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  • The area of Learning Disabilities is quite broad, and here we've brought together the best articles we've found, including those on education & disabilities and speech & language development. If you do not find what you're looking for in this section, refer to: ADD and ADHD or Physical and General Disabilities

    Our rating system for Learning Disability articles is:
    • - Best, in depth and most helpful overall
    • - Very Good, but more specific in focus
    • - Good reference material

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    Getting Ready for College- Advising High School Students with Learning Disabilities

    Increasing numbers of students with learning disabilities are enrolling in two- and four-year colleges and universities. In this article, from the HEATH Resource Center, there is supportive, legal and practical advice for students with learning disabilities who are choosing to continue their formal education beyond high school.

    Learning and Other Disabilities - A KidSource Calendar

    This calendar is filled with resources and information for parents of children with learning and other disabilities. You'll find tips, articles, websites, books and more that will help you with the special challenges.

    Learning Disabilities

    This booklet, from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) provides up-to-date information on learning disabilities and the role of NIMH-sponsored research in discovering underlying causes and effective treatments. It describes treatment options, strategies for coping, and sources of information and support. Among these sources are doctors, special education teachers, and mental health professionals who can help identify learning disabilities and recommend the right combination of medical, psychosocial, and educational treatment.

    National Resources - Disabilities (Source: NICHCY)

    This is a comprehensive list of national and regional organizations and websites regarding a wide variety of disabilities from NICHCY (National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities Clearinghouse). Contact information is provided for each organization.

    NICHCY: General Information about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    This article from National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) gives general information about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder including definition, incidence, characteristics, educational implications, and a list of resources and organizations.

    Ten Homework Tips

    Research shows that when parents become involved in their children's schoolwork, the children do better in school. One way you can get involved is by helping your child with homework. It will benefit both your child's school work and self-esteem.

    Assistive Technology for Students with Mild Disabilities

    Technology is bursting into the classroom at all levels, as a tool for teachers to develop, monitor, and provide instructions, and for students to access and engage in learning. P.L.100-407, The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Tech Act) was designed to enhance the availability and quality of assistive technology (AT) devices and services to all individuals and their families throughout the United States. This article describes this act and describes a wide variety of technologies and devices that can assist students.

    Developing Reading Skills in Young Children

    Approximately 20 to 30 percent of school-age children have difficulties learning to read. Most reading problems can be observed when the child attempts to read out loud. Individuals who are most at-risk for reading difficulties are those who enter school with limited exposure to oral language interactions and little prior understanding of concepts related to the sounds of our language, letter knowledge, print awareness, and general verbal skills.

    Dual Exceptionalities (Gifted and Learning Disabled)

    Gifted students with disabling conditions remain a major group of underserved and understimulated youth. This article provides parents and teachers with characteristics of gifted and/or learning disabled students to help identify those students with special needs. While the article is a bit 'academic' in its writing style, the lists it contains are insightful and useful.

    Early Identification of Speech-Language Delays and Disorders

    Early identification includes the evaluation and treatment provided to families and their children under 3 years old who have, or are at risk for having, a disability, or delay in speech, language or hearing. This article from the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association provides specific information about early identification and outlines specific questions parents should ask about this process.

    General Information about Learning Disabilities

    In this article from the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY), you'll learn more about learning disabilities - incidence, characteristics, educational implications. Included is a list of resources for additional information.

    Getting Ready for School--Some Tips

    It is very important for you and your child's teacher to work together as a team. Building rapport and developing a relationship of trust is crucial. During the first week of school is a good time to meet your chid's teacher, and face to face is best. After your child has spent a few weeks in school (sooner if your child has needs that would require immediate planning), call or drop a note to check on your child's progress.

    Learning Disabilities

    This article from ERIC gives a general overview of learning disabilities that includes definition, characteristics, and educational implications. It also provides a good list of references for parents.

    Learning Disabilities Among High Achieving Students

    More than any other disability, learning disability (LD) dominates discussions with the HEATH Resource Center staff on the telephone and through mail inquiries. There is increasing interest in students with LD who attend selective colleges and universities, as well as graduating seniors, in many types of colleges, who are eager to continue on to graduate school or one of the professions (law, medicine, business). This article is a case study with remarks from the field illustrate the range of issues involved in the subject.

    Learning Disabilities: Glossary of Some Important Terms

    This article provides parents and educators with definitions of terms commonly used in discussions regarding learning disabilities.

    Learning Strengths in the Midst of Learning Disabilities

    The more we discover about learning disabilities in children, the more we know they don't have to limit children at all. The following information lists five major types of learning disabilities, and what parents can do to help. This helpful and encouraging article has been provided by the National Foster Parents Association.

    NICHCY: Reading and Learning Disabilities: A Resource Guide

    This information brief has been developed with two major purposes in mind. These are to describe some of the most common learning disabilities that can cause reading problems; and to put you in touch with organizations that can provide you with help to fit your needs.

    NICHCY: Services For School-Aged Children W/ Disabilities

    This issue of NEWS DIGEST focuses upon the provision of related services to school-aged children with disabilities. As defined by federal law, related services are intended to address the individual needs of students with disabilities, in order that they may benefit from their educational program. Occupational and physical therapy, school health services, and special transportation assistance are just some examples of related services that can help eligible students with disabilities participate more fully and successfully in the learning process.

    Parent to Parent - Transition into Kindergarten

    Just over a year ago, we became aware that our four year old son might have difficulty participating in a regular kindergarten classroom. Assessment results indicated Luke's need for special education services to develop expressive communication and large motor skills, so he began receiving Speech Therapy and Physical Therapy through the school district.

    Parent to Parent: Researching Appropriate Schools for Your Child

    Our family has learned a lot about learning disabilities since our son was diagnosed at the age of twelve with a specific language disability. After having him tested through the school and an audiologist, we were confronted with many questions that we needed to answer before we could get him the help that he needed. We realized that in order for him to advocate for himself, he needed to be involved as an active participant in the decision-making process.

    Parents and the School-to-Work Transition of Special Needs Youth

    The school-to-work transition of the nation's youth has been a major focus of vocational education efforts for the past decade. Educators help students identify their interests and abilities, engage in career education and career development activities, and develop individual education plans.

    Summer Activities For Young Children

    The summer is a good time to provide valuable verbal experiences for young children to prepare them for reading. Language and thinking skills are based on oral communication, so parents can help children expand their use of language in order to make future reading easier.

    Summer is Here! Relaxing and Gaining Self-Esteem

    Summer plans for children with learning differences (LD) and other school problems are always a balance between the child's need to maintain academic skills and to be freed of the pressures and stresses of school. Academic experiences which do not remind a child of school are often helpful in building self-esteem.

    Summer-Time to Plan and Prepare

    Summer provides an opportunity to give your child a break from routine classroom learning experiences and promote learning in settings with less structure. Summer often includes opportunities for field trips, museum visits, library exploration, and family vacations, all of which can be learning experiences. Review the previous school year in order to identify your child's successful strategies, and prepare for the new school year by asking the teacher what the following year's curriculum will cover.

    Summertime Advice for Parents of LD Kids

    The Schwab Foundation's Resource Consultants advise parents of children with learning differences to take advantage of the summer time to prepare for next school year. Parents can utilize the last year's education experience to prepare for the coming school year by reviewing the year in terms of what worked and what did not.

    Testing For Assessment of a Reading Problem

    When parents suspect that their children are have difficulty in reading, most parents and teachers take the constructive step of providing more practice in reading at school and at home. When this step is not fruitful, it is time to ask if a learning disability is present. The assessment for problems in reading requires tests for reading and intelligence level. In this article from the Learning Disabilities Association of California, you'll learn more about these tests and how to develop a strategy to prepare for an IEP.

    The Many Different Differences in Learning

    Academic struggles extend beyond the traditional "3 R's" to issues such as organizational problems, difficulty understanding and managing time, memory dysfunctions, and motor dysfunctions. If your child is doing poorly, start by assuming that the problem is not just laziness, let the school know of your concern, obtain a professional consultation, and ask your child to tell you what she or he thinks is going on.

    What are Your Rights, as a Parent, in the Special Education Process?

    Public Law 105-17, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997, clearly strengthens the rights of children with disabilities and their parents. A fundamental provision of these laws is the right of parents to participate in the educational decision-making process.

    What Every Parent Should Know About Assessment

    If you're thinking about having your child assessed, don't delay, be honest with your child, and have your child reassessed periodically to determine whether the help he is getting is making a difference.

    Who's Teaching Our Children with Disabilities?

    This joint publication of NICHCY and NCPSE is intended to open a window into the world of the special educator and answer the questions: who are special educators, why have they chosen this profession, what kind of training do they have, what do they do each day, what do they enjoy about their jobs, and why do some of them leave special education? Also discussed in this publication are the people who support special educators, namely paraeducators, often known as "teacher's aides." The role of parents is addressed as well, and suggestions are provided for supporting the valuable work that special educators do on behalf of our children with special needs.

    Language and the Adolescent

    Less commonly known is the importance of identifying and remediating language disorders in the adolescent. Such disorders may lead to feelings of failure, low self-esteem, poor academic and social success, and a high drop out rate. This article from the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association helps parents understand and identify language disorders in adolsecents.

    Rights and Responsibilities of Parents of Children with Disabilities

    Public Law 105-17, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997, clearly strengthens the rights of children with disabilities and their parents. It builds on the achievements gained under Public Law 94-142, the Education for the Handicapped Act, and Public Law 101-476, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A fundamental provision of these special education laws is the right of parents to participate in the educational decision-making process.

    Questions and Answers about Articulation Problems

    Written by the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association, this is a thorough set of questions and answers about articulation problems. These problems may result from physical handicaps, such as cerebral palsy, cleft palate or hearing loss, or may be related to other problems in the mouth, such as dental problems. However, most articulation problems occur in the absence of any obvious physical disability. The cause of these so-called functional articulation problems may be faulty learning of speech sounds.

    Questions and Answers about Otitis Media, Hearing and Language Development

    American Speech-Language Hearing Association describes how Otitis Media (an inflammation in the middle ear) affects hearing and how it can cause language and speech problems.

    Attention Deficit - Hyperactivity Disorder A Guide for Parents

    Conclusion: Many children with ADHD also have learning disabilities. Treating the ADHD will not treat the learning disabilities. Each must be treated if the child is to make sufficient progress. If children have ADHD and learning disabilities they may develop emotional, social and family problems. Each must be recognized and helped. Unless the total child, in his or her total environment is considered, neither the child nor the family will make as much improvement as necessary.

    Questions and Answers about Stuttering

    This article from the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association, answers the main questions that parents will ask if their child stutters.

    Alternatives to drug therapy for ADD and Autistic-like behaviors

    In this article, by the Feingold Association, you'll learn about non-drug alternatives, including a dietary program, to help children with ADD.

    An Overview of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments

    This article outlines the key information of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments. Topics include outcomes and standards, evaluations and curriculum, procedural safeguards, discipline, early intervention and preschool services and teacher training and preparation.

    Assessment -- For Parents

    Assessment is a process of data collection about a student to facilitate learning. The assessment process attempts to discover why the student is not learning or not producing in the instructional program. An assessment is undertaken to determine levels of functioning in areas that may be impacting student performance negatively, such as memory, social skills, and emotional development.

    Beginning Reading And Phonological Awareness For Students With Learning Disabilities

    The ability to identify and manipulate the sounds of language is called phonological awareness. Many children with learning disabilities have deficiencies in their ability to process phonological information. Thus, they do not readily learn how to relate letters of the alphabet to the sounds of language. This article provides helpful examples and ideas for parents and teachers to increase a child's phonological awareness.

    Career Counseling of Youth with Learning Disabilities

    Making developmental career counseling a focus in secondary schools contributes to the success of youth with learning disabilities in post-school employment. These students show patterns of thinking and behavior that are alterable with cognitive intervention by counselors and teachers. Career counselors, classroom teachers, and special educators can work together to tailor a program to meet the needs of youth with learning disabilities in their community.

    Children with Communication Disorders

    Communication disorders encompasses a wide variety of problems in language, speech, and hearing, including articulation problems, voice disorders, fluency problems (such as stuttering), aphasia (difficulty in using words), and delays in speech and/or language. This article describes these, provides specific characteristics, and reviews the educational

    Classroom Accommodations

    A child who qualifies for Special Education services in the public schools may also qualify for accommodations in regular classrooms in which he or she is mainstreamed. Even if a child does not qualify for Special Education, he or she may qualify for accommodations under a law called Section 504.

    College Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities

    Since there are many more colleges seeking, or at least admitting, students with learning disabilities than actually have well-developed programs, it is imperative that professionals help these students act cautiously during the selection and application process. Simply finding a "good" program or the one with the most services is not the solution. A match must be made between the unique needs of the student and the characteristics of the college and its learning disabilities program.

    Early Ways To Predict Poor Readers

    The article describes how children who have trouble reading often have underlying speech and language problems. Being able to predict which children will have trouble reading would allow speech-language pathologists and others to begin to work with them before they fail.

    Effective Practices for Preparing Young Children with Disabilities for School

    More recently, researchers have begun asking the question: For whom and under what conditions is early childhood intervention most effective? This more sophisticated question focuses on the effects of various interventions for specific groups of children relative to the type of program they received. Data from research studies indicate that young children with disabilities and those who evidence biological and environmental risk factors make significant gains on both qualitative and quantitative measures of development when provided appropriate services. The involvement of their parents in reinforcing critical skills in natural contexts is an important factor associated with the magnitude of the child's progress.

    Gifted But Learning Disabled: A Puzzling Paradox

    For many people,the terms learning disabilities and giftedness are at opposite ends of a learning continuum. In some states, because of funding regulations, a student may be identified and assisted with either learning disabilities or giftedness, but not both. Children who are both gifted and learning disabled exhibit remarkable talents or strengths in some areas and disabling weaknesses in others. This digest provides insights and strategies for educating children who are both gifted and learning disabled.

    Helping Children Overcome Reading Difficulties

    This digest will discuss children with reading difficulties and how these children can be helped to read and learn more effectively.

    Helping Children Overcome Reading Difficulties

    This digest discusses children with reading difficulties and how these children can be helped to read and learn more effectively. Topics include dyslexia, helping the problem reader, finding appropriate reading materials and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude.

    Is Your Child Headed for Success In School?

    NCLD has created an easy-to-use Learning Disabilities Awareness Checklist which offers pointers about the early warning signs of learning disabilities. This checklist is designed for parents, caregivers and educators of children 4-7 years of age and highlights a number of educational and behavioral areas where young children may have problems.

    Learning Disabilities: Common Warning Signs

    If you are aware of the common signs of learning disabilities, you will be able to recognize potential problems early.

    Learning Disabilities: For Parents

    Though learning disabilities are common, they are not well understood. The most common learning disabilities are dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and auditory and visual processing disabilities. There are different signs of learning disabilities for each age group from preschool through adult.

    Myths About LD

    These are some myths that parents hear and relay to us at the Parents' Educational Resource Center. The myths are followed by responses based on factual documentation.

    New Study Shows ADHD Treatment Superior to Standard Therapy

    A new study shows that as a treatment for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Adderall was significantly better at reducing inattention and other ADHD symptoms than the standard ADHD treatment. And it's longer lasting, which eliminates the need for medication at school.

    NICHCY: National Toll-Free Numbers

    This article is a selected list of toll-free numbers for national organizations concerned with disability and children's issues. Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by NICHCY or the Office of Special Education Programs. There are also many national disability organizations providing services and information which do not have toll-free numbers.

    NICHCY: Questions And Answers About The IDEA

    This document looks specifically at the mandates and requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law that supports special education and related services programming for children and youth with disabilities.

    Parents Ask for Collaborative Investigation Into Role Of Vaccinesin Autism Epidemic

    The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and the Autism Research Institute (ARI) are calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to launch a public-private collaborative effort to investigate the possible relationship between vaccines and an autism epidemic.

    The Benefits of an Inclusive Education: Making It Work

    In an increasing number of early childhood programs around the country, teachers, children, and parents are discovering the benefits of educating young children with special needs together with their same-age peers. Since learning is so important in the early years, this is the best time for children to begin to respect all people's differences and the contributions each individual makes.

    The Teacher's Role in Developing Social Skills

    The Learning Disabilities Association of California describes the critical role that school plays in the child's social development and self-concept, whether the student has learning disabilities or is enjoying academic success.

    Understanding Reading Problems Does Your Child Have One?

    Difficulties with basic reading and language skills are the most common of all learning disabilities, affecting up to 80 percent of people who have learning problems. A child is considered to have dyslexia if he or she has difficulty learning to read despite having adequate intelligence, attention, motivation, and exposure to education.

    What Is Dyslexia

    Dyslexia is a term that has been loosely applied to reading disabilities. Specific definitions for dyslexia vary with disciplines. Those in medicine define dyslexia as a condition resulting from neurological, maturational, and genetic causes, while those in psychology relate dyslexia on the basis of the specific reading problems evidenced and give no reference to causation.

    Working Together with Teachers and Schools

    In order to work as a team, parents and educators must also share goals and beliefs. You and the educators at your child's school should work together to ensure that your child receives the best education possible, in school and out. Ask specific questions about how classes are taught, and encourage schools to experiment with new ideas

    Suicide and the Exceptional Child

    Very little information is available regarding the prevalence of depression or suicide in students who receive special education services. Estimates of the prevalence of depression or symptoms of depression among children and youth with learning or behavior problems tend to be higher than those for the general population. Children with symptoms of depression, particularly gifted children or children who do not also exhibit symptoms of another disorder, may be overlooked in the school referral process for special education services

    Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504

    This article gives a general overview of Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It also contains a list of information lines and resources availale to the public.

    Academic Interventions for Children with Dyslexia

    Approximately 3% to 6% of all school-aged children are believed to have developmental reading disabilities, or dyslexia. In fact, almost 50% of children receiving special education have learning disabilities, and dyslexia is the most prevalent form. This informative article includes suggested Interventions, classification and identification of these problems, specific assessment techniques and additional resources to help teachers and parents.

    Atypical Brain Activity Detected In People With Dyslexia

    Brain imaging studies at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have revealed dramatic evidence of a deficit in the brain's visual system in people with dyslexia. "This research confirms that dyslexia is a discrete brain disorder, not, as some people have believed, a by-product of a poor education or upbringing." This article will be of interest to anyone who is concerned about dyslexia.

    Facts You Can Use

    Written by the HEATH Resource Center, this article contains a wide variety of statistics relating to education and disabilities.

    Foreign Language Requirements and Students with Learning Disabilities

    This article discusses the issue questioned by many students and professionals- the reasonableness of foreign language requirements for students with learning disabilities. According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, colleges and universities are not obligated to waive foreign language requirements for students with learning disabilities, nor are they required to provide course substitutions. Thus, colleges and universities that do provide waivers or substitutions do so on a voluntary basis.

    Holiday Toy Adaptation Opens Up a World of Play for Kids With Disabilities

    Occupational therapists and technicians from Allied Services rehabilitation hospitals have developed a way to make playtime fun and rewarding for children with disabilities. Through Allied's Annual Holiday Toy Adaptation Program, children with special needs can have their toys custom-modified so that they can use and enjoy them. Read what they have done, and contact them to see how you can set up a similar program in your area.

    Including Students with Disabilities in General Education Classrooms

    One of the educational options that is receiving increasing attention is meeting the needs of students with disabilities in the regular classroom. This digest is written for the practitioner who is working in the regular class environment with students who have disabilities.

    Information about Austism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder

    Due to the similarity of behaviors associated with autism and PDD, use of the term pervasive developmental disorder has caused some confusion among parents and professionals. This article reveals that the treatment and educational needs are often similar for both diagnoses.

    Integrating Children with Disabilities into Preschool

    These days, community preschool programs are increasingly likely to have at least one child with disabilities in their classes. Although providing early intervention to children with disabilities in an inclusive environment designed to meet the needs of all children is commonly regarded as best practice, concerns are sometimes raised about the ability of preschool programs to meet the needs of children developing normally as well as those with developmental delays. This article provides information on preschool programs that include children both with and without disabilities.

    Language-Learning Impaired Children Benefit New Training Program

    San Francisco-based Scientific Learning Corporation (SLC) unveiled today the only state-of-the-art, Internet and CD-ROM training program scientifically proven to benefit many of the ten percent of all school-aged children who suffer from language-learning impairments.

    Summer Camp Information on the Web

    Parents interested in learning more about the wide range of summer camps and programs available both nationally and internationally for disabled children can find a wealth of information online. The following are what we consider to be the best, most comprehensive directories of summer programs available on the Web, along with a couple of helpful articles on what to look for when selecting a camp for your child.

    Testing Students with Disabilities

    Generally, the best methods for assessing students with disabilities coincide with legally defensible methods for this activity. The considerations involved in assessing students with disabilities are presented in this digest under three related activities: test selection, test administration, and test interpretation, with additional considerations are noted at the conclusion.

    Children and Bilingualism

    If you are considering teaching your child a second language at a young age, then this is a good reference article for you to read. In addition, it covers questions you may have regarding speech-language problems and bilingualism.

    Study Shows Dioxin Exposure Related To Adverse Childhood Behavior And Learning Capabilities

    Children exposed to dioxins in utero during critical periods of development appear to be the most sensitive and vulnerable to the toxic effects.

    Motivating Low Performing Adolescent Readers

    The focus of this digest is be on motivating the low performing adolescent in a remedial reading or subject area classroom. The premise is that students who are disengaged from their own learning processes are not likely to perform well in school. This article provides some specific actions for parents and teachers to follow.

    Student Motivation To Learn

    The focus of this digest is be on motivating the low performing adolescent in a remedial reading or subject area classroom. The premise is that students who are disengaged from their own learning processes are not likely to perform well in school. This article provides some specific actions for parents and teachers to follow.

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