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Ted is a stuffed brown bear with potential star power, even if he wears a tin can over one leg and views life through an oversized red eye. Erica Lopez, a Hartnell College student, dreamed up Ted — short for "technically enhanced droid" — in a motel room while on a trip to Arizona. The bear was part of her recent exhibition, "It's Alive," at the college. Lopez, who is dyslexic, aims to work as a 3D animator. She'd like to create the characters, stories and settings that go into animated films.
Most days, from the wee hours of the morning until late into the evening, you can find Lynika Strozier in a molecular genetics and cell biology lab at the University of Chicago, poring over a microscope, conducting experiments with cells. To look at Strozier now, you'd never know what she's been through. She will tell you that although the trial-and-error process is the cornerstone of science, it has also been the story of her life.
Mahwah Patch (NJ)
A Ramapo College student says she wants her newly published fiction novel to act not only as a jumpstart to her writing career, but as an example for her peers. "I'm dyslexic, so when I was younger I had a lot of trouble reading," Lauren Santaniello, a senior literature major, said. "I struggled in school and got made fun of and I hated it."
Times & Transcript (Canada)
Erik Bruens always hated reading. The 15-year-old Moncton High School student has dyslexia, and until recently, he wasn't sure he'd ever be able to read. That was until Erik joined the Wilson Reading Centre, run by Priscilla Wilson. The Moncton-based private tutor program gave Erik the tools to break down words and sound them out. Erik was one of a few dozen students of various ages who were celebrating success with the program last night at the centre.
Instead of attending Dr. Phillips High School on Wednesday as usual, Chris Casseus spent the day at the Animal Medical Clinic in Orlando, Florida, learning how to care for animals. The hands-on learning was part of Disability Mentoring Day, a nationwide event that pairs students and job seekers who have disabilities with professionals to learn about careers. More than 1,300 students and mentors are participating statewide; nationally, more than 17,000 students and job seekers participate.
Chronicle Herald (Canada)
Brandon Mossman sits across the table from Bill Bent, listening, repeating, answering, and learning. Above all, learning. Brandon has dyslexia. He admits he can’t say what he visualizes. As he reads, letters are transposed, making it difficult to convert words to understanding. For the last three years, Brandon, grade 9, has spent two hours a week, after school, at the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre for Children in Dartmouth.
Some students with special needs won't have one-to-one aides until the attorney general paints a clearer picture of who has authority over Guam's schools. The U.S. Department of Education is withholding $40 million until it's clarified who governs the school system. Most federally funded programs have enough funding to persevere until the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. Special Education doesn't.
Children who enter kindergarten with a small vocabulary don't get taught enough words—particularly, sophisticated academic words—to close the gap, according to the latest in a series of studies by Michigan early-learning experts.
The findings suggest many districts could be at a disadvantage in meeting the increased requirements for vocabulary learning from the Common Core State Standards, said study co-author Susan B. Neuman, a professor in educational studies specializing in early-literacy development at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The number of students in special education across Oregon continues to climb as schools struggle to meet state graduation and learning targets for them, according Oregon Department of Education data. The state released two reports on Oregon's 84,707 kids in special education, outlining the number of students needing specialized services and a report card detailing how well districts are meeting those needs.
Greenwich Times (CT)
Kastriot Djema, a 17-year-old ARCH School student may have a penchant for wisecracking in the classroom, but says even he thinks twice about trying to match wits with teacher Tony Mullen. Mullen's sense of humor was one of many traits that students at Greenwich's alternative high school cited as an effective teaching tool Monday, after learning that the science and electives teacher would be named the "2009 National Teacher of the Year" by President Obama at the White House. In choosing Mullen, council officials cited his extensive public-service career, both as a New York City police officer and narcotic agent for 20 years and then as a special-needs teacher for the past seven.
The Daily Free Press (MA)
School of Management sophomore Kara Fleishaker spends "four or five hours" laboring over what her peers read in one hour. She said this is just one of many challenges she faces with dyslexia. Through the Boston University Office of Disability Services, Fleishaker has access to special allowances to accommodate for her handicap.
The serious and the humorous were represented in the winning topics at the 15th annual eighth grade essay and speaking contest Tuesday. Tim Earley, 14, took first place overall after telling his story of struggling with dysgraphia, a deficiency in putting thoughts on paper.
Toronto Star (Canada)
Thousands of Ontario students with ADHD who are struggling in the classroom now have the right to receive help at school, according to a statement from the Ministry of Education. A memorandum to school boards quietly posted on the ministry's website last month says children with conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are entitled to special education supports and services if the condition interferes with their learning.
Students with disabilities or health problems are more likely to be the target of bullies than their classmates, according to a study published this month in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
When Dean College junior Peter Diabakerly began his school search a few years ago, he knew he had to be his own advocate. Though he has a learning disability, he wasn't going to let that stop him from finding success in college. Now, the business major is urging students who may be in a similar boat to become their own self-advocates to achieve success.
Charlotte Observer (NC)
The transition from high school to college is daunting for most students, but the anxiety is exaggerated for most students with learning disabilities. They wonder if they'll be able to keep up and fit in and not flunk out. Here are some tips to help identify the college that represents a good fit both academically and socially.
Republican Herald (PA)
Students with learning disabilities sometimes find it difficult to get through high school and rely on help from programs designed to meet their needs, officials say. On Tuesday, students with learning difficulties who are interested in attending college were invited to experience campus life and find out what help is available during College Day at Penn State Schuylkill.
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Arnold Stark reads aloud as his students follow in their biology textbooks. The subject matter is quite complex. The students in the front of the classroom are as young as 10 years old. They stop and make highlights as Stark advises. The ones in the back, mostly of high-school age, wait patiently while everyone catches up. All, including Stark, have attention-deficit disorder or learning disabilities. Most of the students at the Academic Achievement Center in Seffner, FL have both, but that doesn't stop them from tackling advanced subjects.
Abilene Reporter-News (TX)
Evette Orren heard the rumblings. As school started, she listened to other Abilene Independent School District special education teachers who were concerned about changes being made — including reductions in staffing — in AISD's program aimed at helping students with needs ranging from learning disabilities to mental retardation.
Morris Sun Tribune (MN)
It seems counter intuitive: In an effort to help energetic 3rd-graders and 6th-graders concentrate on their school work, let's give them a bunch of big, bouncy rubber balls. But that's what Morris Area Elementary School teachers Deb Felstul and Jane Lesmeister have done, and the results have been positive. The stability balls have proven effective for all students, but they are especially helpful for children with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Felstul said.