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|We are often contacted by parents concerned with trying to facilitate the best learning environment for their children at school. Two of the most common assistive measures a school can take to help a student with ADD are an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, and a 504 plan. But often these two programs are referred to interchangeably, when in reality, they are different. As such, we'd like to provide an overview of the differences between the two.|
First, let's talk about the main characteristics of an IEP. With an IEP, a student has to qualify for special education services through standardized testing. It is therefore sometimes difficult for children with attention challenges to qualify since often they have fairly decent grades. But if an IEP is attainable, it is usually a better option than a 504 plan since a good IEP is very structured, very precise, and requires less parent follow up. It should delineate very specific goals and benchmarks the school is expected to help the child meet within specific time periods. As such, parental involvement is less necessary, since overseeing this process is a matter of state or federal law.
A 504 plan is far less precise and structured, but much easier to get. It consists of general accommodations such as an extra set of books to keep at home, or preferential seating in the classroom. The justification for a 504 plan is a child who is considered "health impaired", a category under which attention challenges fall.
Again, 504 plans are easier to get, but require more supervision from the parent or parents. Sometimes if a parent doesn't follow up, the accommodations aren't put into place or maintained long-term because there is not as much of an outside mandate to carry them out. As such, it's important to become your child's greatest advocate. Constantly contact teachers and other school board staff to make sure any agreed upon accommodations are being implemented. Document everything. Also, it's always good to take someone with you when you go to a meeting to discuss the implementation or continuation of a 504 plan. There is strength in numbers, and sometimes a lone parent might be bullied into letting things go if they are by themselves. Again, be an advocate for your child! Such an attitude makes it far more likely others will as well.
The website understood.org posted a handy comparison chart going into the differences in much more detail. Click here to check it out:
Gluten Free (& Vegan) Recipe:
For a limited time each year, McDonalds comes out with their signature ‘Shamrock Shake’, an artificial green concoction with so many unhealthy ingredients. Here's a healthy version of the shake to enjoy the fun of drinking something ‘green & creamy’ in honor of St. Patrick’s Day or any day!
- 1/2 Cup Raw Cashews
- 1 Frozen Banana (you can also add dates for additional sweetness if desired)
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond or Cashew Milk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Lime Juice (trust me on this one)
- 2 Stalks of Kale
- 1 Small Fresh Sprig of Mint – OR – 1 Drop of Food Grade Peppermint Essential Oils – OR – Mint Flavoring (to taste)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla (if you don’t like mint, you can use just the vanilla)
- 3/4 to 1 Cup of Ice
- In your Vitamix or blender, combine all ingredients in order listed – except Ice.
- Start on Variable Speed 1, working your way up to 10, then to High.
- Once everything is completely smooth, add in Ice.
- Blend again until all ingredients are running smoothly through the machine and everything is well blended.
- Shake should be thick and creamy.
- Serve immediately.
Top with Coconut Whipped Cream and a strawberry garnish & Enjoy!
Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA)
We are a Pre-Approved Facility
What can ESA funds be spent on?
According to the Arizona Department of Education, "Additional eligible expenses for children with special needs include:
• Educational therapies or services from a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider"
Please contact us or azed.gov
for details on using your ESA.
Doctors want more exercise, less screen time for ADHD students
February 21, 2019
|As reported in the Montreal Gazette, a group of doctors recently published an open letter in the Journal of Montreal warning against the overuse of medication for children with ADHD. They are now proposing a different kind of solution, more exercise and less screen time. They recommended 30-45 minutes of daily physical activity. There is now a movement to mandate 40-minutes of recess time in Quebec schools.|
The doctors stated that studies are showing that excessive screen time can “lead to the development of symptoms of ADHD or aggravate them should they already exist. They also suggest that schools impose a ban on the use of smartphones and tablets in classrooms unless they are used for learning purposes.”
The open letter from these physicians came out after a study showed that 14.5 percent of children aged 13-17 are prescribed stimulant medication in Quebec versus 4.3 percent in the rest of Canada. A study in the US shows only 4 percent of adolescents are prescribed stimulant medications. They concluded their findings stating that the conduct of children will not be changed by drugs. Medication may work in the short-term but can have negative effects in the long-term.
CBS News reported, “the AHA recommends parents limit screen time for kids to a maximum of just two hours per day. For younger children, age 2 to 5, the recommended limit is one hour per day.”
All screen time is not created equal. It is important to review the apps and videos your children are watching in order to better decide what is appropriate.
Use your screen time wisely – learn skills, improve executive function, and reach your full potential.
SIRRI's computer-based programs provide fun but challenging cognitive activities to improve Executive Function and Self-Regulation. This screen time will teach skills that last a lifetime. Together, we will customize a program to address your particular strengths and weaknesses. Call 480-777-7075 to schedule a consultation or assessment.
MARCH is SIRRI's Anniversary!!!
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of our Clients throughout the years!!
An Increase of Mental Health Issues in Children
February 19, 2019
|A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics and covered in News Medical Life Science reviewed a study regarding increased mental health issues in children. The study states that one in seven children are affected by some type of mental health issue.|
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan reviewing the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health. The survey was taken by parents of children and adolescents between the ages of 6-18. The results showed 7.7 million children had at least one mental health condition.
The mental health conditions included:
It was reported that the prevalence of mental health conditions in children vary from state to state:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Body Dysmorphic Disorders
It was also reported, “The number of children with a diagnosed mental health condition who weren't treated by a provider also ranged widely, from 29.5 percent in the District of Columbia to 72.2 percent in North Carolina.”
- In Hawaii, 7.6 percent of children are suffering from one of these mental health conditions
- In Maine, 27.2 percent of children are suffering from one of these mental health conditions
The national average of untreated mental health conditions among children is a little over 49 percent.
Scientists were surprised by the high numbers. However, child psychologists were not as surprised by these numbers citing the social stigma that often accompanies families seeking treatment as well as the cost or availability of services in rural areas.
There are also challenges with the communication between the education system, the juvenile justice system, child welfare system, and the health care system. Dr. Mautone, a psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia states, “All of these systems that are supposed to be caring for children often times are not talking to each other. A lot of times kids fall through the cracks and families are not getting the appropriate support they need.”
The study concludes "In children, mental health disorders have deleterious consequences on individual and socioeconomic factors and can impede healthful transitioning into adulthood, and the incidence of mental health disorders has been increasing over the decades." And "Initiatives that assist systems of care coordination have demonstrated a reduction of mental health-related burdens across multiple domains."
Are you concerned about the level or quality of support your child with ADHD is receiving?
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the mental health issues cited in the study. There is often comorbidity with ADHD and other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Programs and services at SIRRI can help your child develop the cognitive skills necessary for strong executive function and self-regulation. Call now and learn how we can assess your child’s specific needs and develop a customized program that will unlock your child’s potential.
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SIRRI offers these services
for both children & adults:
- Neurofeedback & Biofeedback
- QEEG / Brain Mapping
- Cognitive Retraining: memory, processing & problem solving skills
- Attention, Concentration & Focus Training
- Auditory & Visual Processing
- Reading Development: fluency & comprehension
- Balance, Coordination & Motor Planning Development
- Stress & Anxiety Management
- Peak/Optimal Performance
- FREE Health Assessments
- Health Coaching
Upcoming Session Dates for
The Sensory Learning Program:
Monday, March 25
Friday, April 5
Monday, April 8
Friday, April 19