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EXECUTIVE FUNCTION suggestions:
* ask teachers to check if child wrote assignments in agenda
* post schedules and directions and SAY THEM OUT LOUD
* give step by step directions and HAVE CHILD REPEAT THEM
* use checklist and color-coded supplies
* break projects into smaller pieces with OWN DEADLINES
* use graphic organizers or mind-mapping software
* follow daily schedules with built-in times for breaks
* with your doctor, consider ADHD medication
source: http:www.understood.org, adapted from Thomas E Brown PhD
Reading / writing tutor in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email email@example.com
IDA FACT SHEET (International Dyslexia Association)
The application process for individuals planning to enter college can be a daunting experience. For individuals with disabilities who are requesting testing accommodations, this can be even more challenging, as it often requires assembling necessary documentation, completing additional paperwork, and anticipating deadlines. This IDA Fact Sheet gives a broad overview of the process in order to assist individuals who are requesting test accommodations on high stakes tests such as the SAT and ACT. It provides guidance about what forms to submit, how to provide sufficient disability documentation, and how to gather supplemental information if needed to support accommodation requests. Keep in mind that each testing agency sets its own requirements for requesting accommodations.
The Application Process
- Test takers should read the test information on the program’s website. Many tests are administered on computer and incorporate functions such as a built-in calculator, clock, etc. Additionally, most testing agencies provide supplemental information or a handbook for test takers with disabilities.
- The testing agency website will give specific information about how to apply for accommodations. This should be read carefully to determine which accommodations are necessary (e.g., additional testing time, or breaks, separate room, a reader, etc.).
- Special Services and/or counseling staff in the student’s high school or district may be able to assist in completing the application and acquiring the required documentation.
- Early submission of applications is important, as it’s not unusual for testing agencies to request additional scores, updated testing, or clarification, which can cause delays. This is particularly true during peak application periods.
- Once the agency receives an application for accommodations, it may be two months before the applicant is notified. If additional testing or an appeal is needed, all this must be accomplished and submitted at least 60 days in advance of the test date.
- Since most testing agencies no longer “flag” scores obtained under non-standard conditions, it is important to request accommodations that are needed.
- Typically, all documentation should be sent in one complete packet. This pertains to supporting documentation (IEP, transcripts, letters re: past accommodations).
- Testing agencies often require current documentation according to their individual “recency” criteria. For example, many testing agencies request documentation for learning disabilities to be dated within the last three to five years to reflect the test taker’s need for specific accommodations. Test takers should review the documentation guidelines posted on the website.
- Often, a current, comprehensive evaluation is needed, as an adult version of some tests may be required. For example, most testing agencies will not accept a handwritten prescription-pad note from a doctor. Documentation should be complete, dated, signed, in English, and on official letterhead. Disability documentation should address all of the following:
- The existence of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, as compared to most people in the general population
- A diagnosis of the disability and the current impact of impairment and how it limits the student’s ability to take the test under standard conditions
- A rationale for why the requested accommodations are necessary and appropriate. For example, if extra time is requested, the evaluation must say how much extended time should be provided and on what basis.
- The accommodations that are requested should generally match those provided in the past.
- Some accommodations may not require prior approval, such as braces or crutches, eyeglasses, insulin pump, etc. Lockers that can be accessed during breaks are typically provided for storage of food, water, and/or medication, if applicable.
- If sufficient disability documentation is unavailable or outdated, it may take up to nine months in advance to find a qualified professional with a qualified professional with experience and expertise in diagnosing and documenting the disability in question. That evaluator will need relevant historical information, including:
- Letters documenting a history of accommodations in school, such as IEPs or 504 plans, or proof of accommodations on statewide assessments.
- A description of tutoring or coaching services provided in the past.
- A comprehensive evaluation report for diagnosis of the disability and accommodation determination.
- Additionally, school records from elementary and high school as well as teacher comments will help support a history of a disability. High school transcripts may provide good evidence if they showed the impact of the disability on grades (e.g., dropped classes, withdrawals, incompletes, or failing grades). It is not always the case that accommodations in the past will automatically continue. An ongoing need for accommodations can be described in a personal statement.
- Many colleges and universities with strong school psychology programs perform evaluations at a reduced fee if a private evaluation is not feasible.
Types of Decision Letters
There are three basic types of decision letters that the testing agency sends:
- Approval—This type of letter will list the accommodations that have been approved.
- Once accommodations have been approved, directions on the approval letter regarding how to schedule the test and other pertinent information.
- Be aware that extra time may be needed to schedule the test after approval for accommodations. For example, extra time may be needed to secure a reader or scribe.
- Request for Additional Information—This type of letter is not a denial of the request. It specifies that the agency needs more information to complete the review.
- Denial—If the testing agency finds the documentation insufficient to support the accommodation request, this letter will explain the decision and will include options for requesting further review.
- Appeal Process: Each testing agency has established a procedure to allow an appeal of its decision. The information on how to appeal a decision is typically stated in the denial letter or on the agency’s website. When the requested information is submitted, the request will be reconsidered.
Preparing for the Test
Whether or not an accommodation request is approved, it is important for the student to become familiar with the upcoming test.
- Most testing agencies have a wide range of practice materials at no or low cost available to test takers.
- Areas of particular focus are the test format, the types of questions used, and the test directions for each type of question. This can reduce the amount of time spent familiarizing oneself with instructions on the test day. Alternate-format practice materials can be requested if this is one of the desired accommodations.
- The sample test questions can be practiced with and without the requested accommodations. The goal is to increase the number of questions correctly completed within the time limit. As you practice, try to increase the number of questions you can complete correctly within the time limit.
- Test sites differ, so it is a good idea to check out the location in advance.
- AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability) This is a professional association committed to full participation of persons with disabilities in postsecondary education. www.ahead.org
- Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html
- Rights and Responsibilities of College Students with LD (Learning Disabilities Association of America) https://ldaamerica.org/rights-and-responsibilities-of-college-students-with-learning-disabilities-ld/
- Educational Testing Service http://www.ets.org/disabilities
- ACT Test website http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration/accommodations.html
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) thanks Loring Brinkerhoff, Ph.D., Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D., BCET, CALT-QI, and Diana Sauter, Ph.D., for their assistance in the preparation of this fact sheet.
Reading / writing tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Arika Okrent
A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y is not all you need to know about vowels. There’s more to these workhorse members of our linguistics inventory than you might think.
- ENGLISH HAS MORE VOWELS THAN THERE ARE LETTERS FOR THEM.
A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y are the letters we define as vowels, but vowels can also be defined as speech sounds. While we have six letters we define as vowels, there are, in English, many more vowel sounds than that. For example consider the word pairs cat and car, or cook and kook. The vowel sounds are different from each other in each pair, but they are represented by the same letters. Depending on the dialect, and including diphthongs, which are combinations of two vowel sounds, English has from nine to 16 vowel sounds.
- THE MOST COMMON VOWEL IS SCHWA.
The most common vowel sound in English doesn’t even have its own letter in the alphabet. It does have a symbol, though, and it looks like this: ǝ. It’s the “uh” sound in an unstressed syllable and it shows up everywhere, from th[ǝ], to p[ǝ]tato, to antic[ǝ]p[ǝ]tory. You can discover nine fun facts about it here.
- YOUR SPANISH SOUNDS AMERICAN BECAUSE OF DIPHTHONGS.
In addition to pure vowel sounds, there are diphthongs, where the sound moves from one target to another. American English is full of them. The vowel in the American pronunciation of no is a diphthong that moves from o to u (if you say it in slow motion, your lips move from a pure o position to a pure u position). The vowel in the Spanish pronunciation is not a diphthong. It stays at o, and that what makes it sound different from the English version.
- SOME SOUNDS CAN BE EITHER VOWELS OR CONSONANTS.
The u sound (pronounced “oo”) is a vowel. It allows an unrestricted airflow through the vocal apparatus. Consonants, in contrast, are created with a blockage of air flow, or point of constriction. A u sound can sometimes serve as that point of constriction, and it that case the u is considered a w. In the word blue, the u is the most open part of the syllable, and a vowel. In want it is the constriction before the main vowel, and thus a consonant. Similarly, an i (or “ee”) can also be a y, which helps explain why is Y a sometimes vowel.
- MOST LANGUAGES HAVE AT LEAST THREE VOWELS.
Most languages have at least i, a, and u, or something close to them, though it may be the case that the extinct language Ubykh had only two vowels. It is hard to say what the highest number of vowels for a language is because there are features like vowel length, nasalization, tone, and voicing quality (creaky, breathy) that may or may not be considered marks of categorical difference from other sounds, but in general, 15 seems to be a pretty high number of distinct single vowels for a language. The International Phonetic Alphabet has symbols for 34 different vowels. You can listen to the different sounds they represent here.
- SOME LANGUAGES REQUIRE VOWEL HARMONY.
In English, we can add an ending like –ness or –y onto any word and the form of the ending doesn’t change. I can say “the property of vowelness” or “his speech is very diphthongy.” In languages like Hungarian, the vowels of the ending must harmonize with the vowels in the word it attaches to. For example, the multiplicative ending, for forming words like twice, thrice, etc. is –szor when it attaches to a word with a back vowel (hatszor, “six times”), -szer when it attaches to a word with a front vowel (egyszer, “once”) and –ször when it attaches to a word with a front rounded vowel (ötször, “five times”). Other languages with vowel harmony are Turkish and Finnish.
- TODAY’S ENGLISH IS THE RESULT OF MASSIVE CHANGE CALLED “THE GREAT VOWEL SHIFT.”
Many words we have today were pronounced very differently before the 14th century. Boot sounded more like boat, house sounded like hoos, and five sounded like feev. English underwent a major change in the 14th and 15th centuries. Words with long vowels shifted into new pronunciations. The changes happened in stages, over a few hundred years, but when they were complete, the language sounded very different, and spelling was a bit of a mess, since many spellings had been established during early phases of pronunciation. The change may have been initiated by the volume of French words that entered English shortly before the shift, or by the movement of populations with different dialects during the Black Plague.
- YOU DON’T NEED ALL THE VOWELS TO WRITE A NOVEL.
In 1969, George Perec, a member of the French experimental literature group known as Oulipo published La Disparition, a 300-page novel written only with words that did not contain the letter e. It was published in English as A Void, also without using the letter e. The Spanish translation, El Secuestro, used no a. Works created with this kind of restriction are called lipograms, explained here in an e-less lipogram.
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from the Laurel Center for Research on Girls
With the holidays approaching, it’s the perfect time to think about gifts that engage and encourage girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Research shows that girls feel more excited about pursuing STEM topics when adults highlight the place of collaboration, tinkering, role models, and meaningful objectives in STEM fields. We’ve compiled some suggestions of STEM gifts that incorporate these principles. Remember, it’s never too early to introduce girls to STEM toys and activities!
Research shows that girls prefer and persevere more in collaborative STEM work. Teachers promote collaborative STEM work by pairing girls with varied or complementary skill sets, using small groups (no more than 3-4 girls) and mixing up groups and pairings often. To promote collaboration in free play, consider toys that lend themselves easily to playing together with a friend or two.
LCRG recommends: Roominate, Robot Turtles, Quirkle
Girls are less likely than boys to tinker with building materials, mechanical objects and computers. By tinkering less, girls miss out on opportunities to practice important skills such as spatial awareness, mechanical reasoning and critical thinking. Tinkering toys abound for girls of all ages.
LCRG recommends: LEGO, Rubik’s Cube, MagnaTiles, littleBits
A dearth of female STEM role models may limit girls’ engagement in STEM activities. When girls lack exposure to female STEM role models, it reinforces negative stereotypes that some girls hold about STEM fields. New research shows that having girls write and reflect about their own female STEM role models increases their “sense of fit” in STEM. Consider some of the resources below to increase girls’ connection to female STEM role models.
LCRG recommends: Rosie Revere, Engineer, Women in Science Rule!, Black Stars: African American Women Scientists and Inventors, Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions, LCRG’s Famous Women of STEM Playing Cards
Girls value STEM work that holds clear and purposeful ties to everyday life. Female college students report a stronger desire than male college students to use their technical skills to help others. Toymakers have recently started incorporating this idea into STEM toys; here are some to consider:
LCRG recommends: GoldieBlox, K’NEX Investigating Solar Energy Set, StemBox
For more fantastic gifts for girls, check out these sites:
A Mighty Girl
Fat Brain Toys
LCRG is found at https://www.laurelschool.org/page.cfm?p=625&LockSSL=true
Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021; or email firstname.lastname@example.org