The LD Source
Dec. 24, 2014

U.S. Department of Education releases results of new special education evaluation process
Education Week
From June 26: Fewer states are meeting requirements for serving students with disabilities now that the U.S. Department of Education is focusing less on compliance with voluminous rules and more on how well those students are being educated, the department said recently. The move toward what the department's office of special education is calling "results-driven accountability" began last year and has already had an effect. More

Report: Landmark ADHD study backed drugs over therapy at a cost
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
From Jan. 9: Many children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may have missed out on valuable counseling because of a widely touted study that concluded stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall were more effective for treating the disorder than medication plus behavioral therapies, experts say. That 20-year-old study, funded with $11 million from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, concluded that the medications outperformed a combination of stimulants plus skills-training therapy or therapy alone as a long-term treatment. More

What musicians can tell us about dyslexia and the brain
From Feb. 13: Dyslexia is a frustrating disorder that gives otherwise smart people trouble with reading. Nobody knows exactly what causes it, but one popular hypothesis is that the root of the problem is a deficit in the brain’s ability to process sounds, especially during childhood. Kids who have a hard time parsing all those talky sounds that grownups make also struggle to learn the connections between speech sounds and words on a page. And that's what causes the reading difficulties, or so the thinking goes. More

5 ways dyslexia can affect a child's social life
The National Center for Learning Disabilities
From May 15: Dyslexia makes reading and other language-based tasks difficult, but it can also affect your child's social skills. Here are five common social challenges your child with dyslexia may face — and ways you can help. More

Understanding the causes of dyslexia for effective intervention
From Oct. 30: For most of the 40-plus years the term "dyslexia" has been in existence — and although the diagnosis has long been considered a "learning disability" — it has been based on comparisons with average readers. Simply put, a child could be diagnosed with dyslexia if he or she shows an IQ in the "normal" range but falls at or below the 10th percentile on standardized reading tests. This cut-off has been arbitrary, often varying from district to district and based on Response to Intervention criteria. As a result, a child who falls at the 12th percentile might be considered a poor reader while a child at the 10th percentile would be diagnosed with dyslexia. More

Why recess is non-negotiable for ADHD kids
From Sept. 25: As if we needed more proof that taking away recess is a counterproductive punishment, a new study indicates that exercising every day can actually help ADHD children focus better in class. The study, recently published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, selected 202 children between the ages of 4 and 9 — about half of whom were "at risk" for ADHD. The students were randomly assigned to either 31 minutes of vigorous physical activity before school or 31 minutes of a sedentary classroom activity, like completing an art project. The study lasted for 12 weeks. More

Schools try shuffling schedules for success
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
From Nov. 20: 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. More

Understanding 'attention deficit' in dyslexics could help improve reading
Medical Xpress
From July 10: A new study from researchers in our Department of Psychology has revealed that understanding attention deficits in adults with dyslexia may help develop new techniques for reading and writing. Dyslexia is well known as a condition that impacts on visual language processing, but recently a number of studies have discovered that it is accompanied by deficits in attention and perception. As part of the study, just published online via the journal Neurocase, researchers monitored how adults with and without dyslexia responded to an "interference test." Their results revealed large differences in terms of attention deficits for adults with dyslexia. More

Study: Language problems common for kids with ADHD
HealthDay News via WebMD
From April 24: Children who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are nearly three times more likely to have language problems than kids without ADHD, according to new research. And those language difficulties can have far-reaching academic consequences, the study found. The study, published online April 21 in Pediatrics, looked at 6- to 8-year-olds with and without ADHD in Australia. "We found that 40 percent of children in the ADHD group had language problems, compared to 17 percent of children in the 'control' group," said Emma Sciberras, a clinical psychologist and post-doctoral research fellow at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Victoria, Australia. "Rates of language problems were similar in boys and girls with ADHD," she added. More

Is e-reading to your toddler story time, or simply screen time?
The New York Times
From Oct. 16: Clifford the Big Red Dog looks fabulous on an iPad. He sounds good, too — tap the screen and hear him pant as a blue truck roars into the frame. "Go, truck, go!" cheers the narrator. But does this count as story time? Or is it just screen time for babies? It is a question that parents, pediatricians and researchers are struggling to answer as children's books, just like all the other ones, migrate to digital media. More