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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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A Humble Honoree

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.

A Life Transformed

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.

A Model of Inclusion?

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.

A Model of Inclusion?

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.

A Mother's Battle to Educate her Learning Disabled Son

Family Ties Magazine

My son Evan was the class clown in third grade. He was amiable and funny but often unfocused and distracted. It took an astute teacher to recognize that this behavior was probably a mask for a learning disability that affected his ability to process verbal and written information.

A Mother's Lesson Transformed into a Mission

Manhattan Times (NY)

When Dana Buchman, fashion designer and creator of the Dana Buchman fashion label, learned that her daughter Charlotte had a learning disability, she became, in her own words, "distraught." Buchman and her husband gathered together their resources and put their daughter through rigorous testing to determine what they could do to help her. Meanwhile, Buchman wondered what a parent would do if their child was experiencing a similar situation and had limited or no resources. She asked herself, "What happens to the parents who don't have the resources my husband and I did? What happens to the thousands of children who are struggling to learn, and don't know what's wrong?"

A Mother's Story of Dyslexia Awareness

The News Press (FL)

Karen Nathan of Fort Myers — wife of Lee Memorial President Jim Nathan and mother of a son with dyslexia — is writing a book about people like her son who are gifted but also have the reading disorder. Based on her research and own experiences, Nathan offers some suggestions for parents.

A New Face for ADHD, and a Debate

The New York Times (NY)

The emergence of a major celebrity — Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps — with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has revealed a schism in the community of patients, parents, doctors, and educators who deal with the disorder. For years, these people have debated whether it means a lifetime of limitations or whether it can sometimes be a good thing.

A Parental Juggling Job

Boston Globe

Largely hidden from view in workplaces across America are millions of parents struggling with a herculean work-life challenge: caring for a special needs child. Because they often suffer discrimination or have to cut back on work, these families are more likely to be poorer than those raising children without disabilities. Alongside all the intangible rewards and the bountiful love in these families, there is hardship: careers are cut short, finances are put in disarray, life is chaotic. This article is the first in a two-part series on caring for children with disabilities.

A Rapidly Paced Biography of ADD

The Bulletin (PA)

Who would have thought a play about a child's possible struggle with Attention Deficit Disorder could be so emotionally gripping? Distracted, penned by Lisa Loomer, zips by in rapidly paced scenes that accumulate in subtle ways. The play is, as it turns out, about all of us — not just those deemed to suffer from ADD.

A Sea Change in City Schools' Special Education

Voice of San Diego

In the wake of a 2007 report that concluded the district was far too often segregating students with disabilities, San Diego Unified redoubled its efforts to transition almost all of its special needs students to general education classes for most, if not all, of their school day. That follows a national trend, driven by a philosophy called "inclusion," the concept that children with special needs should be included, whenever possible, in general education classrooms where they can learn, play and laugh with their nondisabled peers. Inclusion is great, when done right. But doing it right takes motivation, planning and money.

A Special Education

San Diego Union-Tribune

Tom Pisapia came to The Winston School in second grade, his hooded jacket pulled far over his head. Shy and withdrawn, Tom's learning disabilities had wracked him with anxiety. Within six months at the private school for special-education students, Tom was thinking about running for class president. "This school really taught me that I don't have to be shy," said Tom, who is dyslexic and has auditory processing problems. "I could be who I am with everybody."

A Special Teacher: The Kids are what it's all About

Tribune-Express (Canada)

Without hesitation, veteran special education teacher Diane Binmore says: "This has been the most satisfying year of my career." With the help of assistive technology, ten learning disabled grade 5 pupils at Pleasant Corners Public School were able to begin reading at their grade level. "You should have seen the effect this had on them," Binmore says, thrilled.

A Touchy Situation

Boston Globe

Ana can sit on the couch for only about five minutes before it's time to move. The fifth-grader has sensory processing disorder - her brain doesn't process information from her five senses in a typical way - leaving her unable to sit still (her muscles just have to move), wear socks (they're too irritating), concentrate in a busy classroom (so much to look at and hear), or be in the same room with a hot pizza (the aroma is overpowering).

A Voice for Special-Ed Parents

Merrick Herald (NY)

"Close your eyes and imagine your best friend from fourth grade." This was an exercise that author and special educator Rick Lavoie practiced with a group of parents, educators, administrators and various school faculty who sat in the Calhoun High School auditorium in Merrick, NY to hear him speak on Dec. 2. Lavoie was brought to the district by the North Merrick Special Education PTA and the Teacher's Center in honor of Special Education Week.

A Way into Books for Children with Dyslexia

The Telegraph (UK)

Dyslexia Awareness Week, an annual event celebrated around the world to raise public awareness about dyslexia, begins today and runs until Sunday 6th November. It's seems the perfect time to highlight some of the fantastic books from Barrington Stoke, an Edinburgh-based firm which is now 14 years old and the main British publishing house devoted to books for reluctant and struggling readers.

A Welcome Diagnosis

Victorville Daily Press (CA)

Eric Atkinson always had a hard time with school. He just didn’t know why until he was tested for learning problems while attending Victor Valley College. Click on "related multimedia" to hear Atkinson explain in his own words how he learned he was dyslexic and how he's become an English literature major and substitute teacher.

Aamir's Sleepless Night in Seattle

International Business Times (India)

Director Aamir Khan screened his movie, already a hit in India, at the International Dyslexia Association annual meeting held in Seattle. "As the lights dimmed I was really nervous. Here were people who know all about Dyslexia and work in the field of learning disabilities," he wrote. He was overwhelmed when Taare Zameen Par received a standing ovation.

AbilityNet Proposes Digital Inclusion Strategy

AbilityNet

"In our increasingly digital self-service economy technology now dominates shopping, entertainment, work and communication, as well as citizenship itself, but age and disability are barring people from full participation. Organizations like AbilityNet, Go ON UK and its disability focused partner, Go ON Gold, are making great strides to close the gap between the computer literate and the technologically disenfranchised, but the gulf is wider than that. AbilityNet’s new digital inclusion strategy ‘Mind the Digital Gap’ looks at the obstacles faced by the huge numbers of people who struggle to use digital technologies that are badly designed and just don't meet their needs."

Academy Provides Extra Attention

Times-Leader (PA)

Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Nicholas, age 6, became the first enrolled student at the Graham Academy when the school opened in February. Being in a setting with teachers and specialists was life-changing, said his mother, who has seen a dramatic improvement in her son's behavior.

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