Time & ADHD


There is seemingly never enough time. There’s always more to do, and ostensibly fewer hours in which to get those things done. For a person with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, this is especially true. And that’s because of the unique relationship that exists between the ADHD brain and time. The ADHD brain processes time differently than a neurotypical brain. It is “time blind.” Everyone experiences occasions when a minute doesn’t feel like a minute, and an hour doesn’t feel like an hour. Sometimes the minutes stretch into eternity, and other times an hour can seem to disappear in a flash. This stretching [...]

Time & ADHD2021-10-07T07:10:04+00:00

Prevent Summer Learning Loss Before It Happens


Reading activities during the summer can play an important role in helping students maintain their reading skills. Summer slump, or the potential for academic skills to regress during school vacation, is a concern for many students. Children with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, may be at a higher risk of summer slump than their peers.(1) More generally, children who may also be more vulnerable to summer slump are those who take a vacation not just from school, but also from engaging with text during the summer months. These reduced reading experiences may be because students don’t enjoy reading, they may not [...]

Prevent Summer Learning Loss Before It Happens2021-10-07T09:17:27+00:00

Academic Success and ADHD


Staying in their seats until given permission to get up, raising their hands before talking, paying attention when the teacher speaks, following directions to complete repetitive work within time constraints, and becoming increasingly independent and organized are all hurdles the student with ADHD faces—hurdles which can prevent them from meeting academic success. Experts suggest that many of the school problems experienced by children with ADHD do not result solely from the biological factors that underlie the disorder, but from a disparity between the child and the learning environment. Some suggest that a shift needs to occur away from accommodating these students’ weaknesses to [...]

Academic Success and ADHD2021-10-07T07:21:18+00:00

Talking to Your Kid About Their Learning Disability


Difficult conversations are exactly how they sound: difficult. They can be uncomfortable, awkward, emotional, and go all wrong. But, with a little guidance, research, and planning, these difficult conversations can actually be really great. You’ll be amazed how much you can learn about your child, how open the lines of communication can become, and that really, it doesn’t have to be so bad.There are a few things to consider when preparing to talk to your child about his/her learning disability. Notice that I said “preparing.” The best outcomes require a little planning and forethought. Here are some suggestions and tips to [...]

Talking to Your Kid About Their Learning Disability2021-10-07T09:10:44+00:00

Strengths of the Dyslexic Mind


“The single most important implication of research in dyslexia is not ensuring that we don’t derail the development of a future Leonardo or Edison; it is making sure that we do not miss the potential of any child. Not all children with dyslexia have extraordinary talents, but every one of them has a unique potential that all too often goes unrealized because we don’t know how to tap it.” —Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid(1) Too often we focus solely on remediation for students with dyslexia; while that’s critical, it also is important to recognize the many strengths that individuals with dyslexia possess. Most [...]

Strengths of the Dyslexic Mind2021-10-10T05:28:13+00:00

What is Orton-Gillingham?


What is Orton-Gillingham? To begin, a different question might be: who were Orton and Gillingham? Dr. Samuel Torrey Orton was a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist who, in the 1920s, became interested in studying children and adolescents who were not reading as expected despite average or above average intelligence. He described the students as having streshosymbolia, or “twisted symbols,” because many of them reversed their letters or read letter sounds in the wrong order in words.(1) Dr. Orton hypothesized that the brain organization of these students was different, and he experimented with multisensory methods to teach them to read and spell. Later, Dr. Orton worked with Anna [...]

What is Orton-Gillingham?2021-10-07T07:14:35+00:00

Organizing Your Child’s Powerful Paperwork


When your child has a disability, all of the additional responsibilities required can be overwhelming. The amount of documents your child accumulates is massive, and it can be easy to just put the progress reports, testing, and IEPs aside and focus on the present; but organizing those documents and looking back is essential to ensuring your child’s IEP is effective. The first step in getting organized is making sure you have all the documents you need. Your file should include IEPs (both draft and final with all signatures), progress reports, evaluations, any communication between you and the school, and work samples. If you do not have all of [...]

Organizing Your Child’s Powerful Paperwork2021-10-05T13:06:21+00:00

Navigating the Special Education System


Advocating for children with special needs can be a confusing and overwhelming experience for parents. Parents of children who require special education services quickly learn that they must be zealous advocates to help their children obtain the supports and placements that they need to make meaningful educational progress. When the system works in a way that allows a child to reach his potential, it is extremely rewarding for parents to see that their advocacy made a difference. On the other hand, it can be very frustrating when, despite the parents’ best efforts, a child’s needs are neglected and the child falls [...]

Navigating the Special Education System2021-10-05T13:15:11+00:00

“A” is for Advocacy: The ABCs of IEPs


“Many parents feel helpless in the face of what seems like a daunting, tangled system of rules and regulations. Sometimes sitting in meetings to talk about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and what services are available to a child ‘with that diagnosis,’ can feel more like a contract negotiation than a conversation about an actual child. It can be frustrating and overwhelming to balance being your child’s advocate with the need to work cooperatively with the school district to help your child.” –From The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education Being an advocate for your child can sometimes feel like you’re wearing [...]

“A” is for Advocacy: The ABCs of IEPs2021-10-07T07:15:07+00:00

Dyslexia: A Parent’s Journey


“There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you’d be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of his or her own life and nature.” —Ayelet Waldman As the mother of three adult children, I know that almost any parent can look back and identify the times they wished they had figured things out sooner. If the “particulars” of your child’s needs include dyslexia, as they did for my youngest, recognizing what your child [...]

Dyslexia: A Parent’s Journey2021-10-07T07:23:34+00:00

Professional Development
for Educators



Beth Dinelli, M.Ed
[email protected]

220 Reservoir Street, Suite 6 Needham, MA 02494-3133

Phone: 781.444.5193

Fax: 781.444.6916

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