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How Retained Primitives Could Affect Learning Disabilities

This article is part 6 of 10 in the column Simple Words

We are all born with primitive reflexes. Their presence is critical to the survival of the infant. They serve as the training wheels for the brain early on in the infancy and show that the infant’s nervous system is functioning normally. On the other hand, if primitive reflexes persist to exist long after the expected integration age, they may hinder the healthy development of the child.

Primitive reflexes are automatic muscle reactions in response to outside stimulation that are typical in a newborn and naturally integrate during the baby’s first year. Read more

SCOTUS Decision Gives Leverage to Families of Students With Special Needs

This article is part 11 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

Families of students with special needs won an important legal battle when the Supreme Court sided with the parents of an autistic boy who argued that their school district had failed to provide their son a “free and appropriate education.”

The family sued the Douglas County School District for private school tuition after their son, known as “Drew,” made better progress in a private school than he had in a district public school. His parents said Drew hadn’t been learning adequately because the public school’s individualized education program (IEP) was not ambitious enough. Read more

Best Defense Against Dyslexia: Early Detection

This article is part 2 of 10 in the column Simple Words

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When a child has dyslexia, the child’s brain has difficulty matching sounds with letters, so reading and writing also become difficult. In addition, the skills needed to learn these basics—accurate and/or fluent word recognition and good spelling and decoding abilities—don’t come naturally.

The most effective antidote? Early diagnosis and intervention. Dyslexia can be diagnosed as early as age 3, especially if it runs in the family and there is an awareness of the symptoms. Ideally, it would be caught by kindergarten or first grade, before the gap widens between the dyslexic student and the student’s peers. Read more

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