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LD OnLine News Headlines

The latest news stories about LD and ADHD.

Host of genes and genetic variants linked to dyslexia identified (opens in a new window)

The Guardian (UK)

October 27, 2022

A host of genetic variants associated with dyslexia have been identified by researchers, shedding light on the hereditary aspect of the disorder. Previous research has suggested it has a heritable component, with studies suggesting genetics account for somewhere between 40% and 80% of the average differences between those with dyslexia and general population. Researchers say they have identified about 170 genes and 42 specific genetic variants significantly associated with dyslexia in the largest such study to date.

New literacy standards for teacher candidates could be pivotal to improving student reading scores (opens in a new window)

Ed Source

October 27, 2022

A set of new literacy standards and teaching performance expectations, approved by the California commission that issues teaching credentials, should ensure all universities are on the same page when it comes to training future educators. The literacy standards, mandated by state legislation, put a greater emphasis on teaching foundational reading skills that include phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency. The new standards also included support for struggling readers, English learners, and pupils with exceptional needs. The California Dyslexia Guidelines  have been incorporated for the first time.

How schools are moving away from remedial summer learning (opens in a new window)

K12 Dive

October 27, 2022

It’s a disservice to students, especially those who are historically disadvantaged, to center summer programming on remediating skills not learned during the school year, said speakers at a National Summer Learning Association conference session Wednesday. Rather, every day students spend in school over the summer months should include high quality instruction that engages students’ and teachers’ passions, aims for accelerating skills, and blends academics and enrichment, the speakers said. 

Early intervention and acceptance are key to success for students with dyslexia (opens in a new window)

Hawaii Public Radio

October 19, 2022

About 20% of Hawaiʻi’s population struggle to learn because they have dyslexia, according to the Hawaiʻi Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Among the local resources available for children living with learning difficulties is Assets School on Oʻahu. In recognition of National Dyslexia Awareness Month, the school has an in-person seminar this week about accommodating and supporting a child with dyslexia. The Conversation sat down with the Assistant Head of School Sandi Tadaki to discuss how early intervention and acceptance can help students avoid years of emotional and educational struggles.

Celebrate dyslexic thinking (opens in a new window)

Microsoft Education Blog

October 19, 2022

The world needs dyslexic thinking, an approach to problem solving, assessing information, and learning. Research tells us that dyslexic thinkers have the exact skills needed for the workplace of today. The Value of Dyslexia report points out that new roles and enhanced tasks will be created across industries that closely match the strengths of dyslexic thinking. This is why we have partnered with global charity Made By Dyslexia to help every educator identify, support, and empower every learner with dyslexia.

More Physical Activity, Less Screen Time Linked to Better Executive Function in Toddlers, Study Finds (opens in a new window)

University of Illinois College of Medicine

October 13, 2022

A new study explored whether adherence to American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for diet and physical activity had any relationship with toddlers’ ability to remember, plan, pay attention, shift between tasks and regulate their own thoughts and behavior, a suite of skills known as executive function. Reported in The Journal of Pediatrics, the study found that 24-month-old children who spent less than 60 minutes looking at screens each day and those who engaged in daily physical activity had better executive function than those who didn’t meet the guidelines.

How to Be Your Child’s Social Emotional Learning Coach (opens in a new window)


October 13, 2022

Whether due to rejection sensitivity, poor self-awareness, social anxiety, or executive dysfunction, social challenges follow many children with ADHD as they grow. Parents can take a page from the social-emotional learning approach to guide their kids toward social success. Here are 6 ways to get started.Social-emotional learning activities and strategies for ADHD kids who struggle to make and keep friends.

5 ways to help students with ADHD thrive in the classroom (opens in a new window)

K12 Dive

October 11, 2022

Managing the symptoms of ADHD can be a challenge for students and their families. Students diagnosed with ADHD can also experience symptoms related to other disorders that can impact learning, such as anxiety, depression and behavior disorders. That can make ADHD complex to diagnose. Educators can take several steps to identify the symptoms of ADHD in their students and connect them with the appropriate learning and behavioral supports when needed. Here are five tactics educators can implement today.

Leading dyslexia treatment isn’t a magic bullet, studies find, while other options show promise (opens in a new window)

KQED Mindshift

October 11, 2022

There’s no litmus test for dyslexia and education experts say the diagnosis covers a range of reading problems. Orton-Gillingham is one of the oldest approaches to help struggling readers, dating back to the 1930s, and it explicitly teaches letters and sounds, and breaks words down into letter patterns. It also emphasizes multisensory instruction. But two recent academic papers, synthesizing dozens of reading studies, are raising questions about the effectiveness of these expensive education policies. A review of 24 studies on the Orton-Gillingham method, found no statistically significant benefit for children with dyslexia. Instead, a review of 53 reading studies found that much cheaper reading interventions for children with a variety of reading difficulties were also quite effective for children with dyslexia.

What is ADHD coaching and do I really need it? (opens in a new window)

The Conversation

October 07, 2022

ADHD coaching has been in the news this week, with the release of new guidelines for diagnosing and managing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The evidence-based clinical guidelines recommend ADHD coaching could be considered for adolescents and adults as part of a holistic treatment and support plan.

What is ADHD coaching? Do you really need it? And how do you go about finding coaching support?

Kids with disabilities face off-the-books school suspensions (opens in a new window)

Yahoo! News

October 05, 2022

Parent Lisa Manwell received a dozen calls last fall telling her her son couldn’t stay in school because of behaviors she says stemmed from his disability, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Many schools have promised to cut down on suspensions, since kids can’t learn as well when they aren’t in class. But none of these pickups was ever recorded as suspensions, despite the missed class time.

The practice is known as informal removal.

‘Wait to Fail’: How Dyslexia Screening Misses Many Struggling Readers (opens in a new window)

The 74

October 05, 2022

Laws and programs to address dyslexia are among the best hopes for students who struggle to learn to read. Legislation focused on dyslexia has been passed in at least 47 states. However, there is a downside that is not understood: Some dyslexia laws and practices exclude or neglect many struggling readers, even though most of them suffer from similar learning difficulties and require similar evidence-based instruction.

When Your Child Has ADHD and Dyslexia: Treatment for Complex Symptoms (opens in a new window)


September 28, 2022

Dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often travel together. (About 25% to 40% of the time, according to some estimates.) For individuals with ADHD and dyslexia, routine treatment protocols and approaches for each condition may not be effective. ADHD symptoms might affect therapies for dyslexia, and vice versa. And addressing only one condition – a common error – often results in subpar outcomes all around. If your child has both ADHD and dyslexia, it is important to understand the dynamic interplay between these conditions and how it affects the application of treatments and interventions.

12 Books for Kids and Tweens That Celebrate Neurodiverse Minds (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

September 28, 2022

Our bodies don’t come in neat, one-size-fits-all packages, so of course neither do our brains. Start to think outside the box with these titles for the tween and younger set that feature neurodivergent characters and celebrate the extensive ways our minds can come up with ideas, solve problems, and learn new things.

6 Strategies to Help Neurodiverse Students Fully Engage in Class (opens in a new window)


September 28, 2022

Neurodiversity can be seen in every classroom, but not every teacher incorporates the needs of neurodiverse students into their pedagogy. Our neurodiverse students are often great at hiding how overwhelmed they are in the classroom. As a neurodivergent teacher who has worked with neurodivergent students for many years, I’ve found that the following strategies help make sure these students feel less anxious and help them stay engaged in class. All of these strategies can be used and modified for K–12 students.

I overachieved to mask my ADHD. It’s common for women. (opens in a new window)

The Washington Post

September 25, 2022

Growing up, my undiagnosed ADHD symptoms made me feel like something inside was broken or disconnected. A diagnosis in my early 20s, along with the right medication to manage symptoms, improved my life significantly — so much so that I carried on believing I had finally been “fixed.” 

$2M contract expands access to free training to support students with autism, ADHD (opens in a new window)

K12 Dive

September 14, 2022

Parents and educators can access free, online training to support the executive functioning skills of elementary school students with autism or ADHD. Children’s Hospital Colorado teamed with Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., and The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland to pilot the online training and tele-support system for Unstuck and On Target, a program aimed at improving executive functioning skills such as flexible thinking, emotion regulation, planning and organization.

ASHA Recommendations for In-Person Instruction (opens in a new window)

Language Magazine

September 06, 2022

Many students with communication disorders were particularly affected by changes like virtual and hybrid learning that were implemented during the 2020–2021 school year due to the pandemic. As some of these children return to in-person instruction for the first time in more than a year, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends the following ways for families to help them prepare for a successful in-person school year and support recovery of communication, social, and learning skills.

The Benefits of Reflection for Students With Disabilities (opens in a new window)


August 29, 2022

Reflection is one of the most important and powerful skills for anyone to engage with, and it’s important for educators to introduce this concept to all students. Far too often, students with disabilities are not afforded the opportunity to learn about reflection and how it can help them succeed in school. Reflection encourages students to evaluate and understand their mistakes while supporting a growth mindset to develop either solutions or action plans to improve their skills in order to master a topic or standard.

22 Audiobooks Inspired by Fairy Tales and Mythology (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

August 29, 2022

For the latest audio roundup, we turn to titles inspired by fairy tales and mythology, each published in 2022. Rewriting, adapting, subverting the familiar has long been a popular literary trope—who can argue with universal appeal? Cinderella, especially, continues to be an evergreen favorite, appearing in multiple stories, often in surprising permutations. Read (and listen) on!

Keep an eye on your student’s mental health this back-to-school season (opens in a new window)


August 24, 2022

While the pandemic caused widespread disruption to learning, one of the biggest concerns, for students of all ages, has been how it has affected their mental health. High numbers of teenagers have reported persistently feeling sad or hopeless, and the Biden Administration has tried to make student mental health a priority. For parents concerned about how their students are handling the new school year, here are five suggestions mental health experts say can help them monitor their child’s mental health.

Texthelp CEO Martin McKay Talks Recent Dyslexia Study And ‘The State Of Learning’ For Students (opens in a new window)


August 24, 2022

Educational software maker Texthelp announced the results of a new study which looked at the current state of teaching dyslexic students. The goal of the study was to “identify common problems in student teaching and learning that could be addressed, and to help build better, more inclusive learning environments.” Nearly 50% of teachers surveyed said utilizing assistive technology is one of the best ways to help dyslexic students improve their literacy, along with reading and phonemic awareness. 

How Can Schools Help Students With Dyslexia? In California, Responses Are Far From Consistent (opens in a new window)


August 24, 2022

The California public education system’s approach to educating students with dyslexia is a study in contrasts. Some schools have made real strides in recent years to implement curricular and culture changes aimed at helping struggling readers and dyslexic students overcome their early difficulties before they fall too far behind. Yet in many schools, a lot of parents feel they must fight the system to get support for their kids, paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for tutoring services or private evaluations. Advocates say Sacramento’s reluctance to hand down clear mandates means some schools’ approaches to literacy instruction remain woefully out of date.

Inside the Massive Effort to Change the Way Kids Are Taught to Read (opens in a new window)


August 17, 2022

Literacy advocate Weaver is heading up a campaign to get his old school district in Oakland, CA to reinstate many of the methods that teachers resisted so strongly: specifically, systematic and consistent instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. Weaver and his co-petitioners—including civil rights, educational, and literacy groups—want schools to spend more time in the youngest grades teaching the sounds that make up words and the letters that represent those sounds. His petition is part of an enormous rethink of reading instruction that is sweeping the U.S.

NYC wants to change the way students learn to read. Here’s how. (opens in a new window)

Chalkbeat New York

August 15, 2022

Mayor Eric Adams has made literacy a priority, promising to overhaul reading instruction in New York City schools. Carolyne Quintana, the education department’s deputy chancellor for teaching and learning, shared some insights around the city’s push to incorporate more phonics in K-2 classrooms across the five boroughs, along with more training for teachers. Some smaller scale initiatives: Two new elementary school programs will target children with reading challenges including dyslexia, and about 160 elementary and middle schools will receive extra training on literacy strategies and different types of interventions for struggling readers. 

School Leaders With Disabilities: ‘It’s Important to Share That You’re Not Alone’ (opens in a new window)

Education Week

August 11, 2022

It’s an extremely personal decision for educators with disabilities to decide when to share their experiences and with whom. Some have kept their diagnoses private; others started talking about it publicly to help students and families. Some did so after their seeing their own children struggle to get appropriate resources and accommodations in K-12. Others believe that showing vulnerability builds trust. Winston Sakurai, a former school principal who was diagnosed with dyslexia as a college student, thinks broadly about the needs of students—not just those with disabilities—when policies are being developed. He’s constantly asking, “‘Is there something that we are missing that we can actually help the students with?’ ”

Students with Disabilities Often Overlooked in Gifted Programming (opens in a new window)

The 74

August 08, 2022

Gifted programming, already uneven across the country and prone to racial discrimination, has yet another blind spot: twice exceptional students. These advanced learners, who may also receive special education services, can languish academically, their skills overlooked. The same holds true for low-income children, students of color and those learning to speak English. 

Audiobooks Aren’t ‘Cheating.’ Here’s Why. (opens in a new window)


August 08, 2022

A new study from neuroscientists at the University of California-Berkeley found that whether you’re reading a story or listening to it, you’re activating the same parts of your brain. Delilah Orpi, a literary specialist who works with struggling readers and students with dyslexia, has been using audiobooks in her teaching for years. She says audiobooks and podcasts aren’t as passive as watching videos. That makes all the difference. “When listening to a book or podcast we must visualize what we hear and make a ‘mental movie’ much like we do as we read printed text,” she said. “Through visualizing we can comprehend and recall information. Listening to stories actually strengthens our comprehension skills.”

Choosing the Right Fidgets for Students With Sensory Needs (opens in a new window)


August 04, 2022

When working with students with sensory needs and difficulties focusing, fidgets can be a vital tool to help them stay engaged. Students with these needs can use these tools to burn off excess energy, reduce classroom anxiety, and energize their bodies to remain involved with the lesson. The key is to pick the right kind of fidget. They need to be quiet and low-tech and serve a purpose. The students also need to be taught the appropriate way to use them. The students must know that these are tools, not toys.

Colorado college student talks neurodiversity, mentorship, and advocacy (opens in a new window)

Chalkbeat Colorado

August 03, 2022

About 150 high school and college students with ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurodiversities are set to gather this week in Denver at a conference about mentorship, leadership, and advocacy. They’re involved with a national organization called Eye to Eye that trains older students with learning differences to mentor younger ones. Eye to Eye estimates that 20% of students have a learning difference.

What Is LETRS? Why One Training Is Dominating ‘Science of Reading’ Efforts (opens in a new window)

Education Week

July 27, 2022

As states and districts overhaul the way their schools teach reading, many are banking on one specific professional-learning program to propel this transformation: Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, commonly known as LETRS. A critical part of making large-scale changes to reading instruction is introducing teachers to research and new methods. That’s where professional learning comes in. LETRS instructs teachers in what literacy skills need to be taught, why, and how to plan to teach them. And it delves into the research base behind these recommendations.

Diagnosing ADHD Is Hard. Here’s What Teachers Need to Know (opens in a new window)

Education Week

July 14, 2022

An estimated 6.1 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. Millions more children with the disorder are surely left undiagnosed. Early intervention is so crucial for success down the road, at home and at school. It is important that teachers—who play a key observational role in ADHD assessments in a school setting—understand that many factors can play into a diagnosis and how racial, gender, and age biases can affect those factors. It is equally important that school systems provide educators additional support through more objective testing measures, many of which already exist.

Zoom-Based Program Links Young Students With One-on-One Reading Tutors — Right in Their Own Classrooms (opens in a new window)

The 74

July 13, 2022

When it comes to academic interventions, given a choice between technology and a human being, “we always choose a person,” says Megan Murphy, head of school at Circle City Prep in Indianapolis. That’s why this spring, instead of bringing in some sort of artificial intelligence app to help students learn to read, Murphy turned to an online resource that brings live tutors into her classrooms. Ignite! Reading trains its instructors — mainly college students working toward a teaching degree — using materials from the National Council on Teacher Quality. They are then paired with young students across the country to run daily 15-minute tutoring sessions via Zoom. 

Study: Dyslexia Is Not a Neurological Disorder But an Evolutionary Survival Trait (opens in a new window)


July 11, 2022

Dyslexia is not a neurological disorder or even an impairment, but rather a concession for having cognitive strengths in exploration, big-picture thinking, creativity, and problem-solving that have contributed to human survival amid changing environments. This insight comes from a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology that finds an association between the learning difference and “an explorative bias.” The researchers found that people with dyslexia (explorers) have strengths in experimentation, innovation, and searching for the unknown. In contrast, people without dyslexia (exploiters) have strengths in efficiency, refinement, selection, and in what is known. Researchers say that striking a balance between exploring new opportunities and exploiting the benefits of a particular choice is needed to ensure human survival.

How to Help Your Child With ADHD Navigate School (opens in a new window)

U.S. News and World Report

July 11, 2022

For children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, everyday school tasks like remembering the due dates of homework assignments or staying focused in the classroom can be a challenge. As children with ADHD grow older, their hyperactivity may decline. But clinical psychologist Russell Barkley says that deficits in their executive functions – for example, working memory and impulse control – typically become more evident. ADHD-diagnosed children also struggle to keep track of time and may even have difficulty forming close friendships. Whether a child has just started kindergarten or is going into high school, extra support from parents and educators can help. Here are a few of the ways parents can help children with ADHD succeed in school.

New Research Shows ADHD Medication Doesn’t Help Kids Learn (opens in a new window)

SciTech Daily

June 21, 2022

For decades, most doctors, parents, and teachers have believed that stimulant medications help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) learn. However, in the first study of its kind, scientists at the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University (FIU) found medication has no detectable impact on how much children with ADHD learn in the school classroom. While medication did not improve learning, the study showed that medication helped children complete more seatwork and improve their classroom behavior, as expected. This study was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and was funded by the National Institute on Mental Health.

Dyslexia School of Houston holds summer camp for students to make learning fun, promote ‘literacy for all’ (opens in a new window)

Fox26 Houston (TX)

June 21, 2022

Even though schools have closed, the learning continues through the Code Academy Dyslexia School of Houston’s Summer Literacy Camp, which kicked off June 6, 2022. The camp looks to provide personalized teaching sessions focused on reading, grammar, writing, and more. Each program includes a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, ensuring each child gets proper attention while preparing them for the Fall school year. 

‘All hands on deck’ to close widening reading gaps in elementary schools (opens in a new window)


June 16, 2022

Studies have shown that children are behind on their reading, and gaps predating the pandemic have only widened for Black and brown students, English learners and students with disabilities. But teachers don’t always have the time to work with students one-on-one, and many parents are busy and burnt out from pandemic reshuffling. To try to fill the gap, nonprofits are creating new and innovative programs to help kids catch up.

Balanced literacy & dyslexia (opens in a new window)

Scarsdale Inquirer (NY)

June 03, 2022

Imagine being a fourth grader who can’t read. Or parents fighting to get a dyslexia diagnosis and proper services for their child in school. This is a decades-old problem — according to parents of former and current students. And while school districts believe they are better equipped than ever before to address these issues, some disagree, pointing to what they see as inadequate approaches to teaching reading in elementary school.

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