learning disability

The IEP Process Explained by an Attorney

Christopher Knauf is the founder of Knauf Associates in Santa Monica, CA. His law firm specializes in disability rights and education-related legal disputes. He has also served as an independent hearing officer for Section 504 special education disputes. Mr. Knauf was kind enough to speak with SpecialNeeds.com and answer some questions about the overall IEP process.

Learning Disability? Dyslexia? Learning Difficulty?

Message from Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

As my first post as the Go To Pro for SpecialNeeds.com I want to give you a little bit of background into what a learning problem is. Many of you have struggling students or even struggle yourself with certain things, but that doesn’t mean you actually have a learning disability. So I want to give you some foundational information.

What is Dyscalculia?

Types of Learning Disabilities: What is Dyscalculia?

Special Needs App of the Day: Comprehension TherAppy

Comprehension TherAppy is designed to help people with aphasia and alexia (acquired reading disorder). It comes with three modes: Listen, Read, or Listen and Read. The 500 + photographs of nouns in the Listen section were selected by speech-language pathologists. Verbs and adjectives can be purchased and downloaded as well.

BPA Contributes to Learning Difficulties

A study reported in Science Daily confirms that the active form of Bisphenol A (BPA) is absorbed more rapidly into the body than previously thought. BPA is a toxic chemical found in paper and plastic used to store food and beverages. As an endocrine disruptor, BPA mimics the body’s own hormones leading to negative health effects.

New Font Designed for People with Dyslexia

A font has been developed by a Dutch graphic designer, which will make letters easier to read and comprehend for people with dyslexia. Designer Christian Boer is dyslexic himself. He created a font called Dyslexie to keep letters "tied down," helping readers not to flip them in their minds. He did this by changing the letters to make the undersides bolder, letting gravity do the work of keeping them right side up. He also made letters more distinct and spaced wider apart. Some letters are angled slightly to keep them from looking like others.

Speech-Based Activities for Kids with Apraxia

 Speech-Based Activities to Do with Your Kids with Apraxia at Home and in the Community

Brain Scans Detect Early Signs of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is typically diagnosed in children when they are around second or third grade in school. A team from Children’s Hospital Boston reports that they have discovered signs of dyslexia in children as young as 4 or 5 years old by studying their brain scans. This could be monumental news for families, who "often know that their child has dyslexia as early as kindergarten but they can’t get interventions at their schools," says Nadine Gaab of the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Children’s.

Film Raises Dyslexia Awareness at Sundance

A documentary directed by James Redford (son of Robert Redford) uses animation and live interviews to explore the complex world faced by those who have dyslexia. In the film titled The D Word: Understanding Dyslexia, the audience follows Dylan, a high school senior, through both his struggles in school and his preparations to attend college. Mixed in with Dylan’s story are testimonials from prominent figures in the business world (Richard Branson), politics (Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor of California), and others who have overcome dyslexia to find success.

Choosing Gifts for Kids with Disabilities

Shopping for the perfect gift can be a challenge, but finding a gift for a child with special needs doesn’t have to be.

According to Julie Brinkhoff, assistant director of the Great Plains ADA Center at the University of Missouri School of Health Professions, children with disabilities enjoy the same type of toys, action figures and games as other children, but it is important to match children’s interests as well as their skills and abilities. The Great Plains ADA Center is part of the University of Missouri School of Health Professions.