Category: Learning difficulties

May 6, 2023

Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a collective term for a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction, and by repetitive patterns of behaviour and restricted interests.[1] The severity of autism is diagnosed from mild to severe and reflects the degree of support the child needs in relation to

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February 14, 2023

School Refusal: Strategies and Resources for Schools

School refusal is a complex issue that affects a significant number of students and their families. It can be a challenging experience for everyone involved, from students and parents to teachers, principals, and psychologists. Understanding underlying causes of school refusal and various strategies that can be employed to address it are crucial for effectively supporting

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July 29, 2022

We need to talk about handwriting

Pencils, pens and paper remain relevant Despite the widespread uptake of word processing from the 1980s, the rapid rise of the Internet in the early 2000s, and more recently the increased use of laptops and other digital devices people continue to write by hand each day. Handwriting remains entrenched because pens and pencils are low

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October 17, 2021

Helping young children return to school after remote learning

In some Australian states and territories children will return to school progressively over the next few weeks following lockdown periods. What can parents/carers and teachers do to help with this transition? The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Melbourne recently presented a videoconference with an expert panel on helping Year F-2 children return to school. The panel

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August 23, 2021

Helping to reduce pandemic fatigue and fear in children

Pandemic fatigue refers to the mental exhaustion that comes from the sustained increase of stress and uncertainty during the global pandemic of COVID-19. 1  The devastating impact of the coronavirus threatens our sense of control and safety causing concern, fear, and excessive worry. Increasingly, the issues surrounding COVID-19 and other life-threatening local, national, and global

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August 2, 2021

Do you have students with a poor sense of number?

With mid-year reports completed, the second half of the year now presents the challenge of helping those who experience significant difficulties grasping the size or quantity of a number and the relationship of numbers to one another. Dyscalculia is a mathematics disability causing significant difficulties with: mastering a sense of number grasping, and understanding the

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April 25, 2021

Q & A: Young student – who whines, gets under the table, calls out, speaks loudly, has poor awareness of personal space, and always wants to be first in line

Q: ‘I have a child Todd in my class who whines and can get under the table when work is required of him. He calls out and lacks understanding of other children’s personal space. He speaks loudly close up to their faces. He also wants to be first when lining up. Todd is in Reception

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March 15, 2021

Building friendship skills to reduce bullying

The National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence (NDA) is Australia’s key bullying prevention initiative, connecting schools and communities to find workable solutions to bullying and violence. The key theme, ‘Take Action Together’, will be addressed in many schools on Friday 19 March as children, teachers and parents work together to find solutions to

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February 15, 2021

Separation anxiety – revised ebooklet available

Separation anxiety can affect children of all ages. About four per cent of primary school age children experience excessive separation anxiety when separated from their parent or primary care giver [1]. Typically, these children persistently worry about being forgotten, or fear their parent/carer being harmed or not returning. Separation anxiety and associated fears can also be

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December 7, 2020

Summer reading from Psych4Schools

We wish you well as you work tirelessly to close off the school year and 2020. During this summer break, we invite you to read our two new Psych4schools ebooklets to help enhance your school’s capacity to manage some of the potential challenges 2021 may present. Working with children who fear life-threatening events (revised) provides

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September 23, 2020

Impact of COVID-19 and preparing for Term 4

As teachers and students take a well-earned break, we wish to send a huge shout-out to teachers who have been working harder than ever to ensure the wellbeing of our nation’s children, as well as managing teaching and learning programs. This is such a challenge when many adults, including teachers are feeling heightened levels of

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September 14, 2020

Working with children who are conduct disordered and violent

The most challenging behaviours encountered in schools are exhibited by violent, out of control, conduct disordered children. Conduct Disorder (CD) affects a small percentage of children and is typically diagnosed between 10 and 16 years of age. [1] Conduct disordered behaviour frequently creates crisis situations in schools. The following examples illustrate the seriousness of the problem

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April 5, 2020

Supporting parents with at-home learning

Psych4Schools thanks our nation’s teachers and school support staff who have spent weeks preparing and delivering teaching and learning packages for students and families to support at-home learning. Carefully selected physical materials will help cater for the diverse needs of learners and those without access to remote learning tools. For many there will be some

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February 16, 2020

Emotional Self-Regulation

By Psych4Schools Guest Blogger Astrid Gates with Murray Evely Emotional self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage our own behaviour, calm ourselves when we’re distressed and pick ourselves up when we’re feeling low. Self-regulation skills are developmental in nature, just like learning to walk, talk and read. Since children make progress academically when they

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January 23, 2020

Helping students to talk about the 2019-2020 bushfires

The bushfires that have ravaged communities around Australia from late 2019 continue to devastate Australians and raise many issues for them and the international community.  Although Australia is prone to bushfire, the massive fuel loads, the vastness of the fire zones – some with their own weather systems – the voraciousness of the fires that

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December 11, 2019

A transition profile to assist in supporting a child with ASD

I recently asked teachers to name key things they would like to know about a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who was about to come into their class or year level. These discussions revealed some common suggestions: What are the behaviour triggers for the child? What are their likes and interests? How much

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