October is everything month… October is, of course, Halloween and everything is supposed to be fun…it’s Halloween of course. But, really, it’s supposed to be a fun month because Halloween is filled is supposed to be hauntingly fun with costumes and candy. October is also filled with issues to make us become aware of several issues affecting children and adults around the world. It is also Deadline Awareness Month for high school seniors. A short summary of each of the organizations highlighting their important issues follows (including Deadline Awareness Month):
Learning Disabilities: I look at the term Learning Disabilities as an umbrella of sorts, and under that umbrella come the specific Learning Disabilities: Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Language Processing Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities, Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit (see: ldaamerica.org/parents/)
According to Ed.gov, the number of students ages 3-21 who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was 7.0 million, or 14 percent of all public school students. Among students receiving special education services 34 percent had specific learning disabilities. The website Understood states that the public’s attitude plays an important role in what happens to students with LD. They found that 91% have heard of Dyslexia, but 66% don’t know about dysgraphia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. 76% know genetics can be a cause of LD. A most positive finding… eight out of ten people agree that “children with LD are just as smart as you and me.”
ADHD: October is also Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Awareness month. According to the CHADD website, there are 17 million children and adults in the US living with ADHD. ADHD is a brain based medical disorder and people with ADHD do benefit from appropriate treatment. It is a common non discriminatory disorder and in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the percentage of children in the US who have ever been diagnosed with ADHD is now 9.5%. Boys are diagnosed two to three times more than girls. Know that ADHD/AD/HD and ADD are the same disorder with the difference being that some people have hyperactivity, others do not.
Diagnosis of ADHD is complicated and not straight forward. Go to the CHADD website for details regarding the MYTHS of ADHD for more details (adhdawarenessmonth.org/myths-vs-facts/)
Mental Illness Awareness Week: This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). This is an important week. MIAW was established in 1990 by the US Congress in recognition of efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to educate and increase awareness about mental illness. The week of October 6-12, 2019 is Mental Health Day and October 10th is World Mental Health Day and National Depression Screening Day If you are in an area that is showing the film RESILIENCE: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope this week the PBS station in San Francisco and Idaho will be hosting.
National/International Deadline ED/EA College Application Month: If seniors want to celebrate Halloween, then they need to be on track with their essays and applications. Early Decision, as they know by now, is a firm commitment to a university and those applications, generally speaking are due on November 1. If they are lucky, they may have this application due on November 15th. The same with Early Action (though no commitment to a single university). For students making application to the UK schools: those applications for Oxbridge and medicine are due October 15th. So the scramble begins. It is really best for those students to have all applications complete at least a week or two before the submission date for several reasons. For one, what if so many students submit at the same time, I can only imagine what happens to the server. The other piece of this pie, what if something is missing and the student needs to find a missing Letter of Recommendation, missing test score? Then, there is a bit of wiggle room.
Now there is time for the student to have some Halloween fun… go have some trick or treating (be safe of course), or better yet, go help a friend or some kids who need support with trick or treating, and know that the final high school Halloween will ring out happily because the deadline has been met with great cheer, delight and relief.