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The Julian News
Julian , California
September 18, 2019     The Julian News
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September 18, 2019

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8 The Julian News September 18, 2019 © 2019 San Diego Gas & Electric Company. Trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. THESE TIPS ARE JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER. Time to save. Find more tips at sdge.com/whenmatters TOU Tips Phase 5__Julian News_RUN: 07_24_2019__TRIM: 13 x 11 Here are a few of my favorite summer tips to help you save between 4pm and 9pm when energy prices are highest: Use a portable or ceiling fan to save big on AC. Keep blinds and curtains closed during summer days to block out direct sunlight and reduce cooling costs. Cool down your home until 4pm; set your AC 7° higher unitl 9pm. Take advantage of off-peak period pricing. Charge an electric vehicle before 4pm or after 9pm. If you have a pool, run the pump before 4pm or after 9pm. Red Flags Of A Learning Issue by: Carol Lloyd What do tears, rhyming, storytelling, and gripping a pencil all have in common? Don’t answer. Just imagine this scene: an 18-month-old falling on the ground and bawling over a lost balloon. Normal, right? Maybe not a lot of fun for the person trying to explain that the balloon man closed his stand for the day. But it might elicit a sympathetic smile from a passerby. Toddlers will be toddlers, we understand. Now picture the same child collapsing into tears because a balloon slipped from her hand eight years later. Not the same situation, despite the fact that it’s the same person experiencing precisely the same frustration. Time has passed and with it our expectations of appropriate behavior have changed. When does a tantrum turn from difficult to diagnosable? We all know that the meaning of the behavior changes radically with the age of the child. But when it comes to our children, it can be difficult to see. As parents, filled to the brim with worry and love for our ever-changing children, we easily get caught in a limboland of wondering: Is that normal? Should she still be doing that? Her brother never did that — maybe she’s got an issue. Preschoolers’ normal behavior ranges from very civilized to utterly silly to something akin to wild animals. How can you observe such complicated little creatures — who don’t usually read or do math — and know which of them will have learning issues in the future? One of the first things you want to look at is whether a kid can listen to stories and comprehend language. Most learning disabilities are language-related, so this is the best place to start. Another early indicator is the lack of ability to distinguish phonemes — the basic sounds that make up words. If kids have trouble understanding these differences, then they’re at risk. How do you know if your child is struggling with a learning issue? Learn to read the clues. A lisp is one of those things that is common but is also a red flag. If kids have lisps, it might be because they’ve had frequent ear infections — so they literally can’t hear. If it goes on for too long, they can have trouble differentiating sounds. So when kids have speech issues, you should always have their ears checked. It could be the tip of the iceberg. It could be a motor issue, or it could be a cognitive problem — due to not understanding certain sounds. Another red flag is not paying attention. With some kids it seems like their minds are always wandering, and when you see that kind of behavior — especially when it’s related to not attending to stories — it can be a huge sign. If they are always headed for the dress-up corner during storytime, or if they look at you blankly when you talk to them, it can signal that they have a language-processing issue. Kids are sharp — they have fresh brains hungry for information, so when they don’t express curiosity, it can be a sign they just aren’t understanding. One simple way to check on your kid’s language development is to read them the story and ask them what it was about. If they are clueless, it’s a predictor of a language and learning problem. Another sign of an issue is if they are super-hyperactive. If left to their own devices, they will tear apart the place. For kids with AD/ HD, you notice that even before they have learning issues, they don’t attend to stuff; they can’t slow down. Even though these kids are bright in other ways, it’s hard for them to learn because they can’t sit still. Kindergarten: Is it too early to catch a reading disorder? What are the primary warning signs for children in kindergarten? Is it fair to judge them on their academics since some kids develop more slowly? Kindergarten is a time to start getting to the basics, so though they may all not be reading, there are certain benchmarks to keep in mind. They should be learning the alphabet as well as the sounds of the letters. They should be learning to count. They should also be developing their fine motor skills: learning to copy words, cut paper into shapes. Most kindergartners begin to read simple words too. Finally, parents should continue to look at their children’s ability to understand stories. Those are the main indicators: Do they have their sounds, numbers, and letters? Of course, you might not hear much from your teacher if your child isn’t reaching these benchmarks. I used to teach general education teachers. The philosophy they’d been taught is “wait and see,” but the research suggests that if you catch this stuff early, you get better results. With language, you’ve got to hit it early — or kids get left in the dust. For instance, a preschooler and a kindergartner will learn phonemes better than a first and second grader]. Once you hit first and second grade, you start going into content reading, and so kids who are still struggling with learning to read have a harder time. There’s an idea in general education that learning to read is like osmosis — and it’s true! Most kids learn to read and write with very little instruction. About 80 percent learn like that, but the other 20 percent don’t learn that way. They need it broken down and need it to be taught. It’s clear that we can impact this 20 percent with early intervention. With intensive instruction, they can get on track early before their self-esteem takes a hit. Kindergarten is also the age when some kids are having trouble reading because they are having trouble seeing accurately. Sometimes their eyes aren’t tracking or they are not focusing on the page. If your child is having trouble with early reading, it’s worth having their eyes checked too. Parents of first- and second- graders are typically watching their kids deal with more homework and lots of new academic demands. Suddenly you can find you’ve got a kid who loves reading and hates math or loves complicated science ideas but can’t seem to write a three- word sentence. First-grade standards vary widely by district, but at this age kids should be reading words and simple sentences. At this point, they need to learn their phonics —the ability to sound out words. And they should have a good number of sight words — say 100 — by the end of first grade. In the first few months of first grade, not all kids have this, but by January or February if they are not reading, you start getting really worried. You also want them to have fine motor control — they should be able to copy words, write their name, do simple drawings, and hold their pencils. If they have trouble picking up a pencil and writing anything down, that’s a red flag. Another warning sign is kids who are frustrated and angry and inattentive. It may not be “acting out” but a behavioral reaction to what they are being asked to do. At this point, kids should be able to listen to teachers and follow multi-step directions. It’s also the age when they are beginning to organize themselves. (Though a lot of boys don’t organize themselves at a young age.). Being able to sit still in circle time is another benchmark. In second grade, kids are expected to write longer sentences as well as short paragraphs. It’s also important that they develop verbal expression. They should be able to talk about themselves and what they are learning. Can you trust your school to assess your child? The saying goes that during third, fourth, and fifth grade one switches from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” What happens in this age group that signals learning issues for parents or teachers? The red flags for third and fourth grade are actually similar to those for lower grades, but the expectations are higher. For instance, if kids can’t attend, can’t sit in a classroom, if they start having emotional and behavioral reactions or not liking school, these can all be red flags. If they don’t have persistence in doing things that are hard for them, they may suddenly stop following the rules. At this age you may see a decrease in school motivation. A lot of kids who didn’t get identified as having learning disabilities earlier have been actively compensating all these continued on page 13