Send this page to a friend!

Sending your message. Please wait...

Thank You! Your email was sent.

There was a problem sending your message. Please try again.

Please complete all the fields in the form before sending.

Mentor Training
RESOURCES

GENERAL RESOURCES

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

FOR YOUNG ADULTS WITH LD / ADHD

FOR PARENTS

KEYS TO PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT

PARENT-TO-PARENT

FROM OUR MENTORS' PERSPECTIVE

GETTING THE ACCOMMODATIONS THEY NEED



GENERAL RESOURCES

Organizations and online resources members of our community have found helpful.

Understood is a free, comprehensive online resource that offers parents of the 1 in 5 children with learning and attention issues daily access to experts, personalized resources, interactive tools and a supportive community of parents. Eye to Eye is one of the 15 nonprofit organizations that came together to create www.understood.org.
 
LD Resources A collection of resources on various aspects of LDs with comments from community members.
www.ldresources.com
 
Parents Education Network A coalition of parents collaborating with educators, students and the community to empower and bring academic success to students with learning and attention difficulties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
www.parentseducationnetwork.org(415) 751-2237
 
Wrights Law Site for parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys to get information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
www.wrightslaw.com
 
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) The organization provides national leadership and support of children and adults with LD. It offers information, parent resources, publications, and referral services.
www.ncld.org
(888) 575 7373
 
Film: Read Me Differently In Read Me Differently, first-time filmmaker Sarah Entine exposes unrecognized learning disabilities that bridge three generations in her family. Entine's discovery of her own dyslexia at the age of 29 - and her subsequent search for answers - ultimately leads to surprising revelations between those closest to her, especially her mother and grandmother.
www.readmedifferently.com
 
Learning Ally (Formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, RFBD)
National nonprofit aimed at creating opportunities for individual success by providing and promoting the effective use of accessible educational materials.
www.learningally.org
(800) 221-4792
 

Bookshare An accessible online library for people with print disabilities.

www.bookshare.org

Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD) National non-profit organization with chapters around the country that assist individuals with ADHD with education, advocacy, and support.
www.chadd.org
 
LD Online Online resource providing accurate and up-to-date information and advice about learning disabilities and ADHD.
www.ldonline.com
 
The Hallowell Centers Three centers that offer comprehensive mental health diagnostic and treatment services to patients and their families. The centers provide a full range of diagnostic, medical, counseling, support and alternative treatment services for children and adults with learning issues, mental disorders and ADHD. www.drhallowell.com
 
Child Mind Institute (CMI)
New York based office offers diagnosis and treatment services. Their website has information and resources on LD / ADHD.
www.childmind.org
(212) 308-3118
 
ADDitude Magazine A magazine, community & website dedicated to better ADHD treatment, behavior, school accommodations, organization, relationships & more.
www.additudemag.com
 
Film: The Big Picture - Rethinking Dyslexia This film provides personal and uplifting accounts of the dyslexic experience from children, experts and iconic leaders, such as Sir Richard Branson and financier Charles Schwab. Directed by James Redford, the film not only clears up the misconceptions about the condition, but also paints a picture of hope for all who struggle with it.

www.thebigpicturemovie.com

International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with dyslexia, their families, and their communities.
www.interdys.org
(410) 296-0232
 
National Attention Deficit Disorder Association This organization’s website has articles, interviews with ADHD professionals, book reviews, and links to other ADHD-related sites.
www.add.org
(847) 432-2332
 
ERIC Clearinghouse The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is an online digital library of education research and information. ERIC provides ready access to education literature to support the use of educational research and information to improve practice in learning, teaching, educational decision-making, and research.
www.eric.ed.gov/
 
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities A non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the parents of children with LD and ADHD.
www.smartkidswithld.org
 
 
PhDinSpecialEducation.com is a resource to connect students who are interested in teaching those with special needs with online higher education programs that can provide graduate degrees on a flexible schedule. Check out their Top 100 Special Needs Resources on the Web.
Back to TopBack to Top


ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY


Mac built-in text-to-speech
Mac OS X includes a cool Text to Speech function that makes the Mac speak selected text in text-based files - including web pages, email messages, spreadsheets, calendar entries, PDFs, text documents, Finder windows, and even iTunes. To see how to activate this function, visit: http://bit.ly/xKKF7d
 
ReadPlease
Text-to-speech software for Windows that will read any text that is pasted into the program. The 2003 version is free, but there is also a paid version on their website.
www.readplease.com
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Dragon is the world's most popular and best selling speech recognition software. The speech to text accuracy is greater than with other programs and the Microsoft built-in software; however, it can be expensive. They also offer free Dragon mobile applications for Blackberry and iPhone/iPod Touch.
www.nuance.com/dragon
 
Word Talk
A small add-on for Microsoft Word that will read back your document while highlighting each word.
www.wordtalk.org.uk/Home/
Microsoft Windows built-in text-to-speech software
Microsoft Windows has built in accessibilities including speech recognition software in Windows 7 and later. Speech recognition enables the operating system to convert spoken words to written text.
To learn more about how to enable Speech Recognition specifically, visit:
http://bit.ly/wjXyN4
For all Windows accessibility options, visit: http://bit.ly/z8w0Gf
Back to TopBack to Top


FOR YOUNG ADULTS WITH LD / ADHD

We curate the latest resources and news for people with learning disabilities and ADHD in college and the workplace.


Back to TopBack to Top


FOR PARENTS

KEYS TO PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT

SELF-ESTEEM

Research shows that the most important element in the life success of individuals with learning disabilities is not IQ or academic success, but self-esteem. Eye to Eye's mission is to give younger students with learning disabilities hope by bringing successful college students with learning disabilties into their lives to model success and empower younger students to imagine a positive future for themselves. If your child does not have a Mentor through Eye to Eye, help your child find role models they can look up to who celebrate learning differently. Most importantly, be proud of your child.

Help your child find their passions. Working in one's areas of weakness is frustrating and tiring, and school can be a daunting task. Hence, it is important for your child to have things he or she participates in and looks forward to, enjoys, and excels in to have the positive feeling of doing things at his or her ability level (e.g., hands-on science labs, sports, crafts, art projects). Knowing that they are good at something gives them confidence and builds self-esteem. Make sure your child knows that you are proud of them regardless of how they perform in school, as this can be a life-saving and life-changing practice.


ACCOMMODATIONS

In the ideal world, learning environments would be created to embrace all types of learners. However, it is important to recognize that the education system currently in place for your child was created without thought to those who learn differently. With that said, it is important to realize that your child can find accommodations to work effectively in their classroom and can draw on their strengths. If your child has a Eye to Eye Mentor, we work with your child in developing these asset-based accommodations. Thinking about accommodations is work that you can also continue at home, and utilizing advocacy skills will be very important in obtaining these accommodations. The best accommodations allow children to draw upon something they are good at in order to overcome a situation that does not focus on their strength.


META-COGNITIVE SKILLS

Research on resilience and success shows that meta-cognitive skills, the ability to know how one learns, is one of the most fundamental skills leading to a successful life. Eye to Eye Mentors engage their Mentees in an ongoing conversation about their learning styles and help them develop an asset-based understanding of their learning. This is something you as parents can facilitate as well. Ask you child how they like to learn. Observe when they are most engaged. Help them develop language that describes how they like to learn new things, and then help them confront new tasks by drawing on the ways they like to learn best.


SELF-ADVOCACY

Later on this page, there is a description of your child's rights to access appropriate accommodations. However, those rights cannot be utilized if they are not requested. Eye to Eye Mentors work with younger students to become positive self-advocates for their needs as learners. However, it is equally important for you as a parent to act as an advocate for your child and to model for your child how to request appropriate learning accommodations. Never be afraid to ask for an alternative method of instruction or evaluation.

Back to TopBack to Top

PARENT-TO-PARENT

Words of wisdom from the parents of our Mentors and Mentees


Create an EmpowerPoint for your child's IEP meeting
Help your child create a slide presentation that you can have shown at the beginning of their IEP meeting. This presentation should incorporate slides that express who they are, their hobbies, their short-term and long-term goals, accommodations they feel would be helpful in school and at home, and a slide thanking everyone in their IEP meeting. Have them add colors, pictures, sound, or voice to show to those in their IEP meeting that they are taking it seriously and want to be involved in decision making.
 
IEP Preparation
Know your and your child's legal rights

If your child attends a public school, their school is legally obligated to follow his or her IEP.

Bring old copies of your child's current and old IEPs, tests and quizzes, standardized test scores, report cards, etc. Also, print out and bring any emails to and from your child's teachers about his or her progress.
 
Inside the IEP Meeting
We encourage your child's involvement in his or her IEP meeting, either by showing their EmpowerPoint and/or having them in the room.

If this is your first IEP meeting or one you are worried about, find a free Parent Advocate to attend the meeting and provide additional support

“Our experience with Erin taught us that those with learning differences have other skills that allow them to excel. My wife Megin and I were impressed with Erin's highly attuned social skills beyond her years. We have to give these kids every chance to succeed and develop their strengths and skills.”



“Each child with LD learns differently and they need to know that they are not alone. There are so many others out in the world that need our LOVE and understanding. It is just a different way of thinking, and if we take the time to see them for who they really are, then we as parents are able to make a positive imprint in our child's mind, that we think they are the best. They try every day to do their best. We can't ask for more.”



“We support any school and after-school activities. For example, she is a good softball player and is going to try out for the school team this year. To help prepare her, we signed her up for a softball clinic this winter to help her fine tune her skills. Additionally, at 13, she decided she wanted to take gymnastics. She loves it. It's great exercise. She doesn't want to be on the team and go to tournaments, but she is really having fun learning how to do the moves properly.”



“My daughter has social anxiety that I believe stems from/with the dyslexia. She has been seeing a therapist twice a month for the last 4 years and that has helped her with her social issues by role playing, talking out issues or potential issues, and planning ahead for social situations that could be a little overwhelming without help. I have also tapped the guidance counselors at school to have her be a part of lunch groups that they have with other girls from time to time to help them with socialization.”



“Even though my daughter had an IEP and was getting services through the school, we felt that something was missing. We didn't know what it was though. We had her going to a local after school tutoring program, and we were paying $250/month for it. She was making strides, but we wanted to investigate her needs further. We hired an independent evaluator to test her. It was a grueling 2 days of testing, but in the end, we confirmed a few thing. She is very bright and has a high IQ; however, she was missing early education phonics. We brought this outside evaluation to our daughter's school, and they accepted all aspects of the evaluation as well as the recommendations. She went from 1:1 tutoring at school 1 day a week to 1:1 tutoring at school 5 days a week. They changed her tutoring process and started teaching her a SPIRE based program for phonics beginning with SPIRE 1 - pre-school. The evaluation showed us that she was missing a huge hole in her education that we now had the opportunity to fill. The school was very accommodating, and we wound up doing away with the after school tutoring program since that was learning she really should be getting from school.”


Back to TopBack to Top


FROM OUR MENTORS' PERSPECTIVE

Tactics and tips from our Mentors on what worked for them in school

My parents gave me a schedule for when I got home from school, and even though I hated it at the time, it was really helpful, and now I make schedules for myself so I can get my work done.
 
My parents helped talk to my teachers to explain why some things in school are harder for me, and were always there when I was having a rough day. They never gave up on me.
 
My parents helped me in school by showing me how to do something, telling me how to do it, and then helping me do it. They also gave me corrections so I could learn.
 
Having a learning specialist and having the option of taking tests orally was really helpful for me in school.
 
When I received my LD diagnose in 5th grade, I felt alone. However, the label gave me everything. By owning the diagnosis, I was able to get the accommodations I needed to thrive and come to understand how my mind worked - which is why I am successful today.
 
My parents put me in speech therapy and helped me learn that I need to express myself, so now I write my feelings down, which really helps.


"My parents were unwaveringly supportive of me, even when I was a very troubled high school student. They constantly reminded me of the potential that I had to make a positive impact on the community, and if I would only use my powers for good, I might do something great. Now I absolutely do, as a kid who has grown up (and quite a bit of growing up I might add) with an LD, having a solid group of people that supported me was and always will be what motivates me to continue trying to do something great."



"When my parents and I found out about my dyslexia, they decided to hold me back in the third grade. Soon after their decision, I joined a resource class that next year that I would go to once a day. That is where they gave me one-on-one attention that resulted in me catching up to the correct reading level."



"My parents were extremely helpful in many ways, but the thing that sticks out most to me was their patience. It was already frustrating enough, and the last thing I needed were my parents breathing down my neck. They never got mad when it came to grades, and always looked at everything as a learning experience. This made it so we could work together to find ways to overcome. I wouldn't have been able to get to where I am today without my parents being so calm, patient and supporting."



"Some things that my parents did to help me with my LD was help me find the right tutor and help support me with homework and studying. Something that I did to help myself with my LD is to become comfortable talking with my teachers and not being afraid. Something else I do to keep myself alert and awake when I am not so interested in the class is to color code notes, which makes it appealing visually, and is something to be doing besides just writing."



"I was diagnosed with ADD in third grade when I brought home a C on my report card. The reason for that C was that I couldn't get things done on time, no matter how long I worked on my homework at night. My parents realized that something was wrong and took me to a doctor to be tested. After I was diagnosed, the doctor put me on Adderall, which really helped. Before that, I had a fairly low reading level based on Accelerated Reader, but once I was able to concentrate to take the test, it jumped significantly. Throughout middle and high school, my mom helped me learn how to make myself focus to get things done on time. In high school, I was struggling with focusing during tests due to my ADD. My mom contacted the head of the guidance department, on the recommendation of my math teacher, and we set up a 504 Plan which allowed me extra time on exams, quiet for test taking, and the ability to sit in a place that was helpful for me during classes. Throughout this, they never made me feel dumb or like having ADD made me weak. I was never judged for my ADD, only accepted for who I was. Because of this, I never felt different from other kids."



Back to TopBack to Top


GETTING THE ACCOMMODATIONS THEY NEED

Commonly Requested Accommodations
Extended time on tests, assignments, readings, etc.
Books on Tape
Use of a note taker
Permission to use a spell checker or computer for assignments and tests
Separate room to take tests and complete assignments
Permission to take movement breaks during a class
Use of Caswell or Dragon natural speak to complete reading assignments
Permission to give a presentation in place of a written assignment
Permission to show understanding of a topic through different modes of expression - for example an art project or presentation
In the fight for education equality, it is important to know what rights and laws exist. The following laws are in place to protect those who have a disability.



WHAT ARE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS?
Federal law mandates the inclusion of otherwise qualified people with disabilities in all University / School -sponsored programs and activities. In some cases, facilities, programs, policies, and practices will need to be modified in order to provide equal participation. Such modifications are considered "reasonable accommodations under the law." The University / School is obligated to make reasonable accommodations for those who meet established standards for participation and present documentation of their disability and limitations.

 

WHEN ARE ACCOMMODATIONS GRANTED?
SECTION 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 & 1990 ADA Title II allow reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in schools receiving federal funds, when the disability substantially limits a major life activity. Additionally, reasonable accommodations are allowed through college and beyond.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST RELEVANT LEGISLATION?

Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, 2004
This is the law that will most directly affect your labeled student. It provides definitions, procedural safeguards, evaluations, eligibility, Individual Education Plan (IEP) information, and placement information. It defines your rights as a parent or legal guardian of a child labeled with a disability. A more in-depth knowledge of this law will prove helpful in the long run, especially when it comes to understanding what happens in a CSE meeting. http://idea.ed.gov
www.ldonline.org/features/idea2004

 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act - This law protects the privacy of your child’s educational records and guarantees your right to review them. www.ed.gov./offices/OM/fpco/ferpa/index.html

 

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 - This federal law provides civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodation, transportation, and telecommunications. It prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities. www.ada.gov

 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Section 504 ensures that a child labeled with a disability receives equal access to an education however it does not have the same procedural safeguards as under IDEA, 2004 and does not require the school to provide an Individual Education Plan (IEP). www.hhs.gov/ocr/504.html

Back to TopBack to Top