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Educational accommodations for learning disabilities and mental illness
Psychology Today
For parents of children struggling with mental illnesses or learning disabilities, the return to school can be cause for panic. Parents of children with special needs frequently find that standard classrooms aren't equipped to meet those needs. This is where parents come in. It's your job to be a strong advocate for your child's rights, and understanding the basics of the various laws that protect children with special needs is a prerequisite to being a strong advocate for your child. Schools don't always do a good job of educating parents about their children's rights, and a few schools may even actively ignore the law. Knowledge is power, and if you are the parent of a special needs child, you need to know that your child is entitled to a quality education and reasonable disability accommodations.
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Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of THE LD SOURCE, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of LDA and/or reader of THE LD SOURCE, your knowledge of learning disabilities and related issues lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.

An hour of after-school exercise linked to better cognitive functioning
Medical News Today
A new study finds that at least 60 minutes of physical activity after school every day is not only beneficial for children's physical health, but it may also improve their cognitive functioning. The research team, led by Prof. Charles Hillman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, publish their findings in the journal Pediatrics. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children and adolescents aged 6-17 years engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. But last year, a survey of high school students found that only 29 percent had met this recommendation within the last 7 days.
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School spending decisions: Are you getting the best value for dollars spent?
District Administration Magazine
Student achievement, teacher quality, school safety, 21st century teaching and learning — these are but a glimpse into the areas of need each administrator must consider when making school spending decisions. Add to each of these spending decisions the impact of student productivity, and your efficiency and financial anxiety might increase. As the 2014-2015 school year heads into full swing, are you left wondering how to spend your tight budget on the right things?
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Study: ADHD can hamper school performance as early as 2nd grade
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can harm a child's academic performance and social skills as early as the second grade, a new Australian study contends. Children between 6 and 8 years old who were tested and scored high for ADHD symptoms were more likely to get lower grades in elementary school and have trouble fitting in with other kids, compared with children without ADHD, the study authors reported. Kids with ADHD also were more likely to have other mental health or developmental disorders, including anxiety, depression and autism, according to the study.
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  Phonics Approach & Tools Build Accuracy

With Go Phonics confidence soars as struggling/dyslexic beginning readers get the prep to build reading fluency and accuracy: 50 phonics games, worksheets, and over 90 decodable stories. Orton-Gillingham based explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics lessons steer the course, applying skills in reading, spelling, comprehension, language arts... Sample Lessons/Overview download:

 In the News

Common Core assessment group revises testing time
Education Week
The PARCC testing consortium has announced that schools will need to schedule about 10 hours of testing time this spring for elementary school students, and nearly 11 hours or more for middle and high school students. Recently released, the new time projections are higher than the estimates that PARCC issued in March of 2013: eight to 10 hours of testing. But that's because the earlier figures reflected something different: the amount of time "typical" students would need to complete the English/language arts and mathematics tests.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword READING.

MRI research at UCSF could help diagnose dyslexia even earlier in children
For many, the word dyslexia represents painful struggles with reading and speech that impact their self-confidence — 20 percent of school-aged children and over 40 million adults in the U.S. are dyslexic. Dyslexics are often very intelligent and can learn successfully with appropriate teaching methods, but early diagnosis and intervention are critical. UC San Francisco researchers in the Dyslexia Program aim to predict whether children will develop dyslexia before they show signs of reading and speech problems, so early intervention can improve their quality of life.
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  Student-Paced, Mastery-Based Math

Since 2004, Math-U-See has worked with intervention and special education teachers to reach struggling special needs math students. Math-U-See corresponds to math ability rather than traditional grade levels, so it can be used with students of any age. We provide tools and training for an explicit, structured, systematic, cumulative program using multi-sensory teaching techniques. MORE

Due process hearings on decline
Disability Scoop
Fewer special education disputes between parents and school districts are escalating to due process hearings, a new government report finds. The number of due process hearings nationwide declined from over 7,000 during the 2004-2005 school year to 2,262 by the 2011-2012 academic year, according to a review released Wednesday from the Government Accountability Office. The shift was largely due to "steep declines" in New York, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. — locations which accounted for over 80 percent of the nation's hearings — the report indicated.
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Study: Deeper learning approach shows positive student gains
THE Journal
The idea that students need to develop a deeper understanding of content and the ability to apply what they learn in one area to another area are major premises of new learning standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. A new study now shows that schools promoting the practices of what's called "deeper learning" are getting better results from their students. For example, those students are more likely to graduate on time, are more likely to attend four-year colleges and achieve higher test scores.
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Flippin schools implement dyslexia intervention
The Baxter Bulletin
"I know you're smarter than this." "Why aren't you trying?" "You just have to do this." This criticism stems from teachers and parents who pull their kids aside in the midst of another homework session. Frustration ensues between the child and the adult. The problem may not lie in the student's work ethic, it may not lie in the teacher's ability, nor the parent's guidance. No one is to blame because what the child may be experiencing is a brain-processing problem. Making sense of the reading, the letters or the sounds could pose a challenge for anyone who shows markers for dyslexia, a language-based disorder.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Why recess is non-negotiable for ADHD kids (ADDitude)
Is the resource room a waste of time? (By: Pamela Hill)
Lessening school assessment stress (District Administration Magazine)
Top 15 states for education (Deseret News)
Why girls get better grades than boys do (The Atlantic)

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

To best serve their students, schools need to be realistic about their special-ed capacity
Chalkbeat New York
A group of eighth-grade teachers sat down to review a student's data in preparation for an upcoming meeting. The student was reading at approximately a third-grade level. She struggled with determining the sounds and meaning of even basic words, and it was clear she could benefit from practice in phonics and fluency.
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Study: Lack of sleep increases risk of failure in school
Medical News Today
A new Swedish study shows that adolescents who suffer from sleep disturbance or habitual short sleep duration are less likely to succeed academically compared to those who enjoy a good night's sleep. The results have recently been published in the journal Sleep Medicine. In a new study involving more than 20,000 adolescents aged between 12 and 19 from Uppsala County, researchers from Uppsala University demonstrate that reports of sleep disturbance and habitual short sleep duration (less than 7 hours per day) increased the risk of failure in school.
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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.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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