Sharing My Story to Inspire Advocacy in Others

NOTE: October is Learning Disabilities (LD)/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness (ADHD) Month.

Michaela Hearst

By Michaela Hearst, an advocate, writer, and a social worker.

I was diagnosed with nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD) and learning disability not otherwise specified (LD-NOS) when I was 14 years old. I share my personal story with the hope it will inspire or help others.

Every experience I’ve undergone in the past has led me to where I am now.

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OSEP 2020 New Discretionary Grant Awards

In fiscal year 2020, OSERS’ Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) provided over $71.7 million to fund programs that help educate children and youth with disabilities to assist states, local districts and other organizations to improve results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21.

Please read about these programs below.

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Charting the Path to Every Child Reading

NOTE: October is Learning Disabilities (LD)/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness (ADHD) Month.

Amy and Olivia Traynor

Amy Traynor, OTR, M.A., ATP, National Center for Learning Disabilities Texas Parent Advisory Council Lead

“Livvy speak” is the endearing term coined for the innocent one-off names or descriptions spoken by my daughter, Olivia, when she was in preschool. We adored it and rarely corrected her.

As a pediatric occupational therapist (OT), I recognized that all children, even siblings, develop differently. It didn’t surprise me that she has done things differently than her brother and they have approached “life” differently from the other.

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Reservation, Risk, and Relief: Finding My Way to Advocacy

NOTE: October is Learning Disabilities (LD)/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness (ADHD) Month.

Lia Beatty

By Lia Beatty, Whitman College student

My self-advocacy is a choice. Not a choice I wanted to make, but one I had to make and continue to make every day.

The journey was provoked by a defining moment in my first year of college. A psychologist told me, referring to my recently diagnosed attention deficit disorder (ADD)—and not-yet identified dyslexia—that I would “just have to settle with being less than,” a feeling I had already felt for so long.

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The Unexpected Lesson COVID-19 Taught Me About LD & ADHD

NOTE: October is Learning Disabilities (LD)/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness (ADHD) Month.
Susan Reynolds

by Susan Reynolds, National Center for Learning Disabilities field organizer

Like many parents, I woke up on March 13 with a notification from my son’s school district: school was canceled for the day. As I read through the news that morning, I had a strange feeling wash over me. My instincts were telling me that schools were getting ready to close for in-person learning for an undetermined amount of time.

I remember saying to my husband, “I’m ADHD and so is our son, and we both have learning disabilities. I work from home, and now our son will be learning from home, too. We need to sit down and figure out a better schedule.”

We started to plan as best we could.

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Voices From the Field: Interview with Justin Brown

A Father’s Engagement

Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an adoptive father of a 4-year-old boy, and a foster father to two 2-year-old boys. He works as a youth minister for St. Agnes Parish in Dalton, MA and is the co-director of Camp Holy Cross in Goshen, MA. Justin first became involved in early intervention when his 4-year-old was referred for services at 18-months-old. He has become a strong advocate for the strengths and needs of his children and enjoys wrestling, cooking, and going for walks with them.

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Impact Stories — Joe McFadden

Throughout June we will celebrate the graduating high school class of 2020. This final blog in the series highlights a student from a private high school in Maryland.


Congratulations Graduate! A Spotlight on Joe McFadden.

Joe McFadden

By Pauline Peticlerc and Joe McFadden

Joe was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old. He did not speak until age five, and we were told he may never learn to potty train. Fortunately, he was born with great fortitude and never let his disability stand in his way.

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ Office of Special Education Programs. OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance. Percentage of Students with Disabilities Identified with Emotional Disturbance, Ages 6 to 21, Served Under IDEA, Part B, in the United States: School Year 2018-19. Map of United States. In SY 2018-19, the percentage of students with disabilities identified with emotional disturbance is 5.45%. States report a range from 1.65% to 17.36% of students with disabilities identified with Emotional Disturbance. Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data Warehouse (EDW): “IDEA Part B Child Count and Educational Environments Collection,” 2018-19. https://go.usa.gov/xdp4T. Data for Wisconsin suppressed due to questionable data quality. Iowa does not use the specific disability categories when classifying a student as eligible for special education.]

By Office of Special Education Programs


We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback we got on our first release, OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Autism, and are excited to present OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance. For this Fast Fact, we present data from the 12 data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 on children identified with a primary disability of emotional disturbance. Data presented includes that collected through Part B child count, educational environments, discipline and exiting data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618. 

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ED Games Expo Highlights Accessible Learning Games and Technologies

 

By Kristen Kushiyama
Public Affairs Specialist, OSERS, U.S. Department of Education


The U.S. Department of Education held the seventh annual ED Games Expo at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Jan. 9.

“The ED Games Expo is the department’s annual public showcase and celebration of educational learning games as well as innovative forms of learning technologies for children and students in education and special education,” according to the ED Games Expo site.

The expo had almost 150 learning and technology games that covered topics such as early learning, science, engineering, making, math, reading, social studies, English learning and social skills for all students — including students with disabilities.

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October and Disability Awareness — 2019

ICYMI "In Case You Missed It!"

Throughout October, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services highlighted aspects of disability awareness for national disability employment, dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD and Down syndrome.

Check out the stories below.

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