Federal special ed funding should not be based on student test scores

by Levi B. Cavener – National Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to tie test scores for special-education students to the amount of money a state receives from the federal government for reimbursement of special-education services. States that send back high test scores for special-education students will get more money; those with lower scores will get […]

Autism research is more collaborative than ever

by Helen Tager-Flusberg – Science is, at its heart, a collaborative process. This is especially true for research addressing complex problems, and autism is certainly complex. For example, to tackle fundamental questions about causes and to move toward targeted treatments, we need to collaborate across disciplines. Another key reason to collaborate is that autism’s enormous heterogeneity requires large samples […]

How technology can level the playing field for students who learn differently

  By Michael T. Dunn, Richard M. Castorani and Christopher F. Herman, M.Ed – The following school profile shows how how important it is to provide students with access to text in meaningful ways. Mr. D’s eighth grade Modern U.S. History class was made up of eleven students, all with a primary diagnosis of Dyslexia and […]

In Finland, special ed supports benefit all students

by Patti White – I wanted to know what the Finnish schools were doing to help their students get the appropriate education for their abilities, both in special education and gifted programs. My own child struggled with learning disabilities in a public school, and I currently teach in a school for the gifted. The special […]

Food dyes and ADHD link is inconclusive but on-going

by Nancy Szokan – Many parents of small children are too young to remember Red Dye No. 2, which was banned from U.S. food products in the 1970s after a furor sparked by Soviet scientists who said it could cause cancer. Red 2 is long gone from U.S. diets — though it’s still present in […]

Each child learns to manage their ADHD differently

by Lisa Aro – ADHD is not a one-size-fits-all disorder. While all of my ADHDers may struggle with one symptom or another, the ways it manifests in their daily lives and the ways they handle it are certainly different. For example, while one may obsess over details and worry about forgetting, another lives in complete […]

Kids need movement, not an ADHD diagnosis

by Valerie Strauss – A perfect stranger pours her heart out to me over the phone. She complains that her 6-year-old son is unable to sit still in the classroom. The school wants to test him for ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder). This sounds familiar, I think to myself. As a pediatric occupational therapist, […]

Study advocates information on Down syndrome to counteract pregnancy terminations

A new study examines society’s response to Down syndrome and offers recommendations, particularly education in the medical field, to improve the lives of individuals with the genetic condition. “Ninety-nine percent of individuals diagnosed with Down syndrome report being happy with their lives. Studies also show that their joy has a ripple effect in their families […]

Common Core will take new toll on special ed student achievement

by Nicole Shepard – There are 6.5 million special-education students in the U.S. today, and most are falling further behind their peers under Common Core standards. “The latest government figures show that the dropout rate for students with disabilities is twice that for non-disabled students,” NPR’s Claudio Sanchez reported. “Two-thirds of students with disabilities are […]

Special education is in an adjustment period

Assistive technology aides accessibility.

by mathew Lynch – The way that K-12 learners are taught is in rapid flux, particularly when it comes to students in special education programs. According to a report by the Fordham Insititute, special education participation by K-12 students represented 13.1 percent of the nation’s student population in 2010. From 2000 to 2010, students in special […]