On the Horizon – 03/29/2011

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Horizons Developmental Remediation Center

On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 142: Difficulties with Reading Comprehension

On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

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In This Issue


A Note from Nicole: Speaking Engagements

Idea of the Week:  Sound Shaker Instruments

Feature Article: Difficulties with Reading Comprehension

The Horizons Team Recommends: Learning as we Grow

Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week: Cut Out Croutons

Upcoming Events: Workshops/Conferences


A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe the end of March is already upon us.  As I look ahead on the calendar there are so many things happening this Spring, and I’ve got lots of travel arrangements to make.  I will have the pleasure of speaking at a variety of conferences in the coming months (see the calendar below for details).  I hope you will stop and see me if you attend any of the events where I will be speaking!

I’m so excited that hundreds of you are already planning to join me this Thursday, March 31 at 8:00pm Eastern for the “Can You Hear Me Now? 3 Strategies to Improve Communication with your ASD/ADHD Child Immediately” teleseminar!  If you would like to attend but haven’t yet registered for this free seminar, click here now  to claim your spot.  Remember that even if you can’t listen at the time of the teleseminar, we will send everyone who registers a link to the recording so you can listen when it works with your schedule.

Erin’s featured article this week is about reading comprehension. She provides information about why children on the spectrum/with related disorders struggle with comprehension, as well as some strategies for improving this critical skill.  Feel free to pass it along to teachers and others you know can benefit.

Make it a great week!

Looking to the horizon,

Idea of the Week

Sound Shaker Instruments

Let's make some noise!Take a paper towel roll and glue or tape a decorated piece of construction paper around it designing it how you want. Trace the ends of the tube and cut out paper a bit bigger so you can cover the ends of the tube. Cover one end and then fill the tube about half full with rice cereal and then cover the other end. These make great shakes when singing songs and dancing. You can add them to other instruments you may have made before.

    Feature Article

    Difficulties with Reading Comprehension

    By: Erin Roon, MA CCC-SLP

    It is common for children on the autism spectrum to have difficulty with comprehending not only what is said, but also what they read.  Typically, children with ASD can read the words on the page, but struggle with comprehending what they have read.  This can be for a few different reasons.  

    One reason may be slower processing speeds: They need more time to think about what they have read and make sense of it.  Another problem, related to processing speed, can revolve around the types of questions being asked to assess comprehension.  Children with autism spectrum disorders know that when someone asks them a question, they need to respond with an answer even if the answer does not make sense to them.  Generally, when an adult asks a comprehension question they expect a quick response; but this leads the child to answer with whatever pops into their head, whether it makes sense or not.  If we slow down and allow time to process the question, the child may be able to come up with a reasonable response to what was being asked.  A better solution would be to stop asking questions altogether.  

    Another reason for poor comprehension may be competing environmental stimuli that make it difficult for a child to stay focused on what s/he is reading.  If the child has difficulty tuning out other sensory stimuli – sounds, sights, smells, etc –  s/he will have difficult focusing on the text.  Some children are very good at looking like they are comprehending what they are reading; but in reality, even though they are saying the words they are really tuned into the light, that is buzzing overhead.  This is something to be aware of in your classroom, to determine whether there may need to be some accommodations made during reading time to ensure the child is truly able to focus on what s/he is reading.

    Read more …

    The Horizons Team Recommends

    Learning as we Grow

    Learning as
    we Grow

    You’ve Been
    Asking For It – The Resource for Applying Principles of Remediation in
    School Settings is Finally Here!

    This long-awaited book is written for parents and
    professionals who want to be more effective in their work with students
    who have neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

    You will learn how to:

    • Identify the core features of neurodevelopmental disorders
      that create communication, learning, and relationship challenges for
      your students

    • Shift from a mindset of working around deficits
      (compensation) to correcting the root issues that create obstacles for
      your students (remediation)

    • Modify your communication to promote your students’
      communication and thinking abilities

    • Identify the unique strengths and obstacles of each student
      in order to determine appropriate placement and programming

    • Achieve meaningful outcomes for students that allow them to
      reach their greatest potential

    For more information, click here
    NEW! Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week

    Cut Out Croutons

    (Recipe from Allergy Proof Recipes for Kids by Leslie Hammond and Lynne Marie Rominger. SNACKS AND MUNCHIES section, page 39)

    Whether you have just started a special diet with your child or you have been following one for years, it can be difficult to come up with what to serve. We decided to try to make that just a bit easier by providing you with a new allergen free recipe each week. While it is impossible to meet every person’s unique food sensitivity needs, we hope you will find these recipes helpful and delicious. Please feel free to adapt the recipes to meet your needs and taste buds; we do it all the time. In addition to the weekly recipes, we will be highlighting a specific allergen free product of the month. Enjoy!

    CroutonsCut Out Croutons

    Yield: about 2 cups (200 g)

    Try cutting these croutons into tiny squares for salads, soups, and snacks or use fun cookie cutters to make giant crunchy treats for toddlers.

    4 pieces gluten-free bread

    Get the recipe ...

    Upcoming Events

    Please join us!

    • Autism Society of Wisconsin Annual Conference
      Nicole will be presenting
      April 14th – 16th
    • Special Teleseminar!
      “Can You Hear Me Now? 3 Strategies to Improve Communication with your ASD/ADHD Child Immediately”
      (Open to everyone)
      March 31st at 8pm Eastern
    • Autism Society of Wisconsin Annual Conference
      Nicole will be presenting
      April 14th – 16th
    • Teleseminar:
      Carschooling Ideas and Resources for Learning while in the Car
      Guest: Diane Flynn Keith
      (Horizons Families Only)
      Thursday April 21 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    • Simple Solutions Seminar
      “How to Set Limits Without Losing Your Mind”
      April 21st at Horizons from 7:00 – 8:30 PM

    On the Horizon
    is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child¹s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

    Our mailing address is:
    Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
    3120 68th Street SE
    Caledonia, MI  49316

    Our telephone:
    (616) 698-0306

    Our email address:

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