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As the number of children with autism has ballooned nationwide, so has the population of children who are capable of grade-level academics but bewildered by the social code that governs every interaction from the classroom to the cafeteria. They often spend the bulk of their day in mainstream classes supported with a suite of special education services including life-skills groups and one-on-one aides. For some students, that arrangement works. But many parents of this growing group worry that including children in the mainstream this way fails to teach them what they need to navigate the world independently. Increasingly, Washington, DC area educators are offering alternatives.
SchoolBook Blog, New York Times
I've spent more than 20 consecutive Augusts doing the same thing: getting ready to go back to school. I've always felt a mixture of apprehension and excitement, for many years as a student, and now for my fifth year as a teacher.
A school program in New York is committed to helping all students, including those with learning disabilities, achieve their full potential.
To "make this as effective as possible, [they] used a team-teaching approach for the students with disabilities. The team teaching, the longer school day, adult to student ratio in year one, and a six-week summer program focused on geometry have contributed to 68 percent of students with disabilities having scored a 65 or higher on a math regents and 12 percent of students scoring an 80 or higher on a math regents."
The Daily Times (NM)
A pair of retired Park Avenue Elementary School teachers are working with San Juan Masonic Lodge No. 25 and the Aztec Municipal School District to open a clinic for children with dyslexia and other reading disorders.
Montrose Daily Press (CO)
Technology is being used in the classroom for more than PowerPoint slides and accessing the Internet. The Montrose Re-1J State Wide Assistive, Alternative, Augmentative Communication Team (SWAAC) works with Montrose, CO students who have disabilities by using different equipment to aid them in the classroom.
The Financial Times Limited (U.K.)
The biggest challenge for most IT system buyers is picking the right one, at the right price. The choice is far more limited, however, if they or their employees rely on "screen reader" technology to scan the text of a web page or application interface and present it in audio format.
The Jackson Sun (TN)
West Tennessee educators learned about the use of assistive technology to help students with learning disabilities read books during a two-day seminar held on Lambuth University's campus.
Sudbury Northern Life (Canada)
Motivational speaker Todd Cunningham provides a personal life perspective on how technology can assist people with learning disabilities. Some of these technologies include text-to-speech, graphic organizers, word prediction, and voice recognition.
The Boston Globe
Bringing assistive technology into the mainstream curriculum and classroom, a process known as universal design, makes education accessible for all children, allows children with special needs to feel included in a school's social life, provides for a more equitable education, and better prepares them for life outside school, supporters say.
San Jose Mercury News (CA)
A young author will discuss his struggles with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder at a presentation tonight in Palo Alto, CA with the aim being to reduce the stigma around the disorder and show there's an upside to ADHD. Blake Taylor, a 19-year-old UC-Berkeley sophomore, will be speaking about his book "ADHD & Me: What I Learned From Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table."
Floyd Allen's story speaks to the entangling forces that can keep scores of New Orleans students, often left to fend for themselves through turbulent lives, from graduating on time - or at all. Diagnosed with a learning disability in middle school, Allen, 19, did not always receive the extra attention he needed, both Allen and his father said. Yet, as a special education student, Allen could have walked away from high school with a "certificate of achievement" rather than a diploma.
Getting a driver's license is a rite of passage for many teenagers, but the process was a bit more challenging for 19-year-old Mulligan of Acworth, Georgia. She has attention deficit disorder. Experts recommended that teenagers with ADD or ADHD stay in a learner's permit program longer, at least a year, and put off getting their license until they have more experience behind the wheel.
Press Democrat (CA)
To understand Ryan Neitzel's high school journey, the first thing you need to know is that he has a severe form of dyslexia. It wasn't until Neitzel met with an educational psychologist that a world of possibilities opened up to him. "This guy told my mother, 'Ryan is very intelligent.' He drew up an education plan for me. I learned that my learning comes in waves, as epiphanies sometimes, but it does come," Neitzel said.
North County Times (CA)
An Eagle Scout at 14. A top-ranking Sea Cadet at 16. And now a college graduate at 19 headed into a doctoral program in England. Yet in the third grade, O'Callaghan was diagnosed with auditory process disorder, a learning disability.
Daily Republic (SD)
Alaina Bertsch would probably classify herself as a "glass is half-full" kind of person. Recently named Miss Teen South Dakota, the high school sophomore is headed to Chicago this July, where she will compete as South Dakota's representative in the Miss Teen International pageant. The pageant also gives her a broader platform as a spokeswoman for those who struggle with dyslexia, a learning disability she overcomes on a daily basis.
U.S. News & World Report
Teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and teens who start using cigarettes, drugs or alcohol tend to share at least one personality trait: impulsiveness, experts say. But a new brain-imaging study of nearly 1,900 14-year-olds finds that the brain networks associated with impulsivity in teens with ADHD are different compared to those who use drugs or alcohol.
Massillon Independent (OH)
Nick Bentley's world is constantly spinning. It's alive, buzzing, fluttering, vibrating, moving and spinning every second of the day. His thoughts rush through his mind like a river rolling downhill, sweeping over stones, constantly moving from one bend to the next and never, ever stopping for a rest. But something amazing happens when he sits down in front of a piano and puts his fingertips to the ivory keys. Everything stops.
Roseville Press Tribune (CA)
A few years ago, Jordan Heald marched into the office of A Touch of Understanding and said she wanted to be a speaker for the organization. The Granite Bay nonprofit's Executive Director Leslie DeDora asked what she would speak about. "I'll never forget what she said," DeDora said. "She said she has dyslexia and her younger sister does too, and she doesn't want her to be teased the way she was. Who can say no to that?" Jordan joined the group's Youth FORCE, which stands for Friends Offering Respect Creating Empowerment, and visits schools to spread awareness about disabilities.
Tennessee education officials have created the first national blueprint for alternative education programs to help at-risk students succeed in school. The program sets quality standards for educating students who have been suspended, expelled or have dropped out. "We are talking about the most challenged of challenging youths," Tennessee Alternative Education Coordinator James Vince Witty said. "A lot of these students are underperforming academically, have learning disabilities and behavioral issues."
Children newly diagnosed with epilepsy may not show signs of academic problems early on, but a new study suggests they could benefit from early cognitive testing to spot potential learning disabilities before they surface in school.