What is the Disability Access Route to Education?

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The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)

Click below for full site link

http://accesscollege.ie/dare/index.php

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places on a reduced points basis to school leavers under 23 years old with disabilities who have completed an Irish Leaving Certificate. DARE has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that disability can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college.

Who is it for?

DARE is for school leavers who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of their disability.

Click here for information on language exemptions »

DARE News

Application Advice Videos for entry 2014 available now inDownloads Section

Application Advice Clinics are coming to a venue near you on 11th January – click here for details

http://accesscollege.ie/dare/index.php

Dyslexia and Stress

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Dyslexia and Stress

All dyslexic children experience varying degrees of stress at school, doing their homework,
and even at out­of­school activities they attend. School presents a special challenge, when so
much of their day is focused on dealing with text. For children whose dyslexia is severe it can
be as stressful as a one­legged child going to a skiing or dance school.
The dyslexic child knows that something is wrong, but cannot understand why they find it so
hard to do the work that other children can cope with easily. They often can become very
stressed.
Signs of stress
The signs of stress in children are well known nowadays: embarrassment, anxiety,
withdrawal, not wanting to go to school, tiredness, irritability, headaches or stomach aches,
difficulty sleeping, lying, thumb sucking, fingernail biting, loss of appetite, bed wetting, or need
to urinate frequently.
They may feel a sinking feeling on Sunday evenings because of school next day.
Teenagers may have sleep disturbances, may go off by themselves, may feel angry longer,
feel disillusioned, lack self­esteem, and have a general distrust of the world. Extreme
behaviours may result, ranging from breaking all of the rules and taking part in high­risk
behaviours (drugs, shoplifting, and skipping school) to depression and suicidal tendencies in
extreme cases.

Coping Strategies:

Help children through made­up stories
Sometimes children cannot talk to us about the anxiety they feel. They may not have the
words to express themselves. Homespun, made­up stories are a great answer. The
character in the story can be a boy or girl just like them. They are worried about the same
things and have the same problems to deal with. In the story, the boy or girl finds ways of
coping with problems which worry the child: reading, writing and spelling. As the child listens
to the story, s/he is able to identify with the hero or heroine.
You can ask them, “What do you think David (the boy in the story) was most worried about?”
The answer that the child gives will be a direct reflection of the child’s own fears, or anger.
Children can be very honest about the feelings and fears of story characters even though they
may be reluctant when asked about their own feelings.

Teaching slow breathing

In school, children can start to breathe too fast as a spelling test approaches. This can be like
a panic attack coming on. You can teach your child to sense when this reaction is starting and
learn to control their breathing. If they start taking deep breaths, then count to four before each new intake of breath, they will find that their body begins to relax and they are able to
fend off the feelings of panic.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy helps us to stop fearing the worst. Ask your child what would happen if
they did fail the spelling test. Would they be expelled? Would they die? Of course not, the
worst that might happen would be if they were made to stay in at break time, but they would
probably get away with being told to work harder by the teacher. This realisation can take the
panic out of the situation.

Private tuition

The most significant help that can be given to any dyslexic child or teenager is to let them see
that they can progress in reading and writing. This usually means hiring a private tutor for
one­on­one help for a lesson each week. The tutor will take them back to the level at which
they are actually able to cope, and then lead them on very gradually from there.
Individual tuition always brings about a remarkable change in a dyslexic child’s self­
confidence and in their progress. They will often say: ‘Oh, I see now!’ after years of not
understanding in class. Small group support in school is also very helpful, but not as much as
one­on­one help if it can be afforded.
It’s a bit like learning to use the computer keyboard, but having missed out on how to use
the DELETE key. Everyone else seems to be getting on so much faster than you are!
Individual tuition fills in those missing steps in learning which make such a crucial difference.

Self ­confidence exercise

The child is asked to make two lists, one of things s/he is good at, and the other of things
that s/he is weak at. The ‘good at’ list is added to so that the child’s non­academic skills are
included: swimming, horse rising, cycling, modelling, collecting stamps, relating to other
children, being helpful at home, etc. The ‘weak at’ list has reading, spelling, writing, and
perhaps math, but always ends up shorter than the ‘good at’ list.
Read with your child at home
Whilst reading at school can be demanding for a child, reading at home can be an altogether
different experience provided that the parents use the right techniques. Methods for hearing
your child read are described in an article HEARING YOUR CHILD READ  The parent tells
the child any hard words straight away so that the child can get on with the story and start
to enjoy reading. As soon as the child shows any signs of frustration, the parent take over and
reads the whole of the next page or two.

Praise children

Every child is good at something, so make a lot of this. Put their certificates, badges, models,
etc. in a prominent place in the house for visitors to see. Don’t be afraid to do this ­ every
parent is proud of their children!
Using a number of techniques like these can really help your child to learn to cope with the
stress in their daily lives at school.

Exercises to help with learning difficulties and concentration. Eye Tracking

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Exercises to help with learning difficulties and concentration.
Eye Tracking

Materials: Hidden picture magazines and games like where’s Waldo? also, Highlights, magazine offers a lot of hidden picture activities.

Method: Have the child do the activities below.

Levels 1 to 2: Use the Highlight, magazines or where’s Waldo? Books.

Levels 3 to 5: Use normal reading material. Designate a letter (for example, R) and ask the child to look at the page of print and circle as many R’s as he can. Vary the letters he is to find. Time him and see how fast he can find the designated letter. You can vary this and ask him to find blends or circle all the words with “tion” in them or that end with “ing).

Letter Search

Materials: Normal reading material.

Method: Have the child do the following activity.

Levels 2 to 5: The child is to circle all words where a letter appears twice. This can be varied by finding words with three letters or words where there are no letters that appear more than once. For younger children, use large print books. The child is to scan to a left to right direction on each line of print. He is not to randomly search or use his finger as a marker to keep his place.

Words in Words

Materials: Reading material.

Method: Have the child do the following activity.

Levels 3 to 5: Have the child find as many words as he can that are hidden in other words. For example many = man; other = the.

One Foot Hop

Materials: None.

Method: Have the child do the following activities.

Level 1:

Have the child hop in place on one leg, hop four steps forward, four steps backward, hop to the left, hop to the right, hop in place and turn around.
Repeat with opposite foot.

Level 2:

Hop while grasping the ankle with the opposite hand behind the back.
Hop while grasping the leg in front of the body with both hands.
The child should try to do at least 10 hops across the room on each foot.

Coordination between left and right.
Stepping Stones:

Materials: Different coloured tile or carpet cut into 4 inch squares (have 20 squares – 10 of one colour and 10 of another colour).

Method: The child is to walk on the squares. He is to keep his body straight and have good posture.

Level 1: Put the squares in a straight line. The child is to walk on them and keep his balance.

Level 2:

Arrange the squares slightly off centre with one colour on the right of centre and the other on the left of centre. For example:

R B
R B
R B

Have the child walk on the squares and call out the side that is stepping on the square. For example, each time he steps on the blue square, he calls out “right” and each time he steps on the red square, he calls out “left”.

Put the squares in various patterns that make up letters or numbers. Have the child walk on the patterns and tell you which letter or number it is.

Pattern Hopping

Materials: None.

Method: The child will do the following activities.

Level 1:

The child stands in front of you, arms at his side. Have him hop up and down. Make sure both is feet leave and touch the floor at the same time.
Have him hop across the room on one foot. Have him do it first with his right foot and then hop back on his left foot.

Level 2:

Clap a pattern and have him hop to the pattern. For example, one clap, pause and two quick claps would be one hop, pause and two quick hops. Have him do this first on both feet, then on one foot.
Do #1, but have the child facing away from you as so he cannot see you clapping.

Level 3: Have the child facing you. Clap a pattern. He is to alternate feet as he hops to the pattern. For example, clap, clap, pause, clap, and clap, clap would be right, left, pause, and right, left, right.

Level 4: Have the child facing away from you. Clap a pattern. He is to alternate feet and call out which foot he is hopping on as he hops to the pattern. For example, clap, pause, clap, clap, he would hop and call out “right”, pause, “left”, “right”.

Bean bag activities

mail.google.combean bagsb bag presentBean bags

Bean bags are particularly well adapted for developing the ability to throw and catch objects. Small children and children with motor or visual difficulties can play successfully with a bean bag when it would be impossible for them to play with a ball. The child is able to catch the bean bag by just getting his hand in front of it whereas he has to coordinate his grasp to a much greater extent to catch a ball. If he misses the bean bag, it hits the ground and slides to a stop in a short distance. If he misses the ball, it bounces and rolls and the child has to chase it. Therefore the bean bag is much less frustrating.
1.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and catch it when it comes down.

2.​Throw the bean bag up and make it just touch the ceiling. Then throw it up and make it come as close to the ceiling as you can without touching the ceiling.

3.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and try to touch it with your right foot when it comes down.

4.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and try to touch it with your left foot when it comes down.

5.​Throw a bean bag up in the air. On the command “right”, “left”, or “both” catch the bean bag with the right hand, the left hand, or both hands.

6.​Throw the bean bag up in the air. When it reaches the top of its trajectory close your eyes. Try to catch the bean bag with your eyes closed. This activity requires the child to visualise the path that the bean bag will follow in its descent and predict where it will fall. This is an important part of his training.

7.​Hold two bean bags, one in each hand. Throw both bean bags in the air simultaneously and catch them when they come back down.

8.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air and catch them with the opposite hands. Catch the bean bag thrown with the right hand in the left hand, and catch the bean bag thrown with the left hand in the right hand.

9.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air and clap a rhythm pattern with hands (clap, clap, clap, pause, clap) before catching the bean bags.

10.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air, clap your hands, slap your legs, then catch the bean bags.

11.​Invent five new patters to clap, slap or stamp while throwing and catching the bean bags.

12.​Keep two bean bags in motion by throwing one up in the air, watching it reach the top of the trajectory, then throwing the other one up and so on.

13.​Throw the bean bags in rhythmic sequences, for example left –2, right –1. Continue the sequence at least 10 times.

14.​Throw the bean bags in rhythmic sequences that include left, right and both hands. Left –2, right –1, both -2. Repeat 10 times.

For a how to make bean bags video and downloads with more activities visit my website www.braingymdublin.net click on the red button called Free  christmas gift on the home page to take you to the video and down loads.

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For one to one consultations phone 085 1445494 (Dublin)

Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia

Dyslexia Fence

Dyslexia Fence (Photo credit: The Nikon Guru)

Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia
By: Michael Ryan, M.D. and International Dyslexia Association (2004)
Do emotional disorders cause dyslexia?
Research indicates that dyslexia is caused by biological factors not emotional or family problems. Samuel T. Orton, M.D. was one of the first researchers to describe the emotional aspects of dyslexia. According to his research, the majority of dyslexic preschoolers are happy and well adjusted. Their emotional problems begin to develop when early reading instruction does not match their learning style. Over the years, the frustration mounts as classmates surpass the dyslexic student in reading skills. Recent research funded by the National Institute of Health has identified many of the neurological and cognitive differences that contribute to dyslexia. The vast majority of these factors appear to be caused by genetics rather than poor parenting or childhood depression or anxiety.
Why is dyslexia discouraging and frustrating?
The frustration of children with dyslexia often centers on their inability to meet expectations. Their parents and teachers see a bright, enthusiastic child who is not learning to read and write. Time and again, dyslexics and their parents hear, “He’s such a bright child; if only he would try harder.” Ironically, no one knows exactly how hard the dyslexic is trying.
The pain of failing to meet other people’s expectations is surpassed only by dyslexics’ inability to achieve their goals. This is particularly true of those who develop perfectionistic expectations in order to deal with their anxiety. They grow up believing that it is “terrible” to make a mistake.
However, their learning disability, almost by definition means that these children will make many “careless” or “stupid” mistakes. This is extremely frustrating to them, as it makes them feel chronically inadequate.
The dyslexic frequently has problems with social relationships. These can be traced to causes:
Dyslexic children may be physically and socially immature in comparison to their peers. This can lead to a poor self-image and less peer acceptance.
Dyslexics’ social immaturity may make them awkward in social situations.
Many dyslexics have difficulty reading social cues. They may be oblivious to the amount of personal distance necessary in social interactions or insensitive to other people’s body language.
Dyslexia often affects oral language functioning. Affected persons may have trouble finding the right words, may stammer, or may pause before answering direct questions. This puts them at a disadvantage as they enter adolescence, when language becomes more central to their relationships with peers.
My clinical observations lead me to believe that, just as dyslexics have difficulty remembering the sequence of letters or words, they may also have difficulty remembering the order of events. For example, let us look at a normal playground interaction between two children. A dyslexic child takes a toy that belongs to another child, who calls the dyslexic a name. The dyslexic then hits the other child. In relating the experience, the dyslexic child may reverse the sequence of events. He may remember that the other child called him a name, and he then took the toy and hit the other child.
This presents two major difficulties for the dyslexic child. First, it takes him longer to learn from his mistakes. Second, if an adult witnessed the events, and asks the dyslexic child what happened, the child seems to be lying.
Unfortunately, most interactions between children involve not three events, but 15 to 20. With his sequencing and memory problems, the dyslexic may relate a different sequence of events each time he tells the tale. Teachers, parents, and psychologists conclude that he is either psychotic or a pathological liar.
The inconsistencies of dyslexia produce serious challenges in a child’s life. There is a tremendous variability in the student’s individual abilities. Although everyone has strengths and weaknesses, the dyslexic’s are greatly exaggerated. Furthermore, the dyslexic’s strengths and weaknesses may be closely related.
I once worked with a young adult who received a perfect score on the Graduate Record Exam in mathematics. He could do anything with numbers except remember them. The graduate students he tutored in advanced statistics or calculus had great difficulty believing that he could not remember their telephone numbers.
These great variations produce a “roller coaster” effect for dyslexics. At times, they can accomplish tasks far beyond the abilities of their peers. At the next moment, they can be confronted with a task that they cannot accomplish. Many dyslexics call this “walking into black holes.” To deal with these kinds of problems, dyslexics need a thorough understanding of their learning disability. This will help them predict both success and failure. Dyslexics also perform erratically within tasks. That is, their errors are inconsistent. For example, I once asked a dyslexic adult to write a hundred word essay on television violence. As one might expect he misspelled the word “television” five times. However, he misspelled it a different way each time. This type of variation makes remediation more difficult.
Finally, dyslexics’ performance varies from day to day. On some days, reading may come fairly easily. However, another day, they may be barely able to write their own name. This inconsistency is extremely confusing not only to the dyslexic, but also to others in his environment.
Few other handicapping conditions are intermittent in nature. A child in a wheelchair remains there; in fact, if on some days the child can walk, most professionals would consider it a hysterical condition. However, for the dyslexic, performance fluctuates. This makes it extremely difficult for the individual to learn to compensate, because he or she cannot predict the intensity of the symptoms on a given day.
What does the dyslexic person feel?
Anxiety

Anxiety is the most frequent emotional symptom reported by dyslexic adults. Dyslexics become fearful because of their constant frustration and confusion in school. These feelings are exacerbated by the inconsistencies of dyslexia. Because they may anticipate failure, entering new situations can becomes extremely anxiety provoking.
Anxiety causes human beings to avoid whatever frightens them. The dyslexic is no exception. However, many teachers and parents misinterpret this avoidance behavior as laziness. In fact, the dyslexic’s hesitancy to participate in school activities such as homework is related more to anxiety and confusion than to apathy.
Anger

Many of the emotional problems caused by dyslexia occur out of frustration with school or social situations. Social scientists have frequently observed that frustration produces anger. This can be clearly seen in many dyslexics.
The obvious target of the dyslexic’s anger would be schools and teachers. However, it is also common for the dyslexic to vent his anger on his parents. Mothers are particularly likely to feel the dyslexic’s wrath. Often, the child sits on his anger during school to the point of being extremely passive. However, once he is in the safe environment of home, these very powerful feelings erupt and are often directed toward the mother. Ironically, it is the child’s trust of the mother that allows him to vent his anger. However, this becomes very frustrating and confusing to the parent who is desperately trying to help their child.
As youngsters reach adolescence, society expects them to become independent. The tension between the expectation of independence and the child’s learned dependence causes great internal conflicts. The adolescent dyslexic uses his anger to break away from those people on which he feels so dependent.
Because of these factors, it may be difficult for parents to help their teenage dyslexic. Instead, peer tutoring or a concerned young adult may be better able to intervene and help the child.
Self image

The dyslexic’s self–image appears to be extremely vulnerable to frustration and anxiety. According to Erik Erikson, during the first years of school, every child must resolve the conflicts between a positive self–image and feelings of inferiority. If children succeed in school, they will develop positive feelings about themselves and believe that they can succeed in life.
If children meet failure and frustration, they learn that they are inferior to others, and that their effort makes very little difference. Instead of feeling powerful and productive, they learn that their environment controls them. They feel powerless and incompetent.
Researchers have learned that when typical learners succeed, they credit their own efforts for their success. When they fail, they tell themselves to try harder. However, when the dyslexic succeeds, he is likely to attribute his success to luck. When he fails, he simply sees himself as stupid.
Research also suggests that these feelings of inferiority develop by the age of ten. After this age, it becomes extremely difficult to help the child develop a positive self–image. This is a powerful argument for early intervention.
Depression

Depression is also a frequent complication in dyslexia. Although most dyslexics are not depressed, children with this kind of learning disability are at higher risk for intense feelings of sorrow and pain. Perhaps because of their low self–esteem, dyslexics are afraid to turn their anger toward their environment and instead turn it toward themselves.
However, depressed children and adolescents often have different symptoms than do depressed adults. The depressed child is unlikely to be lethargic or to talk about feeling sad. Instead he or she may become more active or misbehave to cover up the painful feelings. In the case of masked depression, the child may not seem obviously unhappy. However, both children and adults who are depressed tend to have three similar characteristics:
First, they tend to have negative thoughts about themselves, i.e. a negative self–image.
Second, they tend to view the world negatively. They are less likely to enjoy the positive experiences in life. This makes it difficult for them to have fun.
Finally, most depressed youngsters have great trouble imagining anything positive about the future. The depressed dyslexic not only experiences great pain in his present experiences, but also foresees a life of continuing failure.
Family problems

Like any handicapping condition, dyslexia has a tremendous impact on the child’s family. However, because dyslexia is an invisible handicap, these effects are often overlooked.
Dyslexia affects the family in a variety of ways. One of the most obvious is sibling rivalry. Non–dyslexic children often feel jealous of the dyslexic child, who gets the majority of the parents’ attention, time, and money. Ironically, the dyslexic child does not want this attention. This increases the chances that he or she will act negatively against the achieving children in the family.
Specific developmental dyslexia runs in families. This means that one or both of the child’s parents may have had similar school problems. When faced with a child who is having school problems, dyslexic parents may react in one of two ways. They may deny the existence of dyslexia and believe if the child would just buckle down, he or she could succeed. Or, the parents may relive their failures and frustrations through their child’s school experience. This brings back powerful and terrifying emotions, which can interfere with the adult’s parenting skills.
How can parents and teachers help?
During the past 25 years, I have interviewed many dyslexic adults. Some have learned to deal successfully with their learning problems, while others have not. My experiences suggest that in addition to factors such as intelligence and socio–economic status, other things affect the dyslexic’s chances for success.
First, early in the child’s life, someone has been extremely supportive and encouraging. Second, the young dyslexic found an area in which he or she could succeed. Finally, successful dyslexics appear to have developed a commitment to helping others.
Both teachers and parents need to offer consistent, ongoing encouragement and support. However, one rarely hears about this very important way to help youngsters.
I believe encouragement involves at least four elements. First, listening to children’s feelings. Anxiety, anger and depression are daily companions for dyslexics. However, their language problems often make it difficult for them to express their feelings. Therefore, adults must help them learn to talk about their feelings.
Teachers and parents must reward effort, not just “the product”. For the dyslexic, grades should be less important than progress.
When confronting unacceptable behavior, adults must not inadvertently discourage the dyslexic child. Words such as “lazy” or “incorrigible” can seriously damage the child’s self–image.
Finally, it is important to help students set realistic goals for themselves. Most dyslexic students set perfectionistic and unattainable goals. By helping the child set an attainable goal, teachers can change the cycle of failure.
Even more important, the child needs to recognize and rejoice in his or her successes. To do so, he or she needs to achieve success in some area of life. In some cases, the dyslexic’s strengths are obvious, and many dyslexics’ self–esteem has been salvaged by prowess in athletics, art, or mechanics. However, the dyslexic’s strengths are often more subtle and less obvious. Parents and teachers need to find ways to relate the child’s interests to the demands of real life.
Finally, many successful dyslexic adults deal with their own pain by reaching out to others. They may do volunteer work for charities or churches, or choose vocations that require empathy and a social conscience. These experiences help dyslexics feel more positive about themselves and deal more effectively with their pain and frustration.
Many opportunities exist in our schools, homes and churches for dyslexics to help others. One important area is peer tutoring. If dyslexic students do well in math or science, they can be asked to tutor a classmate who is struggling.
Perhaps that student can reciprocate as a reader for the dyslexic student. Tutoring younger children, especially other dyslexics, can be a positive experience for everyone involved.
Helping dyslexics feel better about themselves and deal effectively with their feelings is a complex task.
First, caring adults must understand the cognitive and affective problems caused by dyslexia. Then they must design strategies that will help the dyslexic, like every other child, to find joy and success in academics and personal relationships.
About the author
Dr. Michael Ryan is a psychologist with a private practice in Grand Rapids, MI. He specializes in working with people with learning disabilities. A dyslexic himself, Dr. Ryan is a past president of the Michigan Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and a former national vice president of IDA.
Ryan, Michael. Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia. International Dyslexia Association Fact Sheet series. © Copyright 2004, The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). IDA encourages the reproduction and distribution of this fact sheet. If portions of the text are cited, appropriate reference must be made. Fact sheets may not be reprinted for the purpose of resale.

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For one to one or group consultations

Phone: 085 1445494

or email braingymdublin@gmail.com

Bean bag activities

Bean bags

Bean bags are particularly well adapted for developing the ability to throw and catch objects. Small children and children with motor or visual difficulties can play successfully with a bean bag when it would be impossible for them to play with a ball. The child is able to catch the bean bag by just getting his hand in front of it whereas he has to coordinate his grasp to a much greater extent to catch a ball. If he misses the bean bag, it hits the ground and slides to a stop in a short distance. If he misses the ball, it bounces and rolls and the child has to chase it. Therefore the bean bag is much less frustrating.
1.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and catch it when it comes down.

2.​Throw the bean bag up and make it just touch the ceiling. Then throw it up and make it come as close to the ceiling as you can without touching the ceiling.

3.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and try to touch it with your right foot when it comes down.

4.​Throw the bean bag up in the air and try to touch it with your left foot when it comes down.

5.​Throw a bean bag up in the air. On the command “right”, “left”, or “both” catch the bean bag with the right hand, the left hand, or both hands.

6.​Throw the bean bag up in the air. When it reaches the top of its trajectory close your eyes. Try to catch the bean bag with your eyes closed. This activity requires the child to visualise the path that the bean bag will follow in its descent and predict where it will fall. This is an important part of his training.

7.​Hold two bean bags, one in each hand. Throw both bean bags in the air simultaneously and catch them when they come back down.

8.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air and catch them with the opposite hands. Catch the bean bag thrown with the right hand in the left hand, and catch the bean bag thrown with the left hand in the right hand.

9.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air and clap a rhythm pattern with hands (clap, clap, clap, pause, clap) before catching the bean bags.

10.​Throw the two bean bags up in the air, clap your hands, slap your legs, then catch the bean bags.

11.​Invent five new patters to clap, slap or stamp while throwing and catching the bean bags.

12.​Keep two bean bags in motion by throwing one up in the air, watching it reach the top of the trajectory, then throwing the other one up and so on.

13.​Throw the bean bags in rhythmic sequences, for example left –2, right –1. Continue the sequence at least 10 times.

14.​Throw the bean bags in rhythmic sequences that include left, right and both hands. Left –2, right –1, both -2. Repeat 10 times.

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