The national disability charity United Response has welcomed the publication of The Joint Committee of Human Rights report, 'A Life Like Any Other?' Chief Executive Su Sayer, has particularly welcomed the committee's recommendations on the need for a human rights based approach to healthcare, but has called for other issues such as a right to employment not to be overlooked. Su Sayer said: "We are pleased to the see the human rights of people with learning disabilities being placed so firmly on the political agenda through this report. "We strongly support the prominence given to the right to healthcare. Discrimination and a limited understanding of learning disability in some health services has resulted in a number of cases where the people we support have not be able to access the healthcare they need.
Bercow Review: Speech, Language Communication Services For Children And Young People Must Improve, UK
Children and young people must be given the support they need to overcome speech, language and communications difficulties so they enjoy the same opportunities to learn, socialise and succeed as anyone else, according to an interim report presented by John Bercow MP to the Secretaries of State for Health and for Children, Schools and Families. The Bercow Review, which the Government commissioned in September 2007, aims to improve services for children and young people from birth to 19 who have speech, language and communications difficulties, which could range from a delay in speaking to a severe stammer, or could be related to other disabilities such as autism or cerebral palsy. Over 2, 000 people responded to the Review's consultation, with almost 1, 000 responses from families.
Neuro-Education: Carnegie Mellon Brain Imaging Study Illustrates How Remedial Instruction Helps Poor Readers
Just as a disciplined exercise regimen helps human muscles become stronger and perform better, specialized workouts for the brain can boost cognitive skills, according to Carnegie Mellon scientists. Their new brain imaging study of poor readers found that 100 hours of remedial instruction - reading calisthenics, of sorts, aimed to shore up problem areas - not only improved the skills of struggling readers, but also changed the way their brains activated when they comprehended written sentences. The results may pave the way to a new era of neuro-education. Carnegie Mellon researchers say poor readers initially have less activation in the parietotemporal area of the brain, which is the region responsible for decoding the sounds of written language and assembling them into words and phrases that make up a sentence, than do good readers.
A new Carnegie Mellon University brain imaging study of dyslexic students and other poor readers shows that the brain can permanently rewire itself and overcome reading deficits, if students are given 100 hours of intensive remedial instruction. The study, published in the August issue of the journal Neuropsychologia, shows that the remedial instruction resulted in an increase in brain activity in several cortical regions associated with reading, and that neural gains became further solidified during the year following instruction. "This study demonstrates how remedial instruction can use the plasticity of the human brain to gain an educational improvement, " said neuroscientist Marcel Just, director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging (CCBI) and senior author of the study.
Atypical characteristics of children's linguistic development are early signs of the risk of developing reading and writing disabilities, or dyslexia. New research points to preventive exercises as an effective means to tackle the challenges children face when learning to read. The results achieved at the Centre of Excellence in Learning and Motivation Research were presented at the Academy of Finland's science breakfast on 21 August. Headed by Professor Heikki Lyytinen at the University of JyvÃ skylÃ, the research has dug deep into how to predict and prevent difficulties in learning to read and write. The study involved a comparison between 107 children whose either parent is dyslexic and a control group of children without a hereditary predisposition to dyslexia. The researchers followed intensively the development of the predisposed children, from their birth through to school age.