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A Different Approach Makes All The Difference

Educating children with Language Learning Disabilities and Learning Differences


 Top Stories

Schools try shuffling schedules for success
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
For years, schools have grappled with how to help pupils who are struggling the most catch up to their classmates. In many cases, holding them back to repeat a grade hasn't worked. Neither has social promotion — allowing children to move to the next grade with their classmates, where they may fall further behind. So what would it take to get a pupil the needed help without the stigma of repeating a grade? Two schools in the Pattonville School District are shaking up schedules and class structures in an effort to find out.
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Growing up with ADHD
With her long dark hair flying, Saorla Meenagh, 10, can execute a perfect switch leap, one leg out, one tucked under, her arms glued to her sides in classic Irish step-dancing style. Saorla, whose blue eyes, white skin, and sprinkle of freckles helped win her a modeling contract with a New York agency — on hold until her braces come off — also plays softball and Gaelic football, a soccer-like game her father, Seamus, a contractor, enjoyed when he was growing up in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ADHD.

Study: Nagging parents to help their kids learn to read works
The children of wealthy parents hear millions more words in their first years of life than the children of low-income ones. That creates a vocabulary gap that never really closes: poor children lag behind in literacy from their first day of school. Researchers are looking at a low-cost way to help: sending three text messages a week to parents of pre-K students, at a cost of about $1 per family. And they have some early evidence that this program, which suggests easy ways to help kids pick up literacy skills, can work.
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  "ACHIEVE" it all at SIU!

Thinking about college? Do you struggle with learning difficulties or organizational skills? The Achieve Program provides comprehensive academic support for college students with learning disabilities, autism, and ADHD. Call us at 618-453-6155 or visit our website at to discover how Achieve can help you!

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.

 In the News

Approach to fractions seen as key shift in Common Core Standards
Education Week
For many elementary teachers, fractions have traditionally sprung to mind lessons involving pizzas, pies, and chocolate bars, among other varieties of "wholes" that can be shared. But in what many experts are calling one of the biggest shifts associated with the Common Core State Standards for mathematics, more teachers are now being asked to emphasize fractions as points on a number line, rather than just parts of a whole, to underscore their relationships to integers.
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New NCLB waiver guidance from Department of Education
U.S. News & World Report
The Department of Education is letting states apply to renew their waivers from No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush's landmark education reform law, for three and in some cases four more years, but they'll have to do more to show they're turning around low-performing schools and closing student achievement gaps.
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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

The font that could help dyslexics read better
CBS News
If you have dyslexia, learning basic reading, writing, and language skills can be a life-long struggle and a source of frustration. Dutch designer Christian Boer has stepped in to help dyslexic people by creating a specific typeface called Dyslexie that may make it easier to read. Boer, a graduate of Utrecht Art Academy, was inspired to create the typeface by his own struggles with dyslexia. The font looks a lot like a typical typeface, but is designed so that the difference between each character is more pronounced.
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How bullying may physically alter our developing brains
By: Dorothy L. Tengler
It's no mystery that the brain develops before birth and continues throughout adulthood. But we may not have considered that brain development is analogous to building a house: laying the foundation, framing the rooms and installing electrical wiring. Obviously, laying a solid foundation builds a strong brain structure, while a weak foundation creates a faulty structure. At birth, we are born with billions of neurons, the same number as adults. These specialized cells have to be connected or "wired" to form circuits to control different functions from basic to biological ones.
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Curiosity in young learners is the foundation of academic success
The Atlantic
Kids begin building the foundations for academic learning at an early age. In her Atlantic article, Alexandra Ossola explores how preschool children are beginning to make meaning out of the world around them, which translates into the ability down the line to grasp complicated math and science concepts.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Air pollution linked to rising ADHD cases (The Weather Channel)
New one-to-one initiative transforms special education (eSchool News)
GOP leaders in Congress outline education priorities (Education Week)
Just 4 minutes of fun exercise improves learning and behavior in the classroom (Medical News Today)
States listen as parents give rampant testing an F (The New York Times)

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

Feds: Schools must offer communication supports
Disability Scoop
The Obama administration is reminding schools of their wide-ranging responsibilities to students with disabilities who struggle with speech and other communication difficulties. In a guidance issued, federal officials said the nation's public schools have obligations under three separate laws to "ensure that communication with students with hearing, vision and speech disabilities is as effective as communication with all other students." While requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act vary, schools must comply with all three laws to meet individual needs.
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School environment affects teacher expectations of their students
University de Montreal via Science Daily
The school environment in which teachers work is related to their expectations of students, according to a new study. "It is known that low teacher expectations are negatively associated with student achievement and school effectiveness. While we know that expectations are primarily determined by the specific characteristics of teachers, we have shown that the school environment also plays a determining role," says the lead author of the study.
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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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