My Signal Contribution to the U.S. Department of Education

By Diane Ravitch When I served in the George H.W. Bush administration, I was Assistant Secretary for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. OERI, as it was then called, had almost no discretionary money. There was very little opportunity for any initiatives, which may have been a good thing at that time. I became very involved in advocacy for…

Commentary: Hollywood has a long road to disability inclusion. My experience shows it’s possible

By Kayla Cromer for The LA Times In “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” which premiered on Freeform in January 2020, I play a girl with autism, Matilda, coming of age in high school with some, shall we say, complicated family dynamics. The series creator and my fellow actor on the show, Josh Thomas, built a story that features a neurodiverse cast and explores themes of acceptance,…

Ask Dr. Blank: What is Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia?

 Like dyslexia, these are learning disabilities that can accompany dyslexia or be independent of it. Dysgraphia is a difficulty in the realm of the writing aspects of literacy. It appears as problems in spelling, handwriting and putting thoughts on paper. It is often reflected in poor or slow handwriting, messy and unorganized papers and difficulty in fine motor skills such…

Gaze-tracking app predicts autism diagnosis in toddlers

By Peter Hess for spectrumnews.org A mobile phone app that tracks a toddler’s gaze as she watches short videos can distinguish between children who later receive an autism diagnosis and those who do not with 90 percent accuracy, according to a study published today in JAMA Pediatrics. Toddlers with autism tend to prefer to look at objects rather than people, previous eye-tracking research has shown….

8-year-old cancer survivor breaks Girl Scout cookie record selling over 32,000 boxes

From upworthy.com As one can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the 2020 and 2021 Girl Scout Cookie sales drives. So this year, the organization created a socially-distanced porch drop-off option in collaboration with GrubHub. However, even though it’s been tough for the Girl Scouts to get out there and do in-person sales, one member in San Bernardino, California…

Squirrelpalooza 2021: Here are this year’s 37 winning squirrel photos

By John Kelly for The Washington Post Chipmunks are squirrels. That’s a surprise to a lot of people, but it’s not a surprise to hardcore squirrel fans. We know not only that chipmunks are squirrels but that groundhogs are, too. The squirrel world is vast, with close to 300 species worldwide. A plucky chipmunk breaks through to win this year’s…