Bilingualism Corner: Evaluating Bilingual Children – Best Practices

[Source:  Bilinguistics]

Evaluating bilingual children is difficult enough as it is.  Sometimes the process is made worse when we work for what we believe to be a proper evaluation and we are denied access to interpreters, bilingual personnel, and are asked to come to a conclusion without any home-language information.

Why does this happen?

Administrators are under a lot of pressure to reduce costs and make processes more efficient.  There is also a misunderstanding that evaluating bilingual children is actually more costly.  The truth is that an incorrect evaluation puts another child on our caseload and adds to the already rampant over-identification of minority populations.  The cost of 1 child in special education for one year is reported to be $5000.  No, it is worth the time and expense to get the diagnosis correct.

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OT Corner: What Can Baby See? A Guide to Newborn Vision

[Source:  Can Do Kiddo]

You know what’s pretty amazing about your new baby? I mean, aside from the button nose and new baby smell. Your brand spankin’ new little one is hardwired to be interested in things that promote her learning and development. Awesome, right? Finally an aspect of parenting an infant that’s straightforward!

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Pediatric Therapy Corner: Creating a Dysgraphia-Friendly Classroom

[Source:  Edutopia]

Dysgraphia is a language-based learning difference that affects a student’s ability to produce written language. In the early grades, students with dysgraphia may have difficulty with consistent letter formation, word spacing, punctuation, and capitalization. In later grades, they may have difficulty with writing fluency, floating margins, and legible writing.

In the classroom, students with dysgraphia are often labeled “sloppy,” “lazy,” or “not detail-oriented.” But students with dysgraphia are often trying very hard, if not harder than others, just to keep up. Dysgraphia is an invisible disability that often goes hand in hand with dyslexia. Like students with dyslexia, students with dysgraphia are often acutely aware of what they’re not capable of relative to their peers.

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How Babies’ Brains Process Touch Builds Foundations for Learning

[Source:  Science Daily]

Touch is the first of the five senses to develop, yet scientists know far less about the baby’s brain response to touch than to, say, the sight of mom’s face, or the sound of her voice.

Now, through the use of safe, new brain imaging techniques, University of Washington researchers provide one of the first looks inside the infant’s brain to show where the sense of touch is processed — not just when a baby feels a touch to the hand or foot, but when the baby sees an adult’s hand or foot being touched, as well.

The evidence of activity in the somatosensory cortex for both “felt touch” and “observed touch” shows that 7-month-old infants have already made a basic connection between “self” and “other,” which researchers say lays the groundwork for imitating and learning from the behavior of other people, and for empathizing with them.

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Bilingualism May Aid Children with Autism

[Source:  Psych Central]

New research suggests being bilingual may help a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shift task, a skill that is often difficult for kids with autism.

Canadian researchers said the finding reflects emerging if debatable research that suggests being bilingual may offer cognitive advantages.

“This is a novel and surprising finding,” said Prof. Aparna Nadig, the senior author of the paper, from the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill University. The study appears in the journal Child Development.

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