Each week, LD OnLine gathers interesting news headlines about learning disabilities and ADHD issues. Please note that LD OnLine does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside websites.
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Deseret News (Salt Lake City)
Proud parents of 54 Utah County elementary students crowded the Provo City Library Ballroom to cheer them on at the 14th annual Great Kids Awards Wednesday evening. The one-hour event spotlighted two students from each elementary school in the Orem and Provo areas. Teachers and principals nominated the students for overcoming struggles and defeating challenges in their lives.
US News and World Report
Most of the 3 percent or so of teens who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities struggle so much in their high school classes that they give up on hopes of college, setting back their job and career prospects, according to statistics compiled by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. But there are new reasons for hope for anyone with attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, or other common learning challenges. A growing number of colleges, services, and technologies are helping students earn admission to, and diplomas from, college, counselors say.
US News and World Report
For decades, Ritalin and similar stimulants have reigned over other treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD or ADD. The latest results from the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD, the largest investigation of the benefits of medication against behavioral therapy, found that stimulants' effects wane over time. Experts have a lengthy list of techniques other than prescription drugs that may help manage ADHD. Here's a quick look at some of them.
Santa Barbara Independent (CA)
Vincenzo Giammanco took out a $30,000 loan to create bAd, a professionally produced short film that vividly shows life from the perspective of a dyslexic fifth-grader. For dyslexics, especially those who grew up in the years before the disability was well recognized, the film proves to be an accurate depiction of their early years.
TIME Healthland Blog
Profanity has garnered the new documentary Bully an R-rating, but anti-bullying advocates argue that the film should be PG-13, so more kids can see the film in schools and theaters without parents tagging along.
City Pages (MN)
Lisa Loomer's Distracted, in its regional premiere at Mixed Blood, is a play about a specific issue — attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Reactions to Distracted will be tinged by whether or not one has experience with ADHD, but it's a drama that stands on its own merits and finds a real heart amid its scattershot elements.
There was advice about how to get a job, find an apartment and get around town. At a seminar to help special education students make the transition to life after high school, speakers covered those big topics and then got down to the nitty gritty. The third annual Transitions Conference was created for students in Springfield Public Schools' Business Associated Student Education program.
Could it be that Joe Wright was born to be a director? Few probably would have figured that the kid from the Islington neighborhood of London, who had trouble paying attention in school, would grow up to direct films with such complex story lines as Atonement and Pride & Prejudice. But before he would be diagnosed with dyslexia, he had long been directing his life, building up a healthy arrogance for anyone who’d underestimate him.
The Don't-Give-Up Kid by Jeanne Gehret tells the story of a kid who has a specific learning disability in the area of reading. Alex is introduced in the book first by his determination to not give up, then readers find out that Alex cannot read.
New York Times Blogs (NY)
Parents of children with attention deficit problems are always looking for new strategies to help their children cope. An interesting new study suggests that spending time in nature may help.
ADHD Experts Blog, ADDitudeMag.com
If attention deficit has gotten you down, pro baseballer Andres Torres will show you how to swing for the fences.
With 6.3 percent of children ages five to 15 diagnosed with a disability, companies are realizing that it's in their best interest to keep employees focused on work rather than their children's needs. So some employers are providing education and resources to help families with disabled members.
The new Intel Reader isn't another thin tablet that displays text; instead it's more like a chunky digital camera that instantly captures the words on a printed page and pronounces them aloud. It's a potential godsend for those who struggle to read standard text because of dyslexia, other learning disabilities, or vision problems.
Los Angeles Times
A new study appears to lend credence to the belief that restricting certain foods could ease kids' symptoms. But question are raised about the validity of the research and the ability to follow a draconian diet.
Ten-year-old Ida Cortez had trouble learning to read and spell. Her parents began to realize that something was off when she was in kindergarten. Diagnosed officially with dyslexia in the first grade, Ida tells her mom, Kim Wargo, at StoryCorps in San Francisco, "I wish people knew that it's not like an illness of the brain, it's a difference of the brain. Every brain is a little bit different, maybe ours is just a little bit more."
Master illustrator Jerry Pinkney grew up struggling with reading way before dyslexia became a household term. Until he discovered that while reading a highly detailed scene emerged in his mind, he had trouble focusing long enough to be able to read. Eventually, though reading came slow to him, he learned to bring out the intricate imagery within his mind by drawing and painting colorful and vibrant tales.
Keene Sentinel (NH)
Derrick Pendilla is 12 years old, loves sports, cartoons, his dog and his little sister. In many ways, Derrick is unique among the 5,000 students in the Keene School District. In one big way, he's not. He's one of the hundreds of children in local schools who lives every day with a disability. Derrick has an individual education plan, IEP. According to the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, each plan is written to provide an equal playing field to students with disabilities, so they can access the curriculum and prepare for adult life.
WHOI 19 (IL)
"He would come home and say 'you don't understand me, you don't understand me,'" said Judy Joosten, Jacob's mom. "Well, we didn't understand him, we didn't know how he spelled, couldn't figure out why he couldn't spell." It wasn't until last year when Jacob, who has dyslexia, came to the Masonic Learning Center for Children that things started to make more sense.
Seven-year-old Kendra Fowler said she's feeling better about her abilities. "I'm this big now," she said. "I feel I'm getting bigger and bigger by the minute." Her transformation coincides with the time she spent at the Southern Idaho Learning Center, where about 500 youth between the ages of 7 and 21 attended one-hour classes, two times per week. The center has applied to become a charter school to serve 180 middle school children with learning disabilities for the whole school day.
Thresholds School on the North Side of Chicago, a therapeutic school for young adults with mental illness, isn't exactly a common hunting ground for college basketball recruiters. But thanks to an assist from Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander, Thresholds star Mario Miller, diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, took the first step Wednesday toward fulfilling his dream when he signed a letter of intent to play for Malcolm X College on a basketball scholarship.