Dec
11
9:00 AM09:00

Twitter Book Club - Chapter 6

Guided Growth book club with Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff.

Topic: Chapter 6: Relational and Behavioral Approaches to Behavior Management

Synopsis: Two traditional tools widely used and researched by behavioral psychologists for learning and behavior change are reinforcement and punishment.  Most parents and teachers probably are somewhat familiar with these ideas and use variations of them daily.  As we discuss our approach to behavior management, you will recognize variations on these two strategies that we have found to be the most successful in working with the alcohol- and drug-exposed child.  Taking into account teachers’ and parents’ differing teaching styles and children’s own learning styles, there are some criteria for applying individualized intervention strategies, especially within the context of an eight-step structured problem-solving process.

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Oct
9
9:00 AM09:00

Twitter Book Club - Chapter 5

Guided Growth book club with Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff.

Topic: Chapter 5: Structuring the Environment for Success

Synopsis: Much of what is written and practiced in the classroom involves addressing emotional and behavioral problems that have a long history and may require direct interventions to modify.  However, another important step toward addressing problems is to prevent their occurrence in the first place.  In general, it is much more effective to prevent problems than it is to respond to them after they have emerged.  There are two principles of preventive behavior management:  promoting positive, desired behaviors and minimizing behaviors that are disruptive to the instructional process.  The classroom that is prevention-focused will use procedures and techniques that focus on both components.

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Aug
7
9:00 AM09:00

Twitter Book Club - Chapter 4

Guided Growth book club with Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff.

Topic: Chapter 4: Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Effects on the Brain and Impact on Learning

Synopsis: Given the approximately 4 million births per year in the United States, there are up to 6,000 children born each year with FAS. But the problem is even worse than these statistics suggest. Data from the 2008-2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, based on a national sample of women, revealed that in the first trimester of pregnancy, 20.4% drink alcohol. Thus, 800,000 children across the United States each year may be born with abnormalities of brain structure and function due to prenatal alcohol exposure. These children can suffer from a broad range of difficulties that, while often quite subtle, can compromise the children’s long-term health, behavior, development, and academic achievement.

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Jun
5
9:00 AM09:00

Twitter Book Club - Chapter 3

Guided Growth book club with Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff.

Topic: Chapter 3: The Brain and Learning

Synopsis: The brain is a highly specialized organ consisting of billions of neural connections. These neural connections are organized into neural pathways that form the interconnected substance of our thoughts, memories, and behavioral responses to the input from our senses. Although the brain has structures that are highly specialized for processing specific types of environmental stimuli (e.g. visual or auditory information) these structures do not process information in isolation. Rather, different parts of the brain are interconnected in complex and highly individualized patterns. A melody or fragrance, for example, that triggers a memory is often coupled with both implicit emotional memories as well as explicit details of a particular event. These neural pathways are constantly changing as a result of our interaction with the world. Neural pathways that are used frequently become strengthened while pathways that are seldom used atrophy. Neuroscientists call this constant generation of neural pathways neural plasticity, and it has become the basis for new theories of learning grounded in the interdisciplinary study of mind, brain and education.

 

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Apr
9
9:00 AM09:00

Twitter Book Club - Chapter 2

Guided Growth book club with Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff.

Topic: Chapter 2: Understanding the Misunderstood: Factors Affecting a Child's Behavior and Readiness to Learn

Synopsis: Development often is conceptualized as occurring along multiple trajectories, with each trajectory signifying a different domain or area of development, including cognitive, emotional, social, interpersonal, and motor. Often a child may be on a healthy trajectory in one domain but on a less than optimal trajectory in another. These trajectories are assumed to be linear and continuous, unless something occurs to redirect the pathway. The goal for parents and teachers is to affect the trajectory in a positive way, so less optimal pathways are impeded and the child’s long-term trajectories are modified in a normal and healthy direction.

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Feb
26
9:00 AM09:00

Twitter Book Club - Chapter 1

Guided Growth book club with Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff.

Topic: Chapter 1: How Does Learning Take Place?

Synopsis: Most of us pay little attention to how we learn. When we do think of it, we tend to think of learning in terms of the acquisition of a new skill by trial and error or acquiring a new competency by concentration, memorization and practice. For many children with prenatal exposures to alcohol or drugs, however, learning is often very difficult. Concepts learned in one moment are often forgotten in the next. Thinking tends to be concrete, and abstract concepts are often a complete mystery. In addition, limited attention span and poor impulse control divert cognitive resources away from the task of acquiring new skills. Many times, these behaviors are misinterpreted in the classroom as a lack of motivation or “just not trying.” And, indeed, faced with repeated failures while classmates seem to acquire new skills with ease, many children with prenatal exposures simply give up or refuse to try anything new at all. The question for parents and educators is whether this trajectory can be changed. While structural damage cannot be changed, the most recent research from psychology and neuroscience about how learning takes place gives us a better understanding of how we can use these findings to increase the efficiency of the learning process for children with learning deficits.

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