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4 out of 5 People Suffer Brain Injuries June 9, 2007

Posted by edukfun in aging, brain, brain injury, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, focus, general, health, memory loss, mTBI, neuroscience, stress.
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Does it seem like 80% of the people you work with are touched in the head? Eighty percent of people will sustain a brain injury and not get adequate treatment. Think you’re safe just because you don’t skateboard or Rollerblade?

Wrong. Brain injury is an enemy that infiltrates all social classes and cultures.

Most victims will suffer financial, emotional and physical limitations for the rest of their lives. Why is this silent epidemic…well, silent? Unless victims sustain a coma or cannot walk and talk, then the concept of brain injury is casually dismissed by society and the courts.

It is no coincidence that many cases of teenage rebellion coincide with an earlier bump on the head.

The effects of brain injury may not surface in entirety until many months after the injury. Most of us think that unless someone needs stitches, they haven’t sustained a “serious” injury. The scary truth is that a head injury can occur faster than it takes to form a thought or even say a word. Adults are prone to shaken baby syndrome too. There is help and there are signs.

Adults are prone to shaken baby syndrome too.

Try the complimentary 39 Point Learning Assessment to see if you can be set free from brain fog and live in the land of clarity! CDC has published a very helpful guide about what to do if you or a loved one has experienced a head injury.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi/tbibook.pdf

Dr Amy Price

Dr Amy Price is a Patient Volunteer & Executive Director
at the Spinal Injury Foundation
http://www.spinalinjuryfoundation.org

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Gimme a break! How to get kids to work more, waste less. May 31, 2007

Posted by edukfun in add, add parents, adhd, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, challenged, children, concentration, discipline, education, exercise, fitness, focus, homework, ld, learning disability, parenting, parents, school, stress, teacher.
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ROWE, ROWE, ROWE your boat…at work but not at school. ROWE stands for Results Only Work Environment. Long story short: let people work how they want, when they want. Only measure the results. Performance and morale improve.

There workers can come in at four or leave at noon, or head for the movies in the middle of the day, or not even show up at all. It’s the work that matters, not the method. And, not incidentally, both output and job satisfaction have jumped wherever ROWE is tried.

Full article here.

How can we use Results-Only to get our kids to perform?

The bottom line for teachers and parents is that they need to get cooperation from 1-150 kids on tasks that, lets be honest, often aren’t interesting to them. If the child has ADD or a Learning Disability, the challenge is even greater.

Are our schools results oriented?

With few exceptions, in my opinion, No. This does vary from school to school and teacher to teacher, but overall I think that the atmosphere in America’s classrooms (big generalization here) is one in which students are evaluated on a mixed curriculum of education and discipline. In other words, the student’s grade is determined by both his or her mastery of the material and by how well he or she fits into the stereotypical pigeon-hole of a “good student”.

It is not enough for a student to learn the curriculum. He or she must also meet the teacher’s expectations of behavior and discipline or their grades will suffer. Which means that their collegiate futures are at risk. Which means their behavior in and around the classroom will in part determine their future.

Why is this bad? In my opinion, it is appropriate to evaluate behaviors, rule-following, conscientiousness and sociability. However, this evaluation needs to be made separate from an academic evaluation. Not merely out of fairness but because a student’s behavior does not reflect his or her mastery of the material. If the student has mastered the curriculum, and demonstrates that mastery on assessments, then his or her grade should reflect that mastery.

Further, teachers evaluate behavior based on their biased backgrounds. Students with different backgrounds are unfairly penalized. Since most teachers are middle-class, poor students suffer.

What do I mean? I mean that the student should not be penalized because he or she did not complete a non-assessment assignment (busy-work) or was disruptive in the classroom, or had a poor attendance record. Notice that each of these items are strongly correlated with poverty and a low socio-economic status. They also fit the profile of kids with Learning Disabilities.

In my opinion, when teachers mix assessment grades with behavior grades, they are doing these kids a major disservice. I am especially thinking of my LD students. These kids’ futures are already at risk. If they are graduating on a regular diploma, and most are, then they need every point they can get on their GPA. When I go into an Individualized Education Planning (IEP) meeting for a student, and I see that his assessment grades are A’s, B’s and C’s but his report card is full of C’s, D’s and F’s I conclude that the student’s needs are not being met. Isn’t it obvious? He can ace the exam, but has seven zeros for homework assignments…he’s learned the material. Even more, he did it without doing the homework. For him, the homework was really just busy work.

The goal of our schools should not be to pump out mass-produced cookie-cutter worker.

Corporate America is realizing that if you let good people make choices about how and when to work, everybody wins. Lets take that lesson home and into the classroom. Recognize that people have different learning styles and preferences and that the goal of our schools should not be to pump out mass-produced cookie-cutter workers.

Teachers: create multiple routes to success. Keep behavior and academic evaluations separate.

Parents: realize that your kid needs breaks. LD and ADD kids need LOTS of breaks. Split their homework session in two. Have a physical activity planned for in between.

One last quick story: a student of mine often comes in completely brain-fried. You know, that horrible feeling that you can’t even spell your own name right…for no reason! Once I realize we are up against the wall we go for a ten-minute walk and talk about video games. This lifts the mind-fog and learning can begin again.

Good luck!

Allen Dobkin

De-Stress & Deflate Anger: Good For Your Heart May 30, 2007

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in aging, alternative treatment, anger, focus, general, health, heart focus, meditation, parents, science, stress.
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“I don’t know what’s happening with my life.” Who hasn’t felt that way? Life moves at breakneck speed and that can lead to stress, anger and heart attacks. Is there a way out without $150 per hour therapy and $25 per pill medications? Here are some free techniques to help you de-stress and feel good at any age.

A client was having trouble getting her son to his appointment.

“My mother broke her arm and is living with me. I don’t know what’s happening with my life.” Those of us in the sandwich generation get pushed at both ends, and we have our own issues. “I need my reading glasses, but I can’t remember where I put them.” We’re having increased responsibilities to others while at the same time our physical and mental abilities are declining.

Now it doesn’t have to be as bad as it sounds. Life does not have to be a xanax moment. Some things are inherently on our side and there is more we can do to stack the deck.

The Benefits of Age

Aging is more than high cholesterol and cellulite. We can also gain wisdom and calmness from life experience. Instead of breaking all my crystal when I am angry, I can just imagine smashing it and avoid the cleanup. If I am really desperate, I can throw some ice. I can recognize my feelings and think about how to use them productively. My mind tells me the consequences of my actions because I have been at this juncture before.

When I was younger I was tossed about by my emotions. Now I have my lifelines. I remember the ring of Solomon which states, “This too will pass.” I ask myself if this will really matter in 1000 years. I go for a walk, call a friend or ask the audience. I have an arsenal of techniques keep me sane. This doesn’t mean that I’m always in control. When I get to be an enlightened being I’ll let you know. But things that would have set me off in the past have lost of their potency and I have gained some of mine.

Better Living through Technology

At Sparks of Genius we use some technological innovation to help with stress.

HeartMath® technology teaches you how to shift from a negative emotion to a positive one. When you do this, your heart rhythms automatically shift to a state of coherence, releasing a cascade of positive neural, hormonal and biochemical events.

When they are using the Harmony Sparking Station in our electronic playground, HeartMath® computer, we teach our clients learn the Quick Coherence Technique, so that they can see the changes in their heart rhythms in real time. If you want to get ahead of the game, you can practice this technique on your own.

Step 1 – Heart Focus

Focus your attention on the area around your heart.

Step 2 – Heart Breathing

Pretend you are breathing through your heart area. Breathe slowly to a count of 5 or 6.

Step 3 – Heart Feeling

Continue to breathe through your heart and find a positive feeling. You could remember an appreciation for someone, a fun activity or a time in your life when you felt at peace. Think about one of the many things that you could be grateful for. Once you have found the positive feeling, sustain it with heart focus, heart breathing and heart feeling.

Do this exercise several times a day. Make it part of yourself. You can even make it a point to practice when you are stopped for a red light. Then it can become a life line.

As soon as you feel angry, practice heart focus, heart breathing and heart feeling. Once you have those positive feelings flowing, ask yourself how you could best handle your situation. Do you need a time out or is there something that you could do or say that will help. Do you need to journal, jog or schedule an appointment with your life coach?

Remember that if we are lucky enough to stay around on this planet, we will all grow older. The gift is being able to grow wiser.

By Ninah Kessler, LCSW
Life Coach