Teacher Awareness of the Link Between Problem Classroom and Language Impairment

“He doesn’t follow directions”, “She prefers to play by herself ”, or “He constantly hits other children.” Have you ever heard these comments from teachers? I have. Per the teachers’ comments, these students show obvious behavior concerns. It has been my experience that if I was to ask the teachers to describe the students’ communication skills, they might say “They’re good.” But, during targeted questioning to gather additional information about the students’ communication skills, teachers’ responses often reveal issues that point to possible language problems. Unfortunately, they do not link the behaviors to an underlying language impairment. This is an indication that training to identify language problems in students, particularly those with behavior problems, continues to be an area of need for some teachers. According to Cross (2004), language impairments in students with behavior problems often go undetected. When language problems are not properly identified, appropriate referrals for evaluations and necessary supports cannot be implemented.

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Being a Mother and a Therapist

Does my training as a therapist or School Psychologist make me a better parent? I feel that I might be more educated on child and adolescent development and have read many more parenting and self-help books then the average parent. I feel that I really have a lot of tools in my toolbox, and can deal with any situation that can arise when at work, but when at home it is a different story, especially when dealing with my own children. For my own children, I have to be their mother – I am the one who tucks them in at night with a kiss, the one who cares for them when they’re sick, and the one who loves them on a daily basis when they need my love. I wear two hats, mother and therapist, separate, but informing each other. 

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Using Social Stories at School

Most people in education have heard the term “social story”.  It seems to be another one of those catch phrases particularly among the special education population.  However, have you really considered how beneficial these stories are for certain students in your schools?  Among children with identified Autism or other developmental delays, having an individualized social story can be the difference between a successful school day or a dreadful one.  These stories empower students to envision themselves doing the right thing or managing a stressful situation with greater poise. 

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Diets: Teaching Children to Love What They Are Eating

I have two children and it is hard for them to try different foods, especially if it is “weird” looking to them or if the texture is different. My sister in law has three children and they love to eat their vegetables and don’t give their parents a hard time about eating what is given to them on their plate. I questioned the way I was handling my kid’s food choices and why my sister in laws children were eating so healthy and why my children were not eating vegetables like their cousins.

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