I had the pleasure of meeting Jess Hopkins when she gave a seminar at a Positive Parenting Event. Her talk led to a lot of constructive discussions in our home about how to support both of our children, dyslexic or not, in the cut-throat academic life ahead of them. In addition to causing us to discuss topics already on our “Learn More About” list, her comprehensive presentation gave us easy-to-apply tools to begin implementing self-compassion in our daily lives.
Jess is a twice-certified life coach, holding dual masters degrees in counseling psychology and applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. As a coach, she helps teens Read more
Pamela Guest is the founder and chief editor of IEP Magazine. “IEP” stands for “Individualized Education Program/Plan.” The IEP is the document developed for each public school child who needs special education. Pamela’s mission is to bring attention to inequities, advocate for change where it is needed, and help parents with the information and knowledge they need to effectively advocate for their children in the public school system.
More importantly, Pamela is the parent of a dyslexic child and struggled throughout her son’s education. She had to learn the ins and outs of the system on her own with little to no support. As my path crossed hers on our journey to help others facing the steep dyslexia hike, our common goals brought us together. Education is her passion and this is my interview with her. Read more
While most adults are eager to indulge their children and grandchildren at Christmas, my ethnographic research on Easter (described in my book Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith) suggests that many parents are more laid back about Easter’s secular celebration than they are about Christmas. Moms are eager initiators of Christmas activities such as visiting the mall to see Santa Claus or writing letters to Santa. But at Easter many parents are more involved in the religious rituals of Advent and church-going, sometimes overlooking how much kids enjoy secular Easter rituals. Read more
Our family is about to celebrate the two-year anniversary of our arrival in Denmark, known to the expat community here as a “Danniversary.” So here we are, two years into this Danish adventure, and I’m sorry to say that the following is the most successful unscripted conversation in Danish that I’ve had with a stranger yet (translation mine).
Cashier: Oh, I see your cats very well like to eat.
Me: Yes. Yes. That they do. Read more
A new study published in MSphere, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology, found that women who suffered from an active genital herpes infection during pregnancy were twice as likely as those without the STD to give birth to a child who would become autistic.
The findings are preliminary, but the discovery may mean researchers have cracked open the door so that one day physicians will be able to treat, or even stop, some cases of autism before they manifest—while the child is still in the womb. Read more
Dyslexia is frequently called a hidden disability. Although many, including me, would challenge using the word “disability,” the word “hidden” rings true.
Dyslexia can be invisible to someone who does not know what symptoms to look for. So as parents, we often trust medical or educational personnel to catch dyslexia symptoms and educate us on what needs to be done to help our children. This can be a big mistake.
As a parent of a dyslexic child, I have learned what works and what doesn’t work, and have condensed my experiences into these eight guidelines. Read more
In January 2015, I moved to a small town in rural Denmark with my husband and two young sons. Only two weeks before, we’d moved from Somerville, Massachusetts, out of the only home our kids had ever known. Our life there had been relatively happy and satisfying: We lived within reasonable walking distance of a subway stop, a lovely Indian takeout place, a decent Mexican restaurant, a lovely bakery, the Tufts University campus, six parks, two groceries, and a beautiful walking path along the Alewife and Mystic Rivers. We had nice groups of friends from various stages of our adult lives scattered around the area, and we had a small, modest apartment with wonderful upstairs neighbors and a vegetable garden in the back yard. The Boston area had been good to us and I wasn’t exactly itching to leave. Read more
Recently, I was waiting in line at a highway rest stop and struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me. Her story stayed with me. She had an autistic son whose condition had been diagnosed even before he was a year old. Over a decade later, her son had received appropriate intervention steadily throughout his childhood. Now, at the crux of adolescence, he was thriving at a school specialized to meet his needs.
Her story stayed with me because of how early her son’s problem was identified—a testament to having parents who did not have their head in the sand when trouble was on the horizon. Their acceptance that their son was different meant that intervention was timely. Read more
In my recent talking with kids, Scrooge of London seems to have lost a lot of ground as the definitive morality tale about Christmas self-redemption. Instead it’s another miserable misanthrope, the green Grinch of Whoville, who seems to have captured children’s imaginations lately. Perhaps the farfetched hairy Grinch (first depicted by Seuss in 1956) is better able to appeal across cultural boundaries in today’s multicultural America than the strictly British characters Dickens invented in 1843.
Americans in 2016 do not much resemble Londoners from Dickens’ story. Last year I did a study in southern New Jersey (in households that were facing economic struggle and had kids age 6 to 8). Read more
When a child has dyslexia, the child’s brain has difficulty matching sounds with letters, so reading and writing also become difficult. In addition, the skills needed to learn these basics—accurate and/or fluent word recognition and good spelling and decoding abilities—don’t come naturally.
The most effective antidote? Early diagnosis and intervention. Dyslexia can be diagnosed as early as age 3, especially if it runs in the family and there is an awareness of the symptoms. Ideally, it would be caught by kindergarten or first grade, before the gap widens between the dyslexic student and the student’s peers. Read more