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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The Times of Trenton (NJ)
The group of parents sitting in a board room here were part of a hard-luck fraternity even before they decided to start their new statewide advocacy group, Decoding Dyslexia. They had been meeting for years in local coffee shops to discuss how their children weren't reading anything by first grade, couldn't spell their names, couldn't remember sounds, couldn't match rhyming words, couldn't distinguish left from right, didn't have a dominant left or right hand, couldn't get their shoes on the correct feet let alone tie the laces and they weren't getting support in their classrooms. And all along they were being told, there is no such thing as dyslexia.
Roughly a year after a lawsuit put the Office of Disability Services in the media spotlight, the University is conducting an internal review of the office. Meeting once a week for the duration of this academic year, the Advisory Committee on Disability Services for Undergraduates is examining, in particular, the academic accommodations and services the office extends to students with learning disabilities in light of an increased number of students nationwide who report these special needs.
Chi-Town Daily News (IL)
A Chicago Public Schools principal yesterday accused district officials of routinely denying disabled students access to specialized help, and at times even barring them from evaluation for learning disabilities. Mary Ann Pollett, principal of Moses Montefiore Special Elementary School, testified before the City Council's Committee on Education and Child Development that officials have discouraged teachers at her school from reporting students' disabilities because it is too expensive to deal with them.
The Charlotte Observer (NC)
Seven Fletcher School students claimed diplomas Friday. That brings the school's total to 36. But the numbers belie the accomplishments: The small private school in southeast Charlotte serves students with learning disabilities. All graduates since the charter class of 2004 have been accepted by colleges.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
In the green room at Nevada's New Horizons Academy, students walk on carpet manufactured from recycled soda bottles. They learn in natural light collected by a solar dish and piped indoors via fiber-optic cables. The small private school serves students with learning disabilities, and school officials are eager to offer students a cleaner, greener place to learn.
National Public Radio
As a child, Philip Schultz didn't understand why he couldn't learn. He was held back twice and both his classmates and teachers ignored him. When he revealed that he wanted to be a writer, he was ridiculed. Schultz went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. But it wasn't until his young son was diagnosed with dyslexia that Schultz, then 58, had a name for the disorder that had plagued him his entire life.
Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Learning-disabled students identified by the Ohio's juvenile prisons system make up nearly half of all juvenile-prison inmates. But a recently completed federal investigation found that screenings for disabilities are so shoddy that problems are routinely overlooked and many inmates don't get the education they should.
Utica Observer-Dispatch (NY)
Proctor High gets assistance in helping students with disabilities transition to life after high school from Resource Center for Independent Living representatives such as Mike Zane. He visits special education classes about once a week to help teach students skills they need for a successful life after high school.
The Brown and White — Lehigh University (PA)
Two Lehigh professors are working toward a way to analyze symptoms related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among young children by studying parents' behavior and techniques. Professor George DuPaul said, "There's definitely medication that helps [kids with ADHD], but what can we do beyond that?" His project concentrated on how parents could better use behavior management strategies to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD.
La Voz Weekly (CA)
Every good talent takes time, practice and dedication, a fact which 19-year-old Caroline Andrew knows very well. She has been developing her gift of poetry and spoken word most of her life. Andrew has a learning disability known as dyslexia which makes it harder for the brain to process written language, particularly reading or spelling. But, for this brilliantly artistic student writing has never been an issue.
The Dallas Morning News
My Wednesday began pretty much like every other day for me, with a call from the White House. This time, it was actually a conference call, from first lady Laura Bush and her daughter, Jenna Bush. The mother-daughter combination has collaborated on a new children's book, Read All About It! It's derived from their shared experience of having been teachers. During her own teaching days, Jenna encountered kids with learning disabilities and others who were simply "not interested in reading So, I tried to listen to my students, especially my boys, and find things that they found interesting." At that point, she says, she actually stood a chance of having them "fall in love with good literature."
The Grand Rapids Press (MI)
Jean Silbar, 57, has been a speech pathologist for three decades. She is the founder and executive director of the Comprehensive Therapy Center, a Grand Rapids nonprofit that helps kids and adults with physical, speech and occupational therapy.
ICT Results (Belgium)
This story looks at the European Union's EUAIN project and its successors which connect the publishing industry in Europe with accessibility organizations. The dream is to make all new publications simultaneously available in formats such as Braille, large print and audio. This will mean the blind, the partially sighted and people with reading disabilities such as dyslexia have the same access rights to information as the rest of society.
The Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Hope for learning disabled children lives in a rather ordinary-looking classroom at Nootka elementary school in Vancouver. That's where teacher Tyson Schoeber delivers a program called THRIVE, believed to be unique in British Columbia public schools because of its emphasis on individualized learning, technology, and Orton-Gillingham reading instruction, which has proven effective for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
WISH TV 8 (IN)
For students who struggle academically, the return to the classroom can be tough. One program aims to change that. The Dyslexia Institute of Indiana has paired with Indiana Public Schools to help students improve their reading skills.
The University of Vermont
When Stephanie Deffinbaugh's five-year-old daughter Kristyn was diagnosed with severe dyslexia, the North Carolina parent felt a wave of relief that her child's inability to recognize letters wasn't due to laziness or bad parenting. The feeling was short lived. After four years of confrontation with her local school district, which refused to provide services for dyslexic students, Deffinbaugh finally sought refuge at the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, the state's federally funded parent center.
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (NY)
Like an estimated 2 million other children in the United States, Milton Jimenez of Binghamton has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Unlike most other kids with challenges, though, Milton has a mentor.
Roz Rutten's invisible disability used to make her feel ashamed, but not anymore. The 31-year-old Regina woman's world started improving when she began a 24-week program offered by the Learning Disabilities Association. There, she was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Evansville Courier and Press (IL)
In high school, students often have lots of assistance, but once in college they are on their own to a much larger degree. The Summer College Program, now in its 39th year, is a six-week orientation for students with a variety of physical and learning disabilities that helps them make the transition to college.
Clay Center Dispatch (KS)
Project PROMISE, for students 18-21 with mild to moderate disabilities with Individual Education Plans (IEPs), is filling the gap between traditional high school and developmental services these students will receive when they turn 21.