Students in special education access curriculum through technology

by Jessica Bies – Hunched over their iPads, the three seventh-graders took turns reading the document displayed on their screens. One, Sam Seifert, followed along, while her special education teacher Jessica Waterstreet did the talking — Seifert has difficulty reading on her own. Seated near the center of the table, Blake Hanna recited the words […]

Cognitive assessment test can help diagnose learning disabilities

by Michael Hart – New improvements to a cognitive assessment tool will allow school and clinical psychologists more access to test content and additional information about a student’s learning processes specific to learning disabilities. Pearson has introduced the fifth version of its Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V), which gathers information about a child’s learning […]

Special education spending is an investment

by Bruce Parker – Special education spending is headed higher again this year. But not to worry. Leaders of Vermont’s public schools say the money’s well spent. Amid calls for property tax and education reform, little attention is being paid to Vermont’s spending on special education. This school year, the Agency of Education projects it […]

Special ed students learn life skills through entrepreneurship program

by Wendy Sledd – Kyliegh Courtland gently laid the green ribbon down on the glass, ensuring it was straight in all of the corners. The 17-year-old sophomore closed a screen over the ribbon, picked up a brush full of blue paint, and swiped it across the screen. She lifted the screen to inspect her work. […]

Summer camp founded for children with hearing aids and cochlear implants

by Pamela Ruben – Dana Selznick has been listening to the needs of deaf and hearing impaired children since she was just a kid herself at Lake Mary High School (LMHS class of ’05). Selznick befriended a deaf teen during her freshman year, and advocating on her behalf became second nature throughout her high school […]

Ballet gives children with Down syndrome another way to express themselves

by Gillian Mohney – About 30 students get ready for dance class every Sunday at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica, California. But, technically, the studio isn’t open for its usual classes. Instead the doors are open for the students of the Free 2 Be Me dance troupe. Started by Colleen Perry, the […]

The most common learning disability

by Erinn Hutkin – It’s the most common learning disability, affecting roughly 1 in 10 Americans and 20 percent of school-age children. Yet in many cases, it goes largely undiagnosed. It’s dyslexia, a language-based learning disability that results in problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor reading and decoding abilities. If left undetected, it […]

Student supports legislation for early dyslexia screenings

by Amanda Brandeis – A local teenager wants more support for students with learning disabilities, specifically those struggling with dyslexia. In kindergarten, Ben Cooper was struggling with reading. His mother Robbi, the school wanted to hold him back for a year, saying he just needed more time. She decided to have him privately tested, and […]

Weak phonemic awareness skills are main cause of dyslexia

Dyslexia remains one of the most misunderstood learning disabilities – despite being a common diagnosis. “Contrary to some stereotypes, dyslexia is not simply reading words backwards, nor is it a marker for intelligence or determination,” Kim Bellini, owner of The Woodlands LearningRx, explained. Dyslexia simply means “poor with words” or “trouble with reading,” Bellini said. […]

Program improves student motivation with real-time behavior

by Joseph Theriault – In special education, as in general education, the most effective way to deal with difficult behavior is to prevent it. In a well-managed classroom where teacher expectations are clear and positive behavior is reinforced, effective teaching and learning can thrive. In a disorderly classroom, however, teachers struggle to teach and students […]