BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR A PRODUCTIVE SCHOOL YEAR!

As the sun begins to set on this hot summer, it is time to fully prepare for BACK TO SCHOOL!

  1. CHECK UP-Make sure your child has a physical examination by their doctor. It is important for your child to be in good health both mentally and physically.

2. COPIES, COPIES, COPIES- Be sure to have photocopies of all medical and scheduling documents. Keep copies organized in a 2015-2016 school year folder. The sooner you begin to organize, the easier it is to maintain!

3. STAY ORGANIZED- Both you and your child should use calendars to mark important dates and stay on top of the school year. Think of the calendar as your BFF (best friend forever).

4. GET BACK INTO A ROUTINE= With those lazy summer day winding down, it is time to start buckling down and getting into a set schedule. After working on homework, allow your child to have some wind down time before bed. Set a consistent bed time, allowing your child to get enough sleep.

5. TIMING IN THE AM- As we all know time FLIES in the morning. It is important to have a CALM morning by allowing enough time to get ready and have a healthy breakfast. Help your child prepare their backpack and help/encourage your child to lay out an outfit the night before.In addition, lunches should be prepared the night before to allow for a stress-free morning. With the extra time you can have a few minutes to sit down and have breakfast with your child!

Good luck back at school!

Pamela Leibowitz MA CF SLP TSSLD

A Tableware Set, ‘Eatwell’, Making the Eating Process Simple

What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

The terms ‘Alzheimer’s disease’ and ‘dementia’ are often confused, as many people believe that they have the same meaning. However, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not interchangeable. Dementia is a broad term for symptoms consisting of impaired thinking and memory.  Whereas, according to the Center for Disease Control, Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of dementia causing as many as 50 to 70% of all dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is a very specific form of dementia. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include impairments in thinking, expressive speech, and confusion. Therefore when a person is diagnosed with dementia, they are being diagnosed with a set of symptoms. At this time, Alzheimer’s is degenerative and is not curable, whereas dementia can be reversible or temporary in nature. (Alzheimers.net, 2015)

What is Eatwell?

Eatwell is a tableware set designed for people with dementia and other impairments. A Boston University study revealed that Dementia patients eat 24% more food and drink 84% more liquid when served with brightly colors tableware. With that being said, a San Francisco based industrial designer, Sha Yao created Eatwell to make process of eating much simpler. According to Sha Yao, Eatwell will help to increase the individual’s intake of food, allow the individual to maintain dignity, and alleviate caring burdens.  Eatwell can especially benefit adults with cognitive impairments, small children, or caregivers of those with special needs.

Features of Eatwell include:

  • Bright colored tableware to stimulate interest
  • Slanted bowls that allow food to collect on one side
  • Spoons to match the curvature of the bowl
  • Bowls that contain right angled sides; preventing accidental spills
  • Two types of cups: One with a rubber base to prevent it from tipping over, and another with a handle that extends to the table for additional support.
  • Cup handles are designed to help individuals with arthritis
  • Bottoms of all tableware include anti-slippage grip
  • The tray has an area to place a bib to trap food

For further information check out the Eatwell video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhIQRl2D9c0#action=share

Pamela Leibowitz MA CF-SLP TSSLD

Understanding Aphasia Video

“Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language (typically in the left half of the brain). Individuals who experience damage to the right side of the brain may have additional difficulties beyond speech and language issues. Aphasia may causes difficulties in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, but does not affect intelligence. Individuals with aphasia may also have other problems, such as dysarthria, apraxia, or swallowing problems.” (ASHA, 2015).

Do you know someone with aphasia? Check out this video created by a speech-language pathologist. This video puts you in the “shoes” of an individual with aphasia and allows you to see the struggles they may encounter in their daily life. 

Pamela Leibowitz MA CF-SLP TSSLD

Executive Function Skills

What is executive function?

Executive function are mental skills that enable us to plan, focus attention, and remember directives These skills are controlled by an area of the brain called the frontal lobe.

Executive function deals with:

  • Time management
  • Focus
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Remembering specific details

With back to school less than a month away… NOW is the perfect time to start preparing/ developing executive function skills with your child at hom

1. MAKE A BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST

Since back to school can be a pretty hectic time, why not start early?! Have some fun and plan leisurely. Sit down with your child and make a running list of items you know they NEED for their classes and maybe some items they WANT.

COLOR COORDINATE, make it fun!  MATH class= write checklist in red, Science= write checklist in blue,  etc. Allow your child to have some control by either writing out the checklist, or checking off the items they have. This will help the child to organize and plan ahead with visual support! This is a good model for appropriate planning ahead!

2.  BUY SOME COLORFUL FOLDERS

Color coordinating/ labeling makes organization fun and easy to find. Having a specific colored folder for each class will help your child to keep track of papers for that class.

3. PICK OUT A BACKPACK!

Backpacks can get pretttttty messy. Start shopping for a backpack with your child to find the best option!  Discuss what they should carry with them, and what they really don’t need. Compartments are good, however too many can cause confusion! I recommend finding a backpack that has 1-2 small compartments for personal items (pencils/pens, tissues, cell phone, money, calculator) and a large area for books/folders. Start reviewing or making a list of what goes in the backpack and where!


Tips from the National Center for Learning Disabilities on managing executive function:

  • Take tasks one step at at time
  • Use visual organizational aids.
  • Utilize time organizers, computers, or watches with alarms.
  • Make schedules and check them several times a day.
  • Get written and oral instructions whenever possible.
  • Plan for transition times between activities.

Treating difficulties with executive function early can help children outgrow it. Experiences and planning ahead can shape executive function as the brain grows. (Web MD, 2015)

Have fun planning for back to school 🙂 Pamela Leibowitz MA CF-SLP TSSLD

Ways to Get Involved and Learn More About Dysfluent Speech

Do you, or someone you know experience dysfluent speech? Well you are not alone!

( Picture from: National Stuttering Association)

Looking to learn more and get involved? Check out StutterTalk, a non-profit organization that has published more than 475 weekly episodes that feature individuals who stutter, researchers, speech-language pathologists, leaders in the self help community, family members, famous people who stutter and others. To learn more about StutterTalk check out: http://stuttertalk.com/

If you experience dysfluent speech, or are a parent of an individual that experiences dysfluent speech I recommend checking out FRIENDS. FRIENDS is a national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people who experience dysfluencies and their families. The purpose of FRIENDS is to provide support and education to people who stutter, their families, and clinicians. FRIENDS empowers individuals and their families.  FRIENDS is directed by Lee Caggiano, the mother of a son who stutters and a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). To learn more about FRIENDS go to the website at http://www.friendswhostutter.org/about-us/.

Wake Up Tips for a Productive Start to Your Day!

Summer is in full swing… The days are HOT and the nights are long. However summer is a busy time between social plans, work, maybe coming to speech!  1 more month until it’s back to school! Is it hard for you to wake up in the morning? Do you just want to stay in bed that extra hour? Well check out these creative tips/ article by Shana Lebowitz stating ways to motivate you to wake up earlier and be productive!

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

  1. Have something to look forward to when you wake up.
  2. Set a bedtime alarm.
  3. Chug a glass of water before bed.
  4. Start an enjoyable nighttime routine.
  5. Don’t oversleep.
  6. Register for an early-morning activity (ie. yoga).
  7. Take on the responsibility of waking up someone else.

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2015/07/29/strategies-for-waking-up-earlier-every-day/?SiteID=cbaolcompromotion_july_109&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl35%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D1967125814

Hope you have a productive morning 🙂

-Pamela Leibowitz MA CF- SLP TSSLD