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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Apps for Children With Special Needs
Is your child struggling with mathematical concepts like number sense and arithmetic? Browse this collection of educational apps recommended by Apps for Children with Special Needs. You may find a useful tool to help your child learn.
The New York Times
Introductory chapter books aimed at second, third and fourth grade readers overwhelmingly reflect a suburban milieu with white protagonists. Students of other races and ethnicities seldom encounter characters like themselves in books, and some education experts say that can be an obstacle to literacy. Below, click on titles that feature main characters who are black, Latino, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native and read the beginning of each book.
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.
Georgia State University, College of Education
College of Education Professor Julie Washington and Assistant Professor Nicole Patton-Terry have received a four-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to develop one of four national Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs – epicenters of research on learning disabilities.
This could lead to new intervention methods for struggling readers, more accurate diagnoses of students with learning disabilities and further research on middle and high school students’ literacy skills.
The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights says that, from 2009 to 2011, the agency received more complaints about disability issues than ever before in a three-year period.
Note: due to the time required for the Department of Education to gather this information annually, more current data is not yet available. An update will follow.
This action summary of the paper “Don’t Dys Our Kids: Dyslexia and the Quest for Grade-Level Reading Proficiency” packs 70 pages of information into a digestible 4 page briefing.
Succinct, powerful, and promising.
The National Association for the Education of African American Children with Learning Disabilities (AACLD) provides numerous resources for the African-American LD community. You can access this information, as well as infobriefs, IDEA guidelines, and advocacy training information on their site.
Learning Works for Kids
There are many ways in which ADHD can be transformed into opportunities for growth and learning.
While having ADHD may make it more difficult to sit attentively in a traditional classroom, or to ignore distractions while reading, the gifts of ADHD may facilitate an intensity of focus to the immediate feedback, multimodality, and increasing level of challenges that define video game and technology play. Playing video games and mastering digital technologies provide children with ADHD an opportunity to “unwrap their gifts”.
Learning Works for Kids
Learn how to make sure your child gets the most out of assistive digital technology and games — without overdoing screen time.
LD OnLine fans: we've just launched a tumblr blog! This highly visual page will include content from our headlines as well as social media sources.
iTrace is a new handwriting, spelling, and letter identification iPad app for students with dysgraphia and other LD. Reviewers call the interface engaging and kid-friendly. Let us know your thoughts!
New York Times Magazine
Never before has the pressure to perform on high-stakes tests been so intense or meant so much for a child’s academic future. As more school districts strive for accountability, standardized tests have proliferated. The pressure to do well on achievement tests for college is filtering its way down to lower grades, so that even third graders feel as if they are on trial.
Many of the college students who have returned to campus for another semester will struggle to pass their classes and graduate. To find out how students can get on the path to success, host Michel Martin talks with Melvina Noel, author of How to Thrive in College.
Teachers of all subjects must expand their instruction to include—or further emphasize—reading, writing, and critical thinking. In a recent paper from The Educational Forum, one teacher describes engaging students through creative work that expands the definition of "text" as well.
An alarming number of third-graders continue to read below their grade level despite Massachusetts leading the nation on standardized reading assessments, according to a new report.
A new concept has emerged on the horizon that promises to establish a more positive foundation upon which to build new strength-based assessments, programs, curricula, and environments for these kids.
The concept is neurodiversity. The term, which was coined by Australian autism-activist Judy Singer and American journalist Harvey Blume in the late 1990s, suggests that what we've called in the past "disabilities" ought to be described instead as "differences" or "diversities." Proponents of neurodiversity encourage us to apply the same attitudes that we have about biodiversity and cultural diversity to an understanding of how different brains are wired.
New York Times
Parents have extensive rights under IDEA, including the right to ask for an evaluation or a re-evaluation of their child at any time. Most important, however, is the parents’ right to be part of the team that decides what special education services and therapies the child will receive.
Sesame Street Live will do a performance designed to meet the special needs of those with autism and other disabilities.
Organizers say they are providing parents with production notes in advance so that kids can be prepared. What’s more, there will be quiet areas at the venue for anyone needing a break during the performance and extra space will be offered in the seating areas so that audience members can move around.
Publishers, writers, preservationists, technology experts, and literacy advocates gathered at the Library of Congress last week to discuss the future of reading and reading technology at the first International Summit of the Book. While the summit offered a variety of perspectives on the evolving role of the book in knowledge-sharing, access to reading emerged as a shared interest and challenge for those concerned with books in relation to literacy.
A document from the U.S. Department of Education intended to clarify schools' responsibility to make sure students with disabilities have access to extracurricular sports has drawn sharply different opinions. Disability-rights advocates welcome the guidance, while critics say federal officials are pushing requirements that could place new financial burdens on districts.