Friday, April 19th, 2013
Erika Brannock, Maryland Teacher, Loses Leg In Boston Marathon Explosions
After two days of heavy sedation, Erika Brannock awoke Wednesday morning in her hospital bed to dramatic and gruesome news: Her left leg had been amputated below the knee, the only medical option for a team of surgeons handling traumatic injuries from the Boston Marathon bombings. (via Huffington Post)
Supporting Schools to Improve the Educational Outcomes of Emergent Bilinguals
The CUNY-NYSIEB project is one force that supports this shift from seeing bilingualism as a barrier to academic achievement to using students’ bilingualism as the essential element in their academic success. (via Huffington Post)
Child’s Counting Comprehension May Depend On Objects Counted, Study Shows
Concrete objects — such as toys, tiles and blocks — that students can touch and move around, called manipulatives, have been used to teach basic math skills since the 1980s. Use of manipulatives is based on the long-held belief that young children’s thinking is strictly concrete in nature, so concrete objects are assumed to help them learn math concepts. (via Science Daily)
Learning Disabilities Affect Up to 10 Percent of Children
Up to 10 per cent of the population are affected by specific learning disabilities (SLDs), such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and autism, translating to 2 or 3 pupils in every classroom, according to a new article. (via Science Daily)
Negative views tied to child maltreatment
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Mothers-to-be who believe infants dirty their diapers to bother their parents or purposefully ignore their mothers may be more likely to abuse or neglect their young children, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Monday, April 1st, 2013
Editor’s Note: This post is courtesy of National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring success for all individuals with learning disabilities.
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are intended to help children with learning disabilities and special education needs reach educational goals more easily, but they’re often a mystery to parents. A recent study found that schools nationwide could do more to explain the IEP process, which are a federal right of every student. Below are 4 pointers on how to start the IEP process:
Make a Request In Writing: A comment or request made verbally in passing to a teacher or school administrator technically didn’t happen. Remember always to place requests for an IEP evaluation or changes to your child’s current IEP in writing, whether by email or letter. Notify the school administrator in charge of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in your school district.
Know Your Rights: After you’ve submitted an IEP evaluation letter of request, every school district nationwide is required by law, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to respond within 10 business (or school) days. The school must provide you with written documentation explaining (1) the parents’ need for consent to conduct an educational evaluation’ (2) how the a determination of eligibility will be made; (3) the documentation needed to identify the existence of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD); and (4) confirmation that parents are invited to participate in the IEP process.
Be Patient: Your child’s school has 60 business days to complete the evaluation, which includes an interview with parents, a conference with the student, observations of the student, and analysis of the student’s performance (attention, behavior, work completion, tests, class work, homework, etc.). Legally the CSE (or IEP team) must include “you” the parent, plus at least one general educator teacher (even if your child is in one general education class) and one special education teacher in the meeting.
Speak Up: The IEP team is charged with developing, reviewing, and revising your child’s IEP at least once a year by law and more often if you are dissatisfied with your child’s lack of progress. If you’re not satisfied, speak up (and write emails or letters) as often as you need in order to get results! Remember that you are an equal partner with the school in the IEP process, and the IEP document is intended as a flexible, but binding, agreement that guides everyone involved to ensure the highest quality instruction and free ,educational services in the least restrictive environment.
For more resources on IEPs from NCLD.org, check out Tips For A Successful IEP Meeting, Why And How To Read Your Child’s IEP, and IEP Meeting Conversation Stoppers.
Image: Concentrated school children being occupied with a task via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
Ellen Seidman, who blogs over at To the Max, recently consulted an expert at the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) to clear up misconceptions and confusion about learning disabilities. According to NCLD, 15-20% of the U.S. population has a learning disability, a general term for those who may have difficulty learning for any reason.
Recently, NCLD also released results for a survey they conducted — about 2,000 American adults were asked for their views on learning disabilities. NCLD found that a high number of adults lacked basic understanding of different types of learning disabilities beyond dyslexia. Instead, most adults associated learning disabilities like dysgraphia (difficulty with handwriting), dyscalculia (difficulty with math), and dyspraxia (difficulty with motor skill development) with an autism spectrum disorder, an inability to make emotional connections, and an anxiety disorder, respectively. Some surprising survey results included:
- Over 66% of parents want more information about learning disabilities than schools currently provide.
- 55% of Americans wrongly believe that corrective eyewear can treat certain learning disabilities.
- 22% incorrectly believe learning disabilities can be caused by too much screen time; 31% believe a cause is poor diet; 24% believe a cause is childhood vaccinations.
Learn more about the survey results from the infographic below. All information is provided by NCLD.org.
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