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Curriculum Matters Blog, Education Week
A new development in the assessment world could make tests more accessible to students with disabilities, and more portable, experts in the field said earlier this week. One of the experts that worked on the project likened it to the development of HTML coding, which created a common language for the Web.
South Coast Today (MA)
William Baker III has struggled with dyslexia almost all of his 19 years he was diagnosed at 18 months as part of a Rutgers University study. But Baker never dreamed that a summer job selling Cutco knives $45,000 worth would enable him to pay for 50 educators to attend The Dyslexia Foundation's conference on dyslexia at Harvard Medical School in October.
On Special Education Blog, Education Week
A federal appeals court in San Francisco is set to hear a special education case on December 15 involving the use of seclusion in school. It's a case with powerful entities supporting each side.
New York Times
As recently as 2002, an international group of leading neuroscientists found it necessary to publish a statement arguing passionately that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was a real condition. In the face of "overwhelming" scientific evidence, they complained, A.D.H.D. was regularly portrayed in the media as "myth, fraud or benign condition" an artifact of too-strict teachers, perhaps, or too much television.
Before the age of 1, J.C. could hum Brahms' lullaby and the theme from "Jeopardy." At 2, he could name the U.S. presidents in order and recognize their faces. Though his grandparents insisted he was gifted, his parents knew that J.C.'s extraordinary talents co-existed with some serious deficits. After nearly 14 exhausting years of child study team meetings and psychological evaluations, J.C., now a 23-year-old student at a New Jersey college, was diagnosed with nonverbal learning disorder, a neurological condition that impairs the ability to process nonverbal information.
Westwood Press (MA)
All over the classroom at the Oak Hill Elementary School in 1956, hands shot up, but not Carol Rosengarten's. Hers darted up and down the wood-paneled desk, the only way she could grasp the multi-digit numbers everyone else seemed to breathe in. She had no way of knowing it wasn't her fault she didn't know the answer. Educators didn't know about learning disabilities neither did Rosengarten. It took the tidal wave of special education laws in the 1970s to lift her ailment to a place where she could see it. More than 50 years later, she's on the other side of the classroom.
New York Daily News
The New York City Department of Education spent $140 million last year on private school tuition for more than 3,000 special-education pupils most of them from the city's wealthiest neighborhoods. Such tuition payments for children with dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism have increased fourfold since 2005, school officials say, and the cost could approach $200 million by next year.
The Detroit News
This year, Detroit Public Schools is implementing a new full inclusion model for special education students and applying it districtwide. But the transitioning this year of at least 5,000 high-schoolers with learning disabilities and mild cognitive impairments has some parents, the state's special education chief, and teachers wondering whether the proper training and resources are in place.
Students in a fourth-grade classroom at Galindo Elementary School are taking turns reading from "Romeo and Juliet." It's difficult at first glance to tell the students in special education from those who are not. The South Austin school's principal, Donna Linn, said she has worked hard not just to develop an appreciation for the needs of individual students, but also to develop a schoolwide appreciation for including students receiving special education services in regular classes.
The Grand Rapids Press (MI)
Written by Lisa Loomer and presented off-Broadway in 2009, "Distracted" is the story of a family whose 9-year-old son is acting out, refuses to go to bed at night, and is disruptive at school. The parents are inundated with solutions from teachers, therapists, and friends ranging from pills to diet, biofeedback and homeopathic treatments. "It's told from the point of view of the mother," director Fred Sebulske said. "She knows the audience is there and uses them as a sounding board. She always has someone to talk to."
The Portland Press Herald (ME)
In this commentary, Gene J. Kucinkas Jr., past president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Maine and an eighth-grade special education teacher, writes, "There is no federal law that requires chemicals to be proven safe before they show up in products on store shelves. The laws currently in place are simply ineffective and outdated — our nation's chemical safety system is badly broken. For some chemicals, the scientific evidence of harm has become overwhelming."
US News and World Report
Most of the 3 percent or so of teens who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities struggle so much in their high school classes that they give up on hopes of college, setting back their job and career prospects, according to statistics compiled by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. But there are new reasons for hope for anyone with attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, or other common learning challenges. A growing number of colleges, services, and technologies are helping students earn admission to, and diplomas from, college, counselors say.
Dallas Morning News
Over 35 years, the Shelton School has grown from a small group of learning-disabled students whose parents asked a respected educator to start her own school to a full campus with 860 students. Among the many milestones, one that stands out for Betty Glasheen, the unofficial school historian, is when parents began to show pride in their Shelton affiliation.
The Guardian (UK)
I am dyspraxic. I've always excelled in literacy but struggled endlessly with maths, visual-spatial skills and co-ordination. When I once forgot to write my name on a geometry test paper, the teacher said she understood why I'd want to remain anonymous. At 20, when some numeracy crept into my degree, I sought help and was formally diagnosed. It was a relief to know there was a valid reason why, despite good teaching and hard work, I couldn't grasp certain skills. Except it wasn't a relief for long.
When Stephanie Mashburn walked into her fifth grade class after a visit to the doctor, she said she felt stupid. She had just been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. "You feel like something is wrong with you," Mashburn said. Mashburn, a senior marketing major, is one of more than 160 students assisted by Sam Houston State University who have a learning disability, ADD/ADHD or both, according to Services for Students with Disabilities.
Birmingham Science News Examiner (AL)
Robin Lester, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, presented research at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in San Diego on November 15, 2010 that identifies the neurobiological reasons why the children of women who smoke during pregnancy are at an increased risk of developing learning disabilities.
Los Angeles Times
Attention deficit-hyperactive disorder includes difficulty with mental focus. People describe it as daydreaming or mind-wandering instead of concentrating on the task at hand. Now researchers think they have identified a gene that is responsible for this specific characteristic of the disorder.
The secret of Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso's success may have been down to their dyslexia, scientists have claimed.
The Jackson Sun (TN)
West Tennessee educators learned about the use of assistive technology to help students with learning disabilities read books during a two-day seminar held on Lambuth University's campus.
Strictly Come Dancing star Kara Tointon has spoken publicly about her dyslexia for the first time. The former EastEnders actress was diagnosed when she was seven years old. The BBC's Sam Naz spoke to Kara about her experiences.