Understanding the brain process for math fact memorization

Sometime in elementary school, you quit counting your fingers and just know the answer. Now scientists have put youngsters into brain scanners to find out why, and watched how the brain reorganizes itself as kids learn math. The take-home advice: Drilling your kids on simple addition and multiplication may pay off. “Experience really does matter,” […]

Goverment mandates medicaid autism coverage

by Michelle Andrews – When Yuri Maldonado’s 6-year-old son was diagnosed with autism four years ago, she learned that getting him the therapy he needed from California’s Medicaid plan for low-income children was going to be tough. Medi-Cal, as California’s plan is called, does provide coverage of autism services for some children who are severely […]

A century later: From “defect of moral character” to ADHD

By Timothy Denevi – We were running errands at a shopping center in Los Gatos, my mother, sister, and me—that night the San Francisco Giants were playing the Oakland A’s in the 1989 World Series, and friends and family would be coming over for dinner to watch the game—when I heard what sounded like someone […]

Most prevalent childhood disabilities in the U.S.

by Herb Scribner – A 10-year analysis found that disabilities among American kids are on the rise, especially mental and developmental issues, according to The Associated Press. In 2012, 8 percent of American children were reported to have disabilities, compared to 7 percent in 2000. There’s a gap, too, when it comes to wealth. Wealthier […]

Autism drug may not be far off in the future

Autistic children have an excessive amount of synapses, or brain connections between neurons, which doesn’t alter as it should with age, US scientists have revealed. This could help develop a drug normalizing their number even after diagnosis. The results of the research, carried out by US neuroscientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), were published in the […]

Software crashes special ed in L.A. Unified

APphoto_LA Schools iPads

by Yana Gracile – Two weeks into the new school year, LA Unified administrators are still working out bugs in a new computer system, a disruption that has made instruction particularly difficult for special education teachers, who need specific information for each of their students. The new MiSiS — My Integrated Student Information System — is designed to […]


by William Stillman – These are the words that were communicated to me by a 16-year old young man whom I was visiting in his rural high school classroom on a crisp and wintry January morning. Like most teens his age, he took classes in keyboarding and computers, and was a fluent two-handed typist. But […]

A mom and son discuss his adhd struggles

By Peter Braaten, Ellen Braaten and Gene Beresin – Peter Braaten, now 20, still retains an indelible third-grade memory of being unable — simply unable — to stay seated in a reading circle. “And I just started walking around, because that’s what made me feel okay at the time. And the teacher said, ‘No, sit […]

Asperger’s’ syndrome: A quick overview

by Robyn Steward – When people hear the words Asperger’s syndrome, they often think of children or Albert Einstein – even though he was never formally diagnosed. But here are some things about Asperger’s that are less well known. Asperger’s syndrome, sometimes known as an autistic spectrum disorder, is a lifelong disability which affects people […]