Search 75,745 tutors
FIND TUTORS

Blogs Blogs

Special Needs Blogs

Newest Most Active

Working with ADHD students

Hello!   This summer (after several years at a University tutoring center), I decided to take on two high school students with ADHD. I had previously worked with a small handful of ADHD students and thought I knew what to expect. I did not think it would be so challenging! But with a few sessions of adaptation, a lot of home research, and a barrel full of patience, I am ready to share both my experience and advice with fellow tutors looking to work with this group of learners.   Of my two learners, one was severely hyperactive and highly distractible while the other had little self motivation or ability to concentrate. These two boys were quite opposite and would have undoubtedly never been good companions. I will begin by discussing my hyperactive student as he forced me to make the most adjustments to my tutoring techniques.   First, I would suggest that any highly distractible learner using technology to PUT IT AWAY. If the student needs... read more

How do I know that my child has a learning disability?

In 2013, I did this talk with teachers & parents, to explain very simply the many myths and misconceptions we have about learning difficulties. Come, watch me take you into the world of the child who struggles:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPD77glh2Eg

The "E"s of Learning

Everyone knows education is vital to learning. You learn facts. You become familiar with a process. You discover tricks and tips and mnemonics. You notice details. You explore possibilities. The flow of information from source to student can be like a river or like a trickle. Either way, this is all contained in the education part of learning. But this is only one-third of learning.   Where are the other two-thirds? Hidden inside the other two 'e's.   First was education. The second is edification. If your spirits are not uplifted, if you are sad or frustrated, if you are tired or bored, learning can't happen. No matter how many times you rinse and repeat, your brain does not absorb the information. The simplest form of edification is entertainment. When at a loss, I have been goofy for students, (yes, on purpose!) to get a laugh and to break the tension. Two of the highest forms of edification are positive reinforcement and affirmation. Hearing and... read more

Pre-Algebra with manipulatives

I love teaching Algebra and Pre-Algebra.  This Spring I had a student who was having a difficult time with the concept, and I finally came up with a plan.   5X+3=28   OK, here you go.  In this box (on the plate, whatever) are 28 M&M's.  Some are loose, some are in baggies.  There are 5 baggies, and the same amount of M&M's is in each bag.  How many are in each bag?     Then we go through the process of removing the loose M&M's.  Do we still have 28 M&M's in the box?  NO! we took out 3, so we subtract 3 from both sides, the visual image and hands on experience makes processing the formula a no-brainer, now we have 5 baggies and 25 M&M's.  The student can easily solve the remaining portion of the equation.     We did about half a dozen problems with different candy (with pre-session parent approval) and the conditions are, if you get the answer correct, you... read more

Teachers are the problem when a child does not learn?

         After 30 years of tutoring special education children, I have decided that all problems are mine, not the child's. Thus, I analyze what has already been provided in detail to determine what does and does not work. For example, children have different learning styles that are not rigid, but flexible. Each of us may be good at a tactile sport but not efficient at a sport requiring gross motor skills. Or a student may read silently better than aloud, yet prefer to read aloud to younger siblings. Another child may draw a concept better than listening to a teacher's lecture. Learning by both visual and auditory processing may be best for others, who do not prefer writing.          I was consistently talking with a student about his needs who listened attentively, yet was not making progress. I switched to a visual approach, placing my directions on 3 x 5 cards taped to his folders and some on his desk, and the shift... read more

What happens when the challenge becomes more than you thought it was?

I have a wonderful student and the parents are fantastic.   They are very patient with me and understanding, which I appreciate. However the progress of the student is evolving. Certain disabilities have been uncovered that the parents didn't really know she had. This causing me to re-evaluate my teaching on a weekly basis.    This poses an interesting question. What do you do when you hit a block in the road?   I think the most important thing you can do is to communicate with the parents of said child. Often times, we think of tutors and parents as different entities. We don't do that at school though. That's why there are conferences. Parents and teachers work together to give the child the best educational support possible. So why would tutoring be any different?   I constantly work with the parents of my student. When the student is tested, they have a meeting with me. When there are things going on with the school,... read more

Tutoring Special Needs Children

*Tutors of students with Special Needs can best tutor their students by being aware of legal issues that can impact the education of children with Special Needs. Many of these children have documented disabilities, and/or are students entitled to services under Section 504 and various portions of the ADA (American with Disabilities Act). The students' rights under these statutes often result in a decrease in the amount of homework, and the type of homework that they must complete.   These students may be granted special accommodations to help them complete their homework and take tests. For example, a student with Special Needs may be allowed to use calculators, even when others students aren't, they may get to take tests designed just for them, be entitled to consider different school placements, have the type and number of homework problems adjusted down, and/or... read more

Tutor coming to San Diego soon

I am new to Wyzant and want to introduce myself to the community here.  I lived in Mexico for the past 18 months and am returning to San Diego at the end of September.  I have a TESOL certification and have been Teaching English a Second Language while living here.  I am also a Speech and Language Pathologist and so I have many skills to help with tutoring especially for English/Language and study skills.  I am also a Yoga Instructor and this may also be helpful when preparing and reinforcing lessons.     I want you to feel free to contact me for tutoring but you need to know I will not be around until the end of September.  I will not respond to tutor posts until I am closer to the date of my return to San Diego but certainly if you want to work with me you can contact me and we can plan for an after September date following the procedures set up by WyzAnt.  I look forward to helping out.  Anita

Tutoring is a way to give back to others.

I have been in the education field for 40 years.  I have taught Special Needs students in many different programs.  I also work with general ed during the summer months.  I have worked with all types of programs and have helped many students achieve the success they are working towards.  This has been very rewarding!  

Best Thing You Can Do For Your Child.

A great number of parents have asked me how to best help their child. My answer is to be your child's biggest advocate and cheerleader.  If your child is struggling your child needs you to speak for them and help them get the tools they need. You can do this by researching the problem whether it be dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, OCD, test taking anxiety or other problem. Make sure to get a second opinion and have them evaluated by a specialist. As a parent who had a problem with a child with health issues that were unable to be diagnosed I had to be persistent in getting the answers I believed completely fit what was going on with my child.  Trust in your instinct no one knows your child better than you do.  Once you have a diagnosis and methods for helping your child follow through with the treatment plan consistently and give it a chance to work.  Remember change does not happen over night.  If it doesn't work then go back to researching... read more

Things a good tutor should say and discuss with you:

As the school year ramps up again, I wanted to put out a modified version of a Memo of Understanding http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memo_of_understanding for parents and students. It seems each year in the rush to get through the first weeks of school parents and students forget the basic first good steps and then the spiral downwards occurs and then the need for obtaining a tutor and then the ‘wish for promises’ from a tutor. Pay attention to your child’s folder or agenda book. A student is generally not able to self regulate until well into high school. Some people never quite figure it out. Be the best person you can be by helping your child check for due dates, completeness, work turned in on time. Not only will this help your child learn to create and regulate a schedule, it prevents the following types of conversations I always disliked as a teacher ("Can you just give my child one big assignment to make up for the D/F so they can pass"; "I am going to... read more

Frustration: a Part of the Learning Process

Although learning is an awesome thing, it can be a difficult and frustrating journey for many students. This difficulty, however, is often times quite normal although most feel it means that a child may not be able to learn or that he/she is so frustrated that learning is no longer taking place. This is where the experienced tutor steps in; for frustration in learning is a part of the learning itself. I have taught and tutored many students and have seen first hand how this frustration can leave some students, and their parents, feeling helpless and hopeless. But there is ALWAYS Hope!!! What they have failed to realize is that as the brain learns difficult concepts, it can only take in parts at a time, little parts at a time. So although it may seem no learning is taking place, it actually is, just in smaller segments. In fact, the most frustration comes right before a new concept is achieved. This is when most give up. Had they stayed focused for perhaps one or two more... read more

Get Those Wiggles Out!

When working with children (especially 7 and below) it can be vital to their memory retention to take a break every thirty minutes. I have had great success with my younger students who become stir crazy after half an hour of reading by leaving the study are and going outside or in a space where we wont bother others and doing some physical activities. Since time is a concern it is important to only do this for ten minutes or so. Sometimes we run and play tag, or we will do some jumping jacks, or just do some silly dancing. When the student returns they are feeling a little more refreshed, lighthearted, and ready to continue. That being said, it is very important to make it clear that the activity is is only supposed to be for a few minutes then it's right back to studying. I hope this helps! Miss Jessica

Is Summer School for You?

May is a busy month for schools. Standardized tests, field trips, and graduation planning takes center stage. Teachers meet with parents of struggling students as well as those who would benefit from summer enrichment classes to discuss summer school enrollment. This article will help parents/ guardians decide whether or not to enroll their child(ren) in summer school. A "Bad Rap" The words “summer school” tend to stir negative thoughts. Many parents and students falsely believe that going to summer school is a bad thing. Some cite teasing as a reason for not sending their child to summer school. Others think that their child will become overwhelmed without a summer break. In truth, research has shown that students who do not participate in any school – related activities during a two – month summer break can lose up to three months of the previous year’s learning! Teachers always include nearly a month’s worth of “re-teaching” (reviewing the previous... read more

Meds or No Meds -- Improved Academic Performance for ADD ADHD Students

Over the past two years, I have discovered some very effective methods for helping ADD/ADHD students improve their concentration levels and ultimately their, academic performance. When my ADD/ADHD students struggle to concentrate, my job as a tutor is to find a solution. Tutoring one-on-one gives me the opportunity to make what a student believes is difficult extremely easy. Many times, students do not understand because they are not processing the information correctly. As a special needs educator, I make learning much easier. While many classroom teachers advocate ADD/ADHD medication, I believe that medication should be used: (1) as a last resort and (2) as a temporary fix while a long term solution is being sought and (3) in conjunction with other therapy and teaching that fosters good academic skills, reduces anxiety and tension at home and at school. As an experienced teacher, I have proven methods for treating ADD/ADHD students and improving their ability to concentrate... read more

Put a tune to it

I learned in my human development class that babies learn through repetition = Rote memory You may have also witnessed the ease with which the ABC's were learned. Mary Had a Little Lamb? Twinkle Twinkle? It is easier to commit something to memory through a song. Why is it so easy to remember that annoying tune on the radio? To better memorize - Words - Phrases - Rules (Grammatical, mathematical etc) Try putting it to a simple song tune. Ex My 2 year old learned how to spell his name BINGO style. L-O-G-A-N.

Special needs tutoring available with individual who has a master's degree in special education as well as employment history

Please review my profile credentials to see if I am a candidate for your tutoring needs. With both a master's degree in special education and several years of hands on experience in a variety of work environments, my education and experience make me a flexible individual who is readily available to discuss your tutoring needs. I enjoy working with individuals of all ages, and have consistently had a tremendous rapport with all age groups. Please advise me if you feel that I am the right person to assist you. Thank you in advance for your consideration. Deb R.

Homeschooling: Getting started, part 1

Parents consider home schooling their child(ren) for a number of reasons. Some may be dissatisfied with the curriculum offered by local public and private schools. Others may travel a lot and want their children to experience other countries and cultures. Whatever your reason for considering home schooling, this series of articles will teach you basic steps to take to begin home schooling your child(ren). Today’s article teaches you six important first steps to ensuring a successful and legal transition from traditional school settings to home school. 1. Review state home schooling laws. The first step you should take is to research your state’s home school related education. These regulations are easily found on the internet by entering “home school” in the search box on your state’s department of education website. This will tell you everything you need to know about needed documentation, deadlines, how to withdraw your child(ren) from public school to begin home schooling,... read more

A Matter of Perspective

Recently I had the opportunity to meet with a parent/business owner who hires/places tutors for high end families in my area. It was a wonderful opportunity as once again I heard the mantra, "Parents just want the grades to go up." I asked what this meant, how I could measure it (quantitatively and anecdotally) and if this was indeed proof of my skills as a tutor or a momentary 'save' on a reversal of fortune. This parent does not use Wyzant. I was hard pressed to accept from this parent the reason I wasn't being contacted by high end parents for tutoring was my lack of guaranteeing grades would go up, a promise I can not make in good faith as there are too many factors involved. Honesty and integrity should be important, not my sales ability. In my years as a teacher and tutor, I have found once I have parents on board, the rest is EASY. Parents are the elephant in the room and I can run myself ragged (knowing full well very little if anything changes without parental... read more

Advice to my younger self- the student

IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful... read more

1 2 3 4 5

RSS Special Needs Blogs RSS feed