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As e-readers grow in popularity as convenient alternatives to traditional books, researchers at the Smithsonian have found that convenience may not be their only benefit. The team discovered that when e-readers are set up to display only a few words per line, some people with dyslexia can read more easily, quickly and with greater comprehension. Their findings are published in the Sept. 18 issue of the journal PLOS ONE.
The impact of federal budget sequestration on education didn't appear to be all that devastating in the months since the across-the-board cuts went into effect, but that might be changing now that more students are returning to class. The effects of less money are being especially felt by special education students who have had services either rolled back or completely eliminated, leaving them and their parents in the lurch.
Ten times as many children are diagnosed with ADHD today as were in the 1970s. What if their behavior -- consistently distracted, hyperactive, impulsive -- really indicates something else? In a typical American classroom, there are nearly as many diagnosable cases of ADHD as there are of the common cold. In 2008, researchers from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University found that almost 10 percent of children use cold remedies at any given time. The latest statistics out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the same proportion has ADHD.
New York Daily News
As he sits in class at Eastern Michigan University, a flood of images streams from Tony Saylor's vibrant, creative mind down through his pen and onto paper. Often, his doodling features the 9-year-old character Viper Girl who battles monsters with her pet fox Logan. Saylor, 22, has even self-published three books of their adventures. Saylor's professors didn't exactly welcome his constant drawing, but once he explained it was the only way he could hope to process their lectures -- and even to stay awake -- most let him continue. For college students with autism and other learning disabilities, this is the kind of balancing act that takes place every day -- accommodating a disability while also pushing beyond it toward normalcy and a degree, which is increasingly essential for finding a meaningful career.
The Washington Post
Bundled in coats and clutching cups of hot coffee, parents chatter while their kids glide across the ice rink in Rockville. But the Montgomery County parents aren't talking much about playing time or stick-handling skills, instead using the opportunity as a sort of weekend therapy session. They talk about their children's medical problems. They fret over the embarrassing emotional tantrums their children have in public. And they complain to one another about how hard it is find the right classroom for their children, who may have autism, can't speak or will never know how to read.
Students in grades 3 through 5 who take the Common Core-aligned assessments created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will not be allowed to have passages of text read to them as a valid accommodation on the English/language arts tests. The restriction is part of a usability, accessibility, and accommodations manual that the consortium's governing board voted to accept at a meeting in Los Angeles Tuesday. Twenty-five states are part of the Smarter Balanced group.
The Courier-News (Chicago, IL)
As Alejandro moved into second grade, things got even worse: He began complaining about headaches and throwing up at school, he said. That's when his grandma, a former teacher, suggested he be tested for dyslexia. And sure enough, Macias said, his son was dyslexic. That experience is what led Macias, a video editor for a graphic design firm in Barrington, to make the documentary "Embracing Dyslexia," now streaming online for free at embracingdyslexia.com.
U.S. News: Health
Parents of school-age children may notice symptoms that could signal a learning disability. So what are worried parents to do? The National Center for Learning Disabilities mentions these suggestions.
A new study is raising fresh concerns about the use of general anesthesia in young children. Recent studies have suggested that anesthetic drugs may increase the risk for learning disabilities and behavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but only in kids who are exposed to the drugs several times.
Developing strategies to help elementary students with the most severe learning disabilities is the focus of a new research project to be based at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. The National Center for Special Education Research awarded a 5-year, $10 million grant to the university to create an "Accelerated Academic Achievement Research Center." Between 2,000 and 3,000 students in Nashville schools will participate in the research.
The Jewish Press (NY)
There are many remediation techniques to help children with dyslexia learn to read. However, research shows that children like Dena are more likely to suffer from low self esteem than their peers. This is a problem that parents and educators often overlook. In order to integrate these children into the classroom, we cannot simply focus on helping them cope academically. We need to help build their self-esteem through social interventions as well. The Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities has compiled a list of ways that parents can help children with LD gain self-esteem.
Duluth News Tribune (MN)
We parents are hopeful after this first week of school. We imagine our children excited about classes or academic projects. None of us visualize a child saying, "I wish I could do my English homework, but I just can't read it," or "Every time the teacher gives me a direction I can't remember what to do after the first thing."
The Guardian (UK)
1.2 million children in the UK have dyslexia, a print disability where students have difficulty reading and interpreting meaning. For them, though words are visible, they may swim or dance on the page and this can seriously affect their studies and performance. But with the right support from their teachers and the use of technology, simple changes can make a big difference. Technology is an important tool that can be used to support students with dyslexia with reading and writing. Here are some resources and ideas that teachers can employ, however, you should note that dyslexia manifests itself differently amongst children so it's important to try a combination of methods to find out what works best for them.
A new typeface may change the way dyslexics with online and computer-based media. Dyslexie uses scientific data to facilitate the reading experience for individuals struggling with word and letter recognition. Developed by Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer, the new typeface forgoes aesthetic qualities for heightened legibility and perception.
New college students with learning disabilities will face transitions while also grappling with a few more hurdles. Laws such as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act that require teachers and other adults to identify children with learning disabilities and make sure they get additional academic help no longer apply to college students, says Sheldon Horowitz, director of LD resources at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Children who are exposed to people with disabilities — either directly or indirectly — have more positive attitudes about those with special needs, researchers say. In a survey of 1,520 kids ages 7 to 16, researchers found that increased familiarity with those who have disabilities led to less anxiety and better attitudes.
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?
The Obama administration is pressing forward with a plan to urge companies doing business with the federal government to dramatically increase the number of employees with disabilities in their ranks. Under a final rule announced Tuesday, most federal contractors will be expected to ensure that people with disabilities account for at least 7 percent of workers within each job group at their companies. If businesses meet that threshold, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that it could mean as many as 585,000 jobs for people with disabilities within the first year.
The Chicago Tribune
Wolcott School will officially open its doors this Wednesday, welcoming an inaugural class of 35 freshmen and sophomores, the first college-prep high school in Chicago exclusively for students with learning disabilities. In a school that caters exclusively to this population, the stigma is removed and instantly replaced by an inclusiveness that levels the playing field, experts say.
As the buzz around games and learning continues to grow, one particular subset — Massive Open Online (MMO) games — is catching the attention of educators as a particularly interesting way to encourage students to collaborate, problem solve, create and think for themselves within a game.