The following are tips for keeping your child(ren) engaged in reading over the summer...

    Summer Reading Tips for Parents

    By: Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities
    Summer shouldn't mean taking a break from learning, especially reading. Studies show that most students experience a loss of reading skills over the summer months, but children who continue to read will gain skills.
    Efforts should be made during the summer to help children sustain reading skills, practice reading and read for enjoyment.

    Reading builds visualization, thinking and language abilities. Taking the time to read with your child can help you evaluate your child's reading skills. If you discover that your child is having trouble with reading, he or she may have a learning disability. 80% of children with a learning disability have difficulty with basic reading and language. But early identification of such a disability gives a child the chance to develop ways to learn how to read effectively, and skills to lead a successful and productive life. A recent National Institutes of Health study showed that 67% of young students at risk for reading difficulties became average or above average readers after receiving help in the early grades.

    Parents should remember that children need free time in the summer to relax and enjoy the pleasures of childhood. So summer reading should be fun. Following are a few tips to make reading enjoyable for your children this summer:

    1. Read aloud together with your child every day.

    Make it fun by reading outdoors on the front steps, patio, at the beach or park. Also, let your children read to you. For younger children, point out the relationship between words and sounds.

    2. Set a good example!

    Parents must be willing to model behavior for their children. Keep lots of reading material around the house. Turn off the TV and have each person read his or her book, including mom and dad.

    3. Read the same book your child is reading and discuss it.

    This is the way to develop habits of the mind and build capacity for thought and insight.

    4. Let kids choose what they want to read, and don't turn your nose up at popular fiction.

    It will only discourage the reading habit.

    5. Buy books on tape, especially for a child with a learning disability.

    Listen to them in the car, or turn off the TV and have the family listen to them together.

    6. Take your children to the library regularly.

    Most libraries sponsor summer reading clubs with easy-to-reach goals for preschool and school-age children. Check the library calendar for special summer reading activities and events. Libraries also provide age appropriate lists for summer reading.

    7. Subscribe, in your child's name, to magazines like Sports Illustrated for KidsHighlights for Children, or National Geographic World.

    Encourage older children to read the newspaper and current events magazines, to keep up the reading habit over the summer and develop vocabulary. Ask them what they think about what they've read, and listen to what they say.

    8. Ease disappointment over summer separation from a favorite school friend by encouraging them to become pen pals.

    Present both children with postcards or envelopes that are already addressed and stamped. If both children have access to the Internet, email is another option.

    9. Make trips a way to encourage reading by reading aloud traffic signs, billboards, notices.

    Show your children how to read a map, and once you are on the road, let them take turns being the navigator.

    10. Encourage children to keep a summer scrapbook.

    Tape in souvenirs of your family's summer activities picture postcards, ticket stubs, photos. Have your children write the captions and read them and read them aloud as you look at the book together.


Resources for Parents



    As parents, we have all probably experienced the frustration of receiving a short, one word responses to the question, "How was your day at school?" Even asking "What did you learn in school may result in a response of "I don't remember." A more effective approach is asking your child to "Tell me 3 things you learned in school today." Now only will this cause your child to reflect on their academics, but will often result in your child talking about other aspects of his/her day, including social issues, which will provide you with greater insight into your child's choice of peers/friends, conflict situations that may have arisen during the day and how they were handled, and other topics that can open the door to conversation further. Dinner time, or time spent driving from place to place in the car, are also good times to have these conversations as opposed to right after school...plus your child may be interested to hear about your day and what you learned or accomplished!


    Reading is one of those skills that should be practiced on a daily basis...both during the school year and over the summer and during other breaks from school. While some children are more than eager to spend hours reading a book from their favorite series, others may be more reluctant, either due to difficulty reading or a lack of interest.
    Research supports that ANY kind of reading is beneficial to children! As long as it is material that is at their independent level (which builds confidence because this reading should be "comfortable" to the child) or at their instructional level (with assistance from parents or siblings as needed), reading can be made fun for almost every child! If getting your child to read a book is a struggle, there are a number of alternatives! Does your child like to help cook? Having them read the recipes aloud as they help prepare a meal will help them practice not only their reading but their math skills as well! Is your child into building or assembling? Having them help assemble that new entertainment center will provide them the opportunity to read the directions in the manual.  Looking through a TV guide to search for shows they enjoy will also yield similar results. If your child enjoys magazines or comic books, these will also provide practice with reading in a format that may be more interesting for more reluctant readers. The bottom line is, anything that your child enjoys that you can incorporate reading into will benefit them. Equally important, modeling reading to your child will demonstrate the importance of reading in everyday life...so reading the newspaper, a magazine, or even the mail, when your child can see you reading, will set a positive example!


    Attention span is the length of time a person can devote to an activity before their mind wanders.

    Psychologists vary on what they believe the “average” attention span of a child may be. Some assert that the child’s age plus two minutes is the average. That means most kindergarteners (most are five years old) have a seven-minute attention span. A 7th grader? 14 minutes. A 12th grader? 19 minutes. You get the idea.

    7 minutes is the “average” time agreed upon by a majority of researchers. This may be why sales experts plan on a seven-minute attention span for an executive to listen to a sales presentation.

    (excerpts taken by Sue Freeman Culverhouse)

    Ways to help students maintain attention whether in school or when doing schoolwork at home? Provide movement breaks, brief brain exercise ("Tell me 10 people you talked to today!”), provide students with an interesting fact or engage them in making an educated guess ("How many boxes of cereal do you think we have in the cabinet right now? Can you name the kinds?"). Like TV commercials (which also occur about every 7 minutes!), these brief breaks allow the brain to take a break and refocus its attention!

Special Education ABC's

  • AAC - Alternative Augmentative Communication

    ABA - Applied Behavioral Analysis

    ABC - Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence

    ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act

    ADD/ADHD - Attention Deficit/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    ADLs - Activities of Daily Living

    APE - Adaptive Physical Education

    ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ASL - American Sign Language

    AT - Assistive Technology

    AYP - Adequate Yearly Progress

    BIP - Behavioral Intervention Plan

    CBA - Curriculum Based Assessment

    Chapter 15 Service Agreement - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

    DB - Deaf-Blind

    DD - Developmental Delay

    DIBELS - Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy

    DSM 5 - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition by the American Psychiatric Association

    ED - Emotional Disturbance

    EI - Early Intervention

    ELL - English Language Learner

    ER - Evaluation Report

    ESD - Extended School Day

    ESL - English as a Second Language

    ESY or EYS - Extended School Year or Extended Year Services

    FAPE - Free Appropriate Public Education

    FBA - Functional Behavioral Assessment

    FC - Facilitated Communication

    FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

    GT - Gifted and Talented

    HI - Hearing Impaired

    ID - Intellectual Disabilities

    IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    IEP - Individualized Education Program

    IFSP - Individualized Family Service Plan

    LEA - Local Education Agency

    LEP - Limited English Proficiency

    LRE - Least Restrictive Environment

    MA - Medical Assistance

    MD or MH - Multiple Disabilities or Multiply Handicapped

    MDE – Multidisciplinary Evaluation

    MDT - Multidisciplinary Team

    NOREP - Notice of Recommended Educational Placement

    NORA - Notice of Recommended Assignment

    OCR - Office of Civil Rights

    OHI - Other Health Impairment

    OI - Orthopedic Impairment

    OT - Occupational Therapy

    OCR - Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

    PASA - Pennsylvania Alternative System of Assessment

    PaTTAN - Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network

    PBS - Positive Behavioral Supports

    PCA - Personal Care Attendant/Assistance

    PDE - Pennsylvania Department of Education

    PLEP - Present Level of Educational Performance

    PT - Physical Therapy

    RR – Reevaluation Report

    RS - Related Services

    RTII - Response to Instruction and Intervention

    Section 504 | Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

    SDI - Specially Designed Instruction

    SLD - Specific Learning Disability

    SLI - Speech/Language Impairment

    TBI -Traumatic Brain Injury

    TSS - Therapeutic Support Staff

    VI -|Visual Impairment



    As parents, we've all been told by others to get our children into a routine; by pediatricians, teachers, and likely our own parents! We are told there is a time to do homework and study, a time to play, an established time to eat dinner and go to sleep, etc. What we aren't all told is that the routine that works for one child may not work for another child, even in the same family! The fact is, children are individuals, and they differ from one another. While one child may want to do their homework as soon as they come home from school, another child may need time to play after being at school all day. Another child may insist they need a snack, to watch TV, or hang out with their friends before they can do homework. The bottom line is, keep trying various routines until you and your child find one that works for you and your child. Some children won't do their homework unless they are told "First you do your homework, then you watch TV." Other children may simply not be able to focus on their homework until they have time to release their energy, watch a half hour of cartoon, or play their favorite video game. The key is moderation. Would you be able to sit and produce your best work when you knew you're best friend was waiting to hang out with you? How about if your favorite TV show was on? Most children learn best when limits are put on their activities and everything is done in moderation. Maybe allow your child a free half hour after school before starting their homework. After they work for a half hour, allow them to take a 10 minute break. Continue with this type of routine until either 1) it becomes established and it works, or 2) you need to develop another routine because this one is not working. Face it...some children are night owls and might do their best work at 7:00 in the evening. While this may be stressful for us as parents, if the child is demonstrating thats/he can get the work done and works productively at that time, stick with this routine. Other children simply won't allow themselves to play or have leisure time until they have completed all of their homework. Remember, each child is an individual and can't be cast into a mold; find what works best for you child and let your child take it from there!