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Filmography - Education: Special Education and learning disabilities

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of March 2011

K-12 Special Education and learning disabilities

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of March 2011.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (



Balancing Learning Standards with Diverse Learning Needs. 2005. (18 min.). If diversity and special needs are prominent factors in a learning environment, teachers may have to juggle mandated standards with students' personal challenges. This video addresses that balancing act, demonstrating how experienced educators have mastered it. Focusing on multilevel instructional planning, the program explores the use of educational channels, individualized support, and interpersonal engagement-showing how to deliver lessons and assess student progress based on communication style, learning preference, and other variables. An extensive bonus interview with Dr. Diane Ashby, Dean of Illinois State University's College of Education, is included. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. Streaming video.

Dyslexia A Different Kind of Mind. 1997. (29 min.). Dyslexia, a learning disability that affects oral and written language, often masks the presence of a gifted mind. People with dyslexia learn differently. This program from The Doctor Is In explores that cognitive difference by examining how dyslexic students learn, and how new teaching techniques are helping them succeed in school. These teaching approaches are explored at the Washington Lab School-a pioneer in the implementation of innovative teaching methods. Thomas West, author of In the Mind's Eye, discusses our society's need for the visual talents possessed by many people with dyslexia. A Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Production. Streaming video.

Dyslexia An Unwrapped Gift. 2001. (22 min.). One in 25 people are dyslexic, but the teenagers involved in making this program would say that 24 out of 25 people miss out on dyslexia. This program approaches dyslexia from a new angle, exploring how the so-called disability might prove an advantage in an increasingly image-based world. Educational experts from America and England discuss aptitudes of dyslexics, while video diaries show how dyslexia has affected the lives of young people and how they have harnessed its cognitive differences. Featuring interviews with Tom West, author of In the Mind's Eye, this program will boost self-confidence in dyslexics and inspire their teachers and families. Streaming video.

Freedom of Speech Augmentative Communication Success Stories. 1997. (29 min.). For people with special needs, augmentative communication technology is opening the door to fuller expression, better education, and higher self-esteem. This program illustrates the positive impact of augmentative communication technology on the lives of Adam and Mike. Adam, once considered mentally retarded by school staff, has become a college-educated professional-thanks in part to an augmentative device-while the parents of 7-year-old Mike, who does not speak due to autism, believe that technological advances will soon help their son. Streaming video.

Graduating Peter. 2003. 1 videodisc (75 min.). Examines the challenges and benefits of educational mainstreaming for children with mental disabilities. Follows the story of Peter Gwasdauskis, a child with Down syndrome, in sixth grade, eighth grade and high school. Includes interviews with Peter's parents, teachers, fellow students, aids and doctors. DVD 1078

How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop-Understanding Learning Disabilities. 1989. (70 min.). In this classic program, internationally known learning disabilities expert Richard D. Lavoie leads a group of educators, psychologists, parents, and children through a series of exercises that vividly illustrate the daily classroom reality of LD students, an experience fraught with F.A.T.: frustration, anxiety, and tension. After the workshop is done, participants discuss strategies for working more effectively with learning-disabled children. Mainstreaming, discipline, distractions, and self-concept are addressed. Distributed by PBS Distribution. DVD 1055 and Streaming video.

Including Samuel. 2007? 1 videodisc (58 min.). Examines the educational and social inclusion of youth with disabilities. The film is built on the efforts of Habib and his family to include Samuel, 7, in all facets of school and community. Including Samuel also features four other families with varied inclusion experiences, plus interviews with dozens of teachers, young people, parents and disability rights experts. DVD 6559

Inside Dyslexia. 2007. (58 min.). Often viewed as a weakness, dyslexia actually means that a person processes information differently, and many with the disorder have learned to see it as a strength. This program illustrates the challenges faced by Amanda, Carmen, and Gio-three young people living with dyslexia-through personal interviews with them and those close to them. Viewers are guided into their unique and often overlooked world, made clear through eye-opening scenes at school and home. Produced by filmmakers who are themselves dyslexic, the film serves as a tool for educating others about dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, and for identifying a common vocabulary that can bridge the gap between those with and without learning disabilities. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. Streaming video.

Living with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. 2000. (53 min.). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, inattentiveness, and, in some cases, hyperactivity. In this program, therapists, teachers, parents, and patients offer their insights into living with and overcoming AD/HD. The benefits of a treatment approach combining ongoing psychological assessment, specialized classes, and carefully monitored use of Ritalin or similar medications are cited. In addition, the brain biochemistry of people with AD/HD is discussed, and anomalous brain development before birth is identified as a likely cause of the disorder. Streaming video.

Special Needs Students in Regular Classrooms? Sean's Story. 1994. (45 min.). This is the story of an eight-year-old boy with Down syndrome who was part of a battle over inclusion,the practice of placing mentally or physically challenged students in regular classrooms. Teachers felt inadequately trained; teachers and parents asked whether inclusionwas in the best interests of all students-those with and those without disabilities; and the future of special education schools was in question. The program chronicles Sean's first year in a regular classroom setting and also follows the story of his friend Bobby, who also has Down syndrome but whose parents chose to keep him in the special education school. Sean's mother thinks a regular classroom will help him adjust to the real world; Bobby's mother equates placing a mentally challenged child in a regular classroom with putting a five-foot-two kid on the varsity basketball team and expecting him to do well.The program talks to students, parents, teachers, and administrators on both sides of the issue. Streaming video.

Teach Me Different! Effective Teaching Methods. 2001. (55 min.). In this classic program, Sally L. Smith explains how to teach students with learning disabilities and ADHD. The techniques include challenging the intellect and tapping the imagination; using concrete objects, the body, and pictures to communicate abstract ideas; using object-centered learning by attracting the attention visually; limiting the amount of words used; using stimulation, choices, and materials without limiting the child; and offering maximum participation and feedback to empower the student. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series Teach Me Different! with Sally Smith. Streaming video.

Teach Me Different! Prizing Diversity. 2001. (55 min.). To fully prize diversity, a school must embrace differences in students' abilities and learning approaches as well as in race, gender, ethnicity, and so forth. And to reach special needs children, teaching styles themselves must also be diverse. This classic program with Sally L. Smith stresses the importance of individualized instruction for students with learning disabilities and ADHD and discusses how teachers can develop unique strategies and accommodations to help these children learn more effectively. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series Teach Me Different! with Sally Smith. Streaming video.

Teach Me Different! Problem-Solving and Self-Advocacy. 2001. (55 min.). As an educator, working with a learning-disabled student requires being adept at problem-solving, analyzing tasks, figuring out different ways to teach the same thing, and tailoring the method to fit the child. In addition, the teacher must be able to communicate to the student how he or she learns most effectively and what techniques and methods best enhance that learning process. In this program, Sally L. Smith addresses this complex teacher/learner relationship, a two-way educational process designed, ultimately, to enable LD students to advocate for themselves. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series Teach Me Different! with Sally Smith. Streaming video.

Teach Me Different! The Nature of the Condition. 2001. (55 min.). This classic program featuring Sally L. Smith provides a detailed composite description of children with learning disabilities. Strengths typically include originality, imagination, talent in the arts, and a love of nature, technology, color, movement, and building things. Weaknesses tend to include neurological immaturity, disorganization, distractibility, short attention span, poor motor skills, language problems, limited group skills, and easily becoming overwhelmed. The video also explains why the arts work well as a medium through which to teach LD children. Distributed by PBS Distribution. A part of the series Teach Me Different! with Sally Smith. Streaming video.

Teaching Lessons and Learning Lessons in the Special Ed Classroom. 1987. (27 min.). This down-to-earth program shares the hard-won experiences of an award-winning special ed teacher. Speaking with an engaging mix of candor, earnestness, and passion, he explains how personal introspection, collaboration with other staff members, promoting trust, structuring the academic environment, instilling success, and developing teacher/student interdependence have transformed his classroom into a place where students thrive. Part success story, part how-to manual, the program is an excellent source of ideas and inspiration for teachers of all types of students. Streaming video.

Troubled Kids: Is Medication the Answer? 2002. (21 min.). Millions of children in America are being diagnosed with learning disorders and depression. While many say medications such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Prozac are the answer, others recommend counseling, social skills training, or dietary changes. How does one distinguish between a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and a kid who is just being a kid? This program offers parents, teachers, and caregivers a balanced look at options for helping children with learning difficulties or behavioral problems. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. A Meridian Production. Streaming video.

Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. 1996. (20 min.). Found in both children and adults, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is looked upon by some as having a physiological cause while others see it as a psychological disorder. This program offers diverse and candid opinions from both sides of the debate. Is medication the best treatment, or is behavior modification combined with increased structure and discipline the preferable course? A classroom teacher, a social worker, a behavior specialist, a pediatrician, and a parent with twins who have ADHD offer their insights. A Meridian Production. Streaming video.

Understanding Underachievers. 2000. 1 (18 min.). Underachievement: a persistent discrepancy between a student's perceived ability and academic performance. This program examines the root causes of this problem, its early warning signs, and the curricular impact of mistakenly assessing it as a learning disability or as ADHD. Constructive communication strategies teachers and parents can use to investigate indications of underachievement are suggested. A Meridian Production. Streaming video.