LDA Today - July/August 2014

We’re bringing you a shorter summer-edition of LDA Today.

Nancie Payne, President, shares her opinion on positive thoughts and beliefs forming a positive attitude for success. Dr. Jerry Schultz introduces the vision, function, and potential of the LDA Professional Advisory Board. Myrna Mandlawitz updates us on the recently released U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Results-Driven Accountability (RDA) system. There are six articles focusing on students returning to school, starting with the pre-K set through college level. With elections coming up in November, a reminder is provided to get nominating petitions in for those considering a run for their local school board. Our next issue will provide information on LD Month and news from state affiliates, as well as our usual columns.

If you have a suggestion for an article or a topic, please feel free to write us at info@ldaamerica.org.

Shirley Hilts-Adams

LDA President’s Message

“It is essential to share our positive stories as we are all great in many ways.”  Think about these short scenarios.  A middle school student hears a high school student tell about his learning disability.  The high school student describes his learning disability as an asset.  He adds that it makes him feel different in good ways.  Yes, he says, it is sometimes difficult to figure things out but he always tries to keep a positive attitude, which he explains substantially contributes to his continued achievements and success.  The middle school student with the learning disability begins to see things… Read More »

An Introduction to Your Professional Advisory Board

As the recently appointed chair of the LDA Professional Advisory Board (PAB), I’d like to introduce myself and tell you a bit about the function of the PAB, as well as my vision of what the PAB can do to support the efforts of LDA. Let me begin by thanking my esteemed predecessors in this position, Dr. Robin Church and Dr. Larry Silver. I served under these dedicated professionals since joining the PAB six years ago, and they have taught me much about the history and the purpose of this board and its relationship with the Executive Committee, the Board… Read More »

Get Involved in Your State’s SSIP Development

Are you familiar with the new Results Driven Accountability (RDA) system just released officially by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)?  Whether the answer to that question is “Yes” or “No” it’s time to find out how you can be involved in a key component of this new process.  What is RDA? RDA is the new process by which OSEP is now monitoring and evaluating States’ implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Over a number of years, but particularly since the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, concerns have… Read More »

Students with Learning Disabilities: Back to School Tips

Students are starting back to school for a new school year. Parents and teachers will be looking for tips to start the school year off right. This is a great opportunity for affiliates and local chapters to reach out to parents and educators with back to school tips for students with learning disabilities. Review and Know the IEP The IEP lays out what the student should be learning and the focus of instruction for the academic year. Make sure the IEP still follows the student’s need and the accommodations are relevant. Know what the accommodations are and how they need… Read More »

Starting School: Ages 3 to 8

by Meg Carroll, Early Childhood Education Committee Time to start school?  For the first time?  For a new academic year?  Truth be told, there are at least a few students looking forward to school. And they are not all “A” students. Because schools have to coordinate the movement of large numbers of people, schools use routines. Many children find these routines comfortable and empowering. Young children love to tell “what comes next” in a typical school day. That’s why summer, although it’s fun, can also be stressful to some children.  The routine is less apparent, so children don’t feel they… Read More »

Getting Ready for Back to School

by Jo Ann LoRusso, Early Education Committee When should parents begin to prepare children to go back to school?  Because students experience significant learning loss when they do not participate in educational activities during the summer months, preparation should be all summer. Reading just 4-5 books during the summer can prevent a decline in a child’s fall reading scores as they return to school.  Reading during the summer should not be stressful or rigid. Find fun books at the library that capture your child’s interest. For example, if your child likes sports, try reading Bobby Monster Plays Baseball! by Gillian… Read More »

Transitioning to Postsecondary Education or the Workforce for Students with Learning Disabilities

by Julia Frost, Chairman, Adult Topics Committee Transitioning from high school to postsecondary education or the workforce can be a challenge for anyone, but for a student with a learning disability, the challenges are multiplied.  Each student must know him/herself well so that goals can be set based on individual strengths.  Accommodations needed in order to meet the student’s goals should then be determined.  Before setting out to meet those goals, it is important for the student to understand the differences between the laws that protect him/her during and after high school.  Finally, parents must insure that a student is… Read More »

ADA Accommodations for Online College Courses

by Vita Alligood, Marcus Anderson, Lynetter Favors, Christina Godard, Kathryn Kelly, and Wendy Schweitzer Today, students have numerous opportunities for achieving their educational goals.  One method of receiving instruction at the college level, online education, has exploded.   As students head back to or start college it is important to understand the rights and responsibilities for receiving accommodations at the college level.  Laws are in place to help students with disabilities achieve success, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments (ADAA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The ADAA and Section 504 guarantee… Read More »

Healthy Children Project: Environmentally Healthy School Supplies

It’s hard to believe how quickly the summer is swooshing by, and that it’s time to get kids (and teachers) ready to go back to school again. Below are some tips for selecting school supplies that are free of certain toxic chemicals that can put kids’ health and learning potential at risk. Environmentally healthy school supplies:  Backpacks, lunch bags, binders and other items often use PVC, or polyvinyl chloride – a type of plastic. PVC can contain toxic chemicals including phthalates, lead, cadmium and organotins. These chemicals are linked to problems with brain development and behavior, as well as other… Read More »

Deadline for School Board Petitions, Fast Approaching

by Shirley Hilts-Adams, Co-Chairman Public Policy Committee The last issue of LDA Today carried an article on upcoming school board elections in most states. The deadline is fast approaching for submitting petitions with the required number of registered voter signatures. The quota is generally computed as a set percentage of those who voted in the last school board election. If you’ve been active in your school district the task of collecting signatures can take a few hours. If you’ve had thoughts about serving on your district’s school board but are still wavering, call your state’s school board association and ask… Read More »