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Each week, LD OnLine gathers interesting news headlines about learning disabilities and ADHD issues. Please note that LD OnLine does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside websites.

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'Read-Aloud' Assistance on Common Tests Proves Contentious

Education Week

Faced with the decision of whether to allow students with dyslexia and other print disabilities the option of having text passages on the common-core tests read aloud to them, the two federally financed consortia responsible for creating the general assessments took a Solomonic approach. Rather than prohibit the so-called "read-aloud accommodation" entirely or allow reading aloud with no restriction, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers decided to permit text passages to be read to students, with a notation on score reports saying no claims can be made regarding the student's foundational reading skills.

Mom: My Autistic Son 'Is Lost in a Sea of Standards' at School

The Washington Post

Here is an open letter from the mother of a young boy with autism who is finding school in Louisiana harder than ever because he is being evaluated on standards -- the Common Core State Standards -- that he cannot meet. And the progress that he does make doesn't count. This was written by Rebecca Ellis of Mandeville, a city in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, about her son Jackson. She is the assistant director of a regional resource center for individuals with disabilities and their families.

Program Supports Students with Learning Disabilities

The Gannon Knight (Erie, PA)

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, 10 percent of college- age students with learning disabilities are enrolled in a four-year institution in the U.S., compared with 28 percent of all college-age students. More and more universities are working to increase retention and long-term success among this minority. Gannon University, in particular, has proven itself to be one of the most supportive for students with learning disabilities.

The First Step to Helping a Special-Needs Kid: Get Organized

The Atlantic

For the parent of a special-needs child, it's often the small things -- getting her dressed, out the door, starting homework -- that feel like monumental obstacles. Carolyn Dalgliesh had no idea how much her daily life would change when her two-year-old son began showing signs of developmental delays. And while her child received support at the doctor's office and at school, she felt unprepared for the changes she would need to make at home. To get ready for the challenges ahead, Dalgliesh, who had experience in the business world in sales, customer service, and recruiting, focused her business skills on rejiggering life at home.

The Not-So-Hidden Cause Behind the A.D.H.D. Epidemic

The New York Times

Between the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012, people across the United States suddenly found themselves unable to get their hands on A.D.H.D. medication. Low-dose generics were particularly in short supply. There were several factors contributing to the shortage, but the main cause was that supply was suddenly being outpaced by demand. The number of diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has ballooned over the past few decades.

Implementing Common Core for Students with Disabilities

eSchool News

A new website for students--and in particular, those with disabilities--is offering free "anytime, anyplace" resources, materials, and information to help schools ensure that their students meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Created by the Center for Technology Implementation (CTI), the website for students with disabilities, PowerUp What Works, links evidence-based practices, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and technology to guide teachers, school leaders, professional development (PD) facilitators, and teacher educators in their professional learning.

Dyslexia Center Offers Alternative Teaching Mode for Kids

The Voice (New Baltimore, MI)

You can't fit a square peg in a round hole, but you can add some corners to the hole so the peg goes in clean. In the same way, children with dyslexia can learn the same things others do, but not in the same manner. According to the Michigan Dyslexia Institute, "the presence of dyslexia does not indicate a lack of intelligence. The core weakness underlying dyslexia is a unique, neurologically based deficit in processing phonetic information. It results in difficulty in decoding words and/or slower reading speed and/or poor reading comprehension."

Experts Say Future for People with Dyslexia Can Be Bright

ABC 33/40 (Birmingham, AL)

Here's quite a list of celebrities: Walt Disney, Whoopi Golberg, Tim Tebow, Agatha Christie, Steve Jobs. All of them struggled with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a language processing disorder that can hinder reading, writing, spelling and speaking. The problem is people with dyslexia are often labeled as dumb or lazy. One in five people have dyslexia. Unfortunately, many cases go undetected and undiagnosed. Thousands of people who have dyslexia have high intelligence. Dyslexia can't be cured, but it can be managed.

How to Teach ... Dyslexia Awareness

The Guardian (UK)

One in ten people in the UK are dyslexic, which works out at around three students in each classroom. A report by the Driver Youth Trust reveals that more than half of the teachers they surveyed received no specific training on dyslexia. As it's Dyslexia Awareness Week (14-20 October), the Guardian Teacher Network has pulled together some enlightening teaching resources to help teachers create dyslexia-friendly classrooms and schools. The theme of this year's week is Beyond Words, with the aim of throwing a spotlight on other difficulties dyslexic students face beyond reading and writing, from poor short-term memory to maths difficulties to trouble organising their work -- as well as to draw attention to the positive side of dyslexia.

Adult ADHD Remains Undertreated

PsychCentral

A new European study finds that up to two-thirds of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continue to have the disorder in adulthood. But only a small proportion of adults ever receive a formal diagnosis and treatment.

Malcolm Gladwell's 'David and Goliath' Tackles Underdogs ... That Aren't

Marketplace

"Here we have one of the greatest lawyers in the country, and he is profoundly dyslexic. He reads basically one book a year. He finds reading difficult and painful. Think about that for a moment, he's a lawyer! He's in a profession that has reading at its absolute core. When I talked to him, I said, 'How did you become such a successful lawyer in spite of this disability?' And he said, 'not in spite, I became a successful lawyer because of this so-called disability.' And he explained to me how he spent his life compensating for this."

The Shutdown and Education: Your Cheat Sheet

Education Week

So it's happened: Congress was unable to reach agreement on temporary spending plan to keep the government open— and the U.S. Department of Education and other government agencies are on partial shutdown. While that means a much quieter day at 400 Maryland Ave, most schools and school districts aren't going to be immediately affected by a short-term shutdown. A longer-term shutdown, however, could cause more headaches.

What the Shutdown Means for Disability Services

Disability Scoop

Here's a look at how the shutdown will impact programs that people with developmental disabilities rely on: SPECIAL EDUCATION Schools won't see much impact immediately, with states receiving $22 billion in special education funds on schedule this month from the federal government, the U.S. Department of Education said.

Clinician Observations of Preschoolers' Behavior Help to Predict ADHD at School Age

Medical Xpress

Don't rely on one source of information about your preschoolers' inattention or hyperactivity. Rather, consider how your child behaves at home as well as information from his or her teacher and a clinician. This advice comes from Sarah O'Neill, of The City College of New York, based on research she conducted at Queens College (CUNY), in an article published in Springer's Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. The study examines how well parent, teacher, and clinician ratings of preschoolers' behavior are able to predict severity and diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at age six.

JAMA Article Teaches Doctors About Learning Disabilities

Medical Xpress

Rossignol, who only this fall was admitted into a doctoral program in the University of New Mexico Department of Sociology, is the primary author of "Empowering Patients Who Have Specific Learning Disabilities," an article that appears online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and will be in the print edition of the journal next month. Rossignol's co-author is Michael Paasche-Orlow, M.D., Boston University School of Medicine.

Special E-Readers for People with Dyslexia

Education Week

Educators sometimes ask me about the virtues of print versus screen reading. Unfortunately, the basic summary of my position is "we don't know enough and the technology changes too fast to learn" Studies take a long time to put together and technology moves faster than the research. There are some great studies comparing print to CRT monitors; these may or may not be so useful anymore. Studies are often conducted in labs rather than in real-life conditions, limiting the usefulness of the findings. There certainly isn't any clear consensus.

ECU Notes: Transition to College

The Daily Reflector

Faculty members at East Carolina University have developed and released free curriculum materials designed to help high school students with learning differences make a successful transition to college. The curriculum -- all available online -- is an outgrowth of six years of experience with Project STEPP, a program at ECU for students with learning disabilities.

Dyslexia Diagnosis: the Ability Within the Disability

Las Vegas Guardian Express

Many who receive the diagnosis of dyslexia are conditioned in believing that it is a negative learning disability. According to research, someone who is dyslexic just has a different ability to process information, specifically within the phonetic region of the brain. If an individual does not process the same way as the mass population, does this really mean that a disability is present?

Sequoya Student-Author Speaks At Holbrook Chamber About Having a Learning Disability

Suchem Patch (NY)

Sky Burke is a 12-year-old author from Holbrook attending Sequoya Middle School who recently became the youngest member of the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce. Burke gave a presentation to the Chamber at a previous meeting about living with her disabilities of dyslexia and dysgraphia, and the organization has posted it to their Youtube channel.

Guide to Supporting Students with Dyslexia Published

Medical Xpress

The IOP has produced a practical guide to supporting STEM students with dyslexia - thought to be about 5% of all STEM students in higher education. It aims to show how dyslexia affects students in STEM and describes some simple measures for making teaching and learning more accessible. The Institute's diversity programme leader, Jenni Dyer, said: "We've tried to make it as practical as possible. There's a lot of material out there on dyslexia and good practice already, but nothing specific to STEM students. Hence it was important that the guide was very STEM-focused so that people could read it and think 'maybe I'll try that'. It includes a lot of really good material that will enable all STEM academic staff to make simple adjustments to ensure that all their students, not just those with dyslexia, learn better."

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