Sunday, January 31, 2016

Developmental Stages of Understanding Death

Developmental Stages of Understanding Death
Concept of Death
Grief Response
Signs of Distress
Possible Interventions
May not understand death
Will sense changes in the home
Will respond/react to emotions of adults
Change in sleeping or eating patterns
Reestablishment of routine
Comforting, holding
May see death as abandonment or punishment
Death is reversible, not permanent
May connect unrelated events to death
Very present oriented
Aware of change
Change in sleeping or eating patterns
Separation anxiety
Reestablishment of routine
Comforting, holding
Death is reversible, not permanent
May feel responsible for the death
“Magical thinking”
May see death as contagious
Repetitive questioning
May reenact death or the
funeral during play
Asks about loved one’s return
Change in sleeping or eating patterns
Violent play
Tries to take on the role of the person who died
Symbolic play
Art and drawing
Allow/encourage expression
of feelings
Death as punishment
Fears of bodily harm for themselves or others
Starting to understand the finality of death
Questions about specific
Concerns about normalcy in the grieving process
Some understanding of mourning
Fears loss of other loved ones
Problems in school
Withdrawal from friends
Change in sleeping or eating patterns
Suicidal thoughts
Concern with bodily
Answer questions honestly.
Encourage expression of feelings
Allow some alone time, but be available
Symbolic play
Death is universal, final and
Understands possibility of own
May try to care for others
May want to talk to friends, rather than family.
Intense anger or guilt
Acting out
Poor school performance
Encourage verbalization
Encourage self-motivation
Listen and be available
Do not attempt to “fix” child.

Resources for Coping with Death of a Staff Member

Resources for Coping with Death of a Staff Member

Poem to Help

Elephant in the Room by Terry Kettering 
There's an elephant in the room. It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it. Yet we squeeze by with, "How are you?" and "I'm fine," and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter. We talk about the weather. We talk about work. We talk about everything else, except the elephant in the room. 

There's an elephant in the room. We all know it's there. We are thinking about the elephant as we talk together. It is constantly on our minds. For, you see, it is a very large elephant. It has hurt us all. 

But we don't talk about the elephant in the room. Oh, please say his (her) name. Oh, please say his (her) name again. Oh, please, let's talk about the elephant in the room. 

For if we talk about his (her) death, perhaps we can talk about his (her) life. Can I say his (her) name to you and not have you look away? For if I cannot, then you are leaving me.... alone.... in a room.... with an elephant.

Children's Grief Education Resources
U.S. Department of Education
National Association for School Psychologists Resources:
National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement:
Wisconsin School Counselor Association
American School Counselor Association
  • Helpful Information for School Administrators and Staff When a School Has Been Impacted by a Death including how to tell students, parents, sample letters, and more    

How to Talk with Special Needs about Death

How to Talk with Children with Autism About Death

Grief and Children with Special Needs

How to talk to your child with special needs about death

Talking with a Special Needs Child about Death and Dying

Death How to Explain it to Children

Helping Kids With Autism Understand Death

Children's Books about Death and Dying and Coping with Loss

Children's Books about Death and Dying and Coping with Loss

Children's Books about Death and Dying

Recommended Books for Children Coping with Loss or Trauma 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Legislation to Support Dyslexia Research including comments from Barbara Wilson

On the Wilson Language website there is an update on Dyslexia legislation:

Legislation to Support Dyslexia Research
On September 30, 2015, Barbara Wilson was proud to participate in the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing on the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act, also called the READ Act or H.R. 3033. The purpose of the READ Act is to require the National Science Foundation to devote at least $5 million annually to support dyslexia research in the areas of:
  • early identification of children and students with dyslexia,
  • professional development about dyslexia for teachers and administrators, and
  • curricula development and educational tools for children with dyslexia.
Barbara’s testimony in support of the bill and the video recording of the hearing can be found on the Committee’s website (please note the video starts at the 1 hour and 14 minute mark). Supplemental testimony was also submitted to the Committee for the Congressional Record.
On October 26th, House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology passed the READ Act. To learn more, watch Chairman Smith’s address to the House.
On October 27th, the bill moved to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions for consideration. View the text of the READ Act as sent to Senate.

Dyslexia Resources

Over 30 staff, parents, and community members watched Learning Ally's 2nd Annual Spotlight on Dyslexia training today.  Here are some of the resources that were discussed and reviewed at the training by those in attendance. 

Dyslexia Understood: Research, Instruction, and Awareness (panel including Barbara Wilson)

Here is the online resource that was referenced this morning for the online instruction: 

Dyslexia Resources recommended by Wilson Language

Learning Ally
Students can receive access to online audio books - contact me for more information. 

Wilson Language Store

Wilson Language Programs

International Dyslexia Association
Screening, fact sheets, resources, frequently asked questions, how to tell if you have dyslexia, publications, and more

International Dyslexia Association Fact Sheets

International Dyslexia Association Fact Sheets

IDA fact sheets are convenient, professionally reviewed materials designed to improve understanding and support advocacy initiatives. Fact sheets are frequently used to enrich and supplement IEP meetings, school board discussions, and district policy initiatives. Click on topics of interest below to view and download fact sheets.

Monday, January 25, 2016

2nd Annual Learning Ally's Spotlight on Dyslexia Training on January 29th - shown in Medford, Wi

2nd Annual Learning Ally's Spotlight on Dyslexia
Friday January 29, 2016
8:00 am to 3:30 pm
Taylor County Education Center - 624 College in Medford

Please RSVP with Joseph Greget at 715-748-2316 ext 324 or if you are interested in attending.


8:00 am - Why Teach Spelling
Webinar presentation by Arlene Sonday, Fellow/AOGPE; Author, Sonday System
Spelling is the magic that locks learning into long-term memory. When reading and spelling are taught together, progress is faster, the learner becomes a writer and a reader, short-term memory difficulties diminish and success comes faster. Learn to provide:
multi-sensory practice through tracing and writing
phonemic segmentation practice
spelling rules with teaching strategies
interpret diagnostic information regarding which sounds, rules, and concepts have been learned

9:00 am - The Typical and Atypical Reading Brain
Webinar presentation by Nadine Gaab - Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and faculty at Harvard Graduate School of Education

This presentation will give an overview about the reading brain and will cover: general overview about the brain, an introduction to the typical and atypical reading brain, the dyslexia paradox, re-mediating the atypical reading brain, measurements on accurate identification of children at-risk for a reading disability, detecting children at risk for a reading disability in infancy, the co-morbid reading brain (ADHD and reading disability), and the educational and clinical implications.

10:00 am - Can Dyslexics Learn to Love Words?
Webinar presentation by Sandie Barrie-Blackley - MA/CCC Speech Language Pathologist, Chief Knowledge Officer of

Parents and educators will learn how reading and writing instruction can be made memorable, appealing and effective for students at all literacy levels. Presentation will include: naming the two main types of reading problems; Listing the steps in the word inquiry approach; explaining how a word inquiry approach can engage emergent readers; explaining how a word inquiry approach can engage advanced readers; naming the three necessary elements upon which response to intervention demands.

11:00 am - Growing up with Dyslexia: Emotional and Behavioral Consequences
Webinar presentation by Judith M. Glasser, Ph.D. - Clinical Psychologist
Learn effects of not learning to read fluency by age 8-10; links between the failure to learn to read and depression and anxiety; relationship between difficulty learning to read and write with behavior problems including oppositional and defiant behaviors as well as school refusal and disruptive behavior; possible effects of a diagnosis of dyslexia on family dynamics; three intervention strategies to moderate the emotional impact of dyslexia on students and their families.

11:45 am - Lunch will be provided

12:15 pm - Taking on World War D: DYSLEXIA
Webinar presentation by Max Brooks - Best selling author of World War Z
In 2014, Max Brooks gave a passionate speech before Congress urging them to take action to help children who have dyslexia. Giving first hand accounts of his own struggles during school, Brooks said "a little awareness and flexible teaching methods could unlock unlimited potential in these kids who now think they are losers. It's so simple, so easy, and when you look at all the other government programs designed to help citizens help themselves, it's probably the least expensive." In this keynote speech Max will share how he overcame his own self-esteem issues caused by school struggles to become a best selling author.

1:15 - How Google Can Help Students with Dyslexia Developing their Written Expression and More
Webinar presentation by: Julia (Jules) Csillag, BA, MS, CCC-SLP - Google Educator
Writing is an essential skill that is a challenge for many students with dyslexia. This presentation will highlight Google tools that help students writing progress through scaffolds, multimedia tools, and assistive technology.

2:15 pm - Accommodations: Don't Go To School Without Them
Webinar presentation by Barbara Steinberg, M. Ed. - Dyslexia and Educational Consultant
This session will explain why academic tasks such as note taking, timed multiplication tests, oral reading fluency and writing are so difficult for many students with learning disabilities. Building on this understanding, the presenter will identify specific tools to help students bypass these challenges at the point of performance.

3:00 pm - Upcoming Movie and Panel of Experts on The Big Picture - Rethinking Dyslexia, Print Resources, Informational Sheets, Learning Ally, Additional Spotlight on Dyslexia Resources, Wilson Reading Certification, and more
Group discussion and information by Joseph Greget, Director of Special Education for Medford Area Public Schools and President of the Taylor County Literacy Council.

* This training will be provided by Learning Ally, Medford Area Public School District Special Education and Student Services Department, and Taylor County Literacy Council.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Angelman Syndrome Reading and Literacy Resources

Angelman Syndrome Resources

Literacy in Angelman Syndrome Workshop 
(Originally presented by Erin Sheldon - Uploaded by Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics)

What are the needs of students with Angelman Syndrome? 
(Originally presented by Erin Sheldon - FAST Educational Summit)

Reading as Communication: Selecting Books
by Erin Sheldon and Caroline Musselwhite

Shared Reading: It's all about the Sharing
by Caroline Musselwhite

Shared Writing for the Holidays
by Caroline Musselwhite

Introduction and Four Core 
by Erin Sheldon and Caroline Musselwhite

Core Set 2
by Erin Sheldon and Caroline Musselwhite

Core Set 3
by Erin Sheldon and Caroline Musselwhite

Literacy Instruction in the Inclusive Class

Unique Curriculum and Symbol Stix
Here is a link to this curriculum that was referenced by Erin in your presentation: 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Irlen Syndrome Presentation in Medford, Wi on January 14

Irlen Syndrome Presentation


Judy Palapala
Irlen Diagnostician from the Irlen Clinic of the Twin Cities

Thursday January 14, 2016
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Medford Area Elementary School Media Room

You will learn
  • How Irlen Syndrome is a perceptual processing problem which can affect achievement, learning, and performance for both struggling and good readers
  • Common Symptoms
  • How it has impacted students with learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum
  • How Irlen Syndrome symptoms can be related to headaches, reading problems, light sensitivity, 
  • Strategies to help

For more information on Irlen Syndrome you can visit
Book: "A Guide to Changing your Perception and your Life: The IRLEN Revolution" 
Frequently Asked Questions: 

Any school staff, parents, and/or community members are invited to attend. 

For more information - please contact Joseph Greget, Medford Area Public Schools Director of Special Education/Student Services at 715-748-2316 ext 324.