It’s April 26 today and we are halfway through our summer vacation. That fast? Yes, but not because it is summer means the children are off the books. Nope. Summer means upping the reading skills by more fun choices.

I’m sure children will get bored if they are not engaged in summer fun activities so reading, and not just clicking on those gadgets, will give them fun and excitement too. Now is the time we parents and teachers and parents lead the way and make them love reading.

I’m sure when they are adults they’d rather read fun stuff than read minute details of work-related literature like contracts, North Carolina health insurance, and manuals.

Here is a list of books for summer reading. Let’s hope the reading continues on till after summer vacation. I know *rolls eyes*, it’s 2009 but it’s still a list 😀

Here is another reading list.

I’m not one who get books with popular animation characters because the children can watch these characters on TV so why bother have them in books? I’d rather children read books that will take them to different places, stir their imagination and make them want to read more. Or maybe be a children’s books author some day.

I’ve read about Tomatis years ago during my early foray with the web and I’ve learned from a student about Tomatis Philippines branch. Ok, this is circa late 90s. Among the so many articles I printed about special education, the one about Tomatis method was read again and again. It interested me so.

Fast forward to three years ago, I had a student who underwent a Tomatis Listening Program in Alabang. The parents were so happy with the results. They said that their child, my student, has greatly improved after she underwent a Tomatis Listening Program.

What is Tomatis Method?

The Tomatis Method was developed by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis, a French Ear-Nose-Throat or ENT specialist. The study of auditory processing and language development was pioneered by him which led to a new multi-disciplinary science called Audio Psycho Phonology or APP.

It was the Tomatis Method which led to the discovery of ear and voice interrelationship: the voice can only reproduce what the ear hears. One of the causes of learning problems is the inability to listen.

The Tomatis Method allows children and adults alike to improve their listening skills for better and improved learning skills in a non-invasive and drug-free way. This can be coupled with occupation and/or speech-language therapy and/or special education services.

Listening and communication are the targeted learning modes wherein the auditory stimulation between the ear and the voice are given focused to stimulate the ear’s ability to listen and the brain’s ability to understand what is being heard.

The Tomatis Method makes use of the Music of Mozart because of these three elements: rhythm for human balance, harmony for reaching emotions and melody for the intellect.

The Tomatis Method also uses Gregorian Chant (which by the way, our nun teachers had us learn to sing via Latin songs) because of its proportional beat that is close to the respiratory rhythm. This beat has a succession of sequences of unequal length said to be found in ocean waves that come one after the other but not identical.

The Tomatis Method re-trains the listening system through:

  • use of electronically modified music and language to improve auditory information processing
  • enhances the ability to know the difference between frequencies which are all necessary for language development and auditory information processing
  • use of Electronic Ear

Why is Listening an important factor in Learning? continue reading this entry »

I started this blog Teacher Julie, Filipina Special Education teacher to write about special education issues and my experiences as a special education teacher and I’ve a Teacher Julie Facebook page I’ve recently had the courage to make.

Then I wrote posts about my family and about being a parent under the parenting posts.

Through it all, it gives me immense joy when people I don’t know send emails, comments and thank-yous for helping them while they read about my experiences as a special education teacher.

I know I still have a lot to learn. I know I have my own shortcomings and that my students have adapted to my quirks 😀 I know too that I fall short of the expectations I set for myself.

And there were times when I ranted online when I shouldn’t have.

But in the end, when I see where my students are right now, I feel pride and joy that all the things we went through together are worth every second: teenage issues, challenges, expectations, bittersweet moments, future plans, discussed controversial topics where I have been privy to their journey through the turbulent teenage years.

The sleepless nights, the crossroads, the questions, the doubts now look like just little stumbling blocks that made their parents and I hope that we have shaped the path for a better future for them.

continue reading this entry »

Special needs parents? Whatever happened to children with special needs? Who are these people?

I am so happy to brag write about this. 😀 Woohoo!
Click here to read my article posted at FilipinoMomBlog.

Parents expect a lot when they have their children go into therapy, whether it is occupational therapy or speech and/or language therapy and physical therapy.

Of course, they expect a lot because they pay a lot of money to be able to get these services for their children.

Here in the Philippines, parents/families of children receiving therapy services pay for these services, unlike those children in other countries who get these as part of their tax benefits.

Getting into these therapy services don’t mean instant relief and instant improvement of the developmental and behavioral problems that need to be addressed.

So what should parents expect during the first few weeks of therapy?

Below are a few observations I have made during the course of working with these therapists:

continue reading this entry »

Posted by teacherjulie @ 9:52 am

This morning, Kuya and I went to visit a developmental pediatrician at the Medical City. We were a bit early and because he woke up only when we were just a few meters from the hospital, I bought him a grilled ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. He ate his sandwich while the doctor and I are discussing what seems to be bothering me my objectives in having him seen by a doctor like her.

I told the doctor my concerns. That he doesn’t talk to the staff and therapists at the center where I am the special ed teacher but he talks to the students there. But because he is very observant, he asks why some of those who are older are not able to answer the questions being asked of them.

He is shy and would rarely speak with other people around, except for relatives. He still has to experience formal school and going with me to the center is the next best thing he has experienced for socialization.

His skills are varied and amazing and are not usually characterized by his age. He can read and spell long and complicated words. He can read short stories and answer questions about that. He can read all the words in the Dolch Sight Words, and even spell them correctly when he was just four years old. He can add multi-digit numbers mentally. He can subtract multi-digit static subtraction mentally. As well as multiply and divide mentally. I also explained that I just go with what he wants to do because he taught himself to do these skills, with me just giving him enrichment activities.

Aside from those skills, he can calculate on what day a certain date will fall. He likes gadgets: mobile phones, computers, PDA, calculator. He likes looking at calendars. He can also name cars, very specific makes, not just brands. He was also able to do a 90 piece jigsaw puzzle before he turned five. Oh, have I mentioned that he has his own e-mail address and can send YM to those who are online when he goes online. Anyway, enough bragging.

He was given different activities: mostly language-based activities, patterns, fine and gross-motor activities, problem-solving drills and a lot more. He was drumming his fingers on the table in between activities. He answered seemingly without thinking, very spontaneously. It seems to me that he was even challenging himself to be very fast and accurate especially when he knew he was being timed.

The Verdict Result?

Because he was not very adept at writing, his overall performance was affected. But not so surprisingly, the doctor said that he is “potentially gifted in the analytical and reasoning skills.” Some of his skills are those found in eight year old children.

He even scored 95 months in some aspects when his chronological age/level is 70 months. Except of course, his writing/copying, which I don’t worry much about. Around age 7, he can be tested further and thoroughly by a child psychologist.

This is of course puts more pressure on me and my husband to further encourage him to do his best as well as develop where he is not best, his social skills. At the same time, he should be able to enjoy the childhood joys and experiences which will make him a better person.

For the meantime, we will make an appointment to meet with the guidance counselor at my eldest daughter’s school where they can make arrangements for placements based on the skills and academic levels of the students.

(I’m so sorry Dr. ALR, I really wanted an appointment before the school year starts so I didn’t get an appointment with you because the average waiting time is 6-8 months. Proof that you are the most sought-after dev ped in the country)

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