Andrew’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Andrew’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
Let me start off by saying I, myself, have been diagnosed with ADHD and have been managing it my whole life. I understand the issues that arise from it and I know how to keep a child on-track. The key is to turn whatever might be boring into something they naturally find interesting. If they are ADHD-Combined or ADHD-Hyperactive type, then you have to find a way to channel the excess energy in a manner that keeps them from losing control. A token economy or a detailed reward program is most effective in helping a child with ADHD. For example, for every 30 minutes of homework the child does, he or she can watch TV for 15 minutes. This keeps them from losing attention or dreading the long periods of discomfort.
ADHD itself is neurologically defined by not only a deficit in dopamine in the brain, but also an underactive frontal lobe. This results in problems with inhibition. Whereas a normally developing child might be able to focus on a particular task, regardless of his or her interest, a child with ADHD has trouble ignoring stimuli that are not pertinent to the task at hand. This is especially true if the task is not interesting to the child.
Because of the deficit of dopamine in the brain, children with ADHD also have trouble with understanding cause and effect. Dopamine is the "reward" neurotransmitter, and it is often not released enough for the child to properly learn from past mistakes. This is why a token economy works so well for ADHD children. In this system, the child is rewarded for good behavior by getting points, stickers, coins, or whatever, for good behavior. There is no deduction at first, because we want the child to get used to the feeling of success. At the end of the day/week the child is allowed to trade in the earned tokens for a prize, such as video game time, going to a fun place, or something else he or she enjoys. The child may also choose to not trade in the tokens and instead save up for a bigger and better prize. For example, 1 token could be 10 minutes of TV, 4 tokens could be he gets whatever dessert he wants that night, 10 tokens could be he gets to stay up two hours later that Friday, 20 tokens means he gets a new video game, etc. This is a form of implicit learning where the child begins to understand how to plan ahead, which is also something children with ADHD have trouble with. After a few weeks of doing the system, a punisher is added so that if the child misbehaves, tokens are deducted. Since the child now has a connection to the coins, a direct connection can be made between actions and consequences, which is another area in which children with ADHD are notoriously impaired.
ADHD can make many activities a hassle, but it also allows for very imaginative and brilliant thinking. Because of the rampant thinking, the child often is able to have far more complex thoughts and is able to see things from multiple views. My ADHD actually helped in my natural talent for chess. My ADHD served me in that I could calculate multiple variations far quicker than others and I was not distracted by only part of the board. I was taking in everything on the board because I did not naturally inhibit myself from considering all the pieces and squares. Consequently, because I did so well at chess, it helped my self-esteem.
Chess allowed me to internalize my hyperactivity into the form of deep calculations rather than running around the room. It also helped me understand actions and consequences, or cause and effect. I've seen many children with ADHD greatly calm down after learning chess, and that is one reason I love teaching it to children, especially those with developmental issues or behavioral issues.
I still give chess lessons, both one on one and in classrooms. I have a part-time job teaching chess at several elementary schools. I also offer chess lessons for individuals with special needs at a discounted price. Let me know if you are interested.
Algebra 1 is where a lot of the fun really starts... once you get it at least. I remember being lost in algebra at first, but once I started making connections between lessons and concepts, things began to fall into place. The important thing is not to let a student feel they are so far behind they cannot catch up. I can help any student that is struggling to better understand their lessons through repetition and understanding.
I have always done very well in math, all the way through calculus 2.
I remember finding algebra 2 + trig very fun. The concepts can be a bit unnerving at first. That is what I'm here for.
I can break down whatever problem the student is having and address each individual step. Once I isolate whatever confusion the individual is having, I make sure we can consistently overcome the issue before moving on.
Autism is a very broad term as it is defined by general characteristics that are seen consistently. The DSM-IV-RE defined autism as having a triad of impairments that are shared with Asperger's Syndrome: social interaction, rigidity of thought and behavior, and social communication.
Social interaction difficulties include, but are not limited to, ignoring the presence of others, poor eye contact, inability to properly pick up social cues, socially inappropriate responses such as laughing at the wrong time, negative affect, and disinterest in other people's faces.
Social communication deficits include repetition of words or phrases either spoken to them or heard from another source (echolalia), pronoun reversal, using excessive detail to explain something, trouble with figurative speech such as sarcasm, puns, and hyperbole, taking what is heard literally, problems with proper intonation, or being completely nonverbal.
Rigid thinking and behavior is in regards to self-injurious behaviors, sensory-seeking behaviors such as repeatedly touching a unique texture or listening to something monotonous like a wind-up toy, infatuation with a toy's individual parts such as repeatedly spinning a toy car's wheels rather than playing with the car itself, a strict adherence to routines and extreme discomfort when such routines are not followed, stacking and lining up objects rather than using them for their intended purpose, collecting large numbers of strange objects such as rocks or tins of paint, an encyclopedic knowledge of very restricted interests such as weather, trains, lizards, and various other specific interests.
The main difference between Asperger's Syndrome and autism is that for other forms of autism, there is either a regression in development, such as going from speaking to being completely nonverbal, or there is a delay in multiple developmental milestones, especially a delay in speech development. There is also a higher than average comorbidity of an intellectual disability. Whereas in Asperger's Syndrome there is no language delay and individuals have average to above average intelligence.
Other common features associated with the disorder are hypersensitivity to stimuli, which results in both an infatuation with certain textures, tastes, or sounds, but also a stern aversion to others such as loud noises. Because of their inability to inhibit how much of a stimulus is perceived and how to deal with it, oftentimes the child will end up having a "meltdown." Multiple techniques have been found to help children with autism, including deep pressure massages, progressive muscle relaxation, CBT, applied behavioral analysis, pivotal response therapy, and token economies.
I have just graduated from UAB with a major in Psychology with Honors, with an emphasis on Developmental Disorder. I am currently pursuing further education in ABA so that I may obtain my BCBA, as this is one of the most widely proven forms of intervention for individuals on the autism spectrum, especially severe to moderate instances.
I currently volunteer at a center which specifically treats individuals with developmental disorders, prominently autism spectrum disorders.
At my current position I work with a multidisciplinary team that sets specific goals for each child (all preschool age) to work on. It is my job to administer tasks including, but not limited to, fine motor skills, cognition, socializiation, and sensory exploration. I then assess their competency for each individually created goals. Once the child has reached the point of consistent unassisted results, the goal is considered mastered and we replace it with a new goal.
I work with an adult population of individuals with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorder. I assist with the planning and implementation of activities in arts and crafts and outside activities such as gardening. I help explain more complex tasks by demonstration and breaking down the tasks into smaller steps.
I have completed a number of courses and workshops that emphasize autism treatments, assessments, and methods of intervention, including the following:
The APA-sponsored course, “Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders: New Data and New Ideas” in 2012
Completed Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) Modules Two Day workshop in 2012
PY354 "Autism: Brain and Cognition" at UAB in 2011
PY415 "Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities" at UAB in 2012
Attended Annual Alabama Autism Conference, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 2011 and 2012.
Received a grant to present my research "Striatal and Social Brain Volumes in Autism: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study" at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Toronto, Canada in 2012
Children with special needs receive a discounted price.
I have been playing chess competitively since I was 9. I started teaching it soon after. At age 12 I started my school's chess club with one of my teachers. I continued coaching at the chess club until I was 19. I played competitively during those years as well, but stopped between ages 18 and 24. I recently started playing competitively again. My USCF rating is now at 1480 and on the rise. More importantly, however, is that I have started coaching again.
I currently coach at 7 elementary schools after school. My classes range in size from five to fourteen. I believe chess is an extremely therapeutic hobby that should be used more often, especially in schools. I make learning chess fun, and if your child is already in one of my classes in the Shelby County area, I will be happy to also teach individually.
I would like to also mention that I am giving a discounted price to students with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, or has other special needs. I have found chess to be a life-saver. It taught me things I had always struggled with, just like many other children with an ADHD diagnosis. Chess taught me about actions and consequences, how to pay attention for extended periods of time, and it especially taught me to use my energy internally, rather than externally. I have seen dozens of kids with attention, behavioral, or social problems improve drastically after learning to play chess. Because of this, I want to teach more children who could benefit from it as well.
Here is a list of some of my more notable tournaments:
Black Warrior Chess Challenge - 1st, 2012
Evangel March Open - 2nd, 2012
Birmingham Classic - 1st, 2012
Birmingham Open - 1st, 2012
Huntsville Classic - 3rd, 2012
Birmingham Representative at 35th U.S. Youth Games - Silver, 2002
Alabama State Scholastic Individual Chess Championship, Junior High - 1st, 2002
Buccaneer Scholastic Chess Championship, Open - 1st, 2002
Hoover Scholastic Individual Chess Championship, Junior High - 1st, 2000
Hoover Scholastic Individual Chess Championship, Open, 2nd, 1999
Top Performance in all events, Sam Palatnik Summer Chess Camp, 1998
Friday the 13th Bughouse Mania, 1st, 1998
Alabama Scholastic Chess K-12 Grade Championship, 2nd, 1998
Hoover Scholastic Chess Championship, Elementary, 2nd, 1998
U.S. National Scholastic Chess Championship, Open, 40th, 1998
Junior Reserve Team Chess Championship, 2nd, 1997
I currently teach children between ages 4 and 12 in multiple subjects. I work part-time as a chess coach at seven elementary schools, where I work with multiple children at a time, all with varying personalities, educations, strengths, and weaknesses. In my spare time I volunteer with younger children who have special needs by helping with various intervention therapies.
I also tutor my fiancé's children, who are ages nine and seven, in various subjects including math, reading, spelling, and social studies.
I am a very patient, caring, and diligent teacher/tutor. I plan to continue my education in clinical psychology so that I may work clinically with children with various special needs. I guarantee you that I will do everything in my power to help your children succeed and, working together, I know they will.
I do very well at helping students understand underlying concepts to better understand whatever math subject we are working on. Even math in elementary school can be quite daunting when it is all thrown at you at once.
Once you understand the basics and build off them, things become far easier.
I believe having a solid understanding of the fundamentals of English truly does speak to a person's character. Sure, I don't speak completely proper English when I'm just conversing with a friend, but there's a time for proper English and idiomatic English.
When you are sending that cover letter to a prospective employer, you would likely prefer to sound at least somewhat professional. I am very detail-oriented when it comes to English and its ridiculously copious number of rules and exceptions. Luckily, for the most part, there are some guidelines we can follow. I can help you there.
After I have worked with your child, you will no longer stay awake every night wondering if he or she used "whom" properly... Just kidding.
By the way, this encompasses all aspects of English, including grammar, punctuation, and word formations.
Whether it is proofs, vocabulary, formulas for volumes, or anything in-between, I can help. I can break down whatever problem the student is having and address each individual step. Once I isolate whatever confusion the individual is having, I make sure we can consistently overcome the issue before moving on. I have always done very well in math, all the way through calculus 2.
I love teaching math. I find it fun, and when I have a chance to share my understanding with another, I savor the opportunity. I can break down whatever problem I am working on and address each individual step. Once I isolate whatever confusion the individual is having, I make sure we can consistently overcome the issue before moving on. I have always done very well in math, all the way through calculus 2.
Of course, I hit plenty of bumps along the way. We all have subjects that just didn't *click* with us. Perhaps your child has always done well at math but is now struggling for some reason. Well, throwing in all that "if x is the number of times a blah blah" stuff and it can get really scary.
I am here to help when your child hits that "roadblock." There's always a way through, though, and I will do whatever it takes to help them have that "Ah-Hah!" moment. I live for that look.
I love to teach just about any subject. I have a unique talent for being able to turn any task into small, discernible steps. From reading to math to chess, I can teach anyone. Everyone has their own learning style, and I can pick up on it rather easily. I am spectacular with kids and am able to talk on their level to help them understand what it is they are learning.
I love teaching math. I find it fun, and when I have a chance to share my understanding with another, I savor the opportunity. I can break down whatever problem I am working on and address each individual step. Once I isolate whatever confusion the individual is having, I make sure we can consistently overcome the issue before moving on. I have always done very well in math, all the way through calculus 2. I was in the 99 percentile on the math portion of the SAT and ACT.
I can help with test-taking strategies, individual subject areas, and anything else needed.