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A Different Approach Makes All The Difference

Educating children with Language Learning Disabilities and Learning Differences


 Top Stories

Groups ready for next IDEA update as 2004 law turns 10
SpecialEdConnection via LDA
As IDEA 2004 turns 10 years old Dec. 3 and a new Congress readies for work in January, special education and disability groups are preparing for the next reauthorization of the law. By gathering feedback from members and discussing priorities for changing the law, these groups hope their proposals are included in new legislation should the 114th Congress put an IDEA rewrite on the agenda. "We want to be prepared to have deep discussions with Capitol Hill staff," said Myrna Mandlawitz, policy director for Learning Disabilities Association of America.

*Reprinted with permission from: SpecialEdConnection® Copyright © 2014 by LRP Publications, 360 Hiatt Drive, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418. All rights reserved. For more information on this or other products published by LRP Publications, please call 1-800-341-7874 or visit our website at
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Instructional issues affecting the development of reading skills
By: Dale King
There is often a long and winding road to reading success for students with learning disabilities. Competent teachers of reading know and understand the five components of reading, why each needs to be explicitly addressed in instruction in a systematic and sequential manner, and how to provide these types of instruction while both encouraging and monitoring a student's progress. In addition, instruction needs to be ongoing and scheduled frequently enough to foster learning.
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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.

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 In the News

What does Congress's budget squabble mean for education?
Education Week
If you've been paying attention to Congress this week, you've probably noticed lawmakers feverishly trying to come to an agreement about how to avert a government shut-down, which could occur Dec. 11 when the current stop-gap measure that's financing the U.S. Department of Education is set to expire. Readers of Politics K-12 know this fiscal scramble all too well. Because of across-the-aisle and intraparty bickering, it's been years since Congress funded the government under the normal appropriations process by passing 12 separate agency funding bills. And this year proved no different.
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Should teachers know a child takes ADHD meds?
The News Journal
Jonathan Moore's class notes look a little different from the rest of his peers. He doesn't like using bullet points, numbering or flow charts. Instead, the 14-year-old seventh grader gets creative, sketching a picture of how lessons unfold before him. Sometimes, the teacher and blackboard with lesson are all included. In a recent class about the Declaration of Independence, he drew a partial metal skull, bloodshot eye and declaration all on one page. Jonathan says he got an A on the test on that material.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ADHD.

The common misconception that leaves many girls with ADHD untreated
The Huffington Post
According to a new survey, 50 percent of mothers of daughters diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder thought their child's behavior was part of "normal" adolescent development and struggles before they eventually sought help. The nationally representative survey of 1,883 people was conducted by Edelman Berland and fielded by Harris Interactive. Researchers looked at tween girls with ADHD ages 8 to 14, as well as mothers, adult women with ADHD, teachers and healthcare professionals, in order to examine the awareness around girls with ADHD.
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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

School district standing up to dyslexia
The Messenger-Gazette
Bridgewater-Raritan, New Jersey, school district puts 80,000 audiobooks in the hands of struggling students. Poor testing, difficulty sustaining attention, confused by letters, numbers and words ... Dyslexia. It's one of a host of reading disabilities one in every five students face each day as they go to class. Now, more than 500 students across all 11 schools in the Bridgewater-Raritan school district — through a partnership with Princeton based national nonprofit Learning Ally — have access to a tool that is changing the game for these struggling readers.
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What every school can learn from preschools
Listening. Sharing. Following directions. Making friends. Managing big emotions. Planning for the future. A high-quality preschool program helps children develop in all these ways. But, a new report argues, such matters of the heart shouldn't be left behind just as students are learning to tie their shoes. Melissa Tooley and Laura Bornfreund of the New America Foundation write that schools should focus on these same skills, habits, attitudes, and mindsets with older kids. They say research shows they're just as important as academics.
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A therapist goes to middle school and tries to sit still and focus. She can't. Neither can the kids.
The Washington Post (commentary)
Angela Hanscom, a contributor for The Washington Post, writes: "Except for brief periods of getting up and switching classrooms, I've been sitting for the past 90 excruciating minutes. I look down at my leg and notice it is bouncing. Great, I think to myself, now I'm fidgeting! I'm doing anything I can to pay attention — even contorting my body into awkward positions to keep from daydreaming. It is useless, I checked out about forty-five minutes ago. I'm no longer registering anything the teacher is saying. I look around the room to see how the children a few decades younger than me are doing."
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    What does the Common Core mean for special education? (District Administration Magazine)
No Child Left Behind gets renewed focus (The Associated Press via Yahoo News)
The downside of resilience (The New York Times)
Inclusion Corner: The art of co-teaching (By: Savanna Flakes)
3 lessons from data on children's reading habits (The Hechinger Report)

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

Adolescence and homework
Psychology Today
Although often starting in the elementary grades, homework becomes more seriously given and seriously taken in middle school, when early adolescents start having a lot of other growing concerns on their minds and generally become less welcoming of bringing study obligations home. At an age when there is more resistance to work, more school work is assigned.
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How dissecting a pencil can ignite curiosity and wonderment
Can the act of making or designing something help kids feel like they have agency over the objects and systems in their lives? That's the main question a group of researchers at Project Zero, a research group out of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, are tackling alongside classroom-based teachers in Oakland, California. In an evolving process, researchers are testing out activities they've designed to help students to look more closely, explain more deeply and take on opportunities to change things they see around them.
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Sensory rooms gaining in popularity
Disability Scoop
In the dimly lit room, Tiara Santos lounged on the beanbag chair, stared at the bubble tubes and played with glow-in-the-dark toys, and then slowly, the demeanor of the girl with autism began to transform. "Before we came in here, she was hard to control," said Tiara's teacher, Danielle Galambos, about the 12-year-old. "Here, she feels safe. She is quieter, more relaxed." Tiara was in a sensory room at the Felician School for Exceptional Children in Lodi, N.J., which was designed to stimulate neglected physiology in students with disabilities. In Tiara's case, it brought on a smile, as well as some calm.
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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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