What is Dyscalculia?

What is Dsycalculia?

written by Heidi Borst, published on US News

While many children wrestle with math, those having chronic difficulty with basic math concepts like recognizing numbers, learning to count, estimating or telling time may be struggling with dyscalculia.

Dyscalculia is a developmental learning disorder that results in math skills that are well below average for a person’s age, according to the American Psychological Association. Between 3% and 7% of the population has dyscalculia, according to a 2019 study.

“They have difficulty completing math calculations, take a longer time than their peers to solve math problems and often feel anxiety around anything that involves math or computation,” says Liz Matheis, a certified school psychologist and consultant in New Jersey.

Thankfully, there are many things parents and teachers can do to recognize dyscalculia and ensure students get help.

New Jersey Free Rehab Centers

New Jersey Free Rehab Centers

posted on Free Rehab Centers

In New Jersey, free rehab centers are available in a number of locations. These free treatment facilities offer addiction services such as detoxification, outpatient treatment, opioid abuse treatment, and residential options.

If you or someone you love are in need of drug or alcohol abuse treatment, there are resources and services available to you for free or at a very low cost.

Many drug rehab centers know the financial challenges that their clients face, so they offer things like scholarships, donation funds, and other options for assistance.

While some addiction treatment centers don’t offer free services to everyone, there are many programs that will not turn you away due to an inability to pay.

This is usually determined on the basis of income and assets. If you qualify for assistance, you can get the full cost, or part of your cost, subsidized by the organization or government.

Transitioning to STEM Toolkit for Students and Adults With ADHD or Learning Disabilities

Transitioning to STEM Toolkit for Students and Adults With ADHD or Learning Disabilities

posted on The University of Texas at Austin’s Website

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 9 percent of U.S. children suffer from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Current researchalso indicates 70% of children with ADHD also have learning disabilities, which may hinder academic and career success. However, this difference in the way these children process information may be why many thrive in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

The basic principles that inform STEM education – design thinking and creative problem-solving — are also conducive to successfully working with children who have ADHD, says Parentology. This is in part because students with ADHD tend to be able to reason problems out intuitively, without having to practice a conscious reasoning process, according to Study.com. Moreover, the creative and design-oriented nature typically seen in children with ADHD and learning disabilities may lend itself well to STEM’s core methodologies.

Using the resources in this article, parents, caregivers, teachers, and early childhood educators can connect youth with ADHD or learning disabilities with STEM education opportunities. Additionally, resources are available to help adults with ADHD and learning disabilities transition to the STEM workforce.

What is Dyslexia?

What is Dyslexia?

written by Heidi Borst, published on www.usnews.com

Children who have difficulty sounding out words, struggle to learn letter names and sounds, or become easily frustrated by reading activities may be having more problems than most students when learning to read. Those can be signs of dyslexia, one of the most common learning differences in America.

Dyslexia is a neurologically based learning disability marked by difficulties with decoding and reading comprehension. An estimated 1 in 5 Americans have dyslexia, representing as many as 90% of all people with learning disabilities, according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity.

Rebecca Mannis, a learning specialist and founder of Ivy Prep Learning Center in New York, says dyslexia can manifest at different times depending on the specific type of dyslexia, the student’s learning profile and their school and family life.

“Children who have significant difficulty with early language development and who have trouble telling apart sounds, called a phonological deficit, represent the most common subtype of dyslexia,” Mannis wrote in an email. Dyslexia may be identified early in these children, she says, because they have difficulty learning sound-symbol relationships.

“On the other hand, a bright, verbal child who has more difficulty with reading fluency or remembering sight words that can’t be decoded or sounded out, such as the words ‘thought’ or ‘would,’ may be able to compensate in early years,” Mannis says. Cases like that may go undetected until middle school or even high school or college.

Education experts say there are many ways parents can help children with dyslexia, starting with recognizing common signs and taking action.

The Calais Adult Transition Program

The Calais Adult Transition Program

Struggling to stay afloat in college? The Calais Adult Transition Program offers support to individuals with special needs looking to pursue higher education and employment. Calais provides on-site college and career readiness services for young adults ages 18 to 30 with mental health conditions, autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, and other special needs.
Services and Support includes:
  • Work-Study Model
  • Tailored to Your Personal Needs and Goals
  • Services on Your Own Schedule
  • Academic and Therapeutic Support
  • Life Planning and Career Counseling
  • Social Opportunities

Wandering and Elopement: Risks Factors and Strategies

Wandering and Elopement: Risks Factors and Strategies

by Cathy Allore, M.ED

Wandering, also known as eloping, refers to an individual with a developmental disability attempting to leave, or successfully leaving a safe, supervised area, without permission or with the knowledge of those in charge. Wandering can occur in any setting, including homes, school environments, daycares, summer camps, residential or day programs. These frightening events can occur even with the best supervision, and no matter how vigilant a parent, sibling, grandparent, teacher, therapist, or paid caregiver might be.

Decision Making Skills for Young Adults

Decision Making Skills for Young Adults

written by Calvin & Tricia Luker, published on parentingspecialneeds.org

When students with disabilities become young adults, they and their parents often ask whether and how decision-making practices should change. After all, the student and family, and the school, medical, vocational and service providers have been using the transition process for several years to help prepare the student for complete community inclusion. Now that the student is nearing, or has attained, the age of majority, how should decision making responsibilities be addressed? This article answers that question.

5 Ways to Support Siblings in Special Needs Families

5 Ways to Support Siblings in Special Needs Families

written by Alyson Krueger, published on childmind.org

When Sophie Kleinhandler was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder at 8, one thing that meant a lot to her was the support of her sister Rachel.

“My older sister started worrying about me,” Sophie recalled, “and she told me something really special. There’s a song called ‘Lean on Me,’ and she said, ‘Sophie, now that you haveOCD I want you to lean on me when you’re upset and you can’t handle anything.’”

Rachel was a big help to Sophie, but Sophie’s OCD was hard on Rachel, too.

Sophie would get very upset if she was touched without warning. If someone brushed against her clothing, she had to immediately take it off and wash it. She had an aversion to commonplace sounds like breathing, yawning, sniffing, or kissing. Certain words set her off as well.

For Rachel, Sophie’s outbursts could be embarrassing. She didn’t know how to explain her sister’s behavior to her friends. It was also hard to concentrate on her homework or enjoy family vacations when her sister was slamming doors or melting down. Her parents spent a disproportionate amount of time on her sister, taking her to appointments and visiting when she was in a treatment center. And, of course, Rachel worried a lot about Sophie.


Why Moms Mom-Shame

Why Moms Mom-Shame

written by Molly Shea, published on parents.com

Lindsay Powers Eichmann had been a mother for three weeks when she experienced her first bout of mom-shaming. “We were at Target, and a woman came up to us and said, ‘Oh my goodness, what are you doing with a baby that small out in the world?!'” she recalls. Eichmann and her husband had been proud and relieved to make it out of the house, but the comment made her reconsider. Things snowballed from there.

“People would tell me ridiculous things,” she says. “When I was doing the cry-it-out method, someone said, “Oh, he’ll never attach to you—haven’t you heard of the Romanian orphans?” referring to decades-old research performed on severely neglected infants.

Eichmann’s experience shouldn’t be a surprise to any mom. A 2017 report from Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found that nearly two-thirds of mothers have been “shamed” for their parenting decisions, criticized for everything from the way they discipline their children to the foods they feed them. Add social media to the mix, and it feels like every parenting decision you make is up for judgment and scrutinized by those around you—minus all the important context.

An Open Letter to Administrators on the Upcoming School Year

An Open Letter to Administrators on the Upcoming School Year

written by Dr. Liz Matheis, published on Psychology Today

Dear school administrators,

I want to start by saying this is not a letter to place blame or fault. It is a letter to give you perspective about my children and many other children who returned to school in September 2021.

From March 2020 to June 2021, many of these children were on an educational hiatus. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that you didn’t try, or that you didn’t struggle to make difficult decisions every day to keep school doors open and children safe. I thank you because I know you didn’t sleep, felt incredibly distressed, and worried a great deal—and yet you showed up every day.

How many pandemics have we lived through before this? For the vast majority of us, the answer is none. We all did the best that we could to balance the demands of our children, our jobs, and our mental health. Many of you also have children of your own. The demand was unbearable and again, I thank you.

Kudos to all of us that have made it this far. But I want to give you a little insight and feedback about why so many children are struggling so much this school year. Some are failing, some are falling behind, some don’t care, and many care, but don’t understand why they are failing or why school is so difficult this year.

"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Julie C.
"Dr. Matheis has a remarkable ability to understand the unique needs of her patients and address them constructively. She builds strong, meaningful relationships with patients and their families, encouraging trust and collaboration. When working with my son who struggles with autism-related anxiety, she created an environment in which he was able to calm down and open up to her in ways I had not seen before. She was able to reach him and helped him work through his crisis/problem. Most importantly, she empowered him to move forward."
- N.L.
"Dr. Matheis is amazing. She has tremendous resources and loads of energy. She is not willing to accept anything less than the most effective results for her clients. She made me feel as if my son was her top priority throughout the entire process. I would, without reservation, give her my highest recommendations.  Thank you, Dr. Matheis!"
- Anonymous
"Dr. Matheis has an amazing ability to read kids and connect with them. She has been an invaluable resource for our family over the past several years and has helped us with everything from educational consulting, to uncovering diagnoses as well as family therapy. Working with Dr. Matheis never feels clinical and most importantly, our children love and trust her. We can not thank you enough Dr. Liz!"
- Anonymous
"My teenage son had been seeing Dr. Matheis through his senior year of high school, as he was only diagnosed with ADHD at 16 years old.  Dr. Matheis came highly recommended from our pediatrician and she has done wonders for our son as well as our family, navigating new ways for him to deal with his diagnosis without the use of medication.  She taught him ways to organize himself and even when something did not work for him, she patiently continued teaching him new ways to keep himself on track.  She has also helped us as parents to understand how his mind works so that we did not continue to blame his lack of focus on him, rather on his unique way of thinking.  Thank you Dr. Matheis!!!!"
- LG
"Dr. Liz is the best! Our family was directed to her by our Pediatrician to assist with figuring out severe mood changes, severe anxiety, strange new fears and food aversion that had come onto one of our children literally overnight. After just a couple of visits, she suggested that the issues may actually be rooted in a physical issue and suggested we immediately take our child to be swabbed for strep, because Dr. Liz suspected PANDAS (a pediatric autoimmune disorder brought on by strep). The same Pediatrician that suggested Dr. Liz would not do the swab (they do not believe in PANDAS and we no longer go there) but I took my child to my doctor who did the swab and it was positive for strep. When our child went on antibiotics, within 24 hours all symptoms went away and our child was back :-) Dr. Liz then recommended a PANDAS specialist who helped us and our child is in complete remission and is happy and healthy. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Liz for her knowledge of all things, even the most remote and unusual and for helping us so much! Thank you!"
- Anonymous
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Anonymous
"Thank you, Dr. Liz. Although we have told you countless times, it will never feel enough. You have listened when J could barely speak and continued to listen when he was sad, angry and confused. You've challenged him and directed us in our roles as parents. You've helped J face his fears while the list evolved and changed, and yet you've stayed committed to 'the course.' We pray that your children realize that time away from them is spent helping children learn and that vulnerability is a sign of strength and bravery."
- June I
"My son was admitted to an Ivy League school when only 2 years ago, you assessed him and saw his struggles, his Dyslexia. We are grateful that he no longer has to carry that deep feeling of inadequacy or shame that must have kept him so self conscious and from reaching his potential. He has the PERFECT program for him. He has A's in high math and economics. He became a Merit Scholar, a Boys State legislature, the HEAD captain of the football team and help a job ALL while studying and managing his classes and disability. I am PROUD of you, a young doctor, who knows and sees the vulnerability of children and helps them recognize "it's NO big deal" God bless."
- Anonymous

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