Archive for the 'Not LD' Category

LD misrepresented again

In a recent installment of “Stephanie’s Heroes,” Stephanie Satchell, a local TV reporter, tells the story of Lauren Baetsen, Emily Nemec, and Amanda Halacy who are undergraduates at the University of Virginia and who will spend their summer working with children who have moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and other disabilities in Lusaka, Zambia. The effort by these young women makes for a marvelous story, and I’m very glad Ms. Stachell covered it. It’s too bad she does not know “learning disabilities” from this host of other problems, though.
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Oopsie. Not quite LD

According to Samantha White, a reporter for the Burns (OR, US) Times-Herald, a local advocate for individuals with disabilities had a dream of promoting longer periods of schooling for students with disabilities. “That dream was to provide more opportunities for her son, Nicholas, and other people in Harney County who have developmental disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, and other learning disabilities.”

Ooops! Is this a case of using LD as a generic? Did Ms. White mean to write “developmental disabilities, autism, Down syndrome, learning disabilities, and other problems?” What do you think?

Later in her article, entitled “A ‘Desert Dream’ come true,” Ms. White revealed that she had searched a popular Website (Autism Speaks) for data about about autism. She apparently passed on the chance to search any of several reasonably authoritative sources about LD such as LD Online, TeachingLD, CLD International, the LD Association of America, NJCLD, and the non-governmental National Center on LD. Sigh.

Not LD still going strong

The misrepresentation of Learning Disabilities as a generic or catch-all term continues. I just stumbled upon another instance of it. 602-471-0346 Kim Yamamoto Arizona Advocates fights for Arizona school rights for children with ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, Downs syndrome, & other learning disabilities.

I elected not to link back to the site so as not to provide traffic for the it. Sigh.

To get an idea of how many times we’ve talked about this problem, please follow the tag “Not LD.”

LD opinion survey: good news, bad news

For the fourth time, the Roper Public Affairs &’ Corporate Communications group has reported a survey of US opinion about Learning Disabilities to the Tremaine Foundation. Although the report is entitled “Measuring Progress in Public & Parental Understanding of Learning Disabilities,” it also includes data about the views of the general public, teachers, and school administrators. It’s worth reading the entire document, but here are a few notes to whet the appetite.
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Yet another misuse of LD

In “City Pushes Shift for Special Education,” New York Times reporter Jennifer Medina made the same mistake that many reporters before her have made. She used “learning disabilities” as a synonym for “students with disabilities.” I wonder what Ms. Medina’s editor thinks the term “learning disabilities” means.
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New syndrome: Audible delays?

Does anybody know what is meant by “audible delays?”

According to a newspaper report by Bethany Hart who writes for the Washington Court House (OH, US) Record-Hearald, a woman named Tanya Cottrell noticed her child “was learning things in school a bit slower than the other children. He was diagnosed [with] having audible delays which is considered a learning disability.”
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About on Irlen

Whoever writes the section of About on Learning Disabilities provides support for Irlen Syndrome. Although there are two sentences expressing reservation and it doesn’t flatly commend the idea, there are 100s of words describing it and making fact-like statements such as “It often runs in families and typically goes mis-diagnosed as a learning disability or dyslexia.”

Here are the two disclaiming statements:

  • “Research in this area, however, is quite limited.”
  • “It is important to note that Irlen syndrome and visual treatments are unproven and not recognized by the major academic Pediatric Organizations in the US(AAP, AOA, and AAO.)”
  • At least there are those two sentence. Still, why report all the other stuff uncritically? But, perhaps I’m misreading the entry or over-reacting. I invite readers to check it (link to the entry) and then vote in this poll.

    [poll id=”7″]

    Stop slurring

    I’m talking about speech, but not about speaking indistinctly and running one’s words together. I’m talking about speech that insults.

    Over on One Special Place, Renee Beauregard has a post deriding the use of “retard” and its variants (‘tard, ‘tarded, etc.) in common speech.

    Do you have any idea how many times people with developmental disabilities are called the “R” word – in a way that is meant to be derogatory? And now, this word has become an adjective used as much as any other negative word to describe a person.

    The history of disabilities is replete with terms that were once used clinically as well as insultingly: imbecile, idiot, moron, and others. Now that groups such as the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD; formerly American Association for Mental Retardation or AAMR) have changed their names, maybe the term “retard” as a slur can take its place on the slag heap of misbegotten insults.

    Ms. Beauregard notes some examples of people taking offense at this use of the term. Link to her post. There are other resources available, too. Check Alex Santoso’s post from Neatorama for notes about the usage of some of these terms. Meanwhile, have a little consideration, please.

    Sigh–new content

    Despite getting virtually no recommendations about future content (3 votes!), I’m starting to post some new content. The new content is, in my obviously biased view (else, why would I post it?), pretty important stuff. It’s about research, practice, knowledge, and all that sort of stuff as it connects to Learning Disabilities. In this page, I discuss big-idea concepts that recur in Learning Disabilities. These are the themes that one sees when one reads a diverse array of literature on the topic of LD.

    I recommend it. What’s more, you won’t have to find this post each time you want to refer to the page; it will always be directly accessible under the “special content” link in the top navigation bar.

    Masons to the rescue again

    In “Solving the dyslexia puzzle,” Teri Maddox of the Belleville (IL, US) News-Democrat reports about Matt Grohmann’s struggles with dyslexia. The good news is that Mr. Grohmann hooked up with Michele Johnson who tutors for the Valley of Southern Illinois 32nd Degree Masonic Learning Center for Children.

    Matt Grohmann looks forward to after-school tutoring the way other kids look forward to Boy Scouts or baseball practice.

    The one-on-one sessions with a reading specialist give him a chance to be successful and make the rest of his life happier.
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