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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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.
Daily News-Record (VA)
When Pat Harmon was a little girl, she had a lot of trouble learning to read. Now, as she teaches students to read, Harmon said she has a gift for connecting with them in a way that not only helps them achieve but also gets them excited about their ability to read. Harmon was recognized earlier this month as Educator of the Year for Harrisonburg, Va.
Reading Eagle (PA)
Nelson Lauver, whose dyslexia wasn't discovered until he was an adult, has overcome rough times early in his life to become a motivational speaker and radio host.
Lake Oswego Review (OR)
More children receiving special services in the Lake Oswego School District are now eligible for placement in special education classrooms. The district touts the change as increased flexibility, and some parents agree. Other parents, however, feel the change sets the stage for violations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Lake Oswego Review (OR)
More children receiving special services in the Lake Oswego School District of Lake Oswego, Oregon are now eligible for placement in special education classrooms, according to a document the school board reviewed on Nov. 3 a fact that the district sees as flexibility, and dissatisfied parent/attorney Cynthia Mohiuddin sees as the district setting itself up for violations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.