Helping a child with a learning disability through educational milestones can be extremely rewarding and frustrating at the same time. Heads Up!, a Columbus, Oh, based company owned by Melinda Boring, MA-CCC/SLP, offers customers expert information and products designed to assist struggling learners with their academic pursuits. According to Boring the goal of Heads Up! is "to provide materials and information for homeschooling families, occupational therapists, speech therapists, teachers, and specialists who work with children who have developmental delays, learning disabilities, autism and other special needs......Adapting or modifying curriculum or the learning environment can make a big difference to struggling learners."
Heads Up! sent me samples of their colored Frames in two sizes and colored Readers to review along with a copy of their 31 page catalog filled with resources. Heads Up! Frames are available in six different colors in both 4" x 9" rectangles and 4" x 4 1/2" squares. They are designed to help distractible readers stay focused. The color and size of the frames aid readers with maintaining focus enabling improved reading comprehension. Frames large and small retail for only $1.00!
The Heads Up! Reader consists of a highlighted strip of color between two strips of grey. The overall size of the reader is 8 1/2" x 1 1/4". Students can read a line of text by placing the highlighted portion on top or by using the straight edge to ensure proper tracking. Readers also retail for the low price of $1.00 a piece, making them an extremely affordable learning tool.
According to Boring, "The use of color overlays has long been established as an effective low-tech tool to aid in focusing the student's attention to written material...... Some students find that brighter colors such as yellow or orange help them to see the print more clearly. Others find that the darker hues such as blue seem easier for them to use, especially students who are light sensitive and may be bothered by the light glare on a glossy page."
None of my children to date have demonstrated distractibility or tracking issues so we were unable to benefit from these wonderful products in our home. I do have many friends in my homeschool network whose children suffer from ADD, ADHD and other learning struggles. I am acutely aware of the level of patience, dedication and tremendous desire these parents demonstrate especially when seeking appropriate avenues to help their child learn. I am thrilled I can now recommend Heads Up! It truly is a valuable resource of expert advice and affordable products for families with special kids.