Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dr. Susan Johnson, Commonwealth Academy Show #102

Before the holidays, I had the opportunity to spend the day at Commonwealth Academy, a college preparatory school for children with ADHD and learning disabilities, located in Alexandria, VA. Commonwealth Academy serves children from 6th grade through high school,and is a school that feels very much like a community the moment you walk through the doors.

I got to sit down with Dr. Susan Johnson, the Director of the school, and we talked about everything from how they select their students, to how their curriculum and teaching methods differ from traditional schools. Dr. Johnson has been an educator and has worked with children in special education for over 30 years, and she sat on one of the initial panels that put together the IEP process for the State of New Jersey back in the 1970's. Her experience and perspective on children who struggle in traditional school settings is amazing, and it was an absolute privilege to be able to speak with her, the staff and the students at Commonwealth.

I've split our interview into two parts; the first discusses how important it is to take a child-centered approach to education, and how that's the first step to helping struggling learners to begin to think of themselves as academic achievers. We also talk about how the environment of a school matters, and how it is integral to creating a community rather than just an institution of learning.

We've given away our first handful of books, but we have some more available! Additionally, while you may have missed out on the Marcus Buckingham books here, my friend Carrie Runnals from the Words to Mouth podcast, has a few copies she would love to give away to our listeners! Just click the link and go to Carrie's website and you might win! The Words to Mouth podcast is a great place where readers can find out more about the authors and their work through insightful interviews, done by Carrie, another one of the fantastic ladies from the Divacast!

Click here to listen to Show #102, Dr. Susan Johnson, Commonwealth Academy

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Show # 101- Updates and Our Holiday Book Give-Away!

Firstly, we have a new voicemail line- (206) 350-8626
Please call us- and remember we may answer your questions or use your comments on the show!

Holiday Book Giveaway!
Just like last year, we have books to give away this Holiday season! Marcus Buckingham and his publisher sent us 5 copies of his latest book, The Truth About You. I have a few copies of Marcus' "Go Put Your Strengths to Work" to give away as well. We also have books from Rick LaVoie, Dr. Edward Hallowell, Mel Levine and more- including a few cassette audio books for those that prefer audio books!

In order to win, here's what you need to do:

Step 1: Call our Voicemail line at (206) 350-8626 and leave us a comment or question, OR leave a review of the show in iTunes.

Step 2: Send us an email at LDpodcast@gmail.com with your name and mailing address, so we can mail your book to you! I've mailed books all over the world last year, including South Africa, so everyone is eligible!
The first 15 responders will receive a prize!

In today's show, I talk a bit about the recent seminar I atteneded given by Russell Barkley, one of the leading authorities on ADHD. Much of what I heard made me rethink how I think about ADHD and its wide-spread affects on functioning. I got a chance to interview Dr. Barkley in person, and will share that in upcoming shows. I also included a clip from an interview I did a while back with Rick LaVoie, who even mentions Dr. Barkley, and how we sometimes forget how much of our frustrations daily with our kids may be, in part, the learning disability, not just them trying to drive us crazy- something I think we can all use the occasional reminder about- even me.

Thank you so much for listening to the show and making everything we do to keep the show going worth while. Spread the word, and we'll keeping making the lives of kids struggling in school better, one child at a time.

Click here to listen to Show #101- Annual Book Giveaway

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