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Thanksgiving: ADHD Tips

By Lexi Walters Wright at

[Reading tutoring in Columbus OH: see below]

Interrupted Schedules

If your family is traveling for Thanksgiving, your child may be sleeping in a strange place and following an unfamiliar schedule. Even if you’re hosting, your family’s routines may be disrupted. That’s rough for kids with ADHD.

DO This: Stick to your child’s routines as much as possible. Try to arrange travel or guest schedules so that he eats and sleeps when he usually does. And prepare your child in advance for any disruptions you foresee. Give him an overview of what will be happening beforehand, and then remind him at each stage what’s coming next.

Waiting for the Meal

When the whole holiday is centered on a single meal, the hours beforehand can feel like eternity for children with attention issues. The anticipation may make them bored or cranky, which can lead to squabbles—or tantrums.

DO This: Before Thanksgiving, enlist relatives’ help to line up some morning activities. Could a grandparent or uncle take your child to the park? Might some older cousins set up a family game for the younger kids? Let the kids know in advance what’ll be happening when. This way dinner won’t be the only thing for them to look forward to.

Company Commotion

If your Thanksgiving involves a lot of people, your child may feel upset by the noise and activity. And kids with attention issues may get frustrated if they’ve settled down to read or work on a project and the hustle and bustle distracts them.

DO This: Whether you’re home or away, find your child an “out” spot. Agree on a place where he can go for a set period of time to be alone and listen to headphones, play a game on his phone, or read.

Preoccupied Parents!

Young kids with attention issues often need constant direction from adults. That’s hard when you’re trying to finish making Thanksgiving dinner and can’t stop to play with your child.

DO This: First, try to get as much as possible done before Thanksgiving Day. Make what you can in advance, buy the pies, go potluck for side dishes. That way, you can set aside time to check in periodically with your child. And delegate. Is there a relative who’d be happy to oversee your child for the morning? Give him coloring books, art supplies, puzzles or a new DVD so he can keep your child occupied while you’re busy.

Take Turns Talking

Kids with attention issues may talk nonstop before, during and after dinner, annoying guests. If your child is impulsive, he may interrupt family members’ stories to tell his own. If a grandparent challenges him, he might say something rude.

DO This: Before Thanksgiving, role-play appropriate ways your child might start, join and end conversations with guests. Consider coming up with a code phrase or signal you can use to clue him in if he starts taking over the conversation.

Sitting Still through the Long Meal

Lengthy holiday meals are especially tricky for children with attention issues, who may find it hard to sit through “grace,” let alone a multi-course meal. Add unfamiliar foods and grown-up discussions, and you’ve got the makings for a meltdown.

DO This: Relax your expectations. Thanksgiving isn’t the day to expect perfect behavior, so seat him at the kids’ table. He’ll do best with some parameters, such as not interrupting the adults. But let him wander between courses. If he’s a teen, see if he wants to be “in charge” of keeping dinner fun for the younger guests.


Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email

+ Central Ohio Free Parent Seminar on Writing Problems

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Marburn Academy in Columbus is inviting parents to a free seminar on “Getting It Down On Paper: The Solutions to Student Writing Problems.”

  • Date: Tuesday March 6
  • Time: 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Marburn Academy: 1860 Walden Dr, Columbus OH 43229
  • Reservations required:
  • Or phone 614-433-0822

Often students with learning differences have no trouble coming up with creative ideas, but they may struggle with expressing those ideas in writing.

Parents of children who wrestle with writing will find that this seminar offers  insight into the reasons why some children learn to write easily and others don’t.  They will be hearing about practical answers for remediation.

Earl Oremus, Headmaster of Marburn Academy, is a nationally recognized speaker on education, learning and learning differences. 

Oremus will explain why some children learn differently, why it is so important for teaching methods to match each child’s learning needs, and what works best when writing is being taught.

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email

+ It’s Not Too Early: Marburn’s Summer Program

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Central Ohio’s Marburn Academy in Columbus is the premier school here for bright students who learn differently.

 In addition to its regular school year, Marburn offers a rich group of summer programs to choose from.

Marburn’s Summer Language Program: July 2-31 2012

This exceptional language program is designed for students who need to improve their reading and writing skills.  It has produced dramatic results in helping hundreds of dyslexic students discover the joy of becoming successful readers and writers.

The daily language curriculum includes:

  • A one-to-one language tutorial , using the Orton-Gillingham approach to provide multisensory instruction in linguistic concepts for reading and spelling.
  • Visualizing and Verbalizing  and Making Meaning curricula for improving comprehension, retention and vocabulary.
  • Composition: using computers to build fluency and improve creative use of language.
  • Computer lab work, featuring keyboarding instruction and practice, computer art, desktop publishing of written compositions, and structured practice of reading and spelling skills.  Students use the Lexia Learning fluency software.

The language Program is open to students between the ages of 7-12.  July 2-31, 2012.  Times: 8:45 am to 12:15 pm.  Fee: $1800

Marburn’s Summer  Mathematics Program: July 2-31, 2012

Learning mathematics should be fun, but students who struggle with basic facts or operations often don’t see it that way. 

Marburn’s mathematics program was created to make learning active and enjoyable.  It cultivates the mathematician within every kid.  Students benefit from this program. because mathematics is taught in a social context, with hands-on experiential activities.

Students will

  • Use manipulatives and high interest activities to develop number sense, understanding of operations, and to learn basic facts.
  • Work cooperatively to test ideas and theories for deeper understanding.
  • Use computer programs to practice individualized skills and build fluency.
  • Learn strategies and shortcuts that make problem solving manageable.

The Math Program is open to children in grades 3 through 8.  Dates: July 2-31, 2012, weekdays.  Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Fee: $1300.

Marburn’s Summer Written Expression Program: July 2-31, 2012

This structured and sequentially presented program makes use of laptop computers, short engaging assignments, and a focused revision process. Through these methods students improve writing fluency, passage unity, word choice, and craftsmanship. 

Students experience success using writing as a tool to communicate their thoughts.  They become more enthusiastic writers.

The Written Expression Program includes:

  • Creating a positive feeling toward writing by completing a variety of short poems; they will publish finished pieces.
  • Encouraging creative word choice with group interaction and brainstorming to discover lively and precise language.
  • Building and documenting fluency so words flow easily.
  • Using an incremental revision process so  students progress toward confidence and independence .

NOTE: This class is designed for successful readers who continue to struggle with forming ideas and age-appropriate written expression.

The Written Expression Program is open to children in grades 6 through 8.  Dates: July 2-31, 2012, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Time: 1:00 pm t0 4:00 pm.  Fee: $1,000. 

Marburn’s  Summer Phonemic Awareness Program: July 2-31, 2012

“Phonemic awareness” involves the ability to hear and identify the separate sounds and syllabic units that make up our words.  This skill is now universally recognized as the single most important precursor skill for reading success.

For the youngest students who have low skills in identifying the sounds that make up our language, this highly enjoyable activity-based class is designed to improve phonemic awareness.

Marburn’s Written Expression Program includes:

  • Rhyming.
  • Syllabication.
  • Auditory perception and discrimination.
  • Fluency practice on the computer.

The Phonemic Awareness Program dates are: July 2-31, 2012, weekdays.  Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Fee: $700. 

Marburn Academy is located at 1860 Walden Drive, Columbus OH 43229.  Telephone 614-433-0822, ext. 107.

Marburn is a non-profit, independent and state-accredited school for children with learning disabilities.  The Academy admits students without regard to race, color, creed or national origin.

Marburn Academy is  an AOGPE accredited school.  AOGPE is the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitionaers and Educators, which assures superior quality O-G language education. 

Marburn  Academy’s programs have received national recognition for excellence and innovation in education for non-traditional learners.

Minimum enrollment levels are necessary, and Marburn Academy reserves the right to cancel classes in which minimum enrollment is not achieved

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email

+ Central Ohio Dyslexia Conference March 2 in Dublin

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REGISTER EARLY for Central Ohio IDA Conference

COBIDA Annual Spring Conference
Friday March 2
OCLC Conference Center, 6600 Kilgour Place, Dublin OH 43017.

(Members $85 until February 20.) Non-members welcome. Information and registration at

PARENT TRACK: Expert Panel on Advocacy Matters: Learning How to Become Your Child’s Strongest Advocate.

PROFESSIONAL TRACK: Writing Matters: Developing Writing Skills in Students Who Struggle. William Van Cleve MA

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email

+ OH Legislature Passes Dyslexia House Bill 96!

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House Bill 96 clarifies the definition of learning disabilities in the Ohio Revised Code to specifically include dyslexia.

 House Bill 96 also creates a pilot project at the Ohio Department of Education including one urban, one suburban, and one rural school district to forge a partnership with the local library system to provide early screening and intervention services for children. Existing funds within the Ohio Department of Education will be used to pay for these screenings, and the inclusion of libraries will help ease the financial burden on school districts.
Next Steps:
House Bill 96 goes to OH Governor John Kasich for his signature.
Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH  614-579-6021  or email

+ Central Ohio: ADHD Parent Training to Begin in January

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Parent Training on ADHD is coming to Marburn Academy, central Ohio’s premier school for children with learning challenges!

The nationally recognized CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders) Parent-to-Parent Training program will begin this January.

The sessions will be led by Christine Kotik, a CHADD certified teacher and a Marburn Middle Division teacher.

Marburn Head of School Earl B. Oremus, an expert on ADHD will assist. If you have been looking for a reliable source of information to help you become a better manager of your child’s ADHD, this program might be for you. Go to to find detailed information and to register.

 Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021 or email  

+ Orton-Gillingham Tutor Training in Akron OH

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The Children’s Dyslexia Center of Akron provides evaluation and one-on-one instruction for children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

It also offers training, continuing education and resources for teachers, schools and individuals in the Orton-Gillingham approach used to remediate dyslexia.

Volunteers to be considered for acceptance in the O-G training program (to begin in January) must have a bachelor’s degree in any field.  Requirements include 45 hours of classroom seminar and 100 hours of practicum, which trainees will complete by tutoring two students at the Center.

The trainings are sponsored and overseen by the 32nd Degree Masons, who have Orton-Gillingham tutoring centers all throughout the country.  We are lucky to have one in Columbus as well.

For over ten years, the Scottish Rite Masons, Northern Jurisdiction, have been national leaders in the effort to help children and their families overcome the painful obstacles of dyslexia. At 59 Learning Centers in 15 states, the Children’s Learning Centers tackle the challenge of dyslexia head-on, both by providing free tutoring for children with dyslexia and by training a growing cadre of highly skilled and dedicated tutors.

Contact Heather Petruccelli or Laura Arnold at 330-664-0777, or . The address is 150 Springside Drive, Suite B-235, Akron OH 44333.

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021 or email