Learning Difficulties Australia

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Learning Difficulties, Disabilities, and Dyslexia

Introduction
Key Research Papers: Learning Difficulties, Disabilities
Key Research Papers: Dyslexia
Programs and Resources
Useful Links

Introduction

The term 'Learning Difficulties' most often refers to difficulties in learning to read and write, but is also applied in other areas of learning, including mathematics. Learning difficulties can be caused by internal factors (inherent, medical, physical, neurological), AND/OR, external factors, (family, communities, opportunities, experiences). Internal factors are intrinsic to the individual, can cause a person to learn differently, are usually life-long, and are usually considered a learning disability – also referred to as a specific or significant learning difficulty (in Australia and the UK), or learning disability (in the US and Canada). Dyslexia is generally considered to be a learning disability, or specific learning difficulty.

Australian surveys have indicated that 10 to 16 per cent of students are perceived by their teachers to have learning difficulties and have support needs, particularly in literacy, that go beyond those normally addressed by classroom teachers. These rates are similar to those reported in the UK and USA. Within the population of students with learning difficulties there is a smaller sub-set of students who show persistent and long lasting learning impairments and these are identified as students with a learning disability. It is estimated that approximately 4 per cent of Australian students have a learning disability.1

Primary school children who are struggling to learn to read are of two kinds. Many of them would learn to read to an age appropriate level if they were exposed to the right kind of reading instruction in the classroom. But others would still be struggling even if what was being delivered to them in their classrooms was the best, most systematic evidence-based classroom instruction in reading. These are children who are often referred to as dyslexic. Both groups of children require intervention, but the period over which intervention is required and the intensity of the intervention will vary according to the degree of difficulty experienced and its cause.

Expert views on dyslexia largely agree on two basic points. First, dyslexia is identifiable as a developmental difficulty in learning to read. Secondly, the long running debate about its existence should give way to building professional expertise in identifying dyslexia and developing effective ways to help learners overcome its effects. It is also generally agreed that the earlier dyslexic difficulties are identified the better are the chances of putting children on the road to success.2

1. Louden, W., Chan, L., Elkins, J., Greaves, D., House, H., Milton, M., Nichols, S., Rivalland, J., Rohl, M., & van Kraayennoord, C. (2000). Mapping the territory, primary students with learning difficulties: Literacy and numeracy, Vol. 1, 2, & 3. Department of Education, Training, & Youth Affairs: Canberra, ACT.
2. The Sir Jim Rose review Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties (2009)
https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/_arc_SOP/Page7/DCSF-00659-2009

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Key Research Papers

Learning Difficulties, Disabilities

CHERI, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead Education Research Institute, Hippocrates and Socrates XVI Conference, September 2011 - Memory and Learning: What Works
Working memory is our ability to store and manipulate information for a brief time. Effective working memory is crucial and necessary to undertake many everyday tasks and learning activities. This conference focused on working memory, how it relates to other cognitive functions, its role in classroom learning and in the acquisition of academic skills. In addition, methods of identifying poor working memory in school aged children and interventions to improve working memory were presented. Research indicates that working memory is a strong predictor of learning success.
http://www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html
Dr Susan Gathercole explains Working Memory click the link to view video   
http://youtu.be/S65D2oazf8M

“Just try harder and you will shine”: A Study of 20 Lazy Children - 2009
Authors: Linda Gilmore and Gillian Boulton-Lewis
Queensland University of Technology
Attributions of laziness, reflected in teacher comments such as “just try harder and you will shine” may mask specific cognitive, learning, attentional or emotional problems that could explain low motivation in some children. This paper reports findings from an investigation of 20 children, aged 7 to 10 years, who were regarded as lazy by their parents and teachers. Questionnaire measures provided evidence of low levels of motivation and classroom engagement. Psychometric assessments revealed the presence of a range of difficulties including phonologically-based learning disabilities and significant problems with attention in 17 of the 20 children. The paper concludes that the special needs of an unknown number of children may be overlooked because they are simply presumed to be lazy.
http://eprints.qut.edu.au/29708/1/c29708.pdf

Neuromyths in education: Prevalence and predictors of misconceptions among teachers
Authors: Sanne Dekker1*, Nikki C. Lee1, Paul Howard-Jones2 and Jelle Jolles1
1Department of Educational Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Education, LEARN! Institute, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
The OECD’s Brain and Learning project (2002) emphasized that many misconceptions about the brain exist among professionals in the field of education. Though these so-called “neuromyths” are loosely based on scientific facts, they may have adverse effects on educational practice. The present study investigated the prevalence and predictors of neuromyths among teachers in selected regions in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
http://www.frontiersin.org/Educational_Psychology/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00429/full   

The Appeal of the Brain in the Popular Press
Author: Diane M. Beck
Department of Psychology and Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Since the advent of human neuroimaging, and of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in particular, the popular press has shown an increasing interest in brain-related findings. In this article, I explore possible reasons behind this interest, including recent data suggesting that people find brain images and neuroscience language more convincing than results that make no reference to the brain (McCabe & Castel, 2008; Weisberg, Keil, Goodstein, Rawson, & Gray, 2008). I suggest that part of the allure of these data are the deceptively simply messages they afford, as well as general, but sometimes misguided, confidence in biological data. In addition to cataloging some misunderstandings by the press and public, I highlight the responsibilities of the research scientist in carefully conveying their work to the general public.
http://pps.sagepub.com/content/5/6/762.full

Learning and the Brain
CHERI, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead Education Research Institute, Hippocrates and Socrates XVI Conference, September 2011 - Memory and Learning: What Works
Working memory is our ability to store and manipulate information for a brief time. Effective working memory is crucial and necessary to undertake many everyday tasks and learning activities. This conference focused on working memory, how it relates to other cognitive functions, its role in classroom learning and in the acquisition of academic skills. In addition, methods of identifying poor working memory in school aged children and interventions to improve working memory will be presented. Research indicates that working memory is a strong predictor of learning success.
http://www.cheri.com.au/presentations.html  
Dr Susan Gathercole explains Working Memory click the link to view video   
http://youtu.be/S65D2oazf8M 

Dyslexia

Why children fail to read

Sir Jim Rose, 01.06.15

This article was written in relation to the Dyslexia Debate - “Labelling children to place them into fixed categories is always risky and calls for a separate discussion. Meanwhile, this debate has at least highlighted the question of how, so-called, ‘within the child’, inherited characteristics associated with dyslexia might be disentangled from reading difficulties associated with environmental factors ‘outside the child’, such as, poor quality teaching, weaknesses in parenting, disadvantageous socio-economic circumstances, or a sticky mix of all these conditions that obstruct learning to read.”

 Click here to read the Jim Rose Paper.

Learning to read in Australia

Authors: Max Coltheart and Margot Prior

The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia 
Occasional Paper Number 1 2007
.
Introduction

Learning to read is not easy, and a substantial number of children struggle to do it. Children who read substantially less well than most children of their age may be referred to as exhibiting 'specific learning difficulties' or 'specific reading impairment' or 'developmental dyslexia' ('dyslexia' for short). These different terms are typically used interchangeably. Learning to write and spell is not easy, either, and some children lag behind their peers here, too. The distinction between difficulty in learning to read and difficulty in learning to write and spell is worth making because there are children who are normal readers for their age but poor spellers: these children are dysgraphic (poor at writing and spelling) while not being dyslexic (poor at reading). Children who have had difficulty in learning to read but have managed to catch up with their peers as far as reading is concerned often still exhibit poor writing and spelling.
http://www.assa.edu.au/publications/occasional_papers/2007_No1.php

Decoding, Reading, and Reading Disability
Philip B. Gough William E. Tunmer
DOI: 10.1177/074193258600700104
To clarify the role of decoding in reading and reading disability, a simple model of reading is proposed, which holds that reading equals the product of decoding and comprehension. It follows that there must be three types of reading disability, resulting from an inability to decode, an inability to comprehend, or both. It is argued that the first is dyslexia, the second hyperlexia, and the third common or garden variety, reading disability.
Remedial and Special Education, Vol. 7, No. 1, 6-10 (1986)
http://rse.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/7/1/6

The Brain Basis of the Phonological Deficit in Dyslexia Is Independent of IQ
Author: Hiroko Tanaka, et al.
Although the role of IQ in developmental dyslexia remains ambiguous, the dominant clinical and research approaches rely on a definition of dyslexia that requires reading skill to be significantly below the level expected given an individual’s IQ. In the study reported here, we used functional MRI (fMRI) to examine whether differences in brain activation during phonological processing that are characteristic of dyslexia were similar or dissimilar in children with poor reading ability who had high IQ scores (discrepant readers) and in children with poor reading ability who had low IQ scores (nondiscrepant readers). In two independent samples including a total of 131 children, using univariate and multivariate pattern analyses, we found that discrepant and nondiscrepant poor readers exhibited similar patterns of reduced activation in brain areas such as left parietotemporal and occipitotemporal regions. These results converge with behavioral evidence indicating that, regardless of IQ, poor readers have similar kinds of reading difficulties in relation to phonological processing.
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/10/17/0956797611419521

Neural deficits in children with dyslexia ameliorated by behavioral remediation: evidence from functional MRI
Authors: Elise Temple, Gayle K Deutsch, Russell A Poldrack, Steven L Miller, Paula Tallal,Michael M Merzenich, John D E Gabrieli
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2003).
01/04/200304/2003; 100(5):2860-5.
ISSN: 0027-8424 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0030098100
Developmental dyslexia, characterized by unexplained difficulty in reading, is associated with behavioral deficits in phonological processing.Functional neuro imaging studies have shown a deficit in the neural mechanisms underlying phonological processing in children and adults with dyslexia. The present study examined whether behavioral remediation ameliorates these dysfunctional neural mechanisms in children with dyslexia. Results suggest that a partial remediation of language-processing deficits, resulting in improved reading,ameliorates disrupted function in brain regions associated with phonological processing and produces additional compensatory activation in other brain regions.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10884042-Neural-deficits-in-children-with-dyslexia-ameliorated-by-behavioral-remediation-evidence-from-functional-MRI     

Brain mechanisms in normal and dyslexic readers
Author: Elise Temple
Current opinion in neurobiology 01/05/200205/2002; 12(2):178-83.
ISSN: 0959-4388
Developmental dyslexics, individuals with an unexplained difficulty reading, have been shown to have deficits in phonological processing, the awareness of the sound structure of words, and in some cases, a more fundamental deficit in rapid auditory processing. In addition, dyslexics show a disruption in white matter connectivity between posterior and frontal regions. These results give continued support for a neurobiological etiology of developmental dyslexia. However, more research will be required to determine the possible causal relationships between these neurobiological disruptions and dyslexia.
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/11356877_Brain_mechanisms_in_normal_and_dyslexic_readers

Does Dyslexia Exist?
Authors: Julian G. Elliott and Simon Gibbs
Journal of Philosophy of Education Vol. 42, No. 3-4, 2008
Journal of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
In this paper we argue that attempts to distinguish between categories of dyslexia‚ and Poor reader‚ or Reading disabled‚ are scientifically unsupportable, arbitrary and thus potentially discriminatory. We do not seek to veto scientific curiosity in examining underlying factors in reading disability, for seeking greater understanding of the relationship between visual symbols and spoken language is crucial. However, while stressing the potential of genetics and neuroscience for guiding assessment and educational practice at some stage in the future, we argue that there is a mistaken belief that current knowledge in these fields is sufficient to justify a category of dyslexia as a subset of those who encounter reading difficulties. The implications of this debate for large-scale intervention are outlined.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9752.2008.00653.x/abstract

Functional MRI of Sentence Comprehension in Children with Dyslexia: Beyond Word Recognition
Authors: S.L. Rimrodt, A.M. Clements-Stephens, K.R. Pugh, S.M. Courtney, P. Gaur, J.J. Pekar and L.E. Cutting
Cerebral Cortex, doi:10.1093/cercor/bhn092
Sentence comprehension (SC) studies in typical and impaired readers suggest that reading for meaning involves more extensive brain activation than reading isolated words. Thus far, no reading disability/dyslexia (RD) studies have directly controlled for the word recognition (WR) components of SC tasks, which is central for understanding comprehension processes beyond WR. This experiment compared SC to WR in 29, 9ˆ14 year olds (15 typical and 14 impaired readers). The SC-WR contrast for each group showed activation in left inferior frontal and extra striate regions, but the RD group showed significantly more activation than Controls in areas associated with linguistic processing (left middle/superior temporal gyri), and attention and response selection (bilateral insula, right cingulate gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, and right parietal lobe). Further analyses revealed this overactivation was driven by the RD group's response to incongruous sentences. Correlations with out-of-scanner measures showed that better word- and text-level reading fluency was associated with greater left occipitotemporal activation, whereas worse performance on WR, fluency, and comprehension (reading and oral) were associated with greater right hemisphere activation in a variety of areas, including supramarginal and superior temporal gyri. Results provide initial foundations for understanding the neurobiological correlates of higher-level processes associated with reading comprehension.
http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/bhn092v2

Early identification and interventions for dyslexia: a contemporary view
Author: Margaret J. Snowling
Article first published online: 14 OCT 2012  
 DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-3802.2012.01262.
This paper reviews current proposals concerning the definition of dyslexia and contrasts it with reading comprehension impairment. We then discuss methods for early identification and review evidence that teacher assessments and ratings may be valid screening tools. Finally, we argue that interventions should be theoretically motivated and evidence based. We conclude that early identification of children at risk of dyslexia followed by the implementation of intervention is a realistic aim for practitioners and policy-makers.

Scientific research on dyslexia has burgeoned during the past 50 years, and a great deal is now known about its nature, aetiology and assessment. Against this backdrop, it should be possible for educators to recognise the signs which suggest that a child is at risk of reading failure. Such early identification should allow interventions to be implemented before a downward spiral of underachievement, lowered self-esteem and poor motivation sets in. This paper begins by reviewing the new proposals for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual's (DSM-V) definition of dyslexia and proceeds to examine whether children with dyslexia and related literacy difficulties can be identified based on their response to good quality reading instruction. This aspiration was at the core of the recent independent review on dyslexia for UK government, conducted by Sir Jim Rose (2009). The review advocated a three-tier system beginning with high-quality mainstream teaching delivered to all, proceeding with adaptations and catch-up programmes for those at risk and finally individualised teaching for those at greatest need. A growing evidence base of effective interventions suggests that this aim could become a reality.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-3802.2012.01262.x/full  

Leading Medical Organizations Issue Revised Policy Statement On Learning Disabilities And Dyslexia
The American Academy of Ophthalmology announced that it has issued a revised policy statement on Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision. The revised  statement, which was issued jointly with the American Academy of Pediatrics  (AAP), the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus  (AAPOS) and the American Association of Certified Orthoptists (AACO), expands upon the previous policy and includes extensive scientific  references. ?The statement also notes that there is no scientific evidence to support the use of vision therapy or tinted lenses or filters as effective direct or indirect treatments for learning disabilities. There is no valid evidence that children participating in vision therapy are more responsive to educational instruction than children who do not participate. "The claim that vision therapy improves visual efficiency cannot be substantiated," the policy states. "Diagnostic treatment and approaches that lack scientific evidence of efficacy are not endorsed or recommended." The policy statement is available at:

http://www.aapos.org/client_data/files/2011/333_learningdisabilitiesdyslexiavisionpolicystatement2009aaoversion.pdf



DysTalk
The dysTalk site is an information sharing enterprise for parents who are looking for information on how to optomise their childÇs learning. dysTGalk provides information on specific learning difficulties that may be undermining a childÇs performance as well as learning strategies that can potentially be applied to all children of all abilities. For example, dysTalk provides lectures by eminent researchers such as Maggie Snowling, on Dyslexia Support and Intervention.
http://www.dystalk.com

Intervention for Dyslexia - A review of published evidence on the impact of specialist dyslexia teaching
Author: Chris Singleton
University of Hull May 2009
In the UK, 'specialist dyslexia teaching' may be regarded as an umbrella term for the approaches that are used by teachers who have undergone specialist training and attained qualifications in the teaching of children and adults with dyslexia. These approaches may be summarised as being systematic, multisensory and phonologically based. Criteria of (a) tuition being additional to that normally provided, and (b) focused directly on developing literacy skills, were also imposed on the review. Accordingly, indirect methods and 'alternative therapies' for dyslexia are not considered here.
http://www.thedyslexia-spldtrust.org.uk/article/13/review-of-international-research-published-by-dr-chris-singleton

Dyslexia at Transition - Scotland
This website is being developed as a result of the Dyslexia at Transition DVD which was launched by Sir Jackie Stewart on May 30th 2007 in Edinburgh. Throughout the summer every school in Scotland will receive a copy of the DVD and a series of Roadshows is currently being arranged for session 07/08 to introduce authorities to the DVD and offer teachers some 'hands on' experience of the disc and its potential.

Rose Report on Dyslexia: Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties
Sir Jim Rose was asked to make recommendations on the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia, and on how best to take forward the commitment in the Children's Plan to establish a pilot scheme in which children with dyslexia will receive Reading Recovery support or one-to-one tuition from specialist dyslexia teachers.
This review aims to help policy makers and providers strengthen practice, and assure parents that provision for children with dyslexia will be as good as possible.
http://www.thedyslexia-spldtrust.org.uk/5/publications/6/index-of-papers
(Editor's note: Rose was required to make recommendations about how to best establish a pilot scheme in which children with dyslexia receive Reading Recovery support. Rose stated that it would not be possible to undertake this proposal with sufficient rigour for any meaningful results to be obtained. This recommendation has been accepted and the proposed Reading Recovery trial has been cancelled.)

'No to Failure' Final Report
The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust has published the 'No to Failure' project Final Report. This follows a 2-year campaign to demonstrate and communicate the impact of specialist teaching support for children and young people with Dyslexia or specific learning difficulties (SpLD)...The 'No to Failure' project was also a catalyst, instrumental in the Government commissioning of Sir Jim Rose's Review of Dyslexia Provision. This review is welcomed by The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust as an important step towards understanding and improving national provision for pupils with Dyslexia-SpLD.
http://www.thedyslexia-spldtrust.org.uk/5/publications/6/index-of-papers

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Programs and Resources

MUSEC Briefings
The Macquarie University Special Education Centre offers MUSEC Briefings as a service to the community and are published several times a year. MUSEC Briefings are a collection of one page fact sheets about a single, very specific educational issue, strategy or commercial program and are consistently structured firstly with a Statement of the Problem, and then Proposed Solution / Intervention, The Theoretical rationale, What does the research say, Conclusions, Alternative Options, and ending with a recommendation. The MUSEC Briefings are free and may be copied or otherwise reproduced for not for profit purposes if in their entirety, and include clear indication of their source.
http://www.musec.mq.edu.au/community_outreach/musec_briefings.jsp

From Neurons to Neighborhoods:The Science of Early Childhood Development                                                                   
Jack P. Shonkoff and Deborah A. Phillips, Editors  2000
Board on Children, Youth, and Families National Research Council and Institute of Medicine
Scientists have had a long-standing fascination with the complexities of the process of human development. Parents have always been captivated by the rapid growth and development that characterize the earliest years of their children's lives. Professional service providers continue to search for new knowledge to inform their work. Consequently, one of the distinctive features of the science of early childhood development is the extent to which it evolves under the anxious and eager eyes of millions of families, policy makers, and service providers who seek authoritative guidance as they address the challenges of promoting the health and well-being of young children.
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9824&page=1  

The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child
Established in 2003, the National Scientific Council is a multi-disciplinary collaboration of scientists and scholars from universities across the United States and Canada designed to bring the science of early childhood and early brain development to bear on public policy decision-making. The mission of the Council is to synthesize and communicate science to help inform policies that promote successful learning, adaptive behavior, and sound physical and mental health for all young children. Central to this concept is the ongoing generation, analysis, and integration of knowledge and the critical task of educating policymakers, civic leaders, and the general public about the rapidly growing science of early childhood development and its underlying neurobiology.
http://developingchild.harvard.edu/initiatives/council 

Twice-Exceptional Students Gifted Students with Disabilities
An Introductory Resource Book, Second Edition
Colorado Department of Education, Denver Colorado
Gifted students with disabilities are at-risk because their educational and social/emotional needs often go undetected. The resulting inconsistent academic performance can lead educators to believe twice-exceptional students are not putting forth adequate effort. Hidden disabilities may prevent students with advanced cognitive abilities from achieving their potential. The manual is a good resource about twice-gifted students and includes a glossary defining the Response to Intervention model.
http://www.cde.state.co.us/gt/download/pdf/TwiceExceptionalResourceHandbook.pdf

Twice-Exceptional Guide – 2007
This 108 page manual was prepared by the Ohio Department of Education to prepare Ohio schools to close the achievement gap for gifted students with disabilities and is dedicated to improving the performance of underachieving students.
www.edresourcesohio.org/files/twice_exceptional_guide.pdf  

Learning Disabilities Worldwide
Learning Disabilities Worldwide (LDW) has been in existence since 1965. LDW is a global voice of hope and gateway to a world of opportunities for people with learning disabilities. A goal of LDW is to†promote early intervention to prevent unnecessary failure and frustration. LDW is an authoritative leader on disseminating research:
o Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal
o Insights on Learning Disabilities: From Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices
o Doctoral Scholarly Review
o Masters Scholarly Review
http://www.ldaworldwide.org/

Bangor Dyslexia Unit, Bangor University (UK)
At the Dyslexia Unit, we aspire to providing assessment, teaching and support services that are informed by cutting-edge research findings. We follow international developments in dyslexia research, and, we conduct research as one of our core activities.† The Dyslexia Unitís ongoing research programme includes a number of exciting projects.
http://www.dyslexia.bangor.ac.uk/research.php.en

The Eyetracking Laboratory, University of Massachusetts (USA) supports research on reading, language processing, and other aspects of cognition including visual scene perception, attention, and memory. Faculty and graduate students in the UMass Cognitive Psychology program, postdoctoral fellows, collaborators in the Linguistics, Computer Science, and Engineering Departments, and visitors from around the world conduct research using the eyetrackers it houses and the data collection and analysis programs it has developed. The lab contains three SR Research Ltd. Eyelink trackers: an Eyelink II, an Eyelink 1000, and an Eyelink 2K. The lab also contains equipment for behavioral experiments on the processing of written and spoken language.
http://www.psych.umass.edu/eyelab/

Institute of Human Cognition and Brain Science, Macquarie University (Australia)
The Institute consists of two research centres, one in the area of cognitive science (MACCS) and the other in the area of special education (MUSEC). These two centres work closely together, holding joint seminars, co-supervising PhD students, and cooperating in efforts to influence public policy on assistance for children with developmental difficulties such as dyslexia, specific language impairment or autism.
http://www.ihcbs.mq.edu.au

The Children's Hospital Education Research Institute (CHERI)
The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Australia is a unique research institute that aims to improve the interface between childrenís health and their education. CHERI is a highly regarded and nationally recognised institute that conducts research into the educational and psychosocial aspects of children with learning problems. CHERI also provides information and resources to families and professionals through its conferences, research forums, and helpful information sheets.
http://www.cheri.com.au/

Current Practice Alerts
The Alerts series is a joint initiative sponsored by two divisions of the Council for Exceptional Children-the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) and the Division for Research (DR). Alerts provide timely and informed judgments regarding professional practices in the field. Based on the adequacy of the current knowledge base and practice experience, each Alert makes a recommendation of 'Go For It' (practices for which there is solid research evidence of effectiveness), or 'Use Caution' (practices for which the research evidence is incomplete, mixed, or negative).
http://teachingld.org/ld_resources/alerts/default.htm  

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Useful links

SERUpdate is a quality newsletter from the South Australian Special Education Resources Unit which supports the education of children and students with disabilities and learning difficulties.
http://web.seru.sa.edu.au/SERUpdate.htm

The National Center for Learning Disabilities
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is a national non-profit organization committed to increasing opportunities for all individuals with learning disabilities so that they can achieve their full potential. NCLD has a particular interest in early literacy skills because of their importance to reading and school success. Its vision is that all children are screened for early literacy skills and potential reading difficulties in the preschool years as routinely as they are screened for hearing and vision problems.
http://www.ncld.org

The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child
Established in 2003, the National Scientific Council is a multi-disciplinary collaboration of scientists and scholars from universities across the United States and Canada designed to bring the science of early childhood and early brain development to bear on public policy decision-making. The mission of the Council is to synthesize and communicate science to help inform policies that promote successful learning, adaptive behavior, and sound physical and mental health for all young children. Central to this concept is the ongoing generation, analysis, and integration of knowledge and the critical task of educating policymakers, civic leaders, and the general public about the rapidly growing science of early childhood development and its underlying neurobiology.
http://developingchild.harvard.edu/initiatives/council

IDA - The International Dyslexia Association (USA) concerns itself with the complex issues of dyslexia. The scientific and educational organization of this non-profit site is dedicated to the study and treatment of the learning disability, dyslexia as well as related language-based learning differences. IDA focuses resources in four essential areas: Information & Referral Services Research, Advocacy & Public Policy, Professional Development.
http://www.interdys.org/index.htm

Core Knowledge Preschool vs. Traditional Preschool
This website is about A School Reform Movement taking shape in hundreds of schools where educators have committed themselves to teaching important skills and the Core Knowledge content they share within grade levels, across districts, and with other Core Knowledge schools across the country.
Features of Core Knowledge Preschool
* classroom experiences and activities are based on explicit guidelines that specify essential knowledge and skills for all preschool age children (Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence)
* Sequence goals build sequentially, step by step: current knowledge and skills become the starting point for subsequent experience and instruction.
Features of Many Traditional Preschools
* classroom experiences and activities are often spontaneous, based on child and/or teacher interest, with random coverage of essential knowledge and skills
* no goals or, at best, very global goals concerning curriculum and content
http://coreknowledge.org/CK/Preschool/preschool_features.htm

Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice in Education (UK)
The EPPI-Centre was established in 1993 to address the need for a systematic approach to the organisation and review of evidence-based work on social interventions.
http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk

National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (UK)
NRDC is the national centre dedicated to research and development on adult literacy, language and numeracy. It was established as part of Skills for Life, the national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy skills.
http://www.nrdc.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=424  

Uniquely Gifted
This site is devoted to providing resources and meeting the needs of twice-exceptional students – those with special needs such as learning disabilities, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, etc.
http://www.uniquelygifted.org  

National Center for Learning Disabilities
NCLD provides essential information to parents, professionals and individuals with learning disabilities, promotes research and programs to foster effective learning, and advocates for policies to protect and strengthen educational rights and opportunities. Since its beginning, NCLD has been led by passionate and devoted parents committed to creating better outcomes for children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities.
http://www.ncld.org  

Nasen is the leading organisation in the UK which aims to promote the education, training, advancement and development of all those with special and additional support needs. nasen reaches a huge readership through its journals: British Journal of Special Education, Support for Learning, new on-line publication Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs and the magazine Special.
www.nasen.org.uk

AUSPELD

The Australian Federation of SPELD Foundations providing advocacy and support to those with, or in care of people with learning difficulties and/or learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

www.auspeld.org.au

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