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Neurodiversity
When I was a special education teacher, most of my students had difficulty with academic tasks involving either words or numbers (or both).  However, many of these kids were gifted artists, cartoonists, Lego experts, mechanics, visualizers, and in other ways demonstrated competence in visual-spatial thinking.  Now, an exciting new article by a Duke researcher makes...
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I just finished watching a PBS documentary (part of the POV series) entitled ”Neurotypical”that focused on the lives of a number of people at different stages of life who have been diagnosed with autism or Asperger’s syndrome.  I thought the show was a beautiful depiction of the lives of these individuals;  their hopes, fears, loves,...
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Chalk up another strength for people who have been diagnosed with dyslexia.  A spokesperson for the U.K.’s top-secret electronic eavesdropping program reported that some of their most talented code-breakers are dyslexic.  I was just alerted to this fascinating news item from Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide at their terrific web site Dyslexic Advantage. The piece...
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On May 19, 2013 I attended graduation ceremonies at Berkshire Hills Music Academy (BHMA) in South Hadley, Massachusetts.  BHMA provides post-secondary education to young adults with developmental disabilities who have special interests and abilities in music.  This year there were eight graduates of BHMA’s  two-year certificate program (they also have summer programs, and an extended learning community program).  Students take...
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The establishment of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for students nationwide represents a particularly robust challenge for teachers of students with special needs.  On the one hand, advocates for students with disabilities have made it clear that they want these students to be held to the same high level of achievement as typically developing students.  On the other...
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