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Navigating special education disputes in schools
District Administration Magazine
Given the increase in students diagnosed with disabilities and the costs involved in serving them, district leaders who want to provide the proper instruction and care, and avoid costly litigation, must stay abreast of the law. About 1 in 6 students are now diagnosed with a developmental disability, according to a 2011 study in the journal Pediatrics — a 17 percent increase between 1997 and 2008. And prevalence of autism increased nearly 290 percent during that time, the study found. Best practices for avoiding adversarial relationships between school districts and parents are presented.
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Sequestration cuts sting, say Impact Aid districts
Education Week
As Congress struggles to pass a budget stopgap measure, advocates are stepping up their fight against sequestration — the series of across-the-board cuts to federal programs that hit last March and are slated to stay in place for a decade unless Brokedown Congress acts. The districts hardest hit by these cuts? The roughly 1,200 that receive federal Impact Aid. Those are typically districts that lose out on tax revenue thanks to a federal presence, such as a nearby military base or Native American reservation.
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Good talk: Raising smart learners through rich conversations
When it comes to children's learning, are we focusing too much on schools — and not enough on parents? "There is, quite rightly, a cacophonous debate on how to reform schools, open up colleges, and widen access to pre-K learning," notes a new article, "Parenting, Politics, and Social Mobility," published by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "But too little attention is paid to another divide affecting social mobility — the parenting gap."
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 In the News

What does the possible government shutdown mean for schools?
Education Week
Brokedown Congress appears likely to spend the weekend attempting to keep the government from shutting down and the U.S. from defaulting on its debt. The sticking point this time isn't schools. Instead, education is getting caught in the crosshairs. Republicans want to defund, or at least delay implementation of, the president's landmark health care overhaul law (the Affordable Care Act to its fans and "ObamaCare" to its critics).
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Senator wants more young people with disabilities working
Disability Scoop
A key U.S. senator is pressing for a quarter-million more young people with disabilities to be employed by 2015. In a new report, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, says that public and private sectors should come together to grow the number of young workers with disabilities by 250,000 in the next three years. "The enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 23 years ago, helped grant the promise of equality to Americans with disabilities. But today, more work remains to be done to knock down one of the last remaining barriers — the gap in workforce participation that exists for millions of young adults," Harkin said.
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Raising a reader: Learning empathy
Psychology Today
The family and educator's work in helping a child build empathy to others cannot be underestimated as key to not only that child's outcomes, but the outcomes of a peaceful society overall. Conversations and proposed solutions abound for the end to bullying in our schools. Programs are presented. The children may be given "trainings" and "preventions."
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Clinician observations of preschoolers' behavior help to predict ADHD at school age
Medical Xpress
Don't rely on one source of information about your preschoolers' inattention or hyperactivity. Rather, consider how your child behaves at home as well as information from his or her teacher and a clinician. This advice comes from Sarah O'Neill, of The City College of New York, based on research she conducted at Queens College, in an article published in Springer's Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. The study examines how well parent, teacher and clinician ratings of preschoolers' behavior are able to predict severity and diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at age six.
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In logging bill, schools face short-term costs, long-term lifeline
Education Week
A new logging bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives means rural schools in timber-rich areas likely would see cuts to their education funding, but education advocates still supported the measure because it offered a long-term funding solution for those schools. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act has given rural communities in national forest areas federal money to compensate for revenue lost because of restrictions on harvesting timber. School districts have relied on that money for decades, but the legislation expired last year. It was reauthorized last summer for one year, and this site gives a state-by-state breakdown of the funding (Oregon leads the pack with $63 million, followed by California at $35.8 million).
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Kids yoga may help relieve ADHD (The Huffington Post)
E-readers can make reading easier for those with dyslexia (Smithsonian via Science Daily)
Federal funding targets technology for students with disabilities (THE Journal)
In push for Common Core, many parents left uneducated (NPR)
Dyslexia really a form of creative genius? (Las Vegas Guardian Express)

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

Schools need to teach students to maintain attention, not cater to short-attention spans
Slate (commentary)
Barry Schwartz, a contributor for Slate, writes: "There is no doubt that 'diminished attention' is a correct diagnosis of the intellectual temperament of our age. I see it to a greater degree each year even in the students I teach, who are among the very best that our high schools have to offer. But how to treat it? Again and again, we are told in this information-overloaded digital age, complex and subtle arguments just won't hold the reader's or viewer's attention. If you can't keep it simple and punchy, you'll lose your audience. What's the point of having a New York Times article about the U.S. stance toward the Syria that continues on an inside page if nobody is going to turn to the inside page?"
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October is ADHD Awareness Month
Psych Central
So now that you know, what will you do to learn more about ADHD? To follow through on that nagging feeling that maybe you should look into this for yourself? To sit down and take stock of your ADHD treatment to see if there's an area that needs tweaking?

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Dyslexia in the classroom
Everyday Health
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, affecting one out of every five children. Most people who have it are never formally diagnosed. It's an invisible problem that makes school incredibly challenging for millions of children, many of whom aren't getting the services and support they need.

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Study: MRI might allow earlier diagnosis of dyslexia
HealthDay News
Brain scans may help diagnose people with the common reading disorder dyslexia, a new study reveals. MRI scans in 40 kindergarten children revealed a link between poor pre-reading skills and the size of a structure that connects two language-processing areas in the brain, the researchers said.

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The summer learning backslide: Does your child lose skills?
Psychology Today
Across America, students from kindergarten to 12th grade are back to school. While teachers and students alike will miss their summer freedom, teachers most lament the loss of skills students had mastered just a few short months earlier. It's as if too much time on the waterslide resulted in a learning backslide. The old adage says, "Use it, or lose it," and research supports this wisdom as it applies to the loss of student skills over summer break.
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Should we carry out mental health screening on schoolchildren?
Medical News Today
On, a visiting scholar at the Feinberg School of Medicine suggests that mental health screening is carried out in primary schools to enable early identification and potentially save money. In a personal view, Dr. Simon Williams agrees with a recent BMJ study which suggests that further research of cognitive behavioral therapy programs in schools is required. He also believes that school is the most appropriate setting for the identification of mental health problems in younger children. He says there are "great benefits to be had from the provision of routine mental health checks for all schoolchildren" and a "more standardized approach would be more equitable and effective."
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16 engaging homework help resources
eSchool News
With school back in session, curriculum directors, teachers and students are eager to begin the new school year armed with tools for learning in the classroom and mastering concepts at home. Homework help resources can aid students and parents as they work through math assignments, craft essays and more.
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$4.6 million in grants awarded for research projects aimed at helping improve lives of people with disabilities
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of more than $4.6 million in grants to five institutions for research projects aimed at helping improve the lives of people with disabilities. The grants are being awarded under the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers Program. The recipients will conduct programs of advanced research of an engineering or technical nature designed to apply technology, scientific achievement and psychological and social knowledge to solve rehabilitation problems and remove environmental barriers.
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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 Sasser, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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