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 Top Stories

The worst victims of the education sequester: Special needs students and poor kids
The Atlantic
The sequester's guillotine has little regard for good or bad programs as it unselectively slices spending across the country, but perhaps nowhere does its indiscriminate blade fall more harshly than within education. The students who will lose out will be the ones we should be most careful to protect: children from poor families and special needs kids. Federal funding for education will be slashed by 5.1 percent, until Congress can agree on a new budget. Though the federal government only makes up about 10 percent of the total education spending, this share is significant in every town budget.
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Plastics chemical bisphenol A may harm brain development
Environmental News Service
Environmental exposure to bisphenol A, a chemical found in plastics and resins, may suppress a gene vital to nerve cell function and to the development of the central nervous system, finds new research led by scientists at Duke Medicine. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study investigated the effects of BPA on the cortical neurons of mice, rats and humans. Cortical neurons are the cells of the brain's largest region, the cerebral cortex. Most of the complex activity of the brain enabling thought, perception and voluntary movement is made possible by the activity of these neurons.
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Dyslexia linked to brain's inconsistency with encoding sound
Northwestern University via Psych Central
Researchers from Northwestern University report that they have found a biological mechanism that appears to play a vital role in learning to read. This finding provides significant clues into the workings behind dyslexia — a collection of impairments unrelated to intelligence, hearing or vision that makes learning to read a struggle. As many as 1 in 10 children is estimated to suffer from this disorder.
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 In the News


Doctors: Be cautious of mind-altering drugs for kids
Reuters
Doctors warn about the ethical and medical implications of prescribing attention-boosting and mood-altering medications to healthy kids and teens, in a new statement from the American Academy of Neurology. Focusing on stimulants typically used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, researchers said the number of diagnoses and prescriptions have risen dramatically over the past two decades. Young people with the disorder clearly benefit from treatment, lead author Dr. William Graf emphasized, but the medicines are increasingly being used by healthy youth who believe they will enhance their concentration and performance in school.
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Overcoming reading problems: How can we stlil raed words wehn teh lettres are jmbuled up?
Medical News Today
Researchers in the U.K. have taken an important step towards understanding how the human brain 'decodes' letters on a page to read a word. The work, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, will help psychologists unravel the subtle thinking mechanisms involved in reading, and could provide solutions for helping people who find it difficult to read, for example in conditions such as dyslexia.
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Aggression a struggle for 1 in 2 with autism
Disability Scoop
More than half of kids and adolescents with autism are physically aggressive and new research suggests that sleep, sensory and other underlying issues may be responsible for the behaviors. In a study of 1,584 children with autism ages 2 to 17, researchers report this month in the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders that about 53 percent were aggressive.
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Resources for special education and the Common Core
Education Week
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of the two consortia tasked with creating tests for the Common Core State Standards, has released a list of resources for special educators who want to learn more about how the education standards may affect children with disabilities. The list is not comprehensive, but it offers a good general overview, with links to basic information on the common core as well as lesson ideas and other tools. The education standards have been adopted by all but four states.
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Newtown, Conn., children remain scared as school tries to move on from Sandy Hook shooting
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
They relocated the entire student body to a new school unstained by blood. They brought in counselors to soothe shattered nerves, and parents to comfort the distraught. But authorities know they cannot erase the lingering effects of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School — students and faculty members still on edge, still traumatized by the sounds of gunshots and by the horrors they survived. In the new school building in the neighboring town of Monroe, Conn., police remain a presence. Signs ask people to close doors softly and not to drag objects across the floor.
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Controlling pesticide exposure in children
Medical News Today
New research on household pesticide contamination emphasizes the need for less reliance on pesticides and more emphasis on neatness, blocking cracks where insects can enter and other so-called "integrated pest management" measures, scientists have concluded. Their study appears in the ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology. Chensheng Lu and colleagues cite previous studies showing that urban, low-income, multifamily, public housing dwellings are prone to severe pest infestation problems. Families in Boston public housing developments, for instance, rank pest infestation, pesticide use and pest allergies second only to crime as matters of concern.
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Dancer bipartisan dyslexia bills clear New Jersey committee
Politicker NJ
A package of bipartisan bills sponsored by New Jersey Assemblyman Ron Dancer that would require professional development instruction and opportunities for public school teachers to assist students who have reading disabilities, such as dyslexia, has been released by the Assembly Education Committee. The committee also approved a resolution sponsored by Dancer that urges the New Jersey Board of Education to develop an endorsement to the instructional certificate for teachers of students with reading disabilities, including dyslexia.
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Children with autism at greater risk for suicide
MyHealthNewsDaily
Children who have autism may be at greater risk for thinking about or attempting suicide than children without the condition, according to a new study. Researchers looked at data for about 1,000 children, including 791 kids with an autism spectrum disorder, 186 non-autistic children without a mental condition and 35 non-autistic children with depression. Parents gave numerical ratings describing whether and how frequently their children had contemplated or attempted suicide.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Are grading trends hurting socially awkward kids? (The Atlantic)
How hearing skills could be key to treating dyslexia (The Globe and Mail)
Closer personal relationships could help teens overcome learning disabilities (Science Daily)
Student writes book on struggles with dyslexia (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Nurturing the next Van Gogh? Start with small steps (MindShift )

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Kentucky schools preparing for new rules governing the restraint or seclusion of unruly students
Kentucky.com
Kentucky's public school districts are gearing up for a new state regulation that specifies how and when educators can restrain or isolate students who are unruly. The regulation, which went into effect Feb. 1, allows students to be physically restrained — preventing students from moving torso, arms, legs or head — or placed in a secluded area away from classmates only to protect them from hurting themselves or others. It also bans the use of physical restraint or seclusion as student punishment. Students can be restrained for intentionally destroying property.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
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Dyslexia linked to brain's inconsistency with encoding sound
Northwestern University via Psych Central
Researchers from Northwestern University report that they have found a biological mechanism that appears to play a vital role in learning to read. This finding provides significant clues into the workings behind dyslexia — a collection of impairments unrelated to intelligence, hearing or vision that makes learning to read a struggle.

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read more
Are grading trends hurting socially awkward kids?
The Atlantic
Children have long been graded not just for academics, but also for elements of "character" — particularly behavior and emotional maturity. However, in the last few decades, socially eccentric children have seen their awkwardness or aloofness factored into their grades in math, language arts and social studies.

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How hearing skills could be key to treating dyslexia
The Globe and Mail
Reading may seem like a visual skill, but according to new research on dyslexia, children who excel at reading tend to be all ears. Their brains process the sounds of speech in a more consistent way than those who struggle to read, scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago have found.

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Pennsylvania House passes bill to overhaul special education funding formula
The Patriot News
The Pennsylvania House passed legislation that would establish a 15-member commission to develop a special education funding formula to replace the existing one that is decades old. The legislation, which passed 193-0, calls for the formula to factor in costs of providing services to students with special needs. It would separate the cost of services into three categories ranging from least intensive to most intensive.
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Study presents new method of measuring avoidance behavior in young children
The Medical News
Children who avoid situations they find scary are likely to have anxiety a Mayo Clinic study of more than 800 children ages 7 to 18 found. The study published this month in Behavior Therapy presents a new method of measuring avoidance behavior in young children. The researchers developed two eight-question surveys: the Children's Avoidance Measure Parent Report and the Children's Avoidance Measure Self Report.
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Teacher's 'reverse inclusion' club brings typical students into special needs classes
The Plain Dealer
A Kenston High School in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, teacher has designed a popular school club and class that has turned out to be anything but typical. It began last school year when special education teacher Amanda Englehart began the Creating Exceptional Character club, a local chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children, a national organization devoted to special education. The club brought typical students into classrooms after school to work with students with special needs.
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THE LD SOURCE

LDA does not recommend or endorse any one specific diagnostic or therapeutic regime, whether it is educational, psychological or medical. The viewpoints expressed in THE LD SOURCE are those of the authors and advertisers.

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