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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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Loneliness, Self-Efficacy, and Hope: Impact on the LD Learning Process

LD OnLine

Are you finding it challenging to address your child's social and emotional needs AND support them academically at the same time?

Find out why loneliness, self-efficacy, and hope are often neglected dimensions of the LD learning process, and what you can do to help your child.

Massachusetts Professors Protest High-Stakes Standardized Tests

Washington Post

A coalition of more than 130 Massachusetts professors and researchers from some 20 schools — including Harvard, Tufts, Boston and Brandeis universities — signed a new public statement that urges officials to stop overusing high-stakes standardized tests to assess students, teachers and schools.

The statement — also signed by academics from the University of Massachusetts, Clark University, Boston College, Lesley College and other schools — is the latest effort in a revolt against high-stakes testing that has spread from coast to coast.

Can Dyslexic Students Succeed at School or Only In Life?

Huffington Post

There's something funny about learning that a successful CEO or politician received bad grades in school. We're amused to hear that Steve Jobs earned C's on his way to a 2.6 GPA in high school-- before creating the most profitable company on Earth. But what if stories like these say more about the quality of our schools than we think? Indeed, statistics show that schools in the United States may not be fostering the skills needed to succeed in life after high school. A shocking number of high school graduates require remediation when they get to college. In New York City - which, unlike most other districts, is tracking the data and attempting to do something about it - more than half of high school graduates aren't prepared for coursework in in community college. Naturally, cities and states (and the authors of the Common Core Standards) have begun adjusting their approach, shifting focus to higher level skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and even creativity. It's time we took a similar approach to the education of students with learning differences and learning disabilities.

Sleep Issues and Sensory Processing Disorder

A Sensory Life!

Sleep affects the whole family...possibly the sibling who shares a room, or even in a separate room and of course at least one parent. We ALL need sleep, so when our little precious sensory kiddo isn't sleeping, it affects the whole family. And the biggest problem is the snowball effect. When any of us do not get enough sleep it impacts mood, behavior, and self-regulation overall. And then as always, the results are magnified for a sensory kiddo. And for the parent of the child, this state of dysregulation (irritability, mood swings, impatience, etc) from lack of sleep impacts that child's state of regulation as well. It's a double whammy.

The IQ Debate Continues

Education Week

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.

Famous People with LD

NCLD

Pop quiz: What do football player Tim Tebow, actress Whoopi Goldberg, CEO Richard Branson, and singer Cher have in common?

Click on the link to find out!

10 Tips for College Students with LD or ADHD

NPR

A student's freshman year in college represents a big transition. Many students move out of their parents' home and onto a bustling college campus, where they can be overwhelmed with new workloads, academic demands, and a multitude of social and extracurricular events. For college students who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities, staying organized and focused can be extra challenging.

These tips can help!

The Common Lore About RTI

RTI Action Network

The legal dimension of response to intervention (RTI) has been the subject of considerable confusion. This brief article provides an overview of the prevailing misperceptions, or what may be termed the “common lore,” and the corresponding objective recitations, or the actual law, regarding RTI. Many of the misinterpretations are due to the professional norms or particular preferences of scholars from the various fields—including school psychology and developmental neuroscience—that intersect at special education.

Federal Grant Prospect Reignites Kindergarten-Assessment Debate

Education Week

A federal grant program in the works to help states jump-start kindergarten-entry assessments is renewing debate among early-childhood educators about the benefits and pitfalls of evaluating young children.

The proposal, for which the department is seeking comments through Feb. 25, comes at a time when the White House is paying increased attention to early education. In last week's State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said he would make universal preschool a budget priority. And in 2011, the Education Department launched Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants, awarding about $633 million to 14 states.

Tech Tools to Differentiate and Engage Gifted Learners

Education Week

Interested in learning about fun, free, and easy to use Web 2.0 tools? During this webinar, you will learn about tech tools you can start using tomorrow to differentiate instruction and/or engage gifted learners in your classroom. The only prerequisite skill is knowing your email address! TODAY at 7pm.

Advocates, Administrators Divided on Kansas Dyslexia Bill

CJOnline

For years, parents who say their children aren’t receiving adequate services have been calling for change, arguing that many children with dyslexia go undiagnosed. Moreover, even when diagnosed, they say, those students often don’t receive the specialized instruction they need.

A bill in the Senate Committee on Education would seek to remedy that. Senate Bill 44 has the support of the Kansas Coalition for Dyslexia Legislation, but opponents, including school administrators, say the bill is at best redundant and at worst a violation of federal law.

Tree Fu Tom: Developing Skills For Classroom Learning

BBC

Tree Fu Tom online has been designed to encourage children of all abilities to develop the skills that are essential for classroom learning. The games include three different levels of difficulty so that all young children can play and challenge themselves.

19 Number-Based Apps for Children with Special Needs

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.

Books to Match Diverse Young Readers

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.

Students Must Learn More Words, Say Studies

Education Week

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.

Education Researchers Receive $2.6 Million Grant To Create Innovation Hub on African American Children's Literacy

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.

Feds Receive Record Number of Complaints About Special Education

Education Week

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.

What Will It Take to Help Children with Dyslexia Learn to Read More Proficiently?

Tremaine Foundation

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.

Black History Month and LD

AACLD

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.

Discover the Overlooked Gifts of ADHD

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”.

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