The State of Learning Disabilities: A New Report

Advocacy report on learning disabilities - awareness

This report, from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, is now available for reading and can be downloaded.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities, a leading advocacy group, just came out with a report, The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5. That figure, one in five, or 20 percent, refers to the number of students who have a learning disability, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or dyslexia. This population is very much misunderstood; all too often, these children are (mis)labeled as lazy or unmotivated or just not as smart as their peers. More often than not, these labels are untrue. Not only are these students at risk of failing school, but also they all too often struggle finding or keeping employment and are disproportionately represented in the prison population.

Despite one in five students having some sort of learning disability, according to this report, only one in 16 receive proper special-education services with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and only one in 50 receive services under Section 504.  This detailed report covers the following:

  • The neuroscience, stigma, and federal laws concerning these students
  • How to identify struggling students
  • Supporting academic success
  • The social, emotional, and behavioral challenges these students face and pose
  • Issues regarding the transitioning to life after high school
  • Recommended policies.

The report provides summaries for each state, with “key data points and comparisons to national averages in several areas such as inclusion in general education classrooms, disciplinary incidents and dropout rates for students with learning and attention issues.”

The bibliographic citation for this report is:

Horowitz, S. H., Rawe, J., & Whittaker, M. C. (2017). The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5. New York: National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week and a Half Ending June 2, 2017

The Van Liew-Suydam House is the HQ of the Meadows Foundation, one of many historical societies preserving the history of New Jersey.

Van Liew-Suydam House (1875) Photo: Daniel L. Berek

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring! Summer is almost here, and Advancing Opportunities is seeking Support Service Aides to assist teens and young adults with disabilities at summer camps in northern, central, and southern New Jersey.

Camp - Giorgia at Camp Hope East Hanover

The Support Service Aide is responsible for providing direct services to individuals with developmental disabilities in a camp setting. This may involve one or more of the following:

  • Engaging the individual in recreation activities
  • Assisting the individual with daily-living skills and personal care
  • Working on communication skills, or any other type of activity deemed appropriate for inclusion
  • Performing or any other type of activity deemed appropriate on the Individual Service Plan.
  • Completing the required weekly documentation of the services provided.

Please send your résumé to: hr@advopps.org

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

Here are tips on how to assist your child if he or she has anxiety over preschool.

Special Education:

Three months after a key government special education website at the Department of Education crashed, federal officials are introducing a revamped online presence.

Assistive technology:

This motorized ride-on toy car offers very young children actual mobility beyond the play!

“Tips for making accessibility a core design principle”

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

A prominent disability advocate tells “What I Learned at the United Nations on World Autism Awareness Day.”

A high school dropout with learning and attention issues becomes a youth advocate.

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

In his powerful talk, Dr. Victor Pineda (World Enabled) shares his search for what it means to be human, and what that journey has taught him about the enormous opportunity for brands to address the needs of everyone.

Interesting blog piece: “Dear World, I’m Trying.” Motivation in life and work with Asperger’s, with a dose of positive thinking.

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion): 

A comedian finds serious humor in his Asperger’s.

Medical news – research:

“Putting on My Best Normal”: Social Camouflaging in Adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions

New research finds higher concentrations of heavy metals in the baby teeth of children with autism spectrum disorder, compared with children without. The study found that these baby teeth from children with autism contain more toxic lead and fewer essential nutrients than do teeth from children without autism.

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending May 26, 2017

East Hannover Cultivator

This beautiful 19th-century cultivator was found abandoned in a field. The local East Hanover, NJ, Boy Scouts restored it and helped erect this lovely little homage to their town’s agricultural past.

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

 

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring! Advancing Opportunities is seeking a full-time Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services in our Residential Services Department.

 

 

JOB SUMMARY

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services shall be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive internal and external marketing and intake plan that fulfills Advancing Opportunities’ residential contract and expands the residential services throughout the state. The Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services promotes the professional development that enhances operational activities and the specialized services provided to learners/clients of Advancing Opportunities. The Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services will be proficient in Behavior Analysis in order to complete professional assessments of those consumers referred for services. He or she will performs other duties, as deemed necessary for the agency.

 

advoppslogosmallFor more information on this position, please visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/job/assistant-director-intake-behavioral-services-2/

 

 

Advancing Opportunities news:

Shining Stars Network PerformersOur friends at the Shining Stars Network asked us to help get the word out about Camp Shine, their performing arts camp for students with special needs. Performers ages 10 to 21 are invited to attend the camp that runs from August 21 through September 1, at the Fanwood Presbyterian Church in Fanwood. Space is limited. First come, first served.
For more information or to register, contact shiningstarsnetwork@gmail.com

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

Jewish leaders and advocates are working for full inclusion and advocacy for people with disabilities in New Jersey.

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

Having autism as a parent might seem impossibly challenging. However, a generation of parents with the condition is showing that it can be an advantage.

 

Presented are four critical choices when establishing a special needs trust.

 

The challenge parents of young adults with autism face is helping them find a role where their employer has the awareness and knowledge to help them succeed.

 

 

Assistive technology:

This new app allows users to contact highly trained interpreters for limited English proficient, deaf, or hard-of-hearing with just one touch.

 

Here are three ways artificial intelligence and other AT might humanize modern care.

 

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

“The Price of Disability Denial” – Opinion piece in the New York Times on the necessity of disability advocacy: “One of the little-recognized side effects of disability denial is that it inhibits the firing of the synapses that enables people to think of themselves as having rights.”

 

 

Employment for people with disabilities:

A girl with Down syndrome put her positivity and love for animals to work by launching her own dog treat business.

 

Found in Forbes: “Increasing Autism Employment: An Anthropologist’s Perspective”

 

Some 27 percent of adults with autism who use state disability services have no work or other activities: National Autism Indicators Report 2017

 

An increasing number of companies are recognizing how recruiting “neurodivergent” people can bring a whole range of skills and abilities to a workforce.

 

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion): 

Making digital history accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired.

 

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

Interesting blog piece: “When People Use Diversity to Defend Sameness in Autism Narratives”

 

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, each day a celebrity offers insight into the question: “What would I tell my younger self”?

 

A young woman with cerebral palsy is candid about what she would like able-bodied people to know.
“How I learned to love my walking stick”

 

 

Medical news – research:

A recent study has demonstrated that intranasal oxytocin can influence how individuals with autism perceive emotion in others. This is an important first step for a potential pharmacological treatment of autism.

 

 

Animals and animal therapy:

A University of Missouri-Columbia study reveals recommendations for certifying emotional support animals

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending May 19, 2017

Lakeland Bus

This vehicle is a combination of a transit bus and a motor coach, used by multiple companies in northern New Jersey to ferry suburban commuters to New York City. Lakeland, based in Dover, NJ, still exists; the company in fact donated this bus to the museum and the CEO pays for its upkeep. This very bus was also a movie star, having appeared in Forrest Gump. Photo: Daniel L. Berek

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring! Advancing Opportunities is seeking a full-time Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services in our Residential Services Department.

dv1954021

Studio Shot of a Mixed Age, Multiethnic Group of Men and Women Standing in a Line

JOB SUMMARY: The Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services shall be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive internal and external marketing and intake plan that fulfills Advancing Opportunities’ residential contract and expands the residential services throughout the state. The Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services promotes the professional development that enhances operational activities and the specialized services provided to learners/clients of Advancing Opportunities. The Assistant Director of Intake and Behavioral Services will be proficient in Behavior Analysis in order to complete professional assessments of those consumers referred for services. He or she will performs other duties, as deemed necessary for the agency.

For more information on this position, please visit us online.

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

More and more schools in New Jersey see the many benefits of inclusion of students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers.

How diverse are those companies issuing reports on their diversity?

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

One kind woman surprised a mom during her son with autism’s meltdown.Autism-stacking-cans

The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services, announces toll-free access to the publicly funded substance-use treatment provider community for adults affected by the disease of addiction.

 

Special Education:

The idea of Universal Design is not about kindness, or about compliance with the ADA. It is about common sense. When more people participate, everyone wins because human beings learn from each other.

 

Assistive technology:

 This new touchable tablet helps guide people with vision disabilities.

Augmented Ability: “Assistive Tech Gets Smart” – From braille smartwatches to GPS-enabled shoes, intuitive, connected technology is changing the game for people with disabilities.

BackMap helps visually impaired navigate cities and indoor areas

This 3D-printed arm was designed to help a boy play the cello.

 

Employment for people with disabilities:

One small business is hiring autistic adults and finding success.

Newly published: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): New Resources.

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

 Here is a play list from TED Talks – Ten talks on “Designing for Disability”

Meet the dad who quit his job to run a Minecraft server for autistic children. Autcraft is a haven like few others on the Internet: free from bullying, with a strong and supportive community.

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion):

The star of a new comic book has Down syndrome.

Even with ADA, people with disabilities in a wheelchair too often find themselves relegated to de facto segregation. Other times, freedom of movement is severely impinged. These issues are particularly acute for disabled black men and women.

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

This Oscar-nominated documentary about autism celebrates the outsider.

Blog piece: “How Having a Disabled Mom Helped Shape My Identity as a Disabled Woman”

A character with autism is at the center of prime-time TV drama coming this fall.

 

Medical news – research:

A recent research study shows that treatment with the common type 2 diabetes drug metformin improves social, behavioral, and neuron deficits in mouse model of fragile X.

A survey finds that one in two autistic adults have a low sense of well-being.

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending May 12, 2017

An_itinerant_surgeon_extracting_stones_from_a_man's_head;_sy_Wellcome_V0016245

This historic illustration depicts an itinerant surgeon extracting stones from a man’s head; symbolizing the expulsion of ‘folly'(insanity) .
Pencil drawing by Pieter Jansz Quast, via the Wellcome Trust

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring!

Advancing Opportunities has immediate openings for part-time Direct-Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey. In May, we will be holding job from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as follows: 

  • Wednesday, May 17. Parsippany Event. Family Resource Network, 322 U.S. Hwy. 46, Ste. 290, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
  • Tuesday, May 23. Marlboro Event. Marlboro Free Public Library, 1 Library Ct., Marlboro, NJ 07746

Advancing Opportunities provides supports to individuals with disabilities and their families, so they can live fully in the community.

Our team includes a diverse collection of men and women committed to treating the people and families we serve with dignity and respect and providing the highest quality services and supports.

Employees of the agency enjoy paid training and an excellent array of benefits, including health care and dental benefits for all eligible full-time staff and a 401(k) retirement plan for all eligible employees.

If you are unable to make it to one of the job fair open houses, you can also visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/

Advancing Opportunities news:

Carly Hewitt, honored with our Andrew J. Murphy award for self-advocacy, was featured in this article how assistive technology continues to help her realize her dreams.

Carly H

 

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

Learning Ally is offering two National Achievement Awards:  one is for a student with a visual impairment or blindness, and one is for a student with a learning disability. The student has to use Learning Ally. Find out if you are eligible for these prestigious awards. Deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 31.

 

New Jersey Governor Christie signed into law Bill S1825/A3432, which “establishes the New Jersey Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Mobility and Support Services Task Force to study and make recommendations concerning the mobility and support services needs of New Jersey adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).”

 

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

“To the moms who raise a loved one on the spectrum, this weekend is Mother’s Day, and I wanted you to know how important you are to your child….”

 

Parents can help children with autism become better storytellers.

 

A New Jersey father of two autistic children finds solace and meaning through golf.

 

 

 

Special Education:

“Autistic girls and school exclusion: Perspectives of students and their parents”
Open-source article in the journal Autism & Developmental Language Impairments

 

Teachers and students are working together to encourage self-regulation. This is especially important for autistic students, accepting their “autistic behaviors” in this context.

 

 

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

A woman with an “invisible disability” shares how her condition inspired her to become a disability advocate.

 

 

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

A special mom of special children: “…External successes and failures will be your successes and failures. You get to have those on your own and I will rejoice and celebrate and swell with pride as if I created those monumental moments but I do not get to take credit for those.”

 

An 11-year-old boy with autism finds happiness through music: “It brought him into my world,” said his mother.

 

A mom of three boys with autism has found the time to write and illustrate a children’s book, Jasmine’s World of Autism, to inform other parents of a child with an autistic sibling.

 

 

 

The Arts and People with Disabilities

It’s about time! Mickey Rowe, an actor with autism, is starring in “Curious Incident”

 

 

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion): 

Many children dream of one day walking down a runway. But for children with disabilities, that dream may seem out of reach. One community fashion show is making those fashionista dreams come true with a show designed to help children with disabilities, and local high school students, shine.

 

 

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

Thanks to the hard work of one talented and caring individual—a two-year labor of love—or spreading the critically important message of autism awareness and appreciation. The message of empathy in this video will certainly extend to other children who are “different.”

 

Noteworthy blog piece: “Leaving Neverland: Autism and the Peter Pan Myth”

 

 

 

Medical news—research:

Jon Elder Robison: “Why autistic people like me need to help shape autism science.”

 

 

 

Beauty, glamour, and fashion: the inclusion of people with disabilities:

A woman with Down syndrome competes in the Miss USA state pageant.

 

 

 

Animals and animal therapy:

An autistic rider who found her soulmate in an “unmanageable and unhappy” horse has saved the mare from being sold thanks to the generosity of strangers.

Rutgers University Offers an Inclusive Setting for Autistic Students

The Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services offers autistic adults inclusion in a community setting

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney was on hand this week to meet with the first adult with autism at the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS) day center. That program was launched late 2015.

“The Center for Adult Autism Services is working to accomplish something that I think everyone agrees should be our top priority,” said Senator Sweeney in a statement on his website. “It allows adults with autism to live as fulfilling a life as possible. We want everyone, no matter what challenges they face, to reach their fullest potential. This support can make a real difference in their lives.”

Rutgers Center Autism

When the first phase of the program is in full operation, the center will offer up to 60 adults with autism (living off campus) fulfilling university jobs. The effort will supported by Rutgers clinical staff and graduate students. The following (second) phase calls for a residential program for 20 adults with autism. These individuals will work on campus and live alongside Rutgers graduate students in an apartment-style residence. These inclusive settings will offer individuals with autism the satisfaction and learning that come from employment. As such, the program will present Rutgers students with important educational opportunities as well.

 

The University’s Douglass campus is already host to the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center. This on-site program for children and teens on the autism spectrum is accessible to graduate and undergraduate students in education and psychology.

Advancing Opportunities applauds efforts in New Jersey to provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities settings for full participation in society.

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending March 31, 2017

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending March 31, 2017

Deserted Village (Feltville) - Church and Store Building

This is one of the buildings at the Deserted Village, also known as Feltville. This tower is a later addition. The site is now under the care of the Watchung Reservation, Union County, NJ.

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

https://www.facebook.com/AdvancingOpportunities/

https://plus.google.com/b/113741235817976526648/113741235817976526648/

https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/5237078/

https://twitter.com/AdvOpps

https://www.youtube.com/user/assistivetechcenter

https://www.pinterest.com/AdvOpps/

Please stop by our website, http://advopps.org/, and find out all we have to offer.  In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

dv1954021

We’re hiring!

Advancing Opportunities has immediate openings for part-time Direct-Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey. In April, we will be holding job fairs on the following days, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 11. Budd Lake. Advancing Opportunities, 98 U.S. Hwy. 46 W., Budd Lake, NJ
  • Thursday, April 20. Parsippany. Family Resource Network, 322 U.S. Hwy. 46 W., Ste. 290, Parsippany, NJ
  • Tuesday, April 25. Marlboro. Marlboro Free Public Library, 1 Library Ct., Marlboro, NJ

Advancing Opportunities provides supports to individuals with disabilities and their families, so they can live fully in the community.

Our team includes a diverse collection of men and women committed to treating the people and families we serve with dignity and respect and providing the highest quality services and supports.

Employees of the agency enjoy paid training and an excellent array of benefits, including health care and dental benefits for all eligible full-time staff and a 401(k) retirement plan for all eligible employees.

If you are unable to make it to one of the job fair open houses, you can also visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/

Advancing Opportunities news:

Hoedown 2017 BarnMark your calendars for Saturday, April 22, 2017! It’s only a month away. Come and plan to join us for the best barn dance this side of the Mississippi! Each year, the agency holds several fundraising events. We consider them “friendraising” events as well. Join us and learn more about how you can help provide vital services and supports to children and adults with all types of disabilities.

http://advopps.org/hoedown

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

New Jersey adds 1,500 beds to community-based programs to accommodate people with mental illness. Advancing Opportunities is a major player in this residential care, allowing for maximum independence for this population.

This mom from Hopewell, NJ, (Mercer County) has worked tirelessly to raise both awareness and appreciation for children with Down syndrome, advocating for local parents.

Autism-stacking-cans

Enter a caption

Quinn, an 18-month-old boy with autism, purposefully stacks cans. Photographer: Andwhatsnext, via Wikimedia Commons.

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

A father and disability advocate creates an assistive technology app to assist his son with autism.

Quinn, an 18-month-old boy with autism, purposefully stacks cans. Photographer: Andwhatsnext, via Wikimedia Commons.

Special Education:

Slow processing speed and anxiety: here’s what you need to know.

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

This journal article examines the future of supported decision making for people with autism.

A violinist discusses using music to enact social change.

Assistive technology:

An exciting new piece of AAC assistive technology enhances accessibility for blind people.

With assistive technology, toddlers get up and go in their own set of wheels independently.

A neuroprosthesis enables a paralyzed man to feed himself independently.

This high-performance software for transcribing audio recordings can be a boon for people with dyslexia.

Employment for people with disabilities:

Programs in New Jersey offer young adults with autism independence and dignity through meaningful work.

Revisiting an autism employment success story: The Rising Tide Car Wash.

A recent report on PBS examines the need for more job opportunities for people with disabilities, who often still face discrimination. This is a matter of civil rights, as well as one of dignity and independence for the population we serve.

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

Here are ten books that feature positive depictions of characters with a disability.

“Make it Stop.” A brand-new and powerful awareness video to foster understanding of people with autism.

The Arts and People with Disabilities

Six blind professional musicians ranging in age from 17 to 65 come together in a London recording studio to create and record a musical tribute to Louis Braille.
 

After a debilitating accident, William Heard took up painting and founded an arts center in Mississippi.

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion):

Tenafly, NJ, housing offers a chance at independence for people with disabilities.  A leading disability advocate wrote an editorial.

Disability awareness and appreciation:

Teens describe their experiences with depression and anxiety.

“Twin Brothers Worlds Apart.” This British documentary, telling the stories of identical twins (except that one had autism), has garnered considerable acclaim.

Medical news – research:

New insight has been gained into the genetic and neuronal circuit mechanisms that may contribute to impaired sociability in some forms of autism spectrum disorder.

A drug used to treat excessive swelling seems to ease autism features in some children on the spectrum.

Two from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: