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Preschoolers: Learning and Other Disabilities



In this area, you'll find articles on Learning and Other Disabilities that have information and advice directly relevant to preschool children. If you do not find what you're looking for in this section, refer to other areas at KidSource: Learning Disabilities or ADD and ADHD or Physical and General Disabilities areas - each has a wealth of other information about disabilities.

Our rating system for these Learning and Other Disabilities articles is:



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.


ADHD and Children Who Are Gifted

Frequently, bright children have been referred to psychologists or pediatricians because they exhibited certain behaviors (e.g., restlessness, inattention, impulsivity, high activity level, day-dreaming) commonly associated with a diagnosis of ADHD. Almost all of these behaviors, however, might be found in bright, talented, creative, gifted children. Until now, little attention has been given to the similarities and differences between the two groups, thus raising the potential for misidentification in both areas-giftedness and ADHD. This digest provides specific differences between the two groups that will help parents and educators better understand and evaluate their children.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

This in depth and comprehensive Briefing Paper from the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities ( NICHCY) is intended to serve as a guide to help parents and educators know what ADD is, what to look for, and what to do. While acknowledging that adults, too, can have ADD, this paper focuses on the disorder as it relates to children and youth.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

This is an excellent three part booklet from the National Institute of Mental Health that provides an in depth summary of ADD - including diagnosis, treatments, coping strategies, medication options, myths about other treatments and more. It is a very thorough article and has an extensive resource list of books and organizations.


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.


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.


A Guide to Children's Literature and Disability

This bibliography, produced by the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) is intended to help parents and professionals identify books that are written about or include characters who have a disability. The list is grouped according the following disabilities: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), blindness, cerebral palsy, deafness, learning disabilities, serious or life-threatening conditions, physical disabilities, and other disabilities.


A Parent's Guide To Doctors, Disabilities, And The Family

How do families with a child who may have a disability and/or special health care need choose a doctor? This paper will explore questions like this and discuss some possible answers.


NICHCY: Individualized Education Programs

This document is a verbatim reprinting of (a) the federal regulations concerning Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), as contained in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and (b) Appendix C to Part 300: Notice of Interpretation, issued by the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, to provide additional clarification of the Federal regulations.


Rights and Responsibilities of Parents of Children With Disabilities

Parents of children with disabilities have a vital role to play in the education of their children. As your child progresses through educational systems, knowing and following through on your rights and responsibilities ensures that you are a contributing partner with professionals who will influence your child's future. This brochure provides you with an introduction to your rights and responsibilities in the special education 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.


Attention Deficit Disorder

This is an article from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children with general information about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It talks about the definition, characteristics, problems, causes of ADD and teaching methods that can help.


NICHCY: Parenting A Child With Special Needs

This News Digest has been developed expressly to respond to the information needs of parents -- those who have just learned their child has special needs and those who have lived with this reality for some time but who have reached a transition point where they need new information or renewed support. This issue provides a starting point for families in their search for information and resources.


Medicine for the Public - Hyperactivity

The Medicine for the Public series has provided an opportunity for millions of people to learn more about how their bodies work and what they can do to maintain to improve their health. This publication is one of several adapted from the series and it deals with the issue of hyperactivity in children. It is our sincere hope that you will find this material interesting and enlightening.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Autism Not Linked to Immunization: Debunking the Myth

In response to a U.S. House Government Reform Committee hearing on autism, PKIDs voices its support for more resources for autism research and stresses that there is no scientific evidence linking autism to immunization.


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.


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.


ADD/ADHD: What Does It Mean for Parents and Families

The following article was prepared in response to some of those frequently asked questions received through our Parents AskERIC service every month about Attention Deficit Disorders.


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.


Top 10 Things to Consider When Buying Toys for Children With Disabilities

The National Lekotek Center offers tips on how to shop for holiday gifts for children with disabilities.


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.


Coping with Stress in the Special Education Classroom

Despite the current trend toward school-based decision making, many schools remain bureaucratic organizations where teachers have little control over major decisions in their environments and frequently work in isolation. Further, with increasing demands to be accountable, teachers' work is becoming more intense, leaving many teachers feeling emotionally exhausted. Thus, in school bureaucracies, teachers may become stressed by role overload and lack of autonomy. Teachers can more effectively deal with stress by using specific strategies discussed in this article.


Abuse of Attention Deficit Drug Can Be Deadly

In ADHD, brain areas ruling attention and inhibition don't work very well. The Food and Drug Administration has approved several stimulant medicines for treating ADHD. Abuse of these drugs can be deadly. This article reviews these medications and provides useful general information about the diagonosis, treatment and management of ADHD.


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.


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.


A Guide to Accessing Programs for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities

The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) has written this Parent's Guide to help families learn how to get help for their young children with special needs (ages birth through 5 years).


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The American Speech-Language- Hearing Association (ASHA) provides a very good overview of ADD, which includes sections on identification, treatment and additional resources.


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.


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.


General Information about Visual Impairments

This article from the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) describes the characteristics and educational implications of visual impairments, including partially sighted, low vision, legally blind, and totally blind impairments. A good list of additional resources is also included.


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.


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.


General Information about Cerebral Palsy

General Information about Cerebral Palsy This article from the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) describes the characteristics and educational and employment implications of cerebral palsy.


NICHCY: Children W/ Disabilities: Understanding Sibling Issues

For many families, raising a child with a disability or chronic illness poses many challenges. Some of these challenges focus on the relationship between the siblings in the family which influences the social, psychological, and emotional development of each child. The relationship between brothers and sisters in families that have a child with a disability or chronic illness is examined in this issue of NEWS DIGEST.


NICHCY: Estate Planning

This issue of NEWS DIGEST focuses on one very important and often complicated issue that parents confront when they have a son or daughter with any type of disability: How to plan their estate to best provide for their child's future security.


General Information about Severe and/or Multiple Disabilities

This article from the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) provides information about severe disabilities, including profound mental retardation.


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.


General Information about Down Syndrome

This article from the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) describes the characteristics and educational and employment implications of Down syndrome. It includes a list of additional resources.


General Information about Epilepsy

This article from the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) describes the characteristics and educational implications of epilepsy.


New Web Site to Help Children With Disabilities

A new Web site www.childrenwithdisabilities.ncjrs.org will offer information and resources to disabled children, their families and service providers. The site, part of a joint effort by several federal agencies to promote a national agenda for children and foster positive youth development, will provide information on learning disabilities, debilitating conditions and physical disabilities.


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.


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.


Fears Keep Children With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder from Getting Treatment

Nine in 10 physicians, teachers, and parents of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) believe that left untreated, ADHD can have serious effects on children's performance in school and relationships with family and friends, according to a new set of Harris Interactive surveys just released. Yet more than four out of five survey respondents said that apprehension about medication and parents' lack of reliable information often prevent children with ADHD from getting the treatment they need to succeed in school and life.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: For Parents

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurobiological condition that affects 3%-5% of the school age population.


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.


Preschool Services for Children with Handicaps

If you have questions about services for preschool children with handicaps, start here. This article includes information on what must be in the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), what services must be provided to these children and contains a good list of contacts in each state agency.


Educating Exceptional Children

They are the more than 4.5 million children and youth in this country who have physical, mental, or behavioral handicaps. Ranging in age from birth to 21, these children and youth with exceptionalities require the assistance of special educators in order to benefit from education. This digest provides a good overview of key issues, trends and programs for exceptional children.


Building Self-Esteem

Children with low self-esteem often feel like they're drowning in an ocean of inadequacy. This article will help parents improve the self-esteem of their children and it is the fourth in a series of articles from the Feingold Association. The helpful information here applies to all children, not just those who have attention deficit disorder (ADD).


Attention Deficit Disorder Without Hyperactivity

Because experts had begun to speculate that attention deficits, rather than high activity level, might play a greater role in the problems of these children, the term "attention deficit disorder" (ADD) replaced the earlier diagnostic terminology. Along with this shift in diagnostic emphasis came the recognition that attention deficits could exist even in the absence of high activity level, and thus two ADD subgroups were defined: ADD with hyperactivity (ADDM) and ADD without hyperactivity (ADD/WO).


General Information about Traumatic Brain Injury

The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities details how TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adolescents in the United States and affects more than 1 million children each year. This article provides general information, describes educational implications of TBI and provides a list of resources for further information.


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.


Being at Ease with Handicapped Children

It is sad that attitudes cannot also be legislated, but fears and anxieties toward those who are different cannot be decreed illegal. It is hoped that the present generation, growing up in situations where people with handicaps are a natural part of school and community life, will put to rest forever the notion that people with handicaps are "different."


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


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.


NICHCY: A Parent's Guide: Accessing Parent Groups

This Parent's Guide will help you identify the parent groups that exist nationally and in your state and community. It will also help you decide which group or groups would be useful to you in meeting your family's needs and concerns. If no such group exists in your community, this Guide provides many suggestions on how to start your own group.


What Is Early Intervention?

Early intervention applies to children of school age or younger who are discovered to have or be at risk of developing a handicapping condition or other special need that may affect their development. Early intervention consists in the provision of services such children and their families for the purpose of lessening the effects of the condition. Early intervention can be remedial or preventive in nature--remediating existing developmental problems or preventing their occurrence.


NICHCY: General Information about Deafness And Hearing Loss

This article from National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) gives general information about about deafness and hearing loss including definition, incidence, characteristics, educational implications, and a list of resources and organizations.


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.


Subtle Brain Circuit Abnormalities Confirmed In ADHD

Subtle structural abnormalities in the brain circuit that inhibits thoughts have been confirmed in the first comprehensive brain imaging study of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as reported in this press release by the National Institute of Mental Health.


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.


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.


Facts You Can Use

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


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.


Holiday Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids

The National Lekotek Center and the National Parent Network on Disabilities, in conjunction with Toys R Us released its seventh annual Toys "R" Us Toy Guide For Differently Abled Kids. This news release tells you how you can receive your free copy of this guide to 60 different toys.


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.


NICHCY: General Info About Disabilities

General information about Disabilities including Services For Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities and a list of resources for additional information.


Diet Therapy For Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

An increasing body of evidence supports diet as an effective treatment for ADD and ADHD according to the Feingold Association of the United States. Persistent hyperactivity and difficulty paying attention are among symptoms commonly associated with these disorders.


NICHCY: National Resources

This article contains a selected list of resources for national organizations concerned with disability and children's issues.


Screening for School Entry

Screening programs for children entering school are widespread, and their use is increasing. Screening is used to predict which pupils are likely to have problems in regular classrooms and to identify those who may be eligible for particular programs, such as special education. This digest summarizes current practices and issues in screening young children and lists recommendations for screening procedures used with children entering school.


Preparing Children with Disabilities for School

"All disadvantaged and disabled children will have access to high quality and developmentally appropriate preschool programs that help prepare children for school" (from Goal 1, National Goals for Education, 1990). Here's a list of questions and answers for preparing children with disabilities for school.


Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal cash benefit that may be available if a person is disabled. These are benefits payable to children with disabilities who are under the age of 18 because a parent is collecting retirement or disability benefits from Social Security or children who are entitled to benefits because the child is under the age of 18 and a parent has died.


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.


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.


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.


Children and Adults With ADHD Urges Congress To Increase Federal Role

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CH.A.D.D.), the national organization dedicated to bettering the lives of individuals with attention deficit disorders (ADD) and those who care for them, today called upon Congress to strengthen the Federal government's role in the research into the causes and treatment of ADD.


Making Drama Activities Accessible To Participants With Disabilities

Wild Swan Theater announces the availability of Dramatically Able, a teacher's handbook and video tape that will help teachers and youth leaders make drama accessible to children and adolescents with disabilities.

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