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Dysgraphia and Working Memory

Carolyn Means - Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Dr. Cheryl Chase from Cleveland, OH, presented an excellent program on dysgraphia – “an impairment of written expression” – at the Houston Branch of the International Dyslexia Association Conference on March 4. Research is showing that the connection between the amount of working memory one has available and the familiarity of graphic material impacts writing. Typically, a person with illegible handwriting has fine-motor difficulty, an inability to re-visualize letters, and an inability to remember the motor patterns of letter forms. It is common to find dysgraphia present with dyslexia. Working Memory is becoming a major topic of conversation in education. Some psychologists believe that the amount of working memory a student can hold in his/her brain’s “counter space” is a more important factor than IQ when determining the student’s potential to be successful.

“The Cusp of Confidence”

Carolyn Means - Tuesday, March 07, 2017

I love it when I hear a new phrase that captures just what I want to say. Jerome Schultz, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, spoke to the HBIDA Conference on March 4 about not Dyslexia, as one would imagine, but Stress. Most of us know about “toxic stress”, that long-term, destructive stress that can damage our immune system, and “tolerable stress” which is short-term and we get over it or adapt to it. Good stress is the kind we feel in a situation where the challenge “hits the sweet spot”, or the “cusp of confidence”. I think of a “right” school as one that puts students on the “cusp of confidence” – a rigor and pace that asks for a reach without causing anxiety. We want to put our students at a point where they balance stress with competence, confidence and control.

ADHD and the Developing Brain

Carolyn Means - Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Author and ADHD expert Chris Dendy spoke at the ADDA-SR Conference hosted by Briarwood School February 25th, about research that shows the slower development of the brain in children and young adults with ADHD. On the whole, there is a lag of 2.5 to 3 years, or 30%, in the executive functioning region of the brain of a student with ADHD and a student without. This explains a lot about why a ten-year- old might act like a 7-year-old or a sixteen-year-old may act like a thirteen-year-old. Impulsivity, lack of emotional inhibition, and poor organization are among EF Skills that make the ADHD kiddo look less mature than his peers. Research was done by Barkley and Shaw.


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Nothing is more important than your child's education. SCHOOL SOLUTIONS in Houston, Texas, offers educational consulting services to help parents make the right choice for their child’s school. As an Educational Consultant and founder of SCHOOL SOLUTIONS in 2004, I have helped over 1000 students find the right fit at over 90 different Houston private and public schools, from preschools to high schools, including special needs schools.

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