Friday, June 30, 2006

Episode 7

Podcasting is a learning experience. I am playing with great new equipment, and learning about audio editing, so please bear with me as I work out the kinks in the system.
I wanted to make sure I got a new show out before the 4th of July holiday, since I'll be visiting family.

This is really Show number six, but for technical reasons, it is coming after the post of #7, since I had to do some audio editing of this one for the first time. As a result, we have great content, but some sound variation that I'm not thrilled with. In the best of all possible worlds, I would just re-record the whole show, but since I have already imposed on my friend Melody now twice, It's just time to post the show, which, like me, has its own imperfections.

I hope you enjoy the show, minor warts and all. Please leave your feedback, and any particular topics you'd like to see us discuss by posting your comments here, or by email at I would love it if you could send audio comments, and I'll play them on the show. (mp3 format is best!)

Click here to download show #7 (6) Parenting Mazes

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Episodes 6 and 7

Parenting and Stress

Something we all deal with, but it can really effect parents, and in turn, kids, especially when the children have learning differences. (It also happens when you are trying out new audio equipment, but that is a different story all together!)
For episodes six and seven, I had my dear friend, Melody Ruth, talk with me about parenting kids with learning disabilities, and the stress that can be involved. Episode six needs some audio editing (a skill I am working on) but episode seven is ready to go, so it will be published first.

Click here to download Show # 7 Parent Stress and Eight Important Parenting Skills.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Show # 5

Show # 5 is available now!

Stanrdardized testing is difficult for kids with learning disabilities, and causes parents major panic. This show is about testing and No Child Left Behind. This good idea to make sure all children can read, write and do math has been the victim of the doctrine of unintended consequences. While it is supposed to ensure teachers are doing their job, we aren't really using the testing for it's most important purpose- to diagnose which children are not acquiring the skills they need, and how to give these students the help they need most.

Click here to listen to Show # 5

New shows in the works

I want to apologize to everyone for being a bit stiff in my first few podcasts. It's harder than you think to talk to yourself while sitting in a little room, trying to keep things cherent and informative and not come off like a college lecturer, even when you are passionate about the things you discuss. I promise I am trying to make things better.
To that end, I'm going to concentrate on having more guests on the show. The current lineup for the next few shows is as follows:
#5: No Child Left Behind and Standardized testing; why accountability is good and needed, but why the system we have is not used to help identify students problems, but punish teachers, schools, and kids. I think we'd be much better off if we worked on positive reinforcement rather than punishment as a goal- don't you???
Show # 6
Parental Stress. A recent study showed parents of kids with learning disabilities experience more stress than other parents. Moms of children with reeading disabilities reported higher overall dregrees of stress, and parents of kids with non-verbal learning disabilities (like autism, asperger's, etc.) reported more dysfunctional interactions with their children, especially the child with the disability.

In either show 6 or 7, my good friend, Melody Ruth, will be on the show. Melody has a son with asperger's and a daughter in the academically talented program in her school. Melody also has a degree in special education, and used to run group homes in Philadelphia. She regularly attends meetings of support groups for parents of children with autism and asperger's, and remebers being told that the divorce rate amoung parents with children with these problems is often as high as 80%. Clearly, parent stress is something we've all experienced and need to discuss!

Thanks for your patience, and I am looking forward to any commentrs or feedback you can offer! Please post comments here, or send an email to

Friday, June 16, 2006

Show # 4 Is ready!

Show #4- It's all in a Name- All About Labels

I had a hard time getting this show recorded- I hope you enjoy it!
The kids are out of school- the report cards were great, and we're looking forward to a great summer!
If your child had a less than stellar year, the summer is a great time to consider testing. If you can identify why a child is struggling in school, you can get a head start on getting access to services in school starting on day one, rather than sometime around Christmas. If you're worried whether a diagnosis or label of a learning disability will hurt your child, listen to this show! A label of dyslexia will help your child much more than harm a label like "stupid" or "Lazy" will.

Click here to listen to Show #4

Thursday, June 15, 2006

New Shows coming soon!

By this weekend, I hope to have 2 more shows posted- since it is the end of school today for the kids, and my youngest has his birthday on Saturday, things are a bit nuts around here! John will also promote to his "red/black" belt in karate. meaning he is one bely away from his black belt. While we are all proud of him, it's also pretty funny- besides only turning eight this week, John looks like a young Harry Potter- glasses, disruly straight hair, skinny, wise cracking and smart. It's hard to imagine him as a threat to anything other than peace and quiet most of the time, so seeing him as an accomplished and potentially dangerous black belt strikes me as an oxymoron.

The two new podcasts will about the benefits and burdens of lables and how they help kids get the help they need at school, but fall far short from telling the whole picture about a child and how they learn.

The fifth show in the works is about standardized testing and No Child Left Behind. The biggest problem with the standardized testing is the high stakes involved are largely those for the adults, not the kids. This means that the tests aren't really being used to diagnose why a particular child isn't where we want them to be academically, but instead, we take the results, mash them together, and use them to punish teachers and schools for failing children. This really doesn't solve any problems, it just makes things more complicated in the end.
You'll hear about some of the unintended consequences of standardized testing that have made the news, and why we need to look at some other ways to determine what a quality education really means.

Please look for these new shows by Monday, June 19th!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Shows Two and Three

In show # 2, we dispell some of the common myths about ADHD. Did you know ADHD was first described in England in 1902, but it was called a "moral conduct disorder"? Our understanding of ADHD and ways to treat it have come a long way since 1902. Once you understand that ADHD is not just a "disease of the month" but a brain-based wiring issue, it becomes alot easlier to find the best treatments that can really help your child.
Click here for show #2

In show #3, we talk about the three main laws that affect access to special education- The IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the ADA.
Click here for Show # 3

Please check out our main website at for more information, recommendations, and links to websites for more information.

Friday, June 02, 2006

My Entre Into Podcasting

I am a mom of 2 kids with learning disabilities. Both kids have above average to superior intelligence, but their learning disabilities were causing problems in school. Over the past nine years, I have made it my business to learn as much as possible about learning disabilities, and what we can do to help kids.

Whenever I talk with other moms, I find the best advice we get is usually from each other, over coffee, or at school functions. We also seem to tread familiar ground and have similar experiences trying to find help for our kids. Many parents have horror stories of trying to find reliable experts, trying new (and often sham) treatments, in their hunt to find anythinng that will help or possibly cure their child of their learning problems.

I am starting a podcast- -to talk about learning disabilities with other moms. What works and what is useless? How can I help my kid succeed? Are there strategies that have really worked? What about meds? Playdates? Relatives? Siblings? The list of issues is almost endless. And with the changes in school testing and curriculum, kids with LD are often feeling the brunt of the pressure to succeed.

while the first few podcasts will be solo performances, most will be discussions with other moms and professionals who work with kids with LD every day. I hope you find it helpful and entertaining, and will choose to subscribe!