Success in school is not something you as a parent want to leave to chance. The future well-being of every Alabama child depends on each being able to develop to his or her fullest potential. To achieve that, most people agree it's important to develop good study habits. That can be hard to foster in children with qualifying disabilities. Included among those are the characteristics identified as autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Any parent advocating for a child with special education or developmental needs faces an alphabet soup of initials and acronyms. They can be massively confusing and make you feel as if you are slashing through kudzu to get to what matters.
Believe it or not, dyslexia is not a scary word. Still, if you are the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, your first reaction to the news might be one of despair. Our hope with this post is to reinforce the message, do not panic.
Mental health is one of those issues cloaked in social silence. The curtain is drawing back somewhat. The movement toward achieving mental health parity in the provision of health care benefits is one sign of that. Still, evidence remains strong in Alabama and elsewhere that more needs to be done. A recent research letter published on JAMANetwork.com serves as an example.
Children don't come with handbooks. Parenting can involve a lot of trial and error. That can create a lot of anxiety, a situation that only compounds if a child receives a diagnosis of having one of the developmental issues encompassed by the autistic spectrum.
Yogi Berra wisely said, "It ain't over till it's over." Quibble with his grammar, but the message is sound regarding his forte, baseball. Many experts agree it applies to education, too.
Imagine this picture. An 11-year-old student retreats to his room to do homework after supper. At 11 p.m. you knock and enter and find him surrounded by crumpled papers, broken pencils and in a sobbing heap. The child has attention deficit disorder (ADD), also called ADHD, and this is what hours of homework has led to.
A great deal of progress has been made in understanding individuals with Down Syndrome. Prior to the 1980s, history records that the vast majority of individuals with this genetic anomaly spent their lives in institutions. Experts generally believed those with the condition couldn't learn. Today, we know that isn't true. Indeed, the tide has shifted such that most children with Down syndrome in Alabama attend regular schools. Many live full lives. Some have even obtained college degrees.
The cost of living is high for anyone. Alabama families with special-needs children, whether they involve physical, developmental or educational issues, discover early on that expenses for those children are even higher and present significant challenges for their lifetimes.
The United States likes competition. It's a factor in nearly everything we do. Even school. The general rule of thumb is that school work gets graded on a standard scale with A being best and F being worst. C is considered average and passing, but many experts hold the view that such grades really only measure who is beating whom, not how well a child is learning. There's also the issue of grade inflation.