Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sharon Martin, Speech and Language Pathologist

In today's show, we feature an interview with Sharon Martin! Sharon is a well-known for being part of the DivaCast, best described as five girlfriends talking about what matters to them, and having fun doing it! Sharon's becoming a part of the LD Podcast, because she's also a Speech Language Pathologist (also known as an SLP) teaching in schools in Georgia.

Sharon has her Masters in Education, Speech Language-Pathology and is licensed in Georgia, and is a member of many professional organizations for SLP's including the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, (NSSHLA).

Sharon has worked with special need students who ranged from profound/severely impaired to mild articulation disorders. This work has included students with learning disabilities, language impairments, autism, down syndrome, mitochondria, CP, cochlear implants, apraxia, phonological processing disorders and emotional behavioral disorders.

She has also participated in specialized training and tasks forces involved with Response to Intervention (RTI), literacy/language interventions, and special education regulations. Sharon's planning on becoming a regular part of the show, and future shows will focus on topics like Response to Intervention and IEP's.

In this show, I also talk about the results of our "Daily journal" over the summer experiment, getting kids back to school and trying to keep them organized. One question I received by email recently asked:

"What type of planner or organizer would you recommend for kids with LD? The one we get from school has really small writing areas, making it hard to fit in all the information, let alone notes back and forth from home and school."

My recommendations:

What most kids need: Big space to write, securely bound, monthly and weekly views.

What I've tried for myself and the kids:

Personal Digital Assistants, like Palm Pilots; various calendars and systems, wall calendars, wipe-off dry erase calendars, etc. Electronic versions of calendars, ranging from Google Calendar, to the calendar/alarms on my various cell phones, and Skoach, an online calendar/task management system developed in part by well-known and respected ADHD researcher, Dr. Kathleen Nadeau. (Also a prior guest on the LD Podcast).

What Really Works for Me- paper calendar/agenda with both weekly and monthly views. Usually, the medium to large ones give me enough writing space- mini ones are far too small.

Brands I like:

Mead actually has a a website to help you choose a planner (I was surprised to find this out!)

The Quick Notes Calendar from At-A-Glance has weekly and monthly view, along with plenty of spaces for notes and reminders. This runs about $20.00

TimeToo has some interesting looking family trackers, but you kinda have to choose between weekly on monthly, not both. The RSVP space on the bottom is a great idea- these are almost perfect.

The GoMom planner from Daytimer has that weekly/monthly views, and is a good basic planner-a "mommed" up version of the At A Glance.
Mead Upperclass Student Organizer - Available plain ($12.99) or with a bungee cord to keep closed ($13.79) This one can work well with kids or adults- not a bad choice for that master family calendar.

Secret Indulgence and Pricey Version- Levenger has a bunch of interesting products, based on it’s "circa" system- a way you can pretty much customize notebooks. This means you can add what you need- to do lists, expense reports, notes, etc. and rearrange, without losing anything and maintaining the pages securely fastened together. (If you wanted to try it to see if it works, the 2008 agenda is down to only $4.95, and might be a good investment if you think you might like the flexibility it offers.)

Downsides- expensive and addictive. Runs calendar year, not academic year. I do use this notebook system, more than the planner, to organize projects, in part because the paper is thicker than normal and is fantastic to write on, and I can move stuff around easily as needed. It is more of an initial investment, but I do refill them, and I love these notebooks.

Click here to listen to Sharon Martin

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