Monday, April 30, 2012

NF Awareness (And a Giveaway!)

May is NF (neurofibromatosis) awareness month. What is NF? Well ...

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder of the nervous system which causes tumors to form on the nerves anywhere in the body at any time. This progressive disorder affects all races, all ethnic groups and both sexes equally. NF is one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States (one in every 2,500 to 3,000 births).

NF has three genetically distinct forms: NF-1, NF-2 and Schwannomatosis. They are caused by different genes and chromosomes. The effects of NF are unpredictable and have varying manifestations and degrees of severity. There is no known cure for any form of NF, although the genes for both NF-1 and NF-2 have been identified. 
NF is an autosomal dominant genetic condition; it is not contagious. Approximately 50% of those affected with Neurofibromatosis have a prior family history of NF. The other 50% of cases are the result of spontaneous genetic mutation. If an individual does not have NF, s/he can not pass it on to his/her children.(source NF, Inc.)

Alvin was diagnosed with NF1 on February 9, 2011. Though, we had suspected he'd had it since a few week after his birth. Alvin's NF has caused speech delays, learning delays, gross and fine motor delays, growth delays, macrocephaly, and a host of other issues. (He's also diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech, obsessive compulsive disorder, sensory processing disorder, aspergers, and has a retained atypical tonic neck reflex.) To learn more about NF, please visit my "What is NF?" tab at the top of my blog.

Now, for the giveaway. I've joined with A4CWSN (facebook), to bring you FIVE (5) copies of Rainbow Sentences by Mobile Education Store! (Giveaway only valid for US Residents, sorry.)

Rainbow Sentences is designed to help students improve their ability to construct grammatically correct sentences by using color coded visual cues. The who, what, where, and why parts of sentences are color coded to help students recognize and understand how combinations of these parts create basic sentence structure.

Students will learn how to recognize the parts of sentences such as nouns, verbs, and prepositions, improve their understanding of how combinations of these parts create basic sentence structure. Students have the opportunity to record their sentences in their own voice to improve their receptive and expressive language skills. 

Rainbow Sentences offers a unique environment for improving a student's ability to create grammatically correct sentences.

-168 images to create sentence from
-Intuitive drag and drop to create sentences
-Words are spoken as they are being dragged for non readers
-Words can be color coded for added visual support
-Word groups can be selected to simplify sentence construction
-6 levels of sentence complexity
-Pictograph lessons to help students learn proper sentence construction
-Record feature allows students to record sentences in their own voice
-Save and email recorded sentences
-Students earn puzzle pieces during play to encourage continued play
-Puzzles come to life once level is complete

- English

- Compatible with Ipad
- Requires Iphone 4.3 software update

Both girls have enjoyed this app. It's been great that I can set it up for each of them based on their abilities. Harder for Emali(11), easier for Erin(8). Here's how you enter!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pittsburgh Zoo (field trip)

Erin took her big class field trip today. They went to the Pittsburgh Zoo. They left school before 9am, and weren't back until 4:30. She was sooooo excited to not have to go to class all day. Sadly, it rained most of the day, but that didn't dampen (giggle) her experience. Below are some of the pics she took herself.

Monday, April 23, 2012

NFCA Walk in the Wild

On Saturday, we went down to the Pittsburgh Zoo to participate in the NFCA's 18th annual NF walk. It was called "Walk in the Wild". It was a raining, crappy day, but we still had a good time. We're hoping that next year, the sun is out.

 Former Steeler Andy Russell
 Look at the crowd that showed up, even though it was rainy!