Gyro Psychology

Strong and Healthy Families

A Look at Learning Disabilities

Happy October everyone! Most children have been in school for about a month. By now some of you may be starting to notice your child struggling in a subject area. Often these struggles can be addressed with a little extra help from the teacher or tutor, but it could also be a sign of a deeper problem, like a learning disability.

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What are Learning Disabilities?
Learning disabilities are a group of neurological disorders that affect reading, writing, math and other skills needed to succeed in school. Children with learning disabilities often are of average or higher intelligence but have difficulty in a specific area. Difficulty with basic reading and language is the most common learning disability seen.

Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities like mental retardation, autism or behavioral problems. Often attention disorders like ADD or ADHD and learning disabilities will occur at the same time but they are NOT the same thing.

While learning disabilities cannot be cured or “fixed,” with the right support and intervention, these children can succeed both in school and in the future.


What to look for:

  • Reluctance to take on reading or writing tasks
  • Weak memory skills
  • Slow work pace
  • Consistent reading and spelling errors (e.g., letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), and substitutions (house/home))
  • Difficulty with math skills (e.g., transposes number sequences or confuses arithmetic signs)
  • Frequent misreading of information
  • Poor organizational skills
  • Problems forming letters or numbers
  • Easily confused by instructions
  • Reading comprehensions problems
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Poor grasp of abstract concepts
  • Trouble summarizing
Plese take a look at the Resources section on our website for more information about learning disabilities and special education

Our October
Blog series will focus on learning, school accomodations and other information to help your child improve their learning potential. 

You can also find this and other information on our
Facebook page.

Please give us a call if you suspect your child has a learning problem.  We'd be happy to help them reach their full potential!

Gyro Psychology Services, Inc.


Health Disclaimer

Community Events

See the Wild Salmon Returning

When:  October 1st - 30th
Where: Tumwater Falls Park
Contact:  360-943-2550

Salmon are showing up in good numbers.  The sunny days and clear water are drawing large crowds.  Bring polarized glasses for best viewing.


Mason and the Mummy

When: October 1-Nov 30
Where: Washington State History Museum
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm
Contact:  1-888-238-4373

This exhibit features the story of Allen C. Mason, the Tacoma businessman set out on a journey to Egypt in 1890 and purchased the Egyptian mummy Ankh-Wennefer.


Play to Learn at Charles Wright Academy

When:  October 2nd
Charles Wright Academy
Time: 10:00am-11:30am.

Contact: (253) 620-8300

Play to learn has a new theme each week that offers individual play, group activities, songs, and circle time that lets children 6 and under and their accompanying adults a time to play and learn together.


Tales & Trails for
Little Tykes

When:  October 3rd
Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center, Seattle
Time: 10:00am-11:00am.

Contact:  206-652-2444
RSVP required.

Have fun with your toddler by introducing them to nature with stories, songs, and activities inside, followed by exploring of the trails in Seward Park!


Women and the Sea:
It Wasn’t Just For Men

When:  October 3rd
Where: Olympia Timberland Regional Library
Time: 10:00am
Contact: 360.704.4636

Join the Olympia library staff for maritime songs and stories that describe the diverse roles of women!


Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat

When:  Oct 4th - 28th
Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle, WA
Time: 7:00 pm.
Contact: (206) 443-0807
You can buy
tickets on their website

Come join the mischievous Cat in the Hat for a night of fun and laughter!


Fall Arts Walk

When:  Friday, October 5th
Where:  Downtown Olympia
Contact:  360-209-2678

Come on downtown to celebrate the arts in our community! Experience visual and performing arts in over 100 businesses by hundreds of artists. Special features include hands-on family activities, demonstrations and impromtu street performances.


Children's Day

When: Saturday, Oct. 6th, 11am-2pm
Where:  Huntamer Park in Woodland Square
Contact:  (360) 491-0857

Join us for a great day of free family fun! Entertainment and events include music, giant slides and bouncers, hands-on crafts, games and more!  Co-sponsored by Lacey Parks and Recreation and the Lacey Timberland Library.


Family Bird Walk

When:  Oct 6th & Oct 20th
Where: Seward Park & Environmental and Audubon Center, Seattle
Time: 1:00pm
You can buy tickets via their website

Bring the entire family to spend some time outdoors and learn about nature! Kids will get to create their own Seward Park bird watching field guides before everyone heads out to the trails to look for birds. Recommended for children ages 5-10.



When: Oct 6th & 7th
Where:  Port of Shelton Fairgrounds
Contact:  360-426-2021

The festival also features a popular cook-off, hands-on water quality exhibits, and is itself a giant a food pavilion with nearly 100 unique items on the menu: BBQ oysters, fritters, spring rolls, garlic shrimp, fresh cider and so much more. Better yet, your culinary adventure supports about 100 local non-profit service clubs and organizations, as well as funding scholarships and local community improvement projects.

Go, Dog, Go!

When:  Friday, Oct 12-28th 7:00p to 8:30p
Where:  Washington Center for the Performing Arts
Contact: (360) 753-8586

Olympia Family Theater’s production of Go,Dog.Go! is a canine cabaret, bringing a beloved children’s classic to life with amazing physical comedy, amusing acrobatics and magic music.

The dogs celebrate the many joys and challenges of life and friendship while cavorting across the OFT stage. Our show takes the spirit of the book and brings it to life in a joyful production full of excitement, suitable for children of all ages.


Family Nature Walks

When:  October 13th
Where: Wapato Park, Tacoma
Time: 1:00 pm- 2:00pm,
Contact: 253-591-6439
Call  to register.

Discover the amazing plants and animals that live in Tacoma parks on these naturalist-let family walks.

Read more here:

Tale of the Disappearing Forest Haunted Hike
When: Saturday, Oct 20th 3:00pm
Cost: Free
Contact: (360) 570-5841

Learn about Stream Team, wildlife, and forests and how we can help keep the forest from disappearing at this fun, engaging event brought to you by the City of Olympia.

When: Friday, Oct 26th, 6:00-9:00p

Read more here:
Contact: 360-867-9283

Kids will enjoy pizza, a movie, and play time in the pool. Then leave with a snack bag. Space is limited to only 24 kids. Payment must be made in advance. Kids must be at least 5 years old.

Magic!  Magic is Music

When:  Saturday, Oct 27 7:30p
Where:  Kenneth J. Minnaert Performing Arts Center 
Contact:  360 753-8586.

The Olympia Chamber Orchestra presents its new season: Magic! Magic is Music, Magic is the Violin with violinist Svend Ronning, and Magic is Opera, presenting Gounod's Faust. Season prices listed below are for these three concerts. Tickets are available at OlyTix.

Fall Festival at Olympia Christian School

When:  October 28th
Where: Olympia Christian School
Time: 12:00pm-3:00pm

Contact:  (360) 352-1831

This event is fun for the whole family! There will be food, carnival booths with prizes, face painting, bounce houses, and more!




Read more here:


Family Fun

Indoor Scavenger Hunts
Fall in the Pacific Northwest means the return of the rain! We’ve been lucky with an extended summer this year, but the time has come to have ideas in mind for rainy day fun.

Scavenger hunts are always a popular activity with most age groups, but they’re usually done outside. The benefit to this activity is that it easily translates to inside play, and doesn’t cost a thing!
One of the easiest inside scavenger hunts is Playing Card Scavenger Hunt. All you need is a deck of playing cards. Hide the cards all over the house, and depending upon the age and number of children, set different rules for finding the hidden cards. (This is where you can often enlist the help of older siblings that don’t want to search…they will often enjoy hiding the objects or setting up/monitoring the game.) One option is each child has their own suit they are searching for. If one child is a diamond and finds a club, they must put it back and keep looking for their suit. You can make it challenging and set a rule that the cards must be found in order. So if the child finds a 5 but needs a 4, they must put the 5 back and remember where to go back and get it after they find the 4. The variations for this scavenger hunt are endless.
Another great option for an indoor scavenger hunt is to reuse old plastic Easter eggs for the hunt. Most households have any number of these tucked away somewhere, or they can be purchased for pennies at discount stores. For young children make it easier and they simply find the hidden eggs. For older children, put a clue in each egg describing where the next egg will be found. You can have a favorite snack for the “find” or any number of little things.

But the simple fact is, meaningful play with your child is the best reward…that keeps paying off!

Featured Activity for Kids & Families

Schilter Family Farm

Taking the kids to a pumpkin patch has become a family tradition of ours.  The Schilter Family Farm located in the Nisqually Valley, offers a variety of activities for kids and their families year around.


The Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival is the primary activity in the fall. The festival is always a delight as our kids enjoy the petting zoo, a walk through the hay maze, climbing the hay castle in the play area, the corn maze, the tractor ride, the pony ride and a wide variety of other family friendly activities including the pumpkin patch itself.

The festival opens on October 1st and will remain open until October 31st.  There is an admissions fee for adults and kids of $3.00 during the week and $5.00 on the weekend.  Kids 2 years-old and under get in free.  They also offer weekend and weekday family passes as well as school field trips.


The staff at the farm also provide guided tours for students and teachers.  Educational opportunities abound throughout the farm for kids and teachers alike.

Shilter’s Family Farm grows a variety of trees for the holidays.  You can choose one of the pre-cut tress or you and your family can meander through the acres of live tress and cut down just the right one on your own. The friendly staff at the farm will help trim the tree and use netting so that it’s easy to transport home.  Tree cutting and pick up begins the day after Thanksgiving and continues through December 21st.

Please visit their website to learn more about scheduled activities & events.  You can also call them at, 360.459.4023 for more information.

We hope you and your family enjoy the fun and excitement of the change in season.

Be sure to check out other family-friendly community events and activities at Go-Gyro-Go.  You'll be glad you did.

Kids in the Kitchen

A common activity during the lovely month of October is pumpkin carving. What do you do with all those seeds? Roast them of course! Roasted pumpkin seeds are a quick, healthy, and delicious snack!

mummy cups

Here’s what you need to do…

Let stand for 3 hours, or until dry.

Heat oven to 350˚ F.

Spray seeds generously with cooking spray or drizzle   with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt, garlic, or any one of your favorite seasonings.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until browned, stirring after 5.

Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

For saltier seeds, after rinsing, soak the seeds in salt water for a couple hours before drying.

Be sure to check out other kid-friendly recipes in Kids in the Kitchen on Go-Gyro-Go.

Fun Facts:

History of the Jack-o-Lantern
In Ireland, where Halloween first began, the first jack-o-lanterns were not made from pumpkins. They were actually made out of rutabagas, potatoes, turnips, or even beets! Jack-o-lanterns came about hundreds of years ago from an old Irish legend about a man named Stingy Jack. Jack had a reputation for being very clever, as well as a lazy, mean trickster. Because he led such a cruel and miserable life, when he died he was doomed to spend eternity without a resting place, roaming forever in the darkness carrying a burning coal in a hollowed out turnip to light his way. Stingy Jack became known as “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack-o-Lantern”.
From this legend came the Irish tradition of placing jack-o'-lanterns made of turnips and other vegetables in windows or by doors on Halloween. The jack-o'-lanterns were meant to scare away Stingy Jack and ward off evil spirits. When Irish immigrants brought the tradition to the United States, they quickly discovered that pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve, so began using them for jack-o-lanterns instead.

Creative Kids

Congratulations to our Featured Artist of the Month!
September contest winner-Juliet Huttar
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Gyro Psychology sService Inc 2101 4th Ave. East, Suite 202 Olympia, WA 98506 - 360.236.0206 - 866.616.GYRO (4976) - 360.236.9909 (fax)

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Gyro Psychology Services, Inc.
2101 4th Avenue East
Suite 202
Olympia, Washington 98506

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