Learning Disabilities: How Do We Stop the Stigma?

Too often, students with learning differences are labeled early in their educational careers as lazy or dumb. Learning disabilities may hinder a student in many areas of their lives, from academics and the school environment, to social interactions at home, at school, and elsewhere. There are many professional disciplines that help these students manage their learning differences and develop their strengths, though there is still a dangerous stigma attached to many of these differences.

Learning Disabilities How Do We Stop the Stigma

“Dumb”

When students do not fit into the average mold, they are often perceived as dumb by peers and even teaching professionals. Peers may bully students who they perceive as different or stupid. Teachers are frequently under-trained to manage the learning differences of the diverse student populations they serve. Instead of encouraging unique methods and approaches that would better serve their students with learning differences, they often take the easier out and assume any student who cannot keep up with the presentation of information in their traditional classroom is stupid.

 

“Lazy”

Another common assumption made about students with learning differences is that they are lazy. When a student is so overwhelmed by an assignment that they cannot figure out, it can look from the outside like they are just being lazy. In fact, the student is struggling with a higher level cognitive skill known as executive functioning, which includes skills like breaking things down into steps, organizing information, and making decisions. A student may be very focused on the assigned task and have many ideas about how to tackle it, but simply be unable to choose the best one and then break it down into manageable steps so that he knows where to begin.

 

What can I do to help?

The labels that are placed on students, like “stupid” or “lazy” can have a dramatic effect on them far into the future. When someone is told again and again that they are dumb, they will eventually begin to believe it. Supporting a student with a learning difference can mean helping them to discover their strengths. It can mean helping them to find their true interests, and develop them into a love of learning. It can mean teaching them techniques to help them manage their unique differences and become the best they can be. It means helping them discover that they are neither dumb nor lazy.

 

There is a lot of work to be done to stop the stigma attached to learn disabilities in our education systems. If you interested in learning more about how you can help students with learning differences, visit the University of Cincinatti Behavior Analysis Graduate Programs Online at http://behavioranalysis.uc.edu/. Do your part to help end the prejudice that pervades our perception of disabilities.

5 Tips For Making A Difference In Your Community

5 Tips For Making A Difference In Your CommunityAlthough you might dream of being able to make a real difference in your community, you might be overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Luckily, it’s easy to make a difference in your neighborhood and in the lives of the people around you, particularly if you follow these five simple tips.

Work With Your Community
Chances are good that your community might already be focused on a few different projects, so meeting with a group like the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce can give you an opportunity to find out about these goals. Then, you can find out what you need to do to help.

Donate
You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money in order to help the people around you. In fact, you can start with the things that you already have but don’t use. Clothes, shoes and accessories that are just taking up room in your closet can be the base of a great new wardrobe for someone in need, and you can donate furniture, household items and more to be sold for money for charity or to be given to someone who needs it. If you have extra food in your pantry, consider donating it to your local soup kitchen or giving it to a family that is running a bit short on groceries. You won’t have to spend any money, but you can make a major difference in the lives of those in your community.

Bring Recycling to Your Neighborhood
Although it has taken off in a lot of bigger areas, recycling isn’t a top priority for many smaller cities and towns. If your community doesn’t recycle or if participation doesn’t seem to be where it should be, fight to bring it to your area. You can make a difference in your community’s impact on the planet, and people in your neighborhood are sure to feel good about themselves once they start recycling.

Give the gift of Your Time
Taking the time to visit elderly people in nursing homes, help at the local animal shelter and cook or serve at your neighborhood’s soup kitchen or food pantry can really make a difference, and there are surely many places around that could use your assistance.

Be Nice
Being kind, helping others and bringing a smile to the faces of the people around you can make everyone in your community happier and can encourage others to be kind as well.

As you can see, you don’t have to do anything major to make a true difference. These five simple tips can help your community immensely and make you feel good about yourself and your contribution.

Five Phobias That You Never Knew You Had

phobiasDo you let the phone ring and ring, never wanting to pick it up? Do you go into a panic when you think about going to class? Everybody is scared of something, but sometimes it is more than a simple fear. If you find yourself terrified of doing or being near something, and that fear seems greater than what most people experience, you may be in the throes of a phobia. There are several phobias in existence that you may have never even heard of but that you may actually have.

 

Telephonephobia

Also known as telephonophobia and telephobia, this is a social phobia or social anxiety disorder which literally translates into having a fear of telephones. You may have this phobia if the sound of the phone ringing or the thought of having to make or receive a call gives you feelings of anxiety, dread, panic, or terror. Some sufferers may also experience shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, or a nervous stomach. Don’t you wish that your teenage daughter had this problem?

 

Entomophobia

Otherwise known as insectophobia, this causes those affected by it to severely overreact to the mere glimpse of any insect. Sufferers may experience severe panic attacks when they find themselves in the presence of an insect. Some will actually flee their homes seeking a safe haven. While there is therapy available to help control this phobia, the first step is to rid your own home of insects so you can feel safe. If you happen to be in the Oregon area, Portland Pest Control will take care of the problem for you, while also laying down chemicals and traps that will keep the critters out of your home.

 

Automatonophobia

If you find yourself so terrified you are unable to move when you come face to face with something like a ventriloquist’s dummy or an animatronic, such as the singing robots at kid’s restaurants, you may very well suffer from this phobia. Though, this is considered an irrational fear due to the fact that none of these things can cause harm, it still probably won’t be a good idea to go and watch Chucky with your friends tonight.

 

Didaskaleinophobia

If your child is experiencing intense anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts over going to school, they may be suffering from this phobia which causes a fear of going to school. This sort of phobia may be caused by a fear of failure, high levels of stress, or even things such as bullying. It is also possible that your child is simply suffering from separation anxiety. All of these things are extremely serious and will usually require professional therapy, as well as school counseling.

 

Rupophobia

If you can’t seem to stop yourself from sweeping your floor or wiping counters, you may suffer from this phobia. In short, it is fear of dirt or filth. While we all wish that our roommates or family members had this problem, rupophobia can easily destroy somone’s life, both socially and physically, since they will have time for nothing else.

 

Regardless of what scares you, if you feel it has reached phobic proportions, don’t hesitate to see a therapist about your condition. Even something as simple as a fear of the telephone can have drastic consequences when it comes to your life and career.

4 Tricks to Overcoming Your Phobia of Mice

4 Tricks to Overcoming Your Phobia of MiceIt’s not uncommon for people to be put off by mice. After all, they are destructive, filthy and they carry numerous harmful diseases and parasites that can be spread to human. They also leave their droppings and urine everywhere, which is as unsightly as it is unsanitary.

However, for some people, it can become an all-consuming fear known as musophobia. While there are no hard statistics showing how many people are affected by musophobia, it is considered to be significantly more common among women.

A dislike for mice can be healthy, but a full-on phobia is not. Fortunately, there are ways to treat this. Here are five tricks to overcoming your phobia of mice.

Counseling

The most common and practical way to treat musophobia is with counseling. This may include anything ranging from hypnotherapy to talking with a psychologist. Counseling may help you discover what initially triggered your fear. For many people, it was a negative or traumatic event from their childhood involving the subject of the phobia. Identifying the cause of the fear is an important first step to helping you work through it.

Medication

In severe cases, people with musophobia can suffer real physical symptoms when they encounter a mouse. These may include shaking, sweating, anxiety, panic attacks, avoidance, heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting and even fainting. All of these things can have a dramatic negative impact on everyday life, so a doctor may recommend medication to control them.

Contact

Depending on how much you want to overcome your phobia, you might want to consider exposure therapy. This is most often done in a controlled situation under a psychologist’s supervision. The idea is to start small, perhaps with pictures and videos, then slowly work up to the point where you’re able to hold or touch a mouse without fear. This method is often highly successful, but in order for it to work, you have to want it to.

Extermination

If you’ve struggled unsuccessfully with your phobia, don’t feel ashamed. Phobias are very complicated things, and no two people respond to treatment the same way. When this happens, you most likely just want the disturbing little vermin gone from your home.

Calling in a pest extermination service is the most effective and efficient option for this. Not only will it get rid of your problem but it also keeps you from having to deal with it personally. By calling Gemtek in Boise, residents can have a professional deal with their mouse problem in a timely and effective manner.

Moving On: 5 Ways You Can Protect Yourself and Your Family During a Messy Divorce

A.C.O.D. (2013) trailer -- Pictured: Adam Scott (Screengrab)Protecting yourself and your family while you and your spouse are going through a difficult divorce is of paramount importance; legal difficulties that ensue from hurt feelings, fights over money, and custody battles can cause problems for years. Here are some typical scenarios that take place during messy divorces and tips for preventing them.

 

Domestic Violence Accusations

Domestic violence charges could result in a restraining orders and custody problems, and they could tarnish your reputation in your community and workplace. You will need to hire a highly-competent Escondido defense attorney to fight these accusations. Help your criminal defense attorney defend you by meeting your estranged spouse only in public locations and keep detailed notes on all interactions. It may even help to bring a secret voice recorder to all of your meetings, which will help to protect you from false accusations, and may even catch the other person exhibiting a reckless and improper behavior. Control your temper and avoid sending inflammatory emails or texts or leaving angry messages on voicemail that could be used against you in court. Maintain a diplomatic attitude in interactions with your spouse and refuse to be drawn into emotional discussions without your attorney present.

 

Loss of Personal Property

Angry spouses often take or even destroy their ex’s personal property. Be sure to consult with your attorney about marital property and follow your lawyer’s instructions carefully. If your spouse removes or damages any of your possessions, make a list of the affected item(s) and the actions taken by your ex. If possible, attach photos and copies of insurance records or anything else that illustrates the value of the property to your notes. Provide all documentation of loss of personal property to your attorney, but do not confront your estranged spouse about the damage yourself. It is best to let your lawyer take the necessary legal action to protect the rest of your possessions.

 

Failure to Comply with Court-Ordered Custody

Unfortunately, it is very common for divorcing couples to use the children against one another. This is excruciatingly painful for the children and can cause lasting emotional damage. It could also affect the settlement terms of the divorce as well as future custodial determinations. Resist the urge to involve your children in the divorce and ask your spouse to do the same (if you and your spouse are not speaking, make this request through your attorney). Ask your lawyer for specific advice on how to make proper custodial hand-offs, how to handle holidays and birthdays, and documenting interactions with your ex about the children, and even about your communication with your children about the divorce, if necessary.

 

Loss of Future Income

Suing for alimony and attorney’s fees is common in divorces. Your spouse may quit working, hide assets, or make other attempts to reduce their income in an effort to gain a more sizable share of your salary in the settlement and in the future. The divorce settlement is not always the final determinant of how income will be shared by divorcing spouses, and additional court battles may be inevitable. Follow your attorney’s advice concerning financial matters very carefully. Try not to make career changes during your divorce proceedings without first consulting your lawyer.

 

Emotional Problems for Yourself and Your Family

Divorce is traumatic, and families can suffer from its repercussions for many years. You may want to invest in professional counseling for yourself and/or your children, particularly if you are planning to move on quickly with a new romantic partner. The amount of change this entails will affect everyone, and you will want to give your new life the best beginning possible. It is also a good idea to move a reasonable distance away from your spouse, which will prevent conflicts that might result from randomly seeing each other in public locations. This can be extremely distressful if the stress with with another person during these times. Move far away enough that you will never end up going to the same places as your ex, but still close enough that you can easily handle exchanges of your children and visits.

 

Divorce is often a necessary, though difficult, part of moving on to a new and better life. These tips will help you protect yourself and your family during this tough process and ensure that you all begin a journey towards happiness and health.