Classroom Visual Activites - 2 (CVA-2)(2019)
Available on Amazon (Kindle format)
Vision is the primary tool through which traditional learning takes place, and many times a child’s problems in vision will limit success in the classroom. Sight is the ability to see, but true vision is the result of the ability to interpret and understand the information that comes through ones’ eyes. Only when a child has efficient interpretive skills, does he/she then possess the foundations or prerequisites needed to fully benefit from classroom instruction and work.
The purpose of CVA-2 is to assist a teacher, therapist or parent by providing suggestions for classroom activities designed to enhance a student’s visual skills. Once visual skill difficulties have been identified, the adult can be a powerful initiator of change regarding the child’s visual skills. Ideally, the student will enhance visual interpretation strategies through the development of more efficient near to far focusing and smoother eye movements.
The CVA-2 tasks may be used with almost any age group. For younger students, make the activities more game-like and use analogies. For example, if you are asking the student to put a smaller straw within a larger one, instead of saying “pierce the straw”, you might say “dock your rocket ship”. For older students, the adult may use more sophisticated and sports-related language.
CVA-2 presents a wide variety of activities which cover skills such as general muscle movement, specific muscle movement, pursuits, scanning, locating/saccades, near/far shifts (aligning), and visually guided movements. A chart identified the specific skills each activity covers.
A foundation in visual efficiency is critical. It enables students to develop a greater efficiency of work habits and skill development. While vision assistance will not treat dyslexia or other learning issues, this assistance will remove a barrier which could interfere with appropriate learning.
Eli, the Boy Who Hated to Write: Understanding Dysgraphia (2nd edition, 2008)
Available on Amazon
The following forward was written by Rick Lavoie.
Did you ever have a job where there was one solitary task that you abhorred or dreaded? Perhaps it was a monthly accounting report or an annual inventory project. You constantly dreaded the day that your superior entered your office to announce that it was time to approach this distasteful and fear-filled activity. You were anxious, frightened and disheartened. This is the way that Eli Richards, and every child who struggles with dysgraphia, felt each time he heard a teacher say the dreaded words, “Everyone take out a piece of paper. I want you to write a composition!”
Eli is a bright student with an extensive repertoire of interests and talents. He has a rich and vibrant vocabulary and an impressive fund of background information and facts. He is wonderfully creative and has earned the respect and affection of all who know him because of his innovative view of life. But he couldn’t write. Every aspect of the writing process -- handwriting, note taking, spelling, syntax, semantics, word choice, etc., was a mystery for him. His fluency and fluidity with language came to a frightening and screeching halt whenever he sat in front of a blank piece of paper with a pen in hand. As he progressed through the grades, composition skills became increasingly important --and increasingly frustrating and frightening.
But Eli’s story is not merely a tale of failure and struggle. It is also a story of support, faith and small victories. Eli’s school life had many detractors, but he also had defenders and champions. Going through Eli’s struggles, reminds me, as in the fairy tales, there is one caring, devoted adult that can save the life of a child.
Dysgraphia is among the least understood aspects of learning disorders. This complex problem has a confusing collection of symptoms and manifestations. These children wrestle daily with a knot of attention problems, memory difficulties, language deficiencies and idiosyncratic thought processes. Often, the professionals in the child’s life will deal with the individual symptoms of Dysgraphia, but they fail to understand (or remediate) the disorder in its entirety. They try to assist with the symptoms without confronting the problem in any way. As a result, their interventions are often unsuccessful, and the child’s frustrations become more profound.
Eli, The Boy Who Couldn’t Write puts a human face on this puzzling disorder. In a charming and insightful narrative, Eli tells of his daily frustrations and his creative attempts to avoid, and later, self-remediate, his writing problems. You feel as if you are sitting next to Eli in the classroom as he faces his daily challenges. Eli’s story of fear, frustration and failure enables the reader to gain a genuine understanding or the problems that Eli confronted daily.
But this book is not only about struggles. It also offers solutions. At the conclusion of Eli’s narrative, the calvary arrives -- offering practical advice for how we can assist the dysgraphic child in the classroom and at home.
Eli’s mother, Regina, has come to be recognized as one of the nation’s foremost experts on this puzzling disorder. She provides a detailed but understandable list of dysgraphia’s symptoms and etiology. As you read her outline, you will come to recognize the dysgraphic students in your own classroom. Beyond merely identifying the disorder, Regina offers field-tested strategies and approaches to use with the child. By combining her unparalleled experiences as a teacher, consultant and researcher with her experiences as Eli’s Mom, she is able to approach this task with the mind of a professional and the heart of a parent. An unbeatable combination.
As you read Eli’s story, allow his compelling words to solidify your commitment to the children in your life who fight the “writing dragon” daily.