Summer Tech Use?

On Facebook recently, I read the following question from a parent and had some ideas about what might be helpful:

“Anyone had success in detaching their kids from the electronic world? I have a huge concern about what this is doing to my 2 boys with multiple letters in their diagnosis…I am afraid our summer is a battle and competition with it.ūüėĎ”

There is cause for concern, battles aside. According to How Technology Hinders People with ADHD: “Technology use requires balance and self-monitoring. It can be beneficial to utilize the available software to help increase productivity, but also to help decrease distraction and hyper-focus”.

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidelines for the use of technology that might be worthwhile to consider.

Create a Family Media Plan.

Create three rules:

RULE ONE

“Pick One Piece of Technology to Use Today for .. (time limit) ) Pick one i.e. kindle, i-pad, computer, etc,

You might want to define clearly on a color coded wipe off board or schedule such as this for each child:

Monday =Kindle Fire;

Tuesday = iPad etc. I might want to rotate every day of the week. Monday may be kindle day, Tuesday could be i-pad day etc.

RULE TWO

Plan Media Viewing: Here is a list of acceptable programs or … decide together what will be watched (you as a parent are responsible for how technology is used and viewed at home)

RULE THREE

Talk about what you have watched with mom/dad

Technology Can Facilitate Social Interaction Graphic

**The research shows that children of different ages understand ond process what they view on computers or other electronic devices best if you as an adult watch it with them and then discuss what is being viewed.

The Ready to Learn Television Program

The Ready to Learn Program: 2010-2015 Policy Brief, published in March 2016, summarized ED‚Äôs Ready to Learn Television program research on the effectiveness of three educational television production organizations.53 The brief reported on 15 effectiveness/summative research studies with children aged 3-8 using media in informal learning settings (such as after school or child care programs); 7 of the studies focused on learning at home. From the 7 studies that focused on learning at home, positive associations were found between at-home engagement and children‚Äôs math learning with children whose parents received interventions such as content guides and suggestions for supplemental activities. The studies also found that parents‚Äô awareness of children‚Äôs math learning increased their likeliness to engage in activities and strategies to help their children learn math.

On a personal Note:

On this Father’s Day, I remember the house rule in my family. Each of the three of us siblings was allowed to watch television for one hour per day. The rule was so ingrained into my daily life that I can even recall the names of the shows I watched and the time of day. It was always for an hour in the morning before school. It was a relaxing way to start the day. Of course, the time of day changed with advancing childhood years.

There were exceptions to that rule: My parents allowed us additional time if we had to watch something on television for school OR if there was a special program – for example watching “The Wizard of Oz” as a family was a big deal for us. It was, after all, a simpler time. Another such special additional viewing that stands out is the night that Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. The LM landed on the Moon at 20:17:39 GMT (16:17:39 EDT) on 20 July 1969. That was special!… so special that we went to the neighbor’s house to watch together. We went there because they had a color television set and I imagine my parents wanted to share the occasion with other adults. For some reason, one of those memories as a little girl was that of dad carrying me home really comfortable in his arms, because I fell asleep right after the landing.

The beauty of this rule is a child was that I was forced to develop other interests and had to learn what else I could do in my free time. Mom was a librarian so we spent a lot of time picking out books and reading. I’d read two or three books at a time. I set up lemonade stands, rode my bike, learned how to draw, and write poetry. During the summer, we went to the pool. We traveled as a family, as we got older and actually may do so even now, periodically as adults. It builds bonds by sharing face time. The challenge comes when you sit down to eat and the phone has to go in a basket, away from everyone and the game is who can stay away from their phone for the longest! Technology can really be addictive!

Finally – for additional thought on the topic of how we use the brain and how it develops take note of this article and perhaps build reading time into your family’s regular routine:

https://medium.com/@alltopstartups/the-reading-brain-why-your-brain-needs-you-to-read-every-day-f5307c50d979#:~:text=Our%20brains%20change%20and%20develop%20in%20some%20fascinating%20ways%20when%20we%20read.&text=Reading%20involves%20several%20brain%20functions,something%20as%20by%20experiencing%20it.

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Before Technology

Sometimes same events re-occur.  Years ago, families had rules about the use of television with children and now things have gotten more complex with the emergence of social media,  smartphones, and computers for example.

The Family Media Plan-published by the American Academy of Pediatrics talks about the fact that at the age of fifteen months, the use of media is okay so long as a parent watches with the toddler.  The controversy around this area is a fascinating one that should be considered by parents and caregivers.  In visiting homes it becomes apparent that there are varying opinions and reasons for or against its use being voiced.  Research about the use of technology is telling us more and more.  The fact that it is showing that there is an influence on brain development is not surprising. How does this affect your children and parenting style around this issue?

THE CHECKUP

Screen Use Tied to Children’s Brain Development

In a study, preschoolers who used screens less had better language skills.

 

Credit…iStock by Getty Images

Becoming Bi or Tri-Lingual

woman reading book to toddler
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

Speaking more than one language at home enriches communication for children with autism

Neuro-typical and-atypical learns a language in the same way. Rather than a detrimental task for them, you are actually creating new pathways in the brain AND enabling more of the brain to develop. The fact is that anyone can learn a language, but it is simply easier to do so at an early age as the brain is initially developing. Over time, the language that a child is most comfortable with may change. The key will be to give a child lots of practice.

For special needs parents who have voiced this concern: Current research does not support the idea that raising a child with autism in a bilingual learning environment will delay language development or cause a language disorder. In fact, based on recent studies, we encourage parents to expose their child with autism to bilingual language environments.www.marcus.org ‚Äļ autism-resources ‚Äļ autism-tips-and-resources ‚Äļ autism…Autism & Bilingualism | Marcus Autism Center For sure – with these children you will want to have social pragmatic group involvement – defined here: https://www.autismspeaks.org/social-skills-and-autism. It’s just important for you and the group leader to understand that the child who learns two languages will typically develop skill function in the same sequence but at a slower rate. The fact that language development is slower will also slow down the rate of social skill development. Here is a list of the sequence https://www.apa.org/act/resources/fact-sheets/development-10-years. You may wish to discuss this with the social skills group leader, identifying with your child’s team where they are at.

Key Suggestions for How to Teach Your Child

One person’s parent or caregiver speaks on language and the other parent speaks the second language

At school – one language i.e. English and at home i.e. Mandarin

In the morning one language is spoken and then at night a second language is spoken

Some parents send their children to language classes after school. In NYC for example https://infohub.nyced.org/in-our-schools/programs/english-language-learners-programs-and-services

Keeping within the guidelines of your Family Media Plan you may want to incorporate these television programs for your younger child https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/5-bilingual-tv-shows-for-preschoolers or as they are older https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-lists

No-Tech Activity for Teaching Dual Languages:

  • Reading Rockets

  •  

https://www.readingrockets.org/article/learning-two-languages

  • Bosley

In this reading series, Bosley may be a helpful addition for your child’s quiet reading time at home; because you can Follow Bosley on his adventures and learn a new language This dual language book is designed to teach your child new words and phrases. Techniques that are used include Repeat words Simple phrases Opposites Highlighted vocab words

Paperback Bosley Sees the World : A Dual Language Book in Mandarin Chinese and English Book

 

https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/bosley-sees-the-world-a-dual-language-book-in-spanish-and-english_tim—johnson/9469358/#isbn=1470171155&idiq=35837160

 

Play and Holidays

 

IMAGE |  | EDIT

top view photography of toddler playing with toy

 

Parents ask ‚Äď what can I get for my special needs child for the holidays.¬† The gift of sharing time and allowing for this experience is probably one of the most important.¬† This is well documented in the literature and even pediatricians have weighed in on the subject of play with children.

Play is important for communication development as the below blog author illustrates http://www.playingwithwords365.com/the-importance-of-play-for-speech-and-language-development/   and as you step into the shopping mall on Black Friday or you are selecting toys online consider these developmental stages in play development https://pathways.org/kids-learn-play-6-stages-play-development/.   The reason to consider this would be to make sure that your child can actually benefit from the toy being purchased,

Recognize that for children Рanything can become a toy.  The box collection (by age) of 52 quick and creative idea cards is great for easy ones which can be a guide for fun activities.  If money is an issue for you Рtake a look. All the materials can be found at home:

If it is hard financially to purchase toys, you may wish to contact The Salvation Army for assistance.

TRADITIONAL TOYS:

To me, a traditional toy is one that is not battery operated.  I remember using these as a child. For example lincoln logs, building blocks, board puzzles, board games such as Monopoly, CandyLand, Pick Up Sticks or numerous doll teal parties with a tea set, balls, frisbees. There are many others and this site offers

https://funandfunction.com/  

https://www.target.com/s/non+battery+toys?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=Toys_Dolls%2BPuppets%2BPlush%2BAction+Figures&adgroup=Animal+Figures_3&LID=700000001171643&LNM=non+battery+toys&MT=b&network=g&device=c&location=9067609&targetid=kwd-302805841827&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&gclid=Cj0KCQiAt_PuBRDcARIsAMNlBdpoEMMECWDQDfTaVdTipJsGvkDwed41JpN0uX-c9KZSZ5mCPxmFoLYaAuqgEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

The value of a traditional toy cannot be underestimated because the use o f these involves that of imagination expansion.  Here is some foood for additional thought https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/no-battery-gifts/

https://www.target.com/s/non+battery+toys?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=Toys_Dolls%2BPuppets%2BPlush%2BAction+Figures&adgroup=Animal+Figures_3&LID=700000001171643&LNM=non+battery+toys&MT=b&network=g&device=c&location=9067609&targetid=kwd-302805841827&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&gclid=Cj0KCQiAt_PuBRDcARIsAMNlBdpoEMMECWDQDfTaVdTipJsGvkDwed41JpN0uX-c9KZSZ5mCPxmFoLYaAuqgEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

BATTERY OPERATED, ELECTRONIC OR TRADITIONAL TOYS:

One of my favorites is Melissa and Doug toys because they are very sturdy, last a long time and can be used in so many different ways as children grow.  A number are available on their website and here are some links on the site for those who want them toys for upcoming vacations with packing limitations: https://www.melissaanddoug.com/search/?q=puzzles%20for%20toddlers   or https://www.melissaanddoug.com/search/?q=puzzles+in+a+box&lang=default   

Other toys through Melissa and Doug are Sensory Friendly toys      as well as on these sites:

https://www.specialneedstoys.com/usa/holiday-gift-guide

Whichever toy you may choose to purchase, have fun!  Without realizing it you will be building memories that will last a lifetime!

What Does it Mean to Have Generational Intelligence and What are Your Thoughts?

Spread template PC fonts

 

What is communication in the 21st century? Are we merely talking??¬† Research actually is saying ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ. The above chart from the University of Liverpool illustrates the differences between age groups.¬† We are really are what I would term to be global communicators; in that, we use a variety of communication forms.¬† That has good and bad sides to it.¬† The need to be generationally intelligent becomes necessary for all of us if we are going to get along.¬† Why?¬† It’s important since the presence of a digital world has made these differences even more pronounced than they ever have been.¬† The differences are also permanent. Technology is not going away any time soon and is changing every day quite rapidly.

Jean Twenge gives a great deal of insight about the concept I am introducing.¬† She discusses the differences in how people are living, looking at longitudinal studies that she has conducted. Her latest book documents this:¬† https://www.amazon.com/iGen-Super-Connected-Rebellious-Happy-Adulthood-ebook/dp/B01N6ACK3B/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529427009&sr=8-1&keywords=iGen.¬† Sadly, she notes that those¬†who are born in an age of smartphones and the internet are not as happy as a result of the social isolation of many digital natives.¬† Wouldn’t this now point to the need for increased and easier access to mental health care?

Technology has also had an impact on physical health, both positively and negatively.    http://www.digitalresponsibility.org/health-and-technology/  Only you understand how you individually are being affected or not.   It is interesting to think about and then consider if there are any issues that impact on your life.  How is your life being affecting and how are you communicating pre-post technology or as a digital native?

 

 

Dr. Andreas Hoff (2012) Generational Intelligence: A Critical Approach to Age Relations By Biggs, S., and Lowenstein, A., Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 10:3, 304-308, DOI: 10.1080/15350770.2012.698975.  

 

Did You Hear What I said?? Did You Understand me!!

The answer to these questions are going to be conveyed differently, depending on your age and life experience with technology.  I’ve been doing a great deal of reading about communication and wonder what the best way to do so is at this time.   The subject has consumed me lately as I talk with others about how to figure out whether someone has a disorder of speech-language or not.  What is a real pathology of communication.

Jean a Twenge documents in a number of her texts, based on years of research, tells us that how we do will vary based on how old you are.   of the generational group into which you are birthed. .

Messages appear to get confused in my opinion, ¬†unless the correct form of communication is utilized. ¬† ¬†I use email a great deal; but find that it is unfortunate that I don’t even know what most my colleagues look like. ¬†E-mail is mostly the way that I obtain work. ¬†It is less personal. ¬†All of us should add a photo of ourselves next to our names. ¬†Can anyone communicate how to add that? ¬†I send signed cards to colleagues around the holidays. ¬†One year, I was told how much it was appreciated because “nobody sends these anymore ..it is only communicated electronically. ¬†The ¬†impact that technology has had on Millennials vs. Baby Boomers has been documented in the literature. ¬†For example, The titled Have Smartphone Destroyed a Generation documents some of the effects of these changes. ¬†¬†The article was published by a professor of psychology at San Diego State University by the name of Jean M. Twenge last week in “The Atlantic”. The link https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/ . ¬†It poses the next question regarding how we view communication in today’s world. ¬†How does the change affect those who did not grow up with it and how does it impact on those who did.? ¬†The author explores it and it would be good to take note of its contents. My thanks again to its author!

Technology clearly can become addictive and studies are showing that there is impact on neurologic development.¬† https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170902/¬† ¬†No surprise!¬† It’s use can be beneficial if tailored to the individual; but parents in particuylar should be aware:

The author of the below article (see link) talks about how limitations around the use of technology are helpful with children. In the presence of AAP (american academy of pediatrics) guidelines parents can shape the behavior of them and ease the transition into and out of periods of exposure through the development of structured embedding of this into daily life.¬† To this day, I recall my childhood.¬† My parents told each of the three of us (two older brothers and I) that we had one hour of television per day unless there was a special show on or an assignment to watch something given to us by our teachers at school.¬† We survived AND the limits developed and implemented with consistency worked!¬† ¬†https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/child-screen-time?module=ptg-onsite-share&type=link¬† ¬†So-I leave you with food for thought…