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You don’t need to look far to find a wildly successful person with Dyslexia; Tom Cruise, Robin Williams, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg — take your pick. If you are a young dyslexic person today there’s a broad spectrum of role models to choose from, from actors to inventors, entrepreneurs to sports stars. Each provide a shining example of how you can overcome adversity, use your failings to your advantage and follow a pathway to success. Nothing is ever easy, but it helps when someone has trodden the path before you. Now name a few famous faces with dyscalculia?
For kids with dyslexia, learning to read can be tough going. The disorder afflicts an estimated 15% of Americans. Dyslexics typically have trouble associating letters with sounds and words. Many learn to work around the challenge, but there's an intriguing new twist: some who work with dyslexics believe that the disability may also confer certain advantages. Specifically, anecdotal evidence suggests that dyslexics have sharper peripheral and three dimensional vision. Join the Diane Rehm show for a talk about the special challenges and possible advantages for people with dyslexia.
Recent policies enacted by states and school districts across the United States have reawakened the debate on mandatory grade retention. Since 2012, 14 states and the District of Columbia have adopted mandatory retention policies aimed at students who can’t read proficiently by the third grade. This article discusses the pros and cons of mandatory retention.
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.
Brandon News & Tribune (FL)
A group of middle schoolers enthusiastically leaves the confines of their academic classroom, bouncing into a high-tech gymnasium of sorts, where they not only use their muscles, but their minds. Interactive Education Academy, a school for special-needs students in Valrico, FL, has introduced a new fitness program that also incorporates motor skills, coordination and classroom work.
The New York Times
"A United Nations report, “The State of the World’s Children,” underscores the moral bankruptcy of Senate Republicans who blocked ratification of a treaty to help disabled people around the world. There is scant data on how many children have such disabilities or how their lives are affected. One outdated estimate is that some 93 million children, one in 20 of those 14 or younger, live with a moderate or severe disability of some kind. The issue is how they might be helped to overcome their disabilities and become productive members of their societies."
The Berkshire Eagle (MA)
Since age 3, Pittsfield High School sophomore Katie Jodoin has been classified as a special-needs student. A generation ago, Jodoin, who has a genetic learning disorder, might have been educated in a classroom only with other children identified as needing extra help, students with afflictions ranging from vision or hearing impairments to autism. But thanks to her school's policy of inclusion she takes both regular and special-education classes and participates in Pittsfield High's culinary arts program.
Equine-assisted ADHD therapy forced me to align my actions with my intentions and to exude the calm confidence I asked for in return. Horses, I learned, mirror what they see in our hearts and feel in our heads.
New York Daily News
Beck Johnson, 10, had a business plan, his startup funding a dream of opening an ice cream stand, but first he needed a variance from the Sunapee, NH zoning board to open in a residential zone. He admits being a bit "freaked out" before his presentation, but ultimately got the go-ahead. Beck's mom, Sue Johnson, says her son first got the notion of opening his own business when he was just 6, after a school official told him learning disabilities would probably keep him from going to college.
KALW News (CA)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects about one out of 12 school-aged children, according to the Mayo Clinic. We're going to begin, today, by going into the minds of teenagers who live with ADHD. They're here in San Francisco part of SAFE Voices, a project by the Parents Education Network, which advocates for students with learning differences. These teens have chosen to mentor other young people who face similar challenges. And they've chosen to share their stories with you.
Special Education Blog, Education Week
Strategies including response to intervention are making a dent in the over-identification of some students of some backgrounds as having particular disabilities. But it may not be enough to overcome deeply rooted stereotyping all by itself.
Narrowing the academic achievement gap is high on the list of the Obama administration's priorities. As a result, it's only a matter of time before the debate begins anew over the role intelligence plays. If the past is any guide, however, ideology will once again eclipse science, making it exceedingly difficult for voters to sort out the findings.
Although word-smarts and number-smarts, the traditional metrics of intelligence, are important, they are unreliable predictors of future success in the workplace and in the personal lives of students. That's because a host of other factors unable to be measured with precision comes into play in the real world. Contrary to conventional wisdom, some of today's most successful and influential people have never excelled in numeracy and literacy.
Education Week, On Special Education
In a new three-part discussion about response to intervention, Lehigh University Professor Perry A. Zirkel discusses the legal implications of this approach to addressing and ferreting out learning disabilities.
Officially reported disability rates in public schools are entirely unreliable and are almost certainly inflated indicators of how many students are actually disabled. Eventually, school and government officials are going to have to acknowledge that our current procedures for identifying students as disabled are fundamentally flawed and commit themselves to improving these procedures.
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.
Education Week, On Special Education
Just in time for Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, a new report is out that discusses how to help more children with dyslexia become proficient readers. The report, commissioned by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, offers a number of recommendations for policymakers and educators.
The Washington Post
A recent Bollywood movie about a dreamy 8-year-old boy had all the ingredients of an Indian blockbuster — six songs, tearful ups and downs, and a happy ending. But the film has also planted the seeds of a movement to raise public awareness about dyslexia in India.
The New York Times had a blockbuster front-page article on how healthy teenagers are misusing stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, usually used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in order to focus on studying and perform better on tests. The story does a fantastic job tracking the personal stories of high school and college kids who use these medicines to get an academic edge.
But it's worth looking at the science and medicine behind this trend, because it shows how our cultural misunderstanding of what these medicines do is leading to more — and more dangerous — stimulant use. The biggest question is this: how do we as a society decide how we want these medicines to be used?
Jackson Citizen Patriot (MI)
Most students sail through learning the alphabet. For some, though, there are stumbling blocks, like distinguishing a "d" from a "b." "I always got them mixed up," said Joe Plummer, 13, who just finished seventh grade at Columbia Middle School. Frustrated that his previous school didn't seem to offer the right help, Joe's mother transferred him to a new school and enrolled Joe in The Reading Writing Connection, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping students with dyslexia.
Daily Mail (UK)
Few could have been more nervous than Kate Middleton on the day of the Royal Wedding but she wasn't the only member of her family who was kept awake the night before worrying about their words in Westminster Abbey. It has emerged that James Middleton, Kate's younger brother, had to learn the reading he delivered in the church off by heart in an effort to overcome his dyslexia.