On the Horizon – 10/04/11

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 164: Come to the Edge

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.

To keep receiving On the Horizon, please add the email address “nicolebeurkens@horizonsdrc.com” to your safe address list.

  • A Note from Nicole: Apple Orchards & Pumpkin Patches
  • Feature Article: Homework Headaches
  • Ask the Horizons Team
  • Upcoming Events: Simple Solutions Seminar
  • Recommended Resources

I can’t believe that October is already here. It seems that once the school year starts time moves even faster! We’ve taken our annual trip to the apple orchard as a family, and will be heading out to the pumpkin patch next weekend. All of us are enjoying the gorgeous fall weather we’ve been having recently – great for walks and bike rides. We’ve got to soak it up now before the snow starts!

Now that the school year is in full swing are you and your child struggling with homework every week? While homework is not a problem for some kids, it can be a source of major stress and challenge for many. Courtney’s featured article this week provides some great tips for making homework less stressful and more manageable for everyone.

This week’s question from a reader is about writing and typing computer programs. See below for my recommendation. You can also check out the sidebar to the right for information on our popular audio program to help teachers support students with autism and related disorders in the classroom.

Make it a great week!

Looking to the horizon,

Homework Headaches: How to Reduce Stress and Frustration between Parents and Children

By Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.

For many families, the hustle and bustle of the after-school time can be stressful for both parents and children. Kids come home, want a snack, and need to get the wiggles and giggles out while we as parents are trying to accomplish those last minute things that need to be done for the day. Homework is just another stressor that all too often gets thrown into the mix and can cause anxiety and frustration for everyone involved. Homework can be useful for many purposes; however, spending great lengths of time working on homework and increasing feelings of frustration are negatives that far outweigh the benefits. If your child struggles with completing homework assignments and managing anxiety or frustration due to homework or school in general, here are a few strategies that you can use to make the after school hours at home more enjoyable for everyone in the family.

Click here to read the rest of this article…


I’m looking for a computer program to help my son learn typing and writing skills. He’s 7 years old and is interested in using the computer, but struggles with typing and getting his thoughts down in writing. Do you have any programs you recommend?

-Donna in Michigan


Hi Donna,

While I’m not typically a fan of very many computer programs (I think kids spend too much time in front of screens!), I do have a program I use and recommend for typing. It’s called the Read, Write, & Type! Learning System, and it’s designed to teach phonics, spelling, keyboarding, and word processing. The program is entertaining and includes enough repetition that kids can grasp the skills with practice. I’ve used this program with a number of students very successfully, so hopefully your son will benefit as well. Let me know what you think if you decide to us it. The link to the program is here: http://www.readwritetype.com/readwritetype/RWT-learning-system.html

Best Wishes,

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Upcoming Events

Simple Solutions Seminar
October 20, 7-8:30PM via teleseminar
The Stress-Behavior Connection: Strategies to Reduce Your Child’s Stress and Improve Functioning

Parent Education Day
Horizons Clients Only
October 29, 10:00AM-3:30PM at Horizons


Autism Transformation for Educators Audio Program

From Frustrated and Overwhelmed to Overwhelming Success: 10 Concepts That Will Transform the Way You Understand and Teach Students with Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

More Information >>