Friday, July 27, 2012

A Guide To The Importance of Physical Education Programs

Physical activity offers a broad range of benefits, including the prevention of obesity, improved self confidence, and an overall sense of well-being. Physical education programs within the school setting can set the stage for how children view physical fitness, activity levels, and future health. Physical education programs also include general health and safety information in addition to providing opportunities for students to learn how to cooperate with one another in a team setting.

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The school setting provides a structured atmosphere in which to incorporate physical health activities and ideally develop healthy habits for life. Studies indicate that promotion of a healthy lifestyle taught in physical education classes can influence long-term health benefits such as reduced rates of obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

A Guide To The Importance of Physical Education Programs

Perhaps just as importantly, physical education programs can teach students that physical activity can be fun. With a broad range of games and activities, children are exposed to forms of exercise that don't simply involve running around a track. Games and other activities incorporate teamwork, strategy, skill-building exercises, and fun.

Nutritional Information

Physical education classes are ideal for introducing basic nutritional concepts to children. Poor eating habits are common among many children and adolescents; however, a solid foundation in healthy eating choices can help lay the groundwork for improved food choices. Children who eat regular, healthy meals consisting of a wide range of food choices concentrate better in school and are less disruptive. Healthy eating also decreases the chances of children developing serious health problems early in life and reduces obesity rates among youth and into adulthood.

Life Skills

Physical education also provides an opportunity for children to develop critical life skills, such as problem solving, strategy, and working together. Many team sports require participants to work together to achieve a goal. Children also learn the basics of good sportsmanship and that there is much more to sports and physical activities than simply winning or losing. Sports require training, mental and physical preparation, and help build self-confidence.

Mental Health

Regular physical activity has shown to have many psychological and mental benefits in addition to the physical ones. For example, regular exercise can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety and promote an overall sense of well-being. The increased blood flow during exercise transports oxygen to all parts of the body, including the brain, which can help improve memory and reasoning skills. Conversely, a lack of oxygen, which can result from not enough deep breathing, can lead to disorientation, confusion, fatigue, and memory and concentration difficulties.

A Guide To The Importance of Physical Education Programs

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Requirements For Becoming a Phlebotomist

A phlebotomist is an individual who is trained to withdraw blood in a safe and sanitary manner. This means that he/she must be very careful to make sure the medical waste is properly disposed of to prevent any type of contamination. They also deal with the handling and labeling of urine and fecal samples as well. Without some training, not just anyone can become a phlebotomist. In fact there are certain requirements for becoming a phlebotomist.

Phlebotomists or phlebotomy technicians must undergo a course of study that will adequately prepare them to be able to perform the required job duties in a competent manner. A person interested in starting a phlebotomy career can prepare for the profession by attending a technical school, or by attending a 4 year college and earning an Associates Degree.

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Techniques in Microcollection, Blood Sampling, Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, Techniques in Patient Identification and Specimen Collection Kits and Containers Procedures are all part of the coursework that an aspiring phlebotomist will need to successfully complete. Other requirements include completing courses in anatomy and physiology and medical terminology.

Requirements For Becoming a Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists have a choice of becoming certified, as well. They can become certified through the American Association of Medical Personnel, American Society of Clinical Pathologists or American Medical Technologists. Certification can certainly improve the chances of a job offer, and most employers will probably require certification as a condition of employment.

Also, among the requirements for becoming a phlebotomist are a certain disposition. He/she must be able to be comfortable around needles and withdrawing blood from people's veins. A person who is uncomfortable with such things will not be successful in this profession.

A phlebotomy technician must also be able to explain procedures to patients and be prepared to deal with scared patients or those who are faint of heart, because this will undoubtedly happen. He/she should also be competent enough in the field to answer any general questions a patient regarding the procedure which is being performed on them.

Anyone interested in becoming a phlebotomy technician should carefully consider the requirements for becoming a phlebotomist and if the profession is one in which they would excel.

Requirements For Becoming a Phlebotomist

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Are the Likely Factors Affecting Adult Education?

Adult education broadly refers to continuing education later in life. This can include learning in direct relation to a new or ongoing career of an individual, or studies that are completely unrelated such as languages. With the development of online learning, adult education is becoming increasingly accessible, and although the general process of teaching and learning is similar between children and adults, there are additional factors that can be seen to affect those who continue their studies into adulthood.

One of the most general and logical factors that affects adults more than children during education is the notion of the knowledge which they have already accumulated. This can be seen to aid the speed of learning, as they are often likely to have a prior knowledge of the subject they are studying. Alternatively, habits of bad practice can also be learned in adulthood, and methods and processes that have been learned in a now-dated curriculum can also be difficult to shake off for some adult learners.

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A paper written in 1993 by CHIU Mo Chi, entitled A Study of the factors affecting Attendance at Adult Education Short Courses, offers further insights into the differences between adult and child education. CHIU found there are a number of self esteem issues with adult learners. Those that have had a school background that lacks in academic achievement are more suited to frequent confidence boosts "because the outcome of effort is more likely to be the pain of failure than the reward of a new job, a promotion, the admiration of others, or the selfsatisfaction of succeeding at the learning task."

What Are the Likely Factors Affecting Adult Education?

Acknowledging this however, others have expressed that motivation can be an important aspect in regards to the achievement of adult learners. Where students have entered into adult education of their own accord, they have typically realised exactly what they want to learn, and why it is important for them to continue at it - despite their difficulties. Additionally, adult learners are often more aware, and accepting, of the financial and time implications of enrolling on a course later in life.

A student perspective forum on the Adult Literacy Education Wiki ( offers some other information from adult learners themselves. In regards to learning literacy skills during adulthood, many students seem to find the most difficult problem to overcome is fear. "I was a low level reader and I would like you all to know how afraid we are to come in and get help," one student writes in 2007. "I think fear is what holds a lot of us back. We put on this front that all is okay and life is good but we know in our heart we are not okay at all." Problems with embarrassment among peers, and not being able to admit difficulties to other students are continuing factors that can seem to affect learning into adulthood, and this may well be something that remains to be addressed by adult education centres today.

What Are the Likely Factors Affecting Adult Education?

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Friday, July 13, 2012

10 Good Reasons to Home-School

Whilst there are probably hundreds of reasons why people choose to home-school, these ten seem the most common good reasons why you would embark on this process.

Your child has special needs - Children with Aspergers syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD or ADHD respond much better to one-on-one tuition. This is very difficult and costly to provide at school, but is very easy at home. Their education is less likely to suffer as a result of hearing or speech impairments or other such impediments - Mum and Dad usually can understand them perfectly! Such children often do better in a familiar environment with just one set of 'rules' - not one at home and one at school which we are so familiar with. Children with chronic medical conditions who spend a lot of time in hospitals often benefit from homeschooling too. Your child is not performing at the standard of other children. These deficiencies are often not caught until it is too late to do effective mediation. Practices such as repeating years at school and doing remedial classes or out of school tuition can have questionable outcomes. With Homeschooling, you can start the process from the beginning. Parents can keep a much closer record of their children's performance, helping them to negotiate learning obstacles along the way instead of discovering their lack of knowledge well into their schooling years. Your child is being bullied at school. Whilst teaching children effective negotiating techniques is a plus, many children bear the scars of bullying well into their adult lives. Schoolyard bullying is becoming a scourge of schools and although many of them have taken pro-active steps to prevent it, it doesn't mean much if they have cut bullying incidents by 99% if your child is the 1% they didn't manage to prevent. Homeschooling ensures bullying is not an issue. Peer pressure is reduced and issues such as drug and alcohol abuse are more likely to be avoided or observed early enough to mitigate. Lack of choice. Many parents choose to homeschool because they have limited alternatives. In many places, they have only the choice of one school which may be unacceptable for many reasons: it may be too small or too big, not have enough resources, be a boarding school, have a 'reputation', etc. At the end of the day, only parents and the children themselves will answer for their standard of education or lack thereof. In homeschooling many parents feel they are empowering themselves and their children by providing a better quality of education than that on offer in their particular circumstances. Family cohesion. Families often find that school and its extra-curricular activities eat into a lot of family time. Parents who wish to have a close family unit and keep communication at a high level between its members often choose to homeschool. The old maxim "The family who plays together stays together" often comes in here and although this doesn't preclude family members participating in their own individual activities, homeschool families enjoy a greater number of recreational activities as a family. Nomadic lifestyle. Many families from those in the Defence Force, to fruit-pickers and showies, move around in their employment. This often has a detrimental effect on their children's schooling and is often a reason for choosing to homeschool. Many families also choose to be on the move temporarily, travelling around the country or around the world. Homeschooling provides a cohesive education for their children. Alternative Educational Theories. Some people have researched other educational theories proposed by people like Charlotte Manson, Montessori, Froeble, and Steiner, and see great merit in their methods. Homeschooling allows them to follow these alternative methods, which are available in the education system but often not at a convenient distance. Gifted and Talented Children. Such children often need to spend many hours practising in the area where their gift or talents lie. Schools try to cater for these students, but lack the resources to tailor such individual programs and although there are some schools of excellence which cater for such children, very often families find they are too far away. Homeschooling is an option which allows them to fit school around such gifts and talents. Values. Families who have value codes which may not necessarily be, but can include religious or cultural, find homeschooling is a valid option for them. There has been much debate about including values in education, but much of the criticism levelled at historic schooling systems was pointed at values education of the time. Values are not a homogeneous entity, so it makes it very difficult to decide which and how to include them. In recent years, schools have erred on the side of safety by ignoring them completely - which has probably had as disastrous outcomes as those being blamed on the historic schooling systems! Homeschooling allows the passing on of family values. Dissatisfaction with the curriculum - many parents are not happy with what their children are or are not taught at school. It is also common for children to not learn or not be taught things which are actually in the curriculum. At Homechool, you pick your own curriculum and the way it is taught. In places where a 'core curriculum' is required by legislation, this can usually be easily incorporated. Early literacy is an area where many parents find their children are let down. Homeschooling allows the use of resource material for the teaching/learning of such basic skills, such as that from Quantum Literacy, which may not be used in schools or in their child's school in particular.

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10 Good Reasons to Home-School
10 Good Reasons to Home-School

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Monday, July 9, 2012

April Is Financial Literacy Month - Does Anyone Really Care?

Yes, April is financial literacy month and here and there in the media you'll see references to April being financial literacy month. There will also be another(6th) annual Financial Literacy and Education Summit at the Chicago Federal Reserve again this year, among other scattered recognition activities around the nation, but outside of a few interested parties, does anyone really care about financial literacy and, if not, why not?

It seems to me that financial literacy and the whole subject of financial wellness just does not get its due, especially in light of the serious personal finance problems faced by U.S. citizens over the past few years, and the uncertainty about once-stable institutions such as Social Security, Medicare, and corporate pensions.

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During the recession, many found themselves overextended on mortgage loans they shouldn't have taken in the first place. Home values dropped and they continue to decline today. Credit debt reached soaring heights and large numbers lost their jobs and, outside of unemployment compensation, few had additional resources to sustain them. And the importance of retirement savings hit home for the first time for many, as retirement accounts were depleted by multiple thousands of dollars; causing many retired people to bail out of the market at its low point. Yes, for the first time, many U.S. citizens got a good taste of what a "great" recession can do in terms of devastating personal wealth.

April Is Financial Literacy Month - Does Anyone Really Care?

You would think any nation that just went through what we've been through would do a thorough examination of the matter and put safeguards in place to ensure any similar problems in the future would be handled by its citizenry with greater knowledge and skill. Certainly, one could quickly conclude that a good foundation in personal money management would be beneficial to anyone that would have to face the challenge of another recession, or just the challenges that go with managing one's day-to-day personal finances in our erratic financial world. A natural jumping off point, it seems to me, would be to take quick action to bring personal finance training into our schools, so the next generation might be better prepared to deal with their personal finances and/or the next great calamity.

Unfortunately, according to the 2011 Survey of the States, a survey that reports on the state of economic and personal finance education in our nation's schools, only 22 states require an economics course for high school graduation and only 16 of those states require testing in economics; 3 fewer than in 2009. The number of states that require students to take a personal finance course is just 13. The survey reports that in schools where financial education is required the students were better savers, were less likely to max out on their credit cards, were less likely to be delinquent on their credit card payments, were more likely to pay off their credit cards in full each month, were less likely to be compulsive buyers, and were more willing to take average financial risk.

The survey also showed that the average college student in the U.S. had ,250 in student loan debt at graduation in 2010; up 5% from 2009. And the last time I looked at this statistic, graduating seniors were carrying 4 credit cards on average.

Information like this related to the limited financial training we provide for our students, in light of the myriad of financial problems this country has experienced, leaves me with the feeling that, outside of a few, we as a nation are only willing to give the subject of financial literacy lip service and not serious consideration. We're not willing to invest the money necessary to grow our financial education programs, nor are willing to make mandatory, with few exceptions, the requirement for developing critical lifelong personal finance skills.

With our students not getting the financial education they need, they go into adulthood without important survival skills. We allow them to go on to become adults and fall into the many financial pitfalls that await the uninformed and unskilled.

Well, you might say, the parents should be providing their children with financial education at home. Well, the parents generally don't, no more than they provide home training in physics. Remember, few of the parents ever had any formal training in personal finance matters. This training will generally have to come from competent, qualified educators in the schools or the child's adulthood will likely be a matter of learning from the school of hard knocks.

All too often it's the school of hard knocks that wins out as there are volumes of information out there that speak to the financial distress adults feel, because they either don't have the skills or interest in keeping their personal finance houses in order. For those that lack the skills, but feel the heat that goes with being a poor money manager, financial stress is often the order of the day; stress, which if not checked, can contribute to disease. Personal finance problems are also linked to many social problems; not the least of which is divorce. We know that the number reason for divorce is money.

In last year's MetLife 9th Annual Benefits Study, this was the conclusion reached about the link between financial stress, healthcare, worker productivity and the achievement of business goals:

"The recession has resulted in widespread financial insecurity across all employee age groups. In fact, there is a virtual "epidemic" of financial stress, and there is compelling evidence that "financial illness" also contributes to health care costs, as well as to reduced productivity". "As much as employers have been focused on traditional health and wellness, there is compelling evidence that "financial illness" also contributes to health care costs, as well as to reduced productivity. Employee financial security may be a major driver in accomplishing business goals".

Based on these conclusions from MetLife, surely you would expect employers to be taking an aggressive stance and bringing in personal finance training for those many of their employees that never had the opportunity to receive training, but it appears little is being done in the workplace to promote financial wellness. There are a few progressive leaders out there that are introducing financial literacy/wellness programs in the workplace, but this is a limited group of employers.

With 70% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck today and the lessons learned from the 2008-2009 recession, you'd just think we'd be doing a lot more now to make sure we handle the next challenge better than we did in the past, but I've yet to see that happen. So, have your April Financial Literacy month this year and next year and the next year, but does anyone really care?

April Is Financial Literacy Month - Does Anyone Really Care?

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Nursing Prerequisites Courses Online

Duquesne University School of Nursing offers several online graduate nursing programs, which includes two PhD nursing online programs. It also affords graduate students to complete all necessary nursing prerequisites courses online. Degrees may be complete with little or no on-campus attendance, utilizing the school's state-of-the-art learning technologies and the Internet. When compared to on-campus courses, nursing courses taken online are identical in their objectives and rigor. Online students pay the same tuition as on-campus students; online course credits are structured no differently than the same course taken in a classroom. Whether a student chooses to take all nursing courses online or in combination with on-campus study, their diploma, certificate, or transcript will bear no distinction from that of a traditional Duquesne on-campus student. However, students are required to visit the campus once a year for a period of one week, which is usually the week prior to Thanksgiving. All applicants to the online graduate nursing programs must have fulfilled the following nursing prerequisites prior to admissions:

Undergraduate statistics course or equivalent Undergraduate physical assessment course required for the Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education programs Computer literacy (including the ability to send and download attachments) or completed courses in word processing, spreadsheet, database management and presentation graphics

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Duquesne's graduate distance learning allows students to complete their education with the flexibility that not all nursing schools offer, because virtually no on-campus classroom attendance is necessary. The only prerequisites to taking nursing courses online are basic computer skills including:

Nursing Prerequisites Courses Online

Send and receive email Attach, send and open documents from email or Internet sites Participate in online chats Research topics using the Web resources Use Internet library databases

How does it work? Students enrolled in the PhD nursing online programs, complete all their courses online. Course instructors use special Internet-based software for instruction, as well as post their lectures and reading assignments online. Student participate in the virtual classroom by using several formats including contributing to an online thread or message board, online chats, live virtual classroom meetings, and phone conference calls with other students and their instructor. The educational platform that Duquesne uses is the popular, Blackboard, a Course Management System (CMS) used widely among universities. In addition to learning, students can access their grades, course calendar, course descriptions, transcripts, student loan, or tuition status. Information about their instructor is also posted online, such as their educational background, areas of expertise, areas of research, other classes taught, office hours and location, phone contact, and email. The two PhD nursing online programs that Duquesne offers is either a PhD, which focuses on research, or a DNP, which has a clinical focus. The student on the PhD track must complete the following nursing prerequisites courses online or on-campus:

Graduate course in Statistics (6 credits) Graduate course in Nursing Theory (3 credits) Graduate course in Nursing Research Methods (3 credits) Computer literacy or completed courses in word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and presentation graphics

The DNP track requires that applicants have completed only two nursing prerequisite courses online or on-campus prior to admission - either an undergraduate or graduate course in Statistics (3 credits) and a graduate course in Nursing Research Methods (3 credits). The online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) currently offers three areas of specialization - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Forensic Nursing, and Nursing Education. Prior to beginning core course work and clinical requirements, students must complete 21 credits of FNP nursing prerequisites courses online. The maximum allotted time to finish the MSN program is six years. The MSN student pursuing a career in Nursing Education must complete 14 credits in nursing education in addition to coursework required by the MSN program including clinical core courses. Whether you plan to apply to one of Duquesne's PhD Nursing Online Programs or one of their other online master nursing programs, holding a degree from this prestigious university will be very impressive to future employers. Be sure to check the department's website for updates to their program - including prerequisites.

Nursing Prerequisites Courses Online

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Challenges In Rural Marketing


Our country is endowed with a good degree of ethnic and regional diversity. About three-fourth of the total population resides in the rural areas and majority of them are dependent upon agriculture for their subsistence. Agriculture contributes about 24.7% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. It also contributes about 13.1% to the total Indian exports. This sector provides employment to 58.4% of the country's workforce and livelihood to more than 650 million people. Despite this fact, the condition of these people has not shown any significant improvement.

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The development of the nation largely depends upon the development of the rural population. Mahatma Gandhi had once said: "India's way is not Europe's. India is not Calcutta and Bombay. India lives in her several hundreds of villages".

Challenges In Rural Marketing

Rural Market Potential

India is an agro-based economy and the growth of most of the other sectors of economy is driven by rural demand. Urban market is reaching towards the saturation point, thus bringing in and urgent need to focus on rural development. Moreover, more than 70% of India's population lives in villages and constitutions a big market for industry because of increasing disposal incomes and awareness level.

In comparison to just 5,161 towns in India there are 6,38,365 villages in India. This in itself is an indicator where the real India resides. Companies are realizing slowly but surely that the key to gain true market leadership lies in tapping the rural potential. However, the rural sector in India suffers from different kinds of problems. Some areas are having enough money but their level of awareness and hence consumerism is very low. But there are many areas where economic empowerment, education, health etc., are major problems.
What is rural marketing

While there is a large growth in the urban market, the rural or latent market is yet to be tapped, and has an enormous potential for growth. A rural market can be defined as any market that exists in a area where the population is less than 10, 000. The rural market in India is scattered and spread over a wide geographical area. Indian market is divided into urban and rural markets.

o Urban market is flooded with low demand.

o Rural market witnesses a high demand It's the rural segment of market that contributes more profit than its urban counterpart. Rural marketing broadly involves reaching customers, understanding their wants, supply of goods and services, and ultimately satisfying consumers, leading to more sales. The general impression is that only agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, cattle feed and agricultural machinery have a potential for growth in the rural market. However, there is a growing market for consumer goods now. It has been estimated the rural market is growing at the rate of five times its urban counterpart.

Challenges in Rural Marketing

Though rural markets are a huge attraction to marketers, it is not easy to enter the market and take a sizeable share of the market, in the short time due to the following reasons.

Low Literacy

There are not enough opportunities for education in rural areas. The literacy level is as low (36%) when compared to all- India average of 52%.

Seasonal Demand

Demand for goods in rural markets depends upon agricultural situation, as agriculture is the main source of income. Agriculture to a large extent depends upon monsoon and, therefore, the demand or buying capacity is not stable or regular.


Many rural areas are not connected by rail transport. Kacha roads become unserviceable during the monsoon and interior villages get isolated.


An effective distribution system requires village-level shopkeeper, Mandal/ Taluka- level wholesaler or preferred dealer, distributor or stockiest at district level and company-owned depot or consignment distribution at state level. The presence of too many tiers in the distribution system increases the cost of distribution.

Communication Problems

Facilities such as telephone, fax and telegram are rather poor in rural areas.

Traditional Life

Life in rural areas is still governed by customs and traditions and people do not easily adapt new practices. For example, even rich and educated class of farmers does not wear jeans or branded shoes.

Buying Decisions

Rural consumers are cautious in buying and decisions are slow and delayed. They like to give a trial and only after being personally satisfied, do they buy the product.

Media for Promotions

Television has made a great impact and large audience has been exposed to this medium. Radio reaches large population in rural areas at a relatively low cost. However, reach of formal media is low in rural households; therefore, the market has to undertake specific sales promotion activities in rural areas like participating in melas or fairs.

Career in Rural Market

While rural marketing offers a challenging career, a rural sales person should require certain qualifications and specialized talent.

Cultural Factors

Culture is a system of shared values, beliefs and perceptions that influence the behavior of consumers. There are different groups based on religion, caste, occupation, income, age, education and politics and each group exerts influence on the behavior of people in villages.

There is a belief among rural people that experience is more important than formal education and they respect salespersons who can offer practical solutions to their problems. Therefore, it is desirable that sales persons, especially those who have been brought up in cities are given a thorough training consisting of both theory and practical aspects of village life. The training will help these sales persons to align themselves with the market realities and settle down smoothly in their jobs.

Rural market has a tremendous potential that is yet to be tapped. A small increase in rural income, results in an exponential increase in buying power.

Future Trends

Markets which are not able to face the stiff competition posed by MNCs, can restore their profits in the rural sector. The market share of urban market when compared to the rural market is low, hence if Indian industries concentrate on rural markets their sales will increase. If rural markets are brought into the limelight of development, they pave way to prosperity. Prosperity of India lies in the prosperity of every Indian, hence no rural segment should be left untapped.

Challenges In Rural Marketing

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stuttering in 2-Year-Olds: How Parents Can Help

Stuttering in 2-year-olds is not uncommon. This speech impediment typically begins between the ages of two and four or around the time when children start to speak in short phrases. Children who experience stuttering know what they want to say but have difficulty saying the words clearly and fluently. As a parent, there are many ways by which you can help your child while he is going through this condition.

Be patient. Concentrate on what your child is saying, not how it is said. Remember that the message is more important than the stuttering. Maintain eye contact when your child is struggling with his words. Don't interrupt and don't try to finish his sentences because he will only get more frustrated.

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Be supportive. Respond to the condition as you would to any other difficulty your child is going through. Don't criticize and don't automatically correct him every time he stutters. Encourage him when he gets frustrated.

Stuttering in 2-Year-Olds: How Parents Can Help

After your child has spoken, repeat what he said in a slow and unhurried manner, using some of his own words. For example, if he said, "I w-w-w-want to go h-h-home", you can gently reply, "Oh, you want to go home? Okay, we will go home now." Use short and simple sentences when speaking to your child.

If you notice that you speak quite fast, slow down. Pause before responding. Ask a question at a time and give your child ample time to answer.

Every day for an hour or so, step away from your hectic lifestyle and give your child your full attention. Spend some quality time with him in a relaxed environment. Play, read, or simply talk to each other. Take measures to lessen or eliminate stresses from your toddler's life. Stuttering in 2-year-olds is aggravated by a rushed lifestyle. Make sure that your child follows a daily routine and that he eats a well-balanced diet and gets enough sleep.

Stuttering in 2-year-olds is sometimes not really stuttering. At this age, kids have so much to say that their limited vocabulary will not allow them to. Parents may confuse this inability or difficulty in verbal expression for stuttering; however, this awkward groping for words is a completely natural phase in a child's development. To their relief, parents usually find that what they thought was stuttering in 2-year-olds is merely a stage in the learning of good language skills. If this is the case, you can expect your child to show improvement in fluency within the next few months. Around 80 percent of kids who begin to "stutter" eventually stop.

However, if your child is diagnosed with stuttering, don't lose hope. It is more likely that stuttering in 2-year-olds will gradually disappear than turn into a chronic problem. If you're a parent dealing with stuttering in your toddler, follow the advice given above and consult a speech pathologist.

Stuttering in 2-Year-Olds: How Parents Can Help

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Functional Illiteracy: A Debilitating Deficiency With 7 Common Traits

In this day and age, we should not be having a conversation about the alarming illiteracy rates among adults in the United States of America. Why is this pattern of functional illiteracy becoming an apparent norm among many adults? We should be extremely concerned about the basic reading aptitude plaguing a significant amount of adults, just as much as we are about our children. Literacy is the ability to read and write proficiently and understandably. Functional illiteracy is a person's inability or insufficiency to perform practical, everyday tasks that require basic reading, writing and math skills. Those who fall in this category try to avoid reading and writing as much as possible.

Adults are supposed to be the leaders who inspire greatness for the next generation and not the other way around. In some situations however, we find that children are using their thinking, compassion and rationalization skills more and better than some adults are.

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According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), approximately 22% of American adults function with minimal literacy skills. Over half of this group did not complete their education through high school. Many are immigrants or experience some type of physical, mental or psychological difficulty. Yet, we must ask what the excuse is for adults, age eighteen and over, who do not suffer from major disabilities or have legitimate reasons for falling into that functional illiteracy category? How do we teach our children to embrace constructive learning principles, moral responsibility, literacy competitiveness and growth development for the future, if we do not practice them ourselves?

Functional Illiteracy: A Debilitating Deficiency With 7 Common Traits

Those who possess functional illiteracy could have some of the following traits in common:

1. Find it hard to fill out simple applications and forms.
2. Have difficulty following written instructions.
3. Be unable to plausibly communicate orally or in a written format.
4. Suffer deadly consequences as a result of not being able to follow life-saving medicinal instructions as prescribed by their doctor and could experience elevated health risks.
5. Be incapable of effectively communicating through modern technology.
6. Be linked with certain crimes and criminal patterns of behavior, according to some sociologists and criminal behavioral analysts.
7. Have fewer employment choices and higher substandard wages.

In a nation where we have a myriad of good educational resources, we should not be having a conversation about our alarming functional illiteracy rates, simply because we are not utilizing these resources prudently. Illiteracy, regardless of what form or function it is in, should not be a norm that we must simply accept and become comfortable with.

Functional Illiteracy: A Debilitating Deficiency With 7 Common Traits

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Easy Stuttering Exercise to Help You Stop Stuttering

If you are looking for an easy stuttering exercise to help stop your stuttering, this article can help. This exercise listed below will help counteract your stuttering, and can be practiced at your own pace, in the privacy of your own home.

Exercise #1
The majority of your stuttering comes from the stress you feel from stuttering. As you begin to stutter, stress builds, and you in turn stutter more.

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The easiest way to alleviate the stress of speaking is to hear yourself saying the words correctly. The more words you can string together without stuttering the easier it will be to continue to speak without stuttering as your confidence grows.

One Easy Stuttering Exercise to Help You Stop Stuttering

In this exercise you will concentrate on saying each word of a sentence slowly (as slowly as possible without stuttering), and rhythmically. Take a book and read the words out loud, slow and steady until you can repeat sentences without a stutter. Don't worry if you have to go very slow at first, as you improve you can speed up. The goal is to say the words without a stutter at a constant pace.

Time yourself for 1 minute and see how many words you can get through without stuttering. Set a realistic goal for yourself to read "X" number of words in the one minute time frame without a stutter. Practice daily, and continue to work towards your goal.

You'll find that over time you'll be able to read out loud for one minute without a stutter, and then you'll begin to speak faster, reading more words, during that same time frame. With practice this is one of the best ways to speak more confidently and increase your fluidity.

One Easy Stuttering Exercise to Help You Stop Stuttering

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lisps in Children: When to Start Lisp Speech Therapy

Although lisps among young children are fairly common, this issue can still be a source of concern for many parents. The main fear is usually that the lisp will never go away, and that it will potentially become a source of ridicule for the child. This concern is valid; the unfortunate truth is that while society tends to find children with lisps endearing and cute, teenagers and adults who have not managed to get rid of their lisps are often teased and made fun of, and sometimes suffer from self-esteem issues related to their speech impediment.

Make sure to identify whether what your child has is indeed a lisp, or rather some other sort of phonological speech impairment. Lisping is defined as a misarticulation of the silibant /s/ and /z/ sounds, and may fall under the categories of interdental/frontal, dentalised, palatal, or lateral lisps, depending on the placement of the tongue and how the sound is produced. So, what is to be done if your child has a lisp? Many parents are uncertain as to when to start lisp speech therapy, or whether they should "wait it out" to see if the lisp goes away on its own.

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Firstly, it's important to take your child's age into consideration. It's not uncommon for some young children to lisp up until they are four and a half or five years old. This is because they are still mastering their articulation skills, and the silibant /s/ and /z/ sounds will often come out sounding either a little bit muffled, or like a /th/ sound. If your child is under the age of five and has a lisp, you could consider scheduling an assessment of your child's speech with a speech language pathologist, who would be able to determine whether treatment is necessary. However, if your child is already beyond kindergarten and still speaks with a lisp, then it's important to take action as early as possible, before the lisp becomes a deeply rooted habit that becomes harder to break. Lisps in children beyond the age of five are not considered part of normal speech progression.

Lisps in Children: When to Start Lisp Speech Therapy

Aside from your child's age, there are other factors that shouldn't be ignored, as they may contribute directly to your child's lisp. For example, a missing front tooth, a new retainer or set of braces, or an oral injury could be causing the lisp, in which case treatment may not be an immediate necessity. In the case of an oral deformity, however, it may be necessary for your child to have professional assistance.

Lastly, you should also evaluate whether there is a possible non-physical reason behind your child's lisp. Lisps in children have been known to form out of habit, from imitation of others, as a reaction to stress, or as a way to seek attention. Lisp speech therapy seeks to identify the source of the lisp, and arm your child with games, tools, exercises, and goals to eliminate the lisp over time.

Lisps in children are often identified early-on, usually by parents or teachers, and can be corrected with proper practice and treatment. The best thing that you can do as a parent is to become as informed as possible, and aid your child patiently and encouragingly so that they don't become sensitive, overwhelmed, or frustrated. Even if your child is well into elementary school, or is already a teenager, it's not too late to get them started. There are even grown adults who are completely successful in eliminating their lisps through lisp speech therapy and diligent hard work.

One of the best first steps you can take is to inform yourself further through a good lisp-stopping guide, and to help your child practice the basic exercises that will get them on the right path to proper pronunciation. If you do this early on, you may save yourself the need to pay for expensive professional lisp speech therapy sessions (which can cost between - per hour, over the course of several months to a year or more. There is also the cost of up to 0-0 for the initial assessment). An informative guide should only cost about as much a single session ( or less), and is a good stepping stone to aid you in helping your child. Remember, especially if your child is young, then you as the parent will have a very important role in motivating and encouraging your child, and keeping them on track so that they can be as successful as possible in eliminating their lisp altogether.

Lisps in Children: When to Start Lisp Speech Therapy

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Smart Talk About Debt With Practical Advice

We all should try to help consumers in all walks of life be smarter about managing their personal finances. Your message should be, good credit is almost as critical as good health.

Daniel Goldstone doesn't believe that credit cards are intrinsically evil. He does believe some consumers don't recognize the privilege - and responsibility - of spending borrowed money. His site gives consumers actionable information and access to helpful resources for creating and following a budget, selecting the right credit card, and maintaining good credit score.

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Teach the Children Well

Smart Talk About Debt With Practical Advice

For Goldstone, teaching young consumers about financial literacy is a core passion and in fact, the site springs from his belief that financial responsibility should be introduced early in life. He believes that society fails to prepare children for the real life situations where credit plays a major role.

To close the gap in understanding, we should try to use simple, clear language and real-life examples that bring this message about the costs of poor financial management home. You should start to learn the a vocabulary list of common terms used in financial transactions, without financial jargon and a question-and-answer online community for questions that consumers have but may be afraid to ask.

College students needs this debt support the most to help manage their money. Goldstone's advice to this next-generation of homebuyers, employees and parents: "Develop a budget, and keep a close track of what comes in and what goes out, the more thoroughly the better. It will pay off in many more ways than any spending spree."

Practical Advice for Troubled Consumers

You should look to find immediate steps for getting control over finances to find tips for speeding the time to paying off debt and how to engage with debtors. For anyone dealing with debt collectors, talk to them, specifically about willingness to pay; in many cases, the collectors are highly trained professionals who have specific skills in creating workable payment plans.

"There's nothing to be ashamed of if you are in debt," said Daniel Goldstone. "The most important thing is to learn from past experiences and commit to treating good credit as a precious resource."

Debt consumers should take the steps now to find basic tools and tips for understanding the role of credit in their lives, how to manage credit resources wisely and most importantly, what to do if they get into financial trouble

These are some of the steps to managing your personal finance:

o Determining how much credit is right for an individual

o Increasing monthly payments to pay off debt faster

o Managing calls from debt/bill collectors

o Dealing with bad credit ratings

Its time to start talking about debt, so that consumers can take control of their personal finances with the debt tip resources that are available online.

Smart Talk About Debt With Practical Advice

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Friday, June 1, 2012

How to Stop Stammering - 5 Fast Facts

If you have a stammering condition, and want to know how to stop stammering, it's best to consider first a few facts:

1. Stammering can affect almost anyone - In America alone, there are over 3 million people who stutter. But it doesn't matter where in the world you live, how safe your environment is, or what kind of family background you have. Stammering affects a great deal of people from all walks of life. However, it is often common in young children who are still learning to speak. And usually, these children are able to stop stuttering as they grow older. Only a small percentage of adults stutter (around 1%).

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2. Stammering affects a larger portion of males than females - approximately three to four times more. The reason for this is uncertain, but research is getting closer to finding out probable causes why this disability often hits men.

How to Stop Stammering - 5 Fast Facts

3. There is a tremendous progress in preventing stammering in children - this is due to the fact that the fields of genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and even family dynamics have come up with new research on the possible causes of stammering and how to stop it.

4. There is no instant cure for stammering - you're well likely to encounter a number of people who would offer a miracle cure for stammering, but quite frankly, the "cure" there usually consists of methods that require ongoing practice. And by definition, that is not a "cure", but... it definitely helps you manage your stuttering, even to a point where it is hardly noticeable at all.

5. There are many famous people who stammer but have achieved success and significance - Winston Churchill, Bill Walton, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Love, King George VI are just some of the big time persona who had to deal with stammering. You as an individual should not let stammering affect you, or determine the vocation and life that you will live. There are many individuals who have made a difference with their lives and have impacted society in a great way, even though they found it hard to stop their stuttering.

How to Stop Stammering - 5 Fast Facts

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Speech Therapy - How to Teach the "L" Sound

Articulation delays are common in young children and several speech sounds can be particularly difficult for children to master. One sound that challenges many children is the /l/ sound. /L/ is a fairly easy sound to teach because it is produced near the front of the mouth, making it easy to "see." Children should be able to produce /l/ in conversation by age 5.

The most common error is substituting a /w/ for /l/. Some children may use /y/ for /l/ or omit the /l/ altogether.

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The /l/ sound is produced by placing the tongue tip behind the upper front teeth, against the gum ridge. The sides of the tongue are lowered in order to allow the voice to pass around the sides of the tongue.

Speech Therapy - How to Teach the "L" Sound


Model the correct placement of the tongue, using a mirror. Touch the gum ridge with a spoon or popsicle stick to demonstrate to the child where to make tongue contact. Practice raising and lowering the tongue tip to strengthen the tongue and develop awareness. Have the child open his mouth widely, sustain an "ah" sound while raising his tongue tip to the /l/ position. Practice /l/ vowel babbling.... "Lalala, loolooloo, leeleelee." You may find that the /l/ is easier to produce when combined with specific vowels. Practice the easier syllables first. Compare the tongue tip sounds. Have the child practice: "tee, dee, nee, lee," etc. If the child substitutes /w/ for /l/, gently spread the child's lips to discourage him from rounding them when producing /l/.

Once the child can produce an L sound consistently in isolation or in a short syllable, have him practice it at the beginning of words, such as light, lamp, let, and lip. Then start to practice /l/ in the middle and ends of words and finally in sentences.

With consistent practice, you should soon see improvement in your child's speech!

Speech Therapy - How to Teach the "L" Sound

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

The 4 Types of Lisp Speech Disorders

Most people with a lisp speech disorder are actively looking to fix it. In order to fix a lisp speech you must understand that there is not just one type of lisp, in actual fact, there are four.

So, the very first step to fixing your lisp speech is to uncover the type of lisp that you have. Moving forward from there, you want to take some specific, and some general exercises to fix your lisp. So what are the different types of lisp speech disorders?

Literacy Health

1. Lateral Lisp

The 4 Types of Lisp Speech Disorders

Let's start off with the Lateral lisp, because this is not typically found in normal speech development. With this disorder, the tongue position is in the same position when making the "L" sound. The result of this is that air-flow is pushed over the sides of the tongue.

This is fine when it comes to producing the "L" tones, but it sounds slushy or wet when trying to make out the "S" tone.

2. Palatal lisp

This type of lisp speech disorder is not a common one either, just like Lateral lisp. It is probably the least likely one that you may have because of the complexity of producing the sound. Yet, it is categorized so do not over-look this one.

What happens here is the middle of the tongue comes into contact with the soft palate, or the soft part of the roof of the mouth. This is quiet far back in the month. You can feel it by gliding the tip of your tongue there.

If you have this lisp then you will be producing the "S" sound by putting your tongue in the position of the "H" sound closely followed by the "Y" and by keeping the sound coming out.

3. Interdental lisp

This type of lisp disorder is common in children developing speech until they are about 5. As they develop, this lisp sound slowly, but surely goes away.

You can usually see the problem with this lisp by looking into a mirror, unlike the other types. The tongue comes in between the front teeth and the air-flow is pushed forward.

This basically will create the "TH" sound, instead of "S" - so instead of the word "sad" you will say "thad"

4. Dentalised lisp

If you ever get the feeling that you have a slight lisp, or if someone has told you that your speech is a little unclear, then it might be that you have a dentalised lisp. Also, when some people are heavily intoxicated, they can at times produce this type of lisp.

Instead of producing a slushy "S" - what happens here is that the "S" sounds muffled, or unclear. The tongue is usually pushed against the front teeth, which causes the air-flow to be pushed forwards.

The 4 Types of Lisp Speech Disorders

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Financial Institutions

There are many financial institutions around the world today. These help to take care of your everyday finance needs. These can be anything from money to buy your graduation dresses or more serious affairs like poor credit auto financing which will help you to get an automobile even if you have bad credit. All these financial institutions make life a little enough for those that are not so fortunate with money. If there is a necessity or a medical emergency that requires immediate financial back up then you can rely on such institutions to lend you the money. The money that you take out of the bank is called a principal. This is the amount that is given to you and part of the amount that you need to pay back.

This is the primary amount. The additional payments that you would have to make along with the principal are the interests. The interest is what the bank charges you for their services to you. This is usually a percentage of the principal. This is for the services that the banks give you and is how the bank makes money. Most of the times, these interests depend upon the amount of money that you are taking from the bank.

Literacy Health

Also the interest might vary because of your credit history. There are many institutions that would like to make sure that you have a capability to pay the loan back. Therefore they would ask you to show some form of collateral. This can come in form of cash or property or investments. If you have some form of collateral with you then it is very easy to take loans. There are many that reduce the rate of interest depending on your collateral. However, you should make sure that you are responsible in what you put as collateral or you might end up incurring a big loss.

Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Adult Dyslexia Signs and Symptoms - How to Know If You Are Suffering From Dyslexia

Dyslexia is becoming an eye opener now because people are more aware of the condition they have and willing to subject themselves to adult dyslexia test and treatment. Years ago people will not believe about reading and learning disability and they just tag you as slow learner, lazy or simply not as intelligent as other kids without giving the proper treatment. But now with the awareness of this disorder, you and the people around you are more adept to deal with this disorder. Although there are most cases that dyslexia are diagnosed when they are already an adult. But now that dyslexia is openly identified as a serious condition, you should immediately seek professional help once you suspect that you are suffering from dyslexia signs and symptoms.

There are many ways to know if you are suffering from dyslexia. As an adult, it is your responsibility to identify if you have dyslexia signs and symptoms through proper tests and evaluations. You should seek professional help to effectively get the necessary treatment. Here are some dyslexia signs and symptoms that would indicate you have dyslexia.

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Direction Confusion. One dyslexia signs and symptoms is difficulty recognizing directions. It comes in many forms like difficulty in recognizing left and right, up and down, following maps and compass and following instructions. Directional confusion is also the reason why dyslexics interchange letters like b and d, p and q, n and u etc. Dyslexics are confused not only in letters but in numbers too, you may read or write 16 to 61.

Adult Dyslexia Signs and Symptoms - How to Know If You Are Suffering From Dyslexia

Spelling Difficulties. Another dyslexia signs and symptoms is the difficulty to spell simple and troublesome words. You may find it difficult to spell even simple short words. Other words are spelled the way they are spoken like please to plese, knock to nock and search to serch.

Math and sequences difficulties. Difficulties understanding math lessons and conceptualizing sequences is another dyslexia signs and symptoms you must observe. It is a big challenge for dyslexics to understand numbers in correct order or to reverse that order. You may find it hard to count to 100 forwards and backwards. Due to short term memory, dyslexics may also find it hard to understand mathematical operations like multiplications and divisions.

Comprehension difficulties. Dyslexia is not only limited to written words but in some cases even in speech recognition. Another dyslexia signs and symptoms you must be aware of is comprehension difficulties. You may find it hard to retain what is said to you and may not be able to repeat the words said to you. It is also hard for you to follow instructions or follow 3 or more procedures that you need to do.

Having these dyslexia signs and symptoms can be a serious condition but it is not that complicated if you immediately seek professional help and address the problem.

Adult Dyslexia Signs and Symptoms - How to Know If You Are Suffering From Dyslexia

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Speech Therapy Exercises for My Stuttering

As I mentioned in the previous articles, I used several speech therapy exercises to get over my stuttering and speak fluently. Some of them helped more, some less and now I would like to give you a small recap. Don't rush to speak. Everything is harder when you are in a rush speaking included. I always tried and sometimes still try to say something as fast as I can to stop talking that people do not realise I stutter. But this is not the way and I actually speak less fluent. Slow down how you move your mouth - lips or tongue.

Breathing is another very important speech therapy exercise. Take a deep breath in when you start a sentence or make a pause. Running out of breath leaves you stucked in the half of a sentence and obviously this is not the way. I bet you know what I am talking about. Exercise at home while reading or talking to yourself in the mirror. Start your sentence softly. It gets you into the talking mood. I used to emphasize the first word and got stucked so many times that the rest of the sentence was a disaster. It is not like that everything depends on the first word, but it makes it so much easier to talk when you have a good beginning. If it is a long word, try to highlight one specific syllable or 'add a bounce' to the word so that it is easier for you to say it. Maybe it will sound like singing, but who cares.

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People have different types of voices and once you will train how to do it, you will be much more confident. I mentioned above that is important to train at home. My suggestions are: - Say your 'long vowel' sounds a few times slowly and softly for about 2 or 3 minutes. - Read. Practise your breathing and learn to do it naturally. Use your gentle sounds at the beginning. You can also speak out loud in front of a mirror. - Listen to yourself as you do the above exercises. You will realise what is going wrong and then correct mistakes. At the end I would like to highlight that no one in the world speaks 100%. We want to be perfect, but that is not the aim. That is to feel confident and comfortable when speaking.

Speech Therapy Exercises for My Stuttering
Speech Therapy Exercises for My Stuttering

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Counseling the Incarcerated - A Different Release For Prisoners

There are over 1, 700,000 incarcerated men and women in jails and prisons across America. This presents a great opportunity for ministries and individuals who take the gospel to prisoners. It also presents a unique set of challenges and, in some cases, difficulties for Christian counselors who work with the prisoners and their families. To illustrate the unique challenges let me begin with an illustration I often used when I taught criminal justice at Wheaton College and Trinity International University, both in Illinois. I began by putting a series of words on the chalkboard:

1. Homeless
2. Unemployed
3. Alcoholic
4. School drop-out]
5. Person with AIDS
6. Victim of Physical Abuse
7. Cocaine Addict
8. Victim of Sexual Abuse
9. Prisoner

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I asked my students to carefully look at the list and see if there was a common theme or relationship. Students often responded with what was easily apparent such as, they are all hurting people, or they all need God, or They all need a support system. I then would help them think in nontraditional ways about prisoners by informing them that all the words on the chalkboard (or most of them) could in fact describe the same person! When we begin any intervention or ministry with a prisoner, we must first take into consideration that the prisoner's situation or plight may be multifaceted. There is no one single reason that a person turns to crime. Conversely, there is no magic bullet or simple solution for restoring a prisoner to the community as a functioning and stable citizen.

Counseling the Incarcerated - A Different Release For Prisoners

Needs: Working with prisoners involves networking. Care giving includes involving the church, especially upon release, and meeting basic needs such as literacy, discipleship for the growing Christian, and mentoring. At release, that support system becomes critical. Released prisoners may need assisted housing or temporary shelter, job skills, help in finding employment and a church home, and they almost always need professional counseling.

Fear and Anxiety: While prisons differ in terms of their size and structure, the majority will expose the prisoner to intimidation and predatory violence. A highly structured environment that takes away responsibility and meaningful decision making and replaces it with blind compliance to the structure and rules of an institution takes its toll on the individual and does not prepare the person for reentry into society. In many maximum-security prisons, gangs flourish, violence is common, and the possibility of sexual intimidation or rape is high, causing extreme fear and anxiety. The person who wrote a bad check or stole an automobile and the person who committed an armed robbery, rape, or murder will face the same predatory environment after conviction. The one exception is the pedophile or child molester, who usually is looked down upon by all prisoners and is often victimized, if not brutally beaten.

Depression: It's not difficult to understand why a prisoner would be depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts or attempts. The process of being sent to prison is humiliating and stressful. In many ways, the public, the press, and the court shame the individual. The loss of a job, reputation, and family would be enough to put any individual into a state of depression. Over 80 percent of inmate's marriages will end in divorce, and the longer an individual is in prison (more than three years), the less support system he or she will have when released. Not all depression that a prisoner experiences is debilitating. That which comes from guilt rooted in accountability and genuine repentance of his or her crimes can be used by chaplains, counselors, or church volunteers to generate or regenerate faith in Christ. Even so, the prisoner who comes to believe that he or she is forgiven and becomes a born-again believer is not immune to depression, of course. Find a therapist to get solution of your problems.

Counseling the Incarcerated - A Different Release For Prisoners

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Causes of Illiteracy - Is it As Simple As a "Proper Education"?

Have you ever thought what it would be like if you were unable to read or understand a word of this blog? Doubtless you would be feeling the same shame and isolation as the people I wrote about in my post: Reading Between the Lines last month. Tears were aplenty as they shared their stories in the TV series Can't Read; Can't Write - and they weren't solely those of the participants! There we learned that in Britain, alone, over five million adults have a reading age of 12 or less, or are unable to read at all. UNESCO reports one in five adults unable to read, two thirds of them women, and 72 million children out of school, with many more attending only irregularly. Ironic then, to be told by the Dag Hammarskjold Library (the UN website) that "close to four billion literate people in the world" is cause for celebration.

In the USA, The Illiterate Digest claims that 23 million Americans are illiterate (though MeriNews has that number as a mere seven million). A dedicated website lists the percentages of illiterates in each town, whilst attributing the following quote to George W Bush: "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."

Literacy Health

Monday 8th September was designated International Literacy Day by the United Nations General Assembly. In their Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right of every individual to education is recognized as "inalienable". With more than a billion adults worldwide unable to read or even write their name, according to Book Aid International, all attempts to achieve this Right must be seen as both a worthy cause, and a daunting task.

The Causes of Illiteracy - Is it As Simple As a "Proper Education"?

The UK based National Literacy Trust has a number of events in its calendar which anyone can sign up for. USATODAY points to the classic Why Johnny Can't Read: And What You Can Do About It, written half-century ago by Rudolf Flesch, and cites the answer to the illiteracy crisis as being "within". It goes on to say: "The Knowledge Deficit by E. D. Hirsch provides an equally persuasive analysis of the educational weakness of the USA." And: "Anybody who doubts Hirsch's devastating critique should look at the recently released report of the National Council on Teacher Quality, "What Education Schools Aren't Teaching About Reading - and What Elementary Teachers Aren't Learning.'"

This was the feeling of award-winning teacher Phil Beadle in the UK Channel 4 series mentioned above. Throwing out the national curriculum for adult literacy as unworkable because it required people to be able to read (work that one out) and was designed for immigrants, he found innovative and diverse ways of teaching his class. Different people need different methods of learning, he said. Which makes you wonder why the UK government is refusing to fund synthetic phonics as a means of improving the situation. If it works, say I, then bring it on.

Synthetic phonics has been proved, in some schools, to have a near miraculous effect on the majority of children who have previously failed to learn to read. The system is simple. Children learn the basic sounds of language as it is spoken. These sounds are made up of combinations of letters; thus igh becomes the i sound as in slight or fight, rather than the sounds produced by each individual letter i g h.

Given that reading opens up the world in a way that nothing else can, and that without it the whole basis of learning is denied children who might otherwise be bright, it is a scandal that we should question any proven method. What is the point of testing children throughout their schooling to see if they have attained the required level in all subjects, if we don't ensure that they have the most basic means of learning them?

But is it that simple? Education, it has been said, is wasted on the young. And herein lies the rub. In the days when the only means of clambering out of the gutter of poverty was through learning (and that still applies to many parts of the world today), the very scarcity and elitist nature of education was what made it so attractive. Today, in the Western world, at least, its commonplace nature, combined with easy money in the form of benefits, and the great wealth achievable by celebrity status, makes it a less valued option. Perhaps, one might almost say, despised. Until, that is, you've acquired the wisdom of hindsight and maturity and are faced with the shame of not being able to read your gas bill. Or the label on your medication! Or worse - you're technical savvy enough to operate your mobile phone, but 2 stoopid 2 spl th werds 2 txt ur frend!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Authorization Letter - Sample Letters and Tips

There are many kinds of authorization letter. They are used in many situations, but principally to give permissions, approvals and to delegate responsibility. You can write it to authorize a payment, to give a permission either to do or to use something. If part of an organization, you could need it for a study or report, or to attend a seminar or conference. This letter can also be produced to have access to particular files and information. They are very important in business. It can also be used to authorize someone to act on your behalf when, for instance, you are ill, far away or unable to attend a meeting. Another common use of this type of letter is for medical or financial instructions and releases. You may need to write it for medical purposes: for example to have medical records released or to let someone else collect your exams. Or, with a bank, to allow a specific person to do particular operations on your behalf. It is always better to print it on your company letterhead, as it usually is a formal document.

But the format changes depending on the circumstances and the target. Obviously you can find templates on the internet but there are many books dedicated to this topic containing all the necessary instructions and covering all the situations to create a well formatted authorization letter. First of all, it is necessary that you state clearly what you want or do not want, avoiding any doubt or confusion. It is also fundamental that you use the adequate language to the situation, and that you give all the necessary instructions and details. For example a legal document has a very different language from a scientific one, so it is necessary that the receiver understands the full meaning of the content and, above all, the intention of the letter. An authorization letter can have different purposes from business or professional ones. It can be used in schools as well as in everyday life.

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When you write (or receive) this kind of letter, you must be sure that all the identification information are correct, clear and doubtless. Pay always attention: it is legally valid only if signed. Basically, it must always be clear and doubtless for the reader/receiver what to do, when to do and how the reader can accomplish the task. Every detail has to be covered. Especially if there is a deadline to be respected. The more explicit it is, less later corrections are needed. They may also be required to let someone else, or an organization, to pick up your passport, or any other personal document. Some authorities require an authorization letter to allow you to live and work in their country. So, do not forget to follow all the step detailed to write an authorization letter by yourself or to check the validity of one that you receive. Remember to pay always a great attention to the right format and grammar. And, if requested, to write it on a letterhead paper.

Authorization Letter - Sample Letters and Tips
Authorization Letter - Sample Letters and Tips

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Friday, March 23, 2012

The Relationship Between Health and Fitness

There is no doubt that health and fitness are related to each other. If you are fit, you guarantee yourself a healthy life. Fitness is achieved by practicing any kind of sport, even if it is just walking. Technology has brought us so many benefits and managed our time, but in the same time, it brought us diseases and pains. Sedentary life is not ours, nor are we created to sleep or sit all the day long. We are born to live our lives moving and to be active, doing all our stuff by ourselves. Since we cannot live without our cars, remote controls, elevators and PDA's, then we can practice any kind of sport to get the maximum out of it and be healthy all our lives.

If we took walking for an example, you will notice anybody you know who perseveres on walking every day for at least 1/2 an hour, that they are enjoying a healthy life, free from stress and sickness. This is because of their perseverance on walking improved his fitness, and so, their health and mental well-being. Actually, you can guarantee a good and healthy life just from walking every day. You will deal with your life stresses, you will progress at work, and even more, you will be more spiritual and religious. Simply because walking increases you blood flow to the brain, therefore, increases your thinking skills. So if you want to get smarter, then get walking.

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Walking makes your body releases endorphins, which are natural hormones released inside your body to make you feel happy. This may be prominent when you walk at a high speed. However, people who walk slowly notice an improvement in their mood.

The Relationship Between Health and Fitness

Almost, all the physicians recommend their patients to walk every day, or at least 3 times a week, and they consider it a natural treatment and an essential part of the therapy. So many diseases are cured or improved by walking. For example; Hypertension, Diabetes, Arthritis, Glaucoma, Cataract, Depression, Heart diseases, Respiratory diseases, Lymphatic diseases, Circulatory and Nervous problems.

As we mentioned before that while you walk, your brain releases endorphins and so achieving what many drugs and herbs try to achieve artificially but in a natural way. This makes the cure from depression, a piece of cake. However, depression is a serious and life-threatening disease. Anyway, you should consult a therapist in this case.

When you walk, you have much time to think and to get away from any stress. This is because you breathe in fresh air, watch the nature and feel your body moving, which relieves all the stresses in your body and on your mind, too.

On walking, you should wear comfortable clothes, and shoes. Drink enough water before, during and after walking. Try to make it in a natural open-air place, with trees and natural views around and enough fresh air. Enjoy the view and breathe deeply as much as you can. Be sure that you are away from any stressful factor. Walk an hour after a meal, and never walk on a full stomach. You can eat anything, but 1/2 an hour after your walk. Straighten your spine; do not arch your back. Do not lean forward or backwards. Look forward with your chin up. Try to make your body relaxed as much as you can, with your shoulders relaxed and slightly back. Pull your stomach inwards. Squeeze your buttocks as you walk.

You can ask anybody you know to join you while walking, as you will not feel bored, because you will talk and laugh with them, and time will pass by, resulting in so many miles walked without noticing that the distance and time had passed. Go ahead start from now on. Walk every day or at least 3 times a week, put it on your schedule and never skip it.

The Relationship Between Health and Fitness

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Teachers Evaluation

Monitoring Wellbeing

One of the difficulties with much of the agenda in policies such as Every Child Matters and No Child Left Behind is that the concepts which are being written into the documentation are highly desirable - but very difficult to quantify and assess. For example concepts such as self esteem, self confidence, wellbeing, emotional literacy, resilience... are all words we like the sound of but delivering them and tracking their development is a whole other thing. Teachers are often left to give subjective evaluations of these aspects and feel unsure if their own judgement is valid enough on its own.

Literacy Health

Sometimes we discover that we mean different things when we talk about a concept so if one or more of these terms is being emphasised in your school or early years setting a useful thing to do is to find out what you mean by it. That makes it much easier to baseline and start some kind of tracking and monitoring programme. Staff inservice can be used to come up with what we mean when we talk about these things and even more importantly what do they look like in adults and children in this organisation? A term like resilience is generally talked of as 'bouncebackability' for example, however what does that look like? Has anyone got any other way to phrase this which works better for the school? Did you know that resilience is both a process of bouncing back/recovery over time and a set of skills? What skills and attitudes make it become resilience?

Teachers Evaluation

Recently some online tools have become available for baselining and tracking some of these aspirational, inspirational - but intangible - concepts (such as self esteem, wellbeing, emotional literacy, resilience) however you must be sure that the basic definition that the tools are working from is one that corresponds sufficiently to the one that is right for your organisation. That way you will be sure that the evaluation you end up with by using the tools to track and baseline the state of any of the concepts within the classroom, or of any child, is in tune with your school and what you specifically aim for with your children.

Teachers Evaluation


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Reasons People Develop Speech Impediments

I am one of many people who are unfortunate enough to develop a speech impediment in childhood. This article describes why these impediments may occur and how I went about achieving fluency. For the purpose of this article, I concentrate on the speech impediment known as stuttering.

There are many reasons why people may develop a stutter, it can be as a result of bullying from school, an over aggressive member of the family, a shock reaction to an event such as a car crash, or it could be passed down from another member of the family who has a stutter.

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I have met many people who stutter as I now help people to achieve fluency as a career. I always ask them to talk about how and why their stutter started. The reasons above are the type of answers I receive.

The Reasons People Develop Speech Impediments

Stuttering normally originates in childhood and nine out of ten people who stutter are men. Around 1% of the population has a stutter according to recent reports.

I have now managed to beat my stutter which had basically ruined my life for eighteen years. When I had a stutter, I found it difficult to say certain words beginning with certain letters. I would always avoid these words or I would think of an alternative word to say.

Aged twenty-two I decided it was time to try to overcome my communication problems. I started to observe what I called very good fluent talkers, I was watching and trying to work out how they were talking and breathing. I also tried to find differances between their speech and my own. I also started to read books about things like, positive thinking and mind over matter as I also realised I needed to change the way I was thinking.

After nearly a year of working and practicing very hard, I managed to overcome my stutter, much to my relief.

The Reasons People Develop Speech Impediments

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Treatments For Speech Impediments

Do you have a speech impediment? Are you looking at ways in which you can overcome your speech impediment? Do you hate your speech impediment? Does your speech impediment dictate your life? Up until around ten years ago I would have answered yes to all of these questions but have now managed to achieve fluency and life has never been so good.

My own speech impediment started when I was just four years of age, well this is what my parents have told me. I had for whatever reason developed what I call a stammer or what most people call a stutter. Looking back this must have been a huge cause of concern for my parents and it would have been difficult for them to know where to look for help. Now that I am a parent myself I can understand what it must have been like for them.

Literacy Health

My parents decided to take me to speech therapy in a quest to cure the speech impediment. I, as such a young boy did not want to go as it was not somewhere that any of my friends had to go. I have to admit that I do not remember much about these early speech therapy lessons.

Treatments For Speech Impediments

In my teenage years I continued to search for some sort of stammering cure and was desperate to find some solutions to the speech impediment. I was starting to get frustrated with life and especially speech therapy. I had been going for years and had not improved one bit. I also had quite a bad attitude to the whole process, you have never had a stammer so how do you know how it is affecting me, this is what I used to think about these speech therapists who were attempting and failing to help me.

There are many different types of therapy for a stutter including one-to-one speech courses, group courses, hypnosis, self help dvds and self help ebooks.

I managed to overcome my own stammer ten years ago after basically studying how what I call the best talkers spoke and then copying them. My confidence has improved in a big way and life is now a lot easier.

Treatments For Speech Impediments


Friday, March 2, 2012

The 2011 Tragedies From Around the World

As 2011 starts to reign, people are becoming hopeful that it will be a good year for all of us since 2010 has been a stressful year. In Chinese, the rabbit symbolizes good luck. It is a year where we can "catch our breath" and "calm our nerves". However, experts in medical scrubs are telling us that it is not always good to depend on cultural traditions as tragedies and unexpected events will appear in no time to shock and caught us unprepared.

No one says that we should not believe such cultural traditions; anyone can stay as a believer while keeping aware of what will happen. Like we always say, expect the unexpected. February is not yet through but there are already countless events occur around the world and most of them are tragic. 2011 seems to shake us with a shocking entrance. So, here are the top 4 tragic events of 2011 from around the world.

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The 2011 Tucson Shooting

The 2011 Tragedies From Around the World

January 8, 2011 is an unforgettable date for people in Tucson, Arizona. A mass shooting occurred and there were 19 people shot - 6 of them lost their lives, and 14 others were wounded. Included in the people who were shot was Representative Gabrielle Giffords who called for an open meeting with the members of her constituency in a Supermarket parking lot. There were too many innocent people who died in the shootout including the youngest victim, Christina - Taylor Green who is only 9 years old. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner is a high school dropout and was said to have shown behavioral problems before committing the massacre. It was a shocking tragedy that left a scar to people who witness, truly unforgettable intro of 2011.

The End of the World Prediction

Many people reacted to this issue. We are now in 2011, a year before the world ends and we're all going to die that's why many people still panic every time they hear about it. The issue became a hot topic for everyone during the first month of 2011. It all started with a Mayan calendar which is the center of controversy. The current cycle of the calendar aka baktun began on August 13, 3114 BC that marks the end of the last period as well as the beginning of the current one. Currently, the baktun we are living in is the thirteenth and the end of cycle has been considered to have been a huge importance to the Mayans which draw the people to a conclusion that such cycle will end and it will be the world's end too. The controversy according to scientists is just a Myth. A myth that shook many people and made them worried about this year.

The 2011 Egypt Revolt

Egypt is known for its tough government -tough that the people cannot bear it anymore. Egypt protests to end the decade rule of their President, Hosni Mubarak. It was a two and a half week protest that injured and killed civilians. But after a long protest, Mubarak resigned as a president after he'd been held since 1981.

Tragedy at Estonian Orphanage

Afternoon of February 19, 2011, ten disabled children died after a fire race through the orphanage where they live. They were just among the 37 children and nine adults living inside the wooden building. The people of Haapsalu, a coastal town in Estonia were deeply saddened of the innocent lives lost from the fire. According to a source, the cause of the fire was not yet cleared.

The 2011 Tragedies From Around the World

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Sensory Table Ideas For Preschoolers

Sensory tables can be found in virtually every preschool. These tables are comprised of either a large, commercial table or a shallow, plastic tub that is then filled with various items perfect for sifting, digging, sorting, squishing, and more. Following are numerous sensory table ideas that you can instill in your own classroom.

Ideas for Sensory Tables that Use Water

Literacy Health

Many sensory tables incorporate the use of water. A couple of great ideas include adding soap and plastic dishes so the students can practice washing dishes, adding rubber or plastic fish and nets so that the children can pretend to go fishing, and adding food coloring so that your students can play with mixing colors.

Sensory Table Ideas For Preschoolers

One great idea is to introduce one or two live goldfish to the water-filled table. Then, you can encourage your students to use a net to try to "catch" the fish. Of course, close supervision is required for this activity. After the fishing game is completed, you can add the goldfish to your classroom's fishbowl.

Turkey basters or long eyedroppers can be intriguing additions for preschoolers. You will most likely have to teach the students how to squeeze the bulb to pick up the water, and then you can let them enjoy their newfound tool.

Ideas for Tables that Use Sand

Sand is another popular factor to incorporate with sensory tables. You can set up a "treasure hunt" for your students by carefully burying plastic gems and different-sized dog bones under the sand. Then encourage the children to dig for their treasure. After the digging is completed, they can glue their findings onto a piece of construction paper to create the shape of a dinosaur or other shape.

A good preschool theme idea for the last week or month of school is a beach theme to celebrate the upcoming summer. For this theme, you can incorporate sand castle molds, shells, and other beach-themed items.

To add variation to your sensory table's sand, try adding plastic glitter to make shiny, reflective sand. You can also add colored sand so that the students can see what happens when they combine uncolored sand with the sand that has been colored. Incorporating water and ice is another great way to encourage discoveries.

Other Fun Ideas

No matter what type of sensory table you have, it can be fun to add some similar items such as magnifying glasses, colored paperclips, foam packing peanuts, dried pasta, soil, leaves, shaving cream, and shredded paper. Another great item to make for your table is ublek. Ublek is made with equal parts water and cornstarch. It has a firm consistency, but it melts when you hold it.

Clean up is very important when it comes to sensory tables. Always keep rags, towels, and a dustpan and handheld brush nearby for spills. Encourage your students to clean up their own messes. A great piece of advice is to require your students to wear smocks when they play with the sensory table.

Sensory Table Ideas For Preschoolers

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