Below are some common questions and concerns about students' learning and behavior.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some homework tips for parents:
A. Homework should be done in a spot that is readily accessible by the parent. Each child is different. Some kids like the hum of a busy area like the kitchen, while others can’t stand the noise and need a quieter place. The bedroom can be distracting place to do homework unless the child is really motivated. The television should be turned off.
B. Everything needed for homework should be together in one place. For example, an old shoe box can be used to store pencils, markers, ruler, and a calculator. An electronic spell-checker can help students be independent. A spell-checker picks up phonetic variations of words (such as f-o-n-e for phone).
C. Use a timer to encourage on-task behavior. Say, “I’m setting the timer for 15 minutes, and I want you to work as hard as you can for 15 minutes and then when the timer goes off you can daydream or you can take a break.” Consider providing a fidget toy such as the Tangle Jr.
D. Some students with writing disabilities like raised line paper so that they can feel the lines on the paper. There are colored reading guides (E.Z.C. readers) that help with attention and tracking lines of text.
E. Use a white board for practicing math problems and spelling.
F. Books on organization include “The Organized Student,” (Fireside, 2005) by Donna Goldberg, “Organizing the Disorganized Child,” (HarperCollins, 2009) by Martin L. Kutscher and Marcella Moran and “Homework Without Tears,” (Canter & Associates) by Lee Canter and Lee Hausner.
If your child's difficulty at home is affecting his or her school performance, or seems to be school-related, contact his or her teachers or guidance counselor. If issues are chiefly occuring in the home setting:
The Upper Room in Derry has good information, strategies, and workshops for parents (urteachers.org).
You may also wish to contact this area's community mental health agency, the Center for Life Management (clmnh.org).
At Woodbury you can contact your child's guidance counselor or Susanne Mathers, who is the special education coordinator for the school. Further information about the process at Woodbury can be found here: http://www.sau57.org/woodbury/specialed/Pages/Welcome.aspx
If you have additional questions, or are a parent of a child in another school, you can also contact the Superintendent's Office at 893-7040.
You can find information online at the Parent Information Center: http://www.parentinformationcenter.org/ or the Special Education division of the NH Department of Education: http://www.education.nh.gov/instruction/special_ed/index.htm
The best place to start would be with your child's team of teachers. They can give you some perspective on how your child is doing compared to others at their grade level, since they have experience working with a range of students. They can provide strategies and tips for you, and, by being aware of your concerns as a parent, they can keep a closer eye on your child's learning. If you continue to have concerns after meeting with them and implementing any interventions, you can initiate a special education referral through your child's guidance counselor or with Sue Mathers, the special education coordinator here at Woodbury.
From the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) - http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/complete-index.shtml:
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).ADHD has three subtypes:1
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.
Children with well-developed language skills, but who have some social impairment and restricted interests and/or patterns of behavior, are often diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.