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In the Fight Over How to Teach Reading, This Guru Makes a Major Retreat (opens in a new window)

The New York Times

May 23, 2022

Lucy Calkins, a leading literacy expert, has rewritten her curriculum to include a fuller embrace of phonics and the science of reading. Critics may not be appeased. Parents and educators who champion the “science of reading” have fiercely criticized Professor Calkins and other supporters of balanced literacy. They cite a half-century of research that shows phonics — sound it out exercises that are purposefully sequenced — is the most effective way to teach reading, along with books that build vocabulary and depth.

New guidance to provide dyslexic Iowa students with tools for success (opens in a new window)

CBS Iowa (Cedar Rapids, IA)

May 13, 2022

Across Iowa, students with dyslexia may see new initiatives to help them better understand their coursework. The Iowa Department of Education is hoping to release a dyslexia guidance for school districts which would implement many recommendations from the Iowa Dyslexia Board. “We need to be teaching in a manner that is systematic explicit instruction, cumulative instruction,” says Nina Lorimor-Easley, a board member for Decoding Dyslexia Iowa. “We need to really lean hard into evidence based instruction.”

Former teacher finds answers to child’s reading delay (opens in a new window)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 13, 2022

Missy Purcell is a former Gwinnett County Public School elementary teacher with three children. Her first two children are fluent readers, but her third child, Matthew, has struggled. “I was told repeatedly that he’s young for his age,” Purcell said. He was moved along each year from kindergarten through first and second grades making very little progress toward becoming an efficient reader. Purcell took a friend’s advice and had him evaluated outside the school by an educational psychologist. Not only was Matthew diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia, but she said Matthew stated his “greatest goal in life is to learn to read.”

The Link Between Creativity and ADHD (opens in a new window)

Psychology Today

May 10, 2022

Noted Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell believes ADHD can be a gift, and those with ADHD can be intelligent, creative, imaginative, and thrive when faced with a challenge. Creativity is one of the superpowers of ADHD, and a lot of human progress has been thanks to “outside-the-box” thinkers.

“She Dances in the Rain: My Neurodivergent, Wildly Resilient Daughter” (opens in a new window)

ADDitude

May 10, 2022

“The weight of not feeling ‘smart enough’ or ‘good enough’ that our tiny girl carried throughout her early childhood began to lift as she learned about the disorders and their manifestations.” She eagerly started Orton-Gillingham tutoring. The satisfaction of learning how to learn kept her engaged and motivated. As her confidence grew, she told us what she needed to thrive. 

New research program aims to help parents, kids with ADHD (opens in a new window)

Arizona State University News (Tempe, AZ)

May 04, 2022

The Hyperactivity, Executive dysfunction, and Attention problems (HEAT) Clinic in the ASU Department of Psychology is launching a new research project that is hoping to uncover treatment and prevention options for parents and children who both have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD. Traditional interventions are routinely parent-focused, and when those parents are unable to effectively deliver the intervention because of their own ADHD, neither party is able to benefit. The HEAT Clinic is aiming to change that.

NYC schools slated to receive $7.4M to address dyslexia: What does that mean for students? (opens in a new window)

Staten Island Live (NY)

May 04, 2022

New York City public schools are slated to get $7.4 million in city funding to identify and support students with dyslexia under Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed executive budget. The budget includes funding for dyslexia screeners and programs, according to a report by Gothamist, as well as new school buildings in Harlem and the Bronx designated to support students.

Breaking Down the Stigma Surrounding ADHD (opens in a new window)

Healthline

May 04, 2022

Imagine being unable to read a paragraph or follow a conversation without your mind wandering. Losing track of time is something you’re known for among family and friends, and you can’t seem to meet deadlines despite your best efforts. Your tendency to speak without thinking sometimes bruises feelings. You may occasionally interrupt people so you don’t forget what you want to say. Now imagine your friends and family telling you that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn’t a real condition, and you should just try harder.

We Drastically Underestimate the Importance of Brain Breaks (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

May 04, 2022

For Leonardo Cohen, a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health and the senior author of a June 2021 study published in the journal Cell, the idea that breaks are a cooling-off period is a misconception. Cohen says that incorporating breaks into learning “plays just as important a role as practice in learning a new skill. It appears to be the period when our brains compress and consolidate memories of what we just practiced.”

Top Companies Seek Workers With Autism (opens in a new window)

Disability Scoop

May 04, 2022

Major employers including Microsoft, Google, Freddie Mac and more are part of a newly launched job search platform directly aimed at recruiting employees with autism and other neurological differences. The career portal known as the Neurodiversity Career Connector debuted last week. It’s intended to connect neurodivergent job seekers with openings at companies that have neurodiversity hiring programs in place.

A Road Map to Helping Young Students with Dyslexia Succeed (opens in a new window)

THE Journal

April 28, 2022

At least 40 states have passed legislation mandating how teachers deal with dyslexia in the classroom, from proper screening methods to timely intervention strategies. And yet, misconceptions about dyslexia linger even among educators. In fact, research indicates over half of teachers, administrators, and the general public harbor mistaken beliefs about the disability and the specific challenges students with dyslexia can face. Here are specific ways for educators to help students with word-level reading difficulties in the early grades, as well as how to help students identified with dyslexia as they progress through school.

Advocates want teachers better trained to deal with dyslexia (opens in a new window)

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

April 28, 2022

Dyslexia is a growing problem in Minnesota, according to the National Reading Panel’s Report Card. “We’ve been at this almost 10 years now,” said Rachel Berger, founder and director of Decoding Dyslexia, MN (DDMN), whose own son was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of five. On Thursday, April 21, advocates gathered at the State Capitol in St. Paul to provide life experience testimonies about dyslexia and explain why it is imperative to address the issue. Decoding Dyslexia is a nonprofit grassroots organization supported by Minnesota families, educators and professionals concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for students within educational environments. 

Potential Genetic Factor in Specific Language Impairment (opens in a new window)

Language Magazine

April 28, 2022

A team of researchers at the University of Kansas has identified a possible genetic factor underlying specific language impairment (SLI), a communication disorder whose cause has long stumped researchers. SLI typically entails delayed language development in early childhood. School-aged children with SLI often begin speaking later than the average child and may struggle with comprehension and expression of spoken language. The disorder can be difficult for clinicians to properly diagnose; however, a recent study published in Brain Sciences suggests that a particular variation of the gene BUD13 could be implicated in its diagnosis.

New research shows controversial Reading Recovery program eventually had a negative impact on children (opens in a new window)

APM Media

April 28, 2022

One of the world’s most widely used reading intervention programs for young children took a hit to its credibility today following the release of a new study at the American Educational Research Association conference. Reading Recovery — a one-on-one tutoring program for first graders — has long been controversial because it’s based on a theory about how people read words that was disproven decades ago by cognitive scientists. The new, federally funded study found that children who received Reading Recovery had scores on state reading tests in third and fourth grade that were below the test scores of similar children who did not receive Reading Recovery.

AI could help teachers spot learning difficulties (opens in a new window)

TES Magazine

April 15, 2022

Artificial intelligence (AI) could help trainee teachers to spot learning difficulties in pupils, a study by academics at the University of Cambridge and the German university LMU Munich shows. In a trial, 178 trainee teachers identified pupils with potential learning difficulties, and then had their work “marked” by AI. The researchers found that the approach significantly improved the teachers’ ability to collect and assess evidence about a pupil, and draw appropriate conclusions, so the child can be given tailored support. 

Developing Emotional Literacy Across the Grade Levels (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

April 15, 2022

Teaching students to identify and express their own emotions—and consider those of others—empowers them, and sets them up for learning. Here are practices to help kids at different grade levels develop the vocabulary and practice the emotional literacy skills to better understand and more effectively participate in the world around them.

Building social capital is critical for strong relationships. ADHD can get in the way. (opens in a new window)

The Washington Post

February 03, 2022

While most people think of this disorder as causing difficulties with completing assignments in school or the workplace, it can also lead to a deficit in what experts call “social capital.” Social capital is the network and goodwill that you have with other people that help you not only accomplish tasks, but also [maintain] important social connections.

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