The link between Academic skills & Life skills

Hi all,
I am going to relate two scenarios to you.
Scenario 1- Child A is unable to use a given shopping list to go and buy items needed from a nearby supermarket.
Scenario 2- Child B is unable to perform the task instructed by his parent to make separately packed picnic lunches of sandwiches for himself and his four friends.


In both scenarios, the children were having difficulties with performing certain life skills.


Why do you think this was so?


Sometimes, children who seem to be not very different from other children of the same age, display difficulties such as those mentioned in the above two scenarios. More often than not, this can be traced to weak academic skills and their difficulty in applying these skills in everyday life situations. This underlines the importance of acquiring two key skills especially in elementary/primary education that have a lasting impact in academic achievements and gaining important life skills. These core skills are literacy and numeracy skills.


Core...

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Positive Reinforcements and Learning

There are hundreds of day-to-day life situations where positive reinforcements are used. A boy gets a candy after helping someone, a baby takes his first steps and everybody claps, a student gets a star on his hand after nicely doing his worksheet, a girl gets a hug from her grandpa after picking up his cane, an employee gets a bonus for extra work hours, a customer gets a soap-free when he buys two, a soldier receives feedback by his sergeant upon successfully completing the task, a child with special needs receives a cookie and a high-5 with a big smile from his teacher when he successfully completes stacking a tower, etc. There so many more such examples where either we use them, not even knowingly; and we are also being used these techniques upon (e.g. in the example of the customer). 

 

In all the above examples, one link is common. Something happens or something is done and after that (or as a result of that) a positive, enjoyable entity is added. This “added...

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Multi-sensorial approach to reading comprehension

Reading stories is a great way to explore and learn new things. It can be very enjoyable and entertaining. Children with reading difficulties, however, may not be able to comprehend stories well, and in turn, experience lesser enjoyment while reading.

Incorporating multi-sensorial elements into the process of reading has shown to allow learning to be more concrete and enjoyable (Korkmaz & Karatepe, 2018). This article will suggest ways you can engage the senses in the process of reading.

 

  • Sense of touch: Crafting the story 

Being able to visualise the scenes in a story as it progresses can help readers to comprehend the story better. Try working with the child to identify the components of the story such as the setting, characters, and events of the story, and create these components using craft materials (e.g. creating sock puppets of the characters).

Through the reenactment of the story with the props created, it allows for the words in the books to come...

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Self-care for caregivers of special needs

Caregiving is a demanding task. When it comes to caring for a loved one with special needs, caregivers can face many struggles and challenges. It can also become a full-time responsibility for some caregivers. Some caregivers even gave up their careers in order to provide full-time care for their loved ones with special needs.

Caregiving is stressful and caregivers are prone to suffer from caregiver stress which in the long run can lead to caregiver burnout. And there are stress-relieving strategies that caregivers can adopt to help mitigate the stress impact. Hence, to be able to provide caregiving in the long term, it is important to strike a balance between caregiving and stress relieves.

To strike a balance between caregiving and self-care, it is necessary first to learn to be able to identify signs or symptoms of caregiver stress. Some of the common signs and symptoms of caregiver stress are listed below: 

  • Constantly feeling lethargic and exhausted
  • Not getting sufficient...
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Autism And Reading

 Reading is a skill and we are all aware reading fluency is critical. Learning to read can be a daunting task for learners with autism spectrum. However, by applying the correct coaching techniques and understanding the learner’s interest and learning capability, coaching a learner with autism spectrum to read can be much easier.

Conducive Environment 

Learners with autism spectrum disorder are vulnerable to distractions. They have the tendency to get distracted by sounds and brightness and may not be capable to filter out irrelevant details such as noises and visual information. They may get distracted from the sounds or noises coming from fans or even the air conditioners.

 

It is recommended to provide a quiet room for the learner. Ensure outside noise are kept to a minimum. And do not sit the learner facing bright sunlight or near to a flickering fluorescent lighting. Instead, try opting for natural light or reading lamp for the reading session, as this can...

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Adapting to COVID-19: A special guide for parents of children with ASD

asd autism covid parenting Jun 29, 2020

 COVID-19 has not only introduced a global pandemic, but has also significantly changed the way we operate in our daily lives. Due to spatial distancing measures imposed because of the pandemic, the closure of both mainstream and special needs schools were necessary to curb the spread of the virus.

As a result, families made arrangements to incorporate home-based learning and also had to think of ways to ensure that the children can continue to learn and develop, and not regress in this unfortunate circumstance that we are in. Particularly for children with ASD, the regular face-to-face interventions they have been receiving from professionals had to be restricted and parents, in turn, may experience an increased level of stress during this period.

 

Though these restrictions are being lifted gradually, going about our days like how we used to before the pandemic might not be possible just yet. The aim of this post is to give some suggestions, summarised in 5 tips, to help...

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Ways To Help Your Kids Write Faster

Writing is an important skill for communication and especially in the education field when students are expected to write well and fast throughout their learning at school. In today’s world of technology, students are presented with lesser opportunities to practise their writing skills which may potentially be one of the contributors to a reduced speed in our students’ handwriting. This creates some concerns among parents on their children’s handwriting skills and speed.

There are many factors that can affect your child’s speed in writing, such as writing tools, body posture, etc. Here are some tips which can help your child to improve on his/her writing speed:  

1) Check the Writing Tools  Always use a good quality pen/pencil because it has a great significance on our writing speed and these days they do not cost much.

2) Body Posture and Technique

a. Maintain Good Posture

This is one of the easiest ways the child can do to improve his/her...

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5 Ways To Calm An Anxious Child

Have you ever worried, felt nervous or experienced uneasiness?

These are feelings of anxiety and are normal responses when we are faced with important life event or during a difficult situation e.g. getting married or giving birth or going for a procedure. It can also happen to our children as well e.g. going for exams.  

While we adults may be able to identify, express and calm our anxiety, our children may not be able to do that. So, how can we help our children when they are feeling anxious?

Firstly, we need to be able to identify what are the tell-tale signs that our child is experiencing feelings of anxiety.

Here are some tell-tale signs of anxiety in a child that you can look out for:  

Starts to be clingy

Very prone to getting cranky or irritable

Gets awakened by bad dreams in the middle of the night

Feeling tensed up and often fidgety

Avoid daily activities, such as attending schools or socialising with friends

Secondly, how can we help our child to calm those...

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The Cognitive Benefits Of Playing Video Games

From gaming arcades, television consoles, handheld consoles, mobile devices to online gaming, video gaming is undoubtedly one of the most popular entertainment these days. But do you know that playing video games can help to boost your cognitive skills?  Here are 3 cognitive benefits of playing video games that you should be aware of:  

Improves Memory - A gamer typically has to understand the ins and outs of the game structure. To achieve this, the gamer has to read and comprehend the game instructions and tactics. Making efforts to memorize/remember the gaming instructions throughout the whole entirety of the game is required in order to be able to progress to the next level. That’s how videogames help in improving a gamer’s potential to remember.  

Enhances Multitasking Skills - There are so many details to take note of when playing video game. For example, a gamer has to remember to keep a lookout for oncoming enemies, when to launch an attack,...

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Redefining The Path Of Discipline

“The future depends on what we do in the present!” -Mahatma Gandhi

Punishment or discipline? It’s an age-old debate, isn’t it? However, if dealt with the right attitude, care and consistency this would be an easy task.

The dictionary meaning of discipline is “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.” However, the recent trends show a shift from using punishment as a tool to enforce discipline in a child.  

Punishment is about dominating a child: Instead of teaching the child the right ways to manage himself/herself, punishment may affect the self-esteem of a child. Mostly, it results in changing the manner a child thinks of himself. A UN agency  states that a serious punishment could make a child  consider “himself/herself bad", rather than thinking that “he/she has made a bad decision”  
Discipline teaches children...

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