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Be Exceptional!

Dr. Kara A. Loftin Writings

As educators of students with exceptionalities, The Craig School celebrates students’ strengths and competencies, acknowledges that students sometimes learn differently than their peers, and provides a thorough, well-rounded, robust educational program suited to their unique challenges and strengths. This blog is both a celebration of students with exceptionalities as well as a resource for parents, educators, and maybe even our students themselves, to learn a bit more about programs, services, and research specific to students in grades 2-12 with language-based learning disabilities. Be Exceptional!
Exceptional
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  • General (11)
  • Social Emotional Learning (8)
  • Learning Disabilities (6)
  • Published Articles (6)
  • Dyslexia (3)
Exploring School Experiences of Teenagers with ADHD for Improved Connection and Learning
Introduction & Rationale Background Teens with ADHD experience greater levels of academic impairment than students without ADHD.  Academic enablers, non-cognitive skills and behaviors, like study skills, engagement, motivation, and interpersonal skills are essential components to optimal academic attainment.  For students with ADHD, these skills tend to be underdeveloped.  This study explored the attitudes, thoughts, and […]
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Postsecondary Planning in the Age of COVID
Postsecondary Planning in the Age of COVID In the middle school years, parents and oftentimes students alike, begin to turn their attention to life beyond the hallowed halls of The Craig School by exploring college and career possibilities for their student. Parents new to our school may not be aware of our end-to-end College Counseling […]
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Beyond Decoding: Skilled Reading & Executive Functions
Executive functions are inextricably linked to learning and problem-solving. A common misconception I hear regarding students who may struggle with executive functioning skills is that this struggle is synonymous with challenges linked to ADHD. While executive function challenges may accompany ADHD symptomology, it is also true that a student who exhibits weaker or underdeveloped executive […]
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Trust: Building Reciprocal School & Parent Partnerships
A social state or condition; a fellowship; a group sharing common characteristics; a unified body of individuals. Community, a hallmark of great schools, is at its core a culture of belonging, demonstrated daily through positive, supportive interpersonal, bidirectional relationships among teachers, staff, administration, parents, and students alike. Students who find themselves in communities of belonging, […]
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Learners of all abilities empowered at The Craig School
What if rather than viewing learning disabilities as deficits, we viewed them as part of the natural variations of the human genome? Sometimes called the social model of disability or neurodiversity, this view holds that dyslexia or specific learning disability, for example, is merely but one component of identity and functioning, not its totality, and […]
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Helping all students master the challenges of reading
Reading does not come naturally, easily or incidentally for countless children. It is a tough hill to climb that takes patience, time and tenacity. Through decades of research, we understand that dyslexia can vary widely in students from a phonological deficit, orthographic deficit, a naming-speed deficit or a combination of one or more of these […]
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Bridging the Gap between Capability and Environment: Empowering Learners of All Abilities
Throughout the year, I have written about strengths-based education for students with exceptionalities, the importance of developing a strong sense of self-efficacy and creating safe, nurturing, positive spaces for learning. Each is related to the broader educational implications of our mindset around disability. Something I think about often is how schools would function if rather […]
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Providing the right environment to match students’ potential
“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” (Alexander den Heijer). This one phrase perfectly sums up the educational philosophy of The Craig School. As educators, we believe that children are beautiful, whole and perfect beings, and they are messy, they are works in progress, they represent the […]
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