We Exaggerate our Multitasking Abilities

Take a moment and give yourself a Multitask Rating from 1 to 10. Let’s say a score of 1 goes to the utterly hopeless multitasker and 10 goes to the mental black belt of the divided mind. Can you read email while conversing with a friend; book a plane ticket during the board meeting; do your homework and still pay attention to that movie; or text your friends while driving to let them know you’re “almost there?” Many of you will quickly answer yes to those questions without giving it a second thought. Continue reading

“Out of the Box” Children Need “Out of the Box” Parents

Ann Rowe bio picIn my work as a diagnostic tester at the Kingsbury Center, I have worked with many gifted students who struggle with underachievement and learning challenges. Often called “Twice-Exceptional” or referred to as GT/LD (i.e., gifted and talented with learning disabilities), these students are perplexing to their parents and teachers, and they encounter considerable frustration. These kids amaze in their insights and “out of the box” thinking, yet they can find basic skills challenging. Continue reading

This is What Success with Learning Disabilities Looks Like

It is hard to know what success looks like when your child is diagnosed with a learning disability. You find that some obstacles can be overcome, but for others s/he will have to take the long way around again and again. Even when they get the help they need, students with learning differences can feel overwhelmed by the challenges they face, and they must continually overcome self-doubt. This week, we would like to share with you a glimpse of what success looks like.
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Finding Similarities and Differences in Finnish and American Classrooms

Finnish classroom

Finnish classroom

Across many fronts, Finland is an international leader in education policy and student achievement. Selena Taylor, Kingsbury Middle School Math Teacher, recently returned from three months in Jyväskylä, Finland as a part of Kingsbury’s Annual Educational and Cultural Exchange Program with The Niilo Mäki Institute. During her time in Finland, Ms. Taylor visited the local schools to observe and learn from teachers, staff and specialists about Finland’s successful approach to teaching children with learning disabilities. Here are some of her observations: Continue reading

Answering the Call for Social and Emotional Education in Schools

Imagine you are a teacher looking out at a classroom of students. They sit at their desks vacantly looking back at you, perhaps whispering to each other, or maybe laying their heads down. Now imagine thought bubbles rising from their heads that summarize their emotions. Among them you read, “I’m angry at my brother for touching my stuff” and “I’ll go crazy if I have to sit still another minute” and “I’m worried about my mother returning home from prison” and “I’m excited because that boy I like told my bff that he likes me too!” Got all that? Ok, now teach them grammar or math or history. Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of Richard Saul? On the Existence of ADHD

ADHD Does Not ExistIn February of this year, behavioral neurologist Richard Saul, MD, proclaimed in the title of his book, ADHD Does Not Exist: The Truth About Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. The publication launched a flurry of heated chatter regarding the legitimacy of the ADHD diagnosis, use and misuse of stimulant medications, and the culture at large that fertilized the seeds of the ADHD epidemic. A glance at the title suggests that Dr. Saul is challenging everything we ever believed to be true about ADHD, perhaps that there is even a problem at all. We and our children are just a bunch of entitled whiners looking for a magic bullet explanation and a shot of legalized speed. Or perhaps western society was duped by psychiatrists and their overlord, Big Pharma, manipulated into a state of learned helplessness and chemical addiction. Continue reading