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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Sir Richard Branson, one of the UK's richest men, went into business in his teens. "It's important people do learn the difference between gross and net, and how Tesco, Virgin or Apple works," he told BBC News School Report. "Some of the things people study at school are not particularly relevant for when they actually leave school."
Branson's success with the Virgin Group has made him one of the wealthiest men in the world, and he suggested the ability to learn the key skills of business was something that students could pick up by being given the opportunity to try their hand. On how dyslexia shaped his career, Branson said, "I just don't think people who are dyslexic need worry because they are often really good at other things," he added. "They'll realise they've got a problem in some areas but they'll be really good at other things."
Math anxiety refers to feelings of tension and fear that interfere with solving mathematical problems in everyday life and school settings. Math anxiety involves physiological arousal (e.g., sweaty palms, racing heart), negative thoughts (e.g., “I am just not a math person.”), escape and/or avoidance behaviors (e.g., developing pains to get out of math class), and, when the individual cannot escape the situation, poor performance.
The negative impacts of math anxiety are enormous. Math-anxious students do not see the value of math for everyday life, they participate — and learn — less in math classes, receive lower grades in math, and take fewer math classes in high school and college.
Learning to read is critical to a child's (and an adult's) well-being. The child and adult who cannot read at a comfortable level experience significant difficulties mastering many types of academic content, are at substantial risk for failure in school, and are frequently unable to reach their potential in the vocational and occupational arena. Unfortunately, the rate of reading failure and illiteracy are unacceptably high in the United States. Over 40 percent of fourth grade students performed below basic levels on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in both 1994 and 1998.
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."
Fifty years ago, on April 6, 1963, a group of concerned parents convened a conference in Chicago to discuss a shared frustration: they all had children who were struggling in school, the cause of which was generally believed to be laziness, lack of intelligence, or just bad parenting. This group of parents knew better. They understood that their children were bright and just as eager to learn as any other child, but that they needed help and alternative teaching approaches to succeed in school.
LearningWorks for Kids
While texting is obviously not the same as writing a book report, it still involves formulating sentences and communicating in written form. For children who cringe when given a writing assignment, providing opportunities such as texting, scribing, or using speech recognition software helps them recognize that they have something to say… and to write it! For parents who think that texting is not a form of writing, we suggest that you read the studies on texting and writing by Jeff Grabill at the MSU and Beverly Pliester at Coventry University and begin thinking about how you can help your texter develop writing skills.
It is often difficult to understand what it may be like for people with auditory processing disorders (APD) to deal with information they receive through their auditory systems. One way to have a better understanding is to simulate what it is like to have a problem processing verbal information. This resource simulates some of the behaviors often seen in children and adults who have various types of APD so you can get a better sense of the disorder's impact.
Know a college-bound high school student with LD? Here's what you need to know about testing.
ACT is committed to serving students with disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations appropriate to the student's diagnosis. ACT has established policies regarding documentation of an applicant's disability and the process for requesting accommodations. For details, see ACT Policy for Documentation to Support Requests for Test Accommodations on the ACT.
The Wall Street Journal
Actor Henry Winkler was told he was stupid. A teacher labeled Dan Malloy, the future governor of Connecticut, "mentally retarded." Delos Cosgrove recalls "hanging on by my fingernails" in high school and college before becoming a thoracic surgeon and the Cleveland Clinic's chief executive officer.
Each has dyslexia, a condition that makes reading difficult but has little to do with intelligence. Mounting evidence shows that many people with dyslexia are highly creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, and neuroimaging studies demonstrate that their brains really do think differently.
Get Ready to Read!
The 36 Get Ready to Read! skill-building activity cards are fun, engaging, child-friendly early literacy activities to try with 3- to 5-year-old children. They’ll give you new ideas for bringing literacy activities into your classroom, home, and daily routine. The cards were created with both parents and educators in mind, and they’re free and easy to print.
In her last post, Parent Contributor Ellyn Levy discussed the experience of getting an initial Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for her teenage daughter. Now, Ellyn’s daughter is a successful college graduate, and Ellyn is back to share the lessons she has learned in advocating for her daughter throughout her learning disability (LD) journey.
“Out-of-the-Box Advocacy” is all about finding ways to start conversations about LD in an effort to raise awareness, remove stigma, and encourage others to embrace your child for who they are, despite their disabilities. While starting a blog or tweeting about LD-related topics may seem difficult for some, sometimes the hardest part of advocacy for many parents is actually talking about the realities of LD within their very own communities.
Get Ready to Read!
New Guide to Social and Emotional Learning Programs The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning released their 2013 publication that identifies well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs for the pre-K and elementary grades. It’s downloadable and free!
I can't recount the number of apps we initially downloaded with great anticipation, only to realize that we would probably never use them again. We learned that an estimated 26% of all downloaded apps are only used once. In the end, we came up with the following strategies for evaluating an app before deciding to buy it...
Eye On Education
The Common Core is bringing phonics back. According to the Common Core’s Reading Standards for Grades K–5, students need to learn foundational skills, including print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency.
Click the link to read four tips for meeting these new requirements.
There may be certain areas in the brain that are enlarged or extra efficient that could lend some language learners an advantage. Studies show that it becomes more difficult to learn new languages as you get older. Neuroscientists are still trying to understand all the various brain regions involved in learning language.
That raises the question: Is there something unique about certain brains, which allows some people to speak and understand so many more languages than the rest of us?
A company called eXaudios has developed software that detects emotions during a phone call. The program is currently used by companies to assist customer service agents. The versatile software could even soon diagnose Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and even cancer. Analyzing a person's voice to gain clues about their health and emotional state is nothing new, said Pentland. Humans do it all the time. The computer is just doing a better job at voice analysis than most people because it largely ignores content and focuses on form. Whether a computer or human is analyzing a conversation, however, "it's not what you say," said Pentland. "It's how you say it."
The software could have potential implications for individuals who have difficulties perceiving social cues.
What do you think of when you hear the word dyslexic? All too often the reflex reaction is a stream of negative associations -- "slow reader," "under performance," "extra time on exams," "difficulty spelling." While it is true that these are common symptoms in students with dyslexia, they are surmountable problems. For any educator, the key to unleashing academic success in dyslexic students lies in understanding how their brains work.
Click the link to learn the four things ALL educators should know about the dyslexic brain!
College remains a hurdle for many with disabilities. Now a new study offers insight on what separates individuals with special needs who are ultimately successful in higher education from those who are not. In interviews with recent graduates with disabilities, researchers found that students who earned degrees shared the ability to self-advocate and persevere. They also had good insight into their abilities and limitations and often cited a strong relationship with at least one faculty or staff member on campus.
Find out more about the study in the full article!
A unique approach at one Ohio school has typically-developing teens entering the world of special education for an eye-opening experience. Through a semester-long elective at Kenston High School in Bainbridge, Ohio, high school juniors and seniors work side-by-side in a special education classroom with their peers who have special needs.