of the brain that is most active at any given time. Helping a child deal with worry and anxiety involves understanding how the brain works and applying strategies that will help your child regain control.

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ATTENTION-DEFICIT / HYPERACTIVITY
DISORDER (ADHD)

by Ellen Littman, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

How you parent your child with ADHD can have a profound impact on his happiness and success. Making family members an integral part of the treatment plan will improve family dynamics and provide the steadfast support your child deserves.

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by Ellen Littman, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

ADHD and co-existing executive function challenges are highly complex conditions that have far-reaching effects not only on the individual with the condition, but also on those with whom they interact. Understanding what drives the behavior of your child with ADHD may help you respond in supportive and compassionate ways rather than with anger and resentment.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Ryan Wexelblatt has devoted his career to working with boys with ADHD. In a recent webinar for ADDitude this licensed clinical social worker shared several strategies to help boys with ADHD learn to compensate for their shortcomings, in order to prepare them to become resilient and independent young adults.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

ADHD impacts children in similar ways, whether they are Black, Brown or White. But studies indicate that cultural considerations such as stereotyping, racism, implicit bias, research representation, and care disparities negatively affect the way Black children are evaluated and treated by mental health professionals and in school settings.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Despite the large number of children and adults who have ADHD, the condition is still widely misunderstood. Separating truth from myth can help reduce stigma and ensure that those with ADHD receive the help they deserve.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

In their new book, ADHD 2.0, Drs. Edward Hallowell and John J. Ratey delve into the latest research on ADHD and make the case for fundamental changes to how kids with the condition are treated. Moving from the traditional negative framework to a positive one, the authors advocate for strategies that build on kids’ innate strengths and creativity.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Emotional regulation is key to being a successful, independent adult, yet many teen boys with ADHD have an especially hard time with that task. An essential part of parenting an adolescent male with ADHD is teaching him how to manage extreme emotional responses and develop life-long coping skills.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.

Because ADHD involves a range of issues and may include multiple co-existing conditions, diagnosing it is challenging. Families turn to a variety of professionals to diagnose ADHD with varying results. Understanding the pros and cons of each can help you determine which professional is best-suited to your child’s needs and your family’s situation.

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by Mark Bertin, MD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For children with ADHD who do not take medication, managing symptoms successfully includes the consistent application of proven behavioral and educational interventions at home and at school. There is scant evidence to suggest complementary and alternative therapies work.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research by Dr. Daniel Amen shows that ADHD is not a single or simple condition. There are seven distinct types of ADHD, each one requiring a particular treatment. Amen’s studies show that when the type of ADHD is treated properly, the results are effective.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For kids with ADHD, EF impairments are typically “chronic and severe” and the consequences of lacking focus and sustained attention can be considerable. Learning to drive is an example of this.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research shows that physical activity is a promising alternative or additional treatment option for kids with ADHD. Regular exercise helps these kids by activating the brain systems that support attention, focus, memory, self-regulation, sensory input, and executive functioning.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

In an enlightening report published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, students described their childhood and adolescent struggles with loneliness, isolation and misunderstanding, as well as their successes with supportive environments and strategies.

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by Alan Wachtel, MD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

About half the children with ADHD also have co-existing conditions such as learning disabilities or mood disorders. The challenge is to figure out if other problems are co-existing conditions or a result of the ADHD. True co-existing conditions must be treated; conditions resulting from the ADHD may resolve themselves with successful ADHD treatment.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Although ADHD and OCD are often thought of as polar opposite conditions, they are in fact more similar than you’d think. This can lead to confusion and misdiagnosis. Understanding what motivates the similar behaviors can provide clues to an appropriate treatment plan.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Understanding what motivates these behaviors will help you determine the best treatment.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When children are diagnosed with ADHD, they often don’t have the tools to explain it to their friends and classmates. In a webinar for ADDitude, licensed clinical social worker and ADHD expert Ryan Wexelblatt shared advice on how to help your children talk to their peers about ADHD.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

In Black children behaviors commonly associated with ADHD may be symptoms of trauma, depression, or stress related to difficult living situations.

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by Jacob Presson

When a student teacher returns to the preschool he once terrorized, a young child triggers memories of his struggles with ADHD.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Musical activities engage various centers of the brain that often cause problems for those with ADHD. Rhythm, melody and tempo activate attention and focus • Moving to music helps organize the brain. Playing music enhances sustained attention, impulse control, planning, self-esteem, complex decision-making, and the ability to make sense of sound in noise.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Navigating adolescence is challenging for most kids (and their families), but for boys with ADHD, the teen years can be particularly trying. But you have an important role to play in helping your son master the skills that will eventually lead to self-sufficiency and independence. Leaning in with these strategies can make the transition easier for all involved.

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by Ellen Littman, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Having a child with ADHD often impacts the entire family. Educating family members about the condition can help ensure realistic expectations, which will lead to a more positive, less stressful dynamic at home.

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by Alan Wachtel, MD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with ADHD who are treated comprehensively have the most positive outcomes. A comprehensive plan involves medication in conjunction with educational, behavioral, and psychological interventions. Parent advocacy is critical to ensuring that the treatment plan is implemented properly.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Traditional talk therapy and social skills groups rarely work for boys with ADHD. The better option is to seek out ADHD clinicians and coaches who understand gender-based differences and have experience working with young males.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Inattentive ADHD is characterized by the ability to focus intensely on areas of interest while paying little or no attention to tasks that are unexciting. Here, Dr. Thomas Brown, a leading expert in the field, explains the nuances of this form of ADHD along with the challenges of diagnosing it.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with ADHD may have other mental health issues that complicate their learning challenges. In fact, about 30% of kids with attention difficulties also have OCD or a related anxiety disorder. In such cases, it’s important to understand and treat both issues.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq. based on a presentation by Alan Wachtel, MD
for Smart Kids with LD

When left untreated ADHD is among the most debilitating disorders to live with. The risks of not treating ADHD include academic, social, and emotional problems in childhood. The problems may follow a person into adulthood impacting job performance, marital and family relationships, mental health, and automobile safety. Children with ADHD who are not treated are more likely to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

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AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psychology Today

We need to dispel the myth that autistic people lack empathy.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psychology Today

When we don’t understand autistic kids we create a toxic environment for them.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psych Central

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Journal of Health Service Psychology

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Autism Parenting Magazine

A look at whether the mainstream education system is doing the best it can for children with autism.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Journal of Health Services Psychology

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psych Central

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psych Central

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psychology Today

We tend to mistake sexuality with having sex.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Autism Parenting Magazine

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Psychology Today

Why do some autistic adults reject the term “high functioning?

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More About Marcia Eckerd

BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

A functional behavioral assessment is used to help identify the reasons behind problem behaviors. In an FBA the evaluator gathers information about the time, place, and severity of negative behaviors in order to understand patterns that result in acting out. The information is used to develop interventions to alter the factors that precede or reinforce unwanted behaviors.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

This article is based on the presentation by Ross W. Greene, PhD, Children Do Well When They Can: Identifying and Solving Problems That Cause Challenging Behaviors. Dr. Greene, a leading authority on Oppositional Defiant Disorder, is the originator of the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model and founding director of the nonprofit Lives in the Balance.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

During a school disciplinary hearing, kids with identified disabilities have special protections under the law. Parents need to understand these unique rights and be proactive about ensuring their implementation.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Students with LD and ADHD are suspended from school at greater rates than their peers without learning challenges. Increasingly, school codes of conduct penalize behaviors that these students struggle to control on a regular basis, putting them at risk for suspension.

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DIET AND NUTRITION

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

The link between artificial food dyes and hyperactivity in kids is a hot topic for researchers, regulators, policymakers, and consumer advocates. Anecdotally, parents, too, attest to the harmful effect food dyes have on their child’s behavior as well as on school performance.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Food dyes can affect ADHD and hyperactive behavior, but they do not cause it. But for some kids, dietary changes in conjunction with standard ADHD care may help with their behavioral issues.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Do you see a connection between your child’s behavior and what she eats? Numerous controlled studies have concluded that food dyes can worsen behavior in some children with and without ADHD.

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DIGITAL DEVICES

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research shows that kids with ADHD are particularly vulnerable to screen addictions and the negative effects that follow. Design elements intrinsic to digital media play into the neurobiology of the ADHD brain, heightening the risk for negative impacts from electronic devices.

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by Dave Sylvestro, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children who spend an excessive amount of time in front of screens miss the opportunity to develop important skills. Use common-sense approaches to encourage actual social interaction and limit screen time.

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by Susan Bauerfeld, PhD, and Chris Parrott, MSc, Post MSc Dipl, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

The emergence of a screen culture challenges parents to rethink family goals and their approach to technology. With few guidelines to follow, many feel intimidated, overwhelmed, or defeated. Crafting a family-friendly policy begins by exploring the options between all-or-nothing extremes.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When teens and young adults consume a steady diet of disaster news through their social media outlets, the impact can negatively impact their health and well-being.

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EMOTIONAL SUPPORT STRATEGIES (FOR PARENTS AND FOR KIDS)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Unstable emotions and behaviors underlie several learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Dialectical Behavior Therapy has been used successfully with adolescents struggling to regulate attention, mood, anxiety levels, substance use, and eating habits, as well as those who have suicidal thoughts and self-injurious behaviors.

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by Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

In a well-intentioned—but misguided—effort to protect our children from failure, we’ve created a generation lacking the skills to overcome adversity. But it’s never too late to change the dynamic. Here’s how to get started helping your children develop grit, the quality that will allow them to live their best lives.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For various reasons fathers are frequently skeptical when their kids are diagnosed with learning challenges. Their reluctance to accept an LD or ADHD diagnosis may exacerbate negative behaviors at home and at school. To overcome the problem, Ryan Wexelblatt, an expert who specializes in boys with ADHD, also works with dads to help them better understand their child’s challenges.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

COVID-19 has limited most everyone’s social life, but for kids with LD and ADHD who normally struggle with social issues, the pandemic is having an outsized impact on emotional health. Building the social skills kids need to weather the loneliness of online learning and social distancing falls to parents.

ARTICLE

by Dave Sylvestro with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Parents play a key role in helping a child with a negative attitude adopt a more positive outlook. Being intentional in how you communicate is fundamental to building confidence, resilience, and independence • Even when resolving conflicts, choose your words carefully.

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EVALUATIONS

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For parents who suspect their child may have learning disabilities, the evaluation and recommendation process can be daunting. In fact, the process is a problem-solving exercise that need not be intimidating. This article is a straightforward explanation of what you can expect, with answers to your most fundamental concerns.

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by Donna A. Chauvin Quallen, MEd, CAS, and Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

If done properly, the results of your child’s evaluation should form the basis for their IEP. A thorough evaluation points out strengths and deficits, both of which must be incorporated in the goals and objectives the PPT establishes for your child to succeed.

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by Donna A. Chauvin Quallen, MEd, CAS, and Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When academic performance suffers, an educational diagnosis is done to help define the student’s academic strengths and learning needs and translate them into an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

With the COVID-19 school closures, teaching has shifted from classroom, small group, and individual instruction to distance learning. Teachers and service providers are working hard to adapt to remote platforms. As parents, you are in a unique position to let your school team know how your kids are responding to online learning

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

RTI is an individualized, comprehensive assessment and intervention process that utilizes a problem-solving framework to identify and address academic difficulties through effective, research-based instruction. The goal of RTI is to separate children with true learning disabilities from those who perform poorly as a result of poor instruction.

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EXECUTIVE FUNCTION SKILLS
by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For kids with ADHD, EF impairments are typically “chronic and severe” and the consequences of lacking focus and sustained attention can be considerable. Learning to drive is an example of this.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Promoting responsibility and independence in kids requires parents to step back from doing things for them rather than with them. Breaking the pattern involves motivating new behaviors through positive communication and encouragement.

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by Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For parents of teens with weak executive functions, helping your kids improve these skills takes a concerted and intentional effort, some of which may not come naturally. Applying these strategies can help you find the balance between too much support and not enough.

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by Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Students with ADHD and other learning challenges often have weak executive function skills. Strengthening these skills will benefit your child at school and beyond. Share this article’s strategies with your child’s teacher, and follow them at home as well.

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by Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

The turbulence associated with adolescence is partially due to underdeveloped executive functions, putting teens at risk for unhealthy behaviors. You can counter these natural tendencies by explicitly teaching executive function skills.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Inattentive ADHD is characterized by the ability to focus intensely on areas of interest while paying little or no attention to tasks that are unexciting. Here, Dr. Thomas Brown, a leading expert in the field, explains the nuances of this form of ADHD along with the challenges of diagnosing it.

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HELPFUL THERAPIES

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research shows that music training benefits the brain in ways that may be particularly beneficial to children with learning challenges, ADHD and executive function issues.

ARTICLE

by Jacob Presson

When a student teacher returns to the preschool he once terrorized, a young child triggers memories of his struggles with ADHD.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Musical activities engage various centers of the brain that often cause problems for those with ADHD. Rhythm, melody and tempo activate attention and focus • Moving to music helps organize the brain. Playing music enhances sustained attention, impulse control, planning, self-esteem, complex decision-making, and the ability to make sense of sound in noise.

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INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Becoming the advocate your child deserves requires that you participate fully in his IEP meetings. Preparing ahead is fundamental to achieving the outcomes that will ensure educational success, Showing up with a collegial attitude will help with problem-solving.

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LEARNING DISABILITIES (LD)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Bookshare is an online library of accessible eBooks and educational materials for children (and adults) with diagnosed language learning disabilities and other issues that make reading difficult. Members have access to over 400,000 titles, including textbooks, bestsellers, children’s books, young adult books, college prep and career books, newspapers and magazines. Books not already in Bookshare’s collection may be ordered.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with disabilities are among the most likely victims of school bullying. Parents play an important role in keeping their children safe by openly discussing the issue and working with the school.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Experts believe that approximately 7% of the population has symptoms of dyscalculia. But dyscalculia— often referred to as “the forgotten learning disability”— is neither well-researched nor entirely understood.

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by David P. Sylvestro, CSP, and Hallie A. Buckingham, EdD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Girls with LD have unique social-development challenges. As boys and girls grow up they learn to express anger and frustration differently. It’s important to provide girls with specific social tools to avoid the negative consequences of the “mean-girls” culture.

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by Cynthia Keefe, PsyD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Stress is a normal part of being a parent. Parents of children and adolescents with ADHD, LD, anxiety or other special needs, however, experience significantly more daily and chronic stress than other parents.

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by Jonathan Cohen, PhD, and Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Social, emotional, and ethical literacy may be more important than academic skills when it comes to achieving happiness and success. As a parent you can help your child develop competencies in those areas. Use your child’s evaluation as a tool to improve in areas other than academics.

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by Jacob Presson

When a student teacher returns to the preschool he once terrorized, a young child triggers memories of his struggles with ADHD.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For children with dyslexia, the optimal time frame for addressing reading deficits is before most children are diagnosed. This may become more possible as new tools are being developed to identify at-risk kids when treatment can be most effective.

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by Jerome J. Schultz, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

This article is based on “Stress and the LD Puzzle,” the Keynote presentation by Jerome J. Schultz, Ph.D., Harvard-based clinical neuropsychologist, author and consultant, at the conference Best Practices and New Perspectives in the Field of Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficits.

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by Margie Gillis, EdD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with dyslexia can learn to read, but there is no quick fix for this reading disability. Teaching these children requires a systematic approach that builds on previously learned skills one step at a time. Instruction must be individualized to address each child’s unique challenges and abilities.

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by Dave Sylvestro with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Parenting a child with LD or ADHD can be an emotional roller-coaster ride. Your child’s unique characteristics present daily challenges in all facets of life. Understanding what they go through on a daily basis can help you help them manage the challenges.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Research shows that music training benefits the brain in ways that may be particularly beneficial to children with learning challenges, ADHD and executive function issues.

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NON-VERBAL LEARNING DISABILITIES (NVLD or NLD)
by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

As with other learning disabilities, the evaluation for Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (NLD) involves a thorough history in addition to comprehensive neuropsychological testing. An NLD evaluation is best done by a psychologist familiar with NLD.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Teachers and school personnel often do not know about or understand NLD. It is up to parents to educate those who work with their children every day. Share basic information such as how NLD shows up in the classroom and on the playground, as well as strategies to help school staff address related issues.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Because nonverbal learning disabilities are not well understood, parents of kids with NLD challenges often feel alone and unsupported—even by those who should be natural allies such as family members, school personnel, and medical professionals. Rather than trying looking for help from those who aren’t willing to be educated, seek out people in your community who are experiencing similar struggles.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Kids with NLD tend to have trouble with social rules. The challenges are often misinterpreted as problematic nonconformity, when in fact these kids just don’t “get” social customs. Understanding where the difficulties stem from and how to deal with them can help you help your child navigate social situations.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

For kids with NLD, tone of voice is one of many nonverbal cues that often elude them, leading to misinterpretation and miscommunication. Working with a professional can help them learn to better decipher the intonations of others as well as express themselves in a way others find easier to understand.

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Although kids with NLD have many strengths, they often have social skill deficits. There are some simple techniques you can do to help your child develop the skills they need to manage social situations effectively.

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Because students with NLD often excel academically, problems with language deficits may go undiagnosed. As academic demands increase, problems with comprehension and written expression may become apparent.

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More About Marcia Eckerd

by Marcia Eckerd, PhD
for Smart Kids with LD

Challenges for parents of children with NLD include learning to manage inflexibility, preventing meltdowns, and navigating social awkwardness. Successful parenting strategies include communicating clearly, previewing situations, anticipating frustration, and reinforcing positive behaviors. Educating others about NLD is critical for those who interact with these children.

ARTICLE

More About Marcia Eckerd

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Although ADHD and OCD are often thought of as polar opposite conditions, they are in fact more similar than you’d think. This can lead to confusion and misdiagnosis. Understanding what motivates the similar behaviors can provide clues to an appropriate treatment plan.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Understanding what motivates these behaviors will help you determine the best treatment.

ARTICLE

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Children with ADHD may have other mental health issues that complicate their learning challenges. In fact, about 30% of kids with attention difficulties also have OCD or a related anxiety disorder. In such cases, it’s important to understand and treat both issues.

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PARENT COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY

by Eve Kessler, Esq.

Becoming the advocate your child with LD deserves means learning how to navigate the school system. It’s essential to educate yourself on policies that impact your child as well as develop positive relationships with those in a position to give your child what she needs.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.

As a parent, it’s your job to manage your child’s education and secure their rights under the law. Here are some tips to help you establish a collaborative partnership with your school to achieve those goals.

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PLANNING AND PLACEMENT TEAM (PPT)

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Despite school closures the Department of Education expects IEPs to continue. As a key member of your child’s IEP team, your input is vital to the process. Before the meeting, take the time to prepare your thoughts and questions to ensure the optimal outcome for your child.

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by Noreen O’Mahoney, SDA, CSW, and Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

For kids with LD, the importance of the IEP meeting cannot be overstated. The questions you ask at those meetings will help influence the discussion and decisions made by your child’s team.

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SECTION 504

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Section 504 is a federal law that prevents discriminating against those with disabilities. If your child does not qualify for protections under the IDEA, he or she may still be eligible for support and accommodations under Section 504. Eligibility is based on an assessment.

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TEENS

by Gail Schwartz, MS, MSW, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Guiding your adolescent toward adulthood starts with a dose of commonsense, coupled with clear expectations, and mutual respect. Most of all it involves not getting dragged into the drama that defines those tumultuous years.

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by Gail Schwartz, MS, MSW, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

The teen years are notorious for being challenging. They are marked by confusion and uncertainty, which helps explain why teens often make life difficult for those around them, and themselves. Add learning disabilities or attention issues to the mix, and the challenges may be even more difficult to manage.

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TRANSITION

by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When students with learning differences transition from high school to college, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) replace the IDEA as their source of legal protections. This ushers in a new standard for receiving Assistive Technology (AT) services: college students with disabilities must be provided with aids, benefits, or services that level the playing field and that provide them with an equal opportunity to achieve the same result or the same level of achievement as others.

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by Daria Rockholz, PhD, with Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Helping your child prepare for college involves more than just academic readiness. Encouraging the independence they’ll need to succeed begins in high school by having them assume greater responsibility for all facets of their life.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

When looking for a college, it’s important to match the types of services needed with the services offered. Typically, colleges offer one of three levels of support.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

Going from high school directly into college may not be the best choice for your child with learning challenges. Understanding and evaluating the alternatives can help put your young adult on a career path in line with her abilities, strengths, and maturity level.

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by Jacob Presson

When a student teacher returns to the preschool he once terrorized, a young child triggers memories of his struggles with ADHD.

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by Eve Kessler, Esq.
for Smart Kids with LD

College is not the only route to career success. Helping your non-college bound teen find his path is the specialty of Rick Fiery, co-founder of Inventive Labs. This article, based on Fiery’s ADDitude Magazine Expert Webinar, Encouraging Your Children to Find Their Own Paths, summarizes his strategy for helping teens find their way to a successful career.

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