Check it Out! Products You Can Use: Focus on Learning
What can parents do to help their child with special needs thrive academically? There are two areas that are cornerstones for learning: Improving focus and memory. Some products are helping kids develop both.
One such innovation has been created by an attention research psychologist. The developers believe that today kids are struggling, not because they aren’t smart or capable, but because there are more distractions than ever.
Without getting into the neuroTechnology, all parents need to know is that it helps children build attention, overcome distractions and improve memory. All kids need to know is that it’s fun and has all the excitement of a video game. The game is called Jungle Rangers and the company is appropriately named Focus Education.
Twinkle Tunes Piano Book
Let’s turn from games to another area of entertainment options that can tone kids’ brains–music. Research continues to document that connecting children to music helps:
- Increase the ability to hear speech in noise
- Aids in communication, reading and language
- Improves verbal memory and word recall
Additional research shows that music lessons may lead to positive changes in the brain that persist years after the lessons stop.
Articles promoting the benefits of musical training mention dyslexia, Down syndrome and attention-deficit.
Since much of the research involves musical training, a company that offers lots of options for early learners is Schoenhut. From pianos to guitars they specialize in starting kids off right. For example, the Twinkle Tunes Piano Book combines book with piano and offers only 8 keys for a perfect introduction to music.
Kids with special needs often need a little academic intervention. Improving focus and memory is a great way to start.
Buy it at Amazon.com
Reviewed by Ellen Metrick
Mobo Cruisers (3 styles)
Riding a bike builds skills, good health and self-confidence — and what fun it is! Low muscle tone or poor balance is not a barrier with our bikes which help children succeed on wheels.
The Mobo® Mini three-wheeled cruiser has a unique steering system that helps develop hand-eye coordination and muscle strength. The sturdy comfortable seat and chainless chassis protects small fingers from boo-boos. The adjustable frame grows with the child, from ages 2.5-5.
The Mobo® Mobito has ergonomic back support with six angle settings and adjustable frame designed to fit and grow with kids ages 4-10. The emergency brake feature and rear-wheel automatic alignment allows for quick turns and stylish cruising.
The Mobo® Triton for ages 7 to teens, is known for ultra-maneuverability and “way cool” design. A simple steering mechanism, caliper handbrakes, ergonomic seating and low-to-the-ground chassis makes this perfect for riding with friends or working out.
Buy it at Amazon.com
Tactile Sensory Ball
Playing ball is a great sensory experience — especially when the surface is covered with hundreds of small tactile bumps! The added stimulation brings a new level to exercise and ball activities. Work out on the ball to strengthen core muscles, and improve body awareness, balance and attention. Roll the ball over the child for a deep pressure tactile massage. 28” diameter. Requires Pump (sold separately).
Buy it at Funandfunction.com
Through 22 songs, Play CD focuses on auditory skills needed to enhance listening, follow directions and process information. The first 30 minutes teaches awareness of loud, soft, fast, slow, and the presence or absence of sound — all characteristics of good communication. The second half asks children to listen to, interpret, and respond to instrument sounds and music clips. Children can do the listening exercises either sitting or standing. Age 2+.
Buy it at Amazon.com
What’s “APP”ening? Helpful Apps for Children with Special Needs
One Minute Reader by Read Naturally, Inc. The One Minute Reader app is for developing and struggling readers. It is based on the Read Naturally program and strategy used by thousands of schools for 20 years. The program has several steps that are research based and are important in fluency development. The steps include non-fiction stories, a cold timing to establish a baseline for improvement, and reading along with a fluent reader.
Price: Free 7 day trial period. Subscription cost is $8.00 per month per reader (reading level based).
Buy it at Oneminutereader.com/
Inclusive Smarty Pants by Inclusive Technology Ltd. In Inclusive Smarty Pants, your child gets to choose one of four characters then gets to choose which emotion he wants them to act out. From happy and sad to crazy or embarrassed, your child controls how the character responds. It’s a great way to begin talking about emotions and feelings. It’s ideal for children with low vision. There are even ways a child with no vision can participate.
Buy it at Apps.apple.com
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Do you have a product you would like to share with our readers? Please fill our form describing your product. We are happy to review your product. Visit https://www.parentingspecialneeds.org/submit/product/ for the form.
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- Making Learning Fun: Teaching Pivotal Skills
- Reiki and Children with Learning Disabilities
- Language and Literacy Learning: Success With Technology
- Seven Unexpected Ways to Increase Your Child’s Learning
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This post originally appeared on our March/April 2013 Magazine