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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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Rick Riordan on Four Ways to Get ADHD Kids to Read

Wall Street Journal

My sixteen-year-old son Haley recently came into my office and announced that he'd finished a six-hundred-page manuscript. I suppose that would be unusual coming from any sixteen-year-old, but given my son's background, it's especially stunning. Haley is ADHD and dyslexic. My novels about Percy Jackson began as bedtime stories for him — a father's desperate attempt to keep his son interested in reading. That's also why I made Percy Jackson ADHD and dyslexic, and made those two conditions indicators of Olympian blood.

Riordan Reaching Out to His Readers

Houston Chronicle

Author Rick Riordan is on the road to promote his popular children’s book The Battle of the Labyrinth, the fourth novel in his best-selling series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. In all, the first three titles have sold 1.6 million copies in 15 countries. Riordan's ability to appeal to pre–teen boys — a demographic frequently identified as "reluctant readers" — is especially unusual. While his main character Percy may be a son of the Greek god Poseidon, he also has dyslexia and attention–deficit hyperactivity disorder. So does one of Riordan's two sons.

Rising Tide: Therapeutic Riding

Martha's Vineyard Times (MA)

From our first meeting it was evident that the reputation of Vickie Thurber, founder and executive director of Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian program, as an amazing woman is well founded. Her passion is evident as she speaks of Rising Tide's mission to help physically, emotionally, and learning disabled children and adults improve their quality of life through interactions with horses.

Risky Rise of the Good-Grade Pill

The New York Times

The boy exhaled. He leaned over, closed one nostril and snorted it. Throughout the parking lot, he said, eight of his friends did the same thing. The drug was not cocaine or heroin, but Adderall, an amphetamine prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that the boy said he and his friends routinely shared to study late into the night, focus during tests and ultimately get the grades worthy of their prestigious high school in an affluent suburb of New York City.

Rival Plans Out on Kansas Special Education Funding


Kansas legislators struggled Wednesday to resolve how to satisfy the federal government's demands that the state boost spending on special education programs in public schools without undercutting Gov. Sam Brownback's effort to trim the current state budget. State officials said the U.S. Department of Education has warned Kansas that federal law requires the state to increase its special education funding by more than $26 million. Otherwise, the state faces the loss of the same amount of federal funds every year going forward.

Riverside Conference Focuses on Needs of Dyslexic Children and Adults

The Press-Enterprise (CA)

The Inland Empire Branch of the International Dyslexia Association is looking for parents and educators who want to learn about removing literacy obstacles. "Anyone interested in learning about child and adult literacy issues is invited to attend," said Regina Richards, Inland Empire branch IDA president.

Robot Brings Hope to American Children with Learning Disabilities

Agence France Presse (AFP) (France)

At just 18-months-old, Kevin showed the first signs of learning difficulties, which were later diagnosed as developmental dyspraxia. But for the last year, a small blue-and-yellow android called Cosmo has offered some hope. Programmed to respond to body movements, voice activation, or a four-button-panel dubbed "mission control," Cosmo is designed to teach basic behavioral and physical skills.

Rochester City Schools Try New Approach to Special-Ed

City Newspaper (NY)

The Rochester City School District has launched a new type of teaching model that officials hope will reduce the number of special-education students in the district. At 17 percent, the Schools of Rochester, NY have more special-ed students than any district in the state, and there is concern that some students - particular black and Hispanic boys - may be misclassified, though experts don't agree on how often that happens or the reasons why.

Romney Proposes to Boost School Choice for Students with Disabilities

Education Week, On Special Education blog

Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is expected to officially unveil his education platform as early as this week. Among the proposals is one regarding expanding school choice options for low-income students and students with disabilities. Romney says these parents would be able to choose which school their children attend, and the federal funds allocated to their education would follow them to their chosen campus, including any district public or charter school, online school or courses, private schools, or to a tutoring company.

Rookie Davis Overcomes Learning Disability to Make 49ers as No. 3 Quarterback

Los Angeles Times

Nate Davis knows he's already shown the doubters just by winning a roster spot with the San Francisco 49ers. Davis is unfazed by a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to grasp the playbook and transfer that information onto the field.

Rosetta Stone Steps Squarely Into Literacy, and Ed-Tech

Education Week

Rosetta Stone, widely known as a major provider of language-learning products, recently announced its latest foray into ed-tech by acquiring a company that provides online English reading and literacy instructional tools. Rosetta Stone paid $22.5 million for Lexia Learning Systems Inc., of Concord, Mass., which says its reading-proficiency products are being used by one million students.

RTI Can't Delay Special Education Evaluations, Feds Say

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

The federal Office of Special Education Programs released a memo last month reminding states that a response-to-intervention process cannot delay the initial evaluation for special education services of a child suspected of having a disability.

Rules Finally Issued on Infants, Toddlers with Disabilities

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

Six years after the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was renewed, the U.S. Department of Education today finalized regulations that address how to work with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

Rupp Will Try to Ban 'Timeout Rooms'

Suburban Journals (MO)

The story of two children in the Francis Howell School District of St. Charles, MO has erupted into a regional debate on whether schools should use "timeout rooms" to quell student tantrums. State Sen. Scott Rupp, R-2nd District, on Friday said he would file a bill to ban the rooms. "I feel that if they serve a needed purpose, that it is the job of the (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) to convince the legislators why they should (be) kept," said Rupp.

S.A. Children Being Enlisted in ADHD Study

San Antonio Express-News (TX)

A $4 million study about to begin in San Antonio and two other cities will try to determine which of the two most commonly prescribed medicines — Depakote and Risperdal — works better at stemming severe aggression in children with ADHD, or if either works better than a sugar pill.

S.C. High Court Orders Gov. Sanford to Request Stimulus Money

Education Week

South Carolina's Supreme Court ordered Gov. Mark Sanford on Thursday to request $700 million in federal stimulus money aimed primarily at struggling schools, ending months of wrangling with legislators who accused him of playing politics with people's lives. The nation's most vocal anti-bailout governor had refused to take the money designated for the state over the next two years, facing down protesters and legislators who passed a budget requiring him to.

Salisbury Author Writes a Story for Every Style of Learning

Delmarva Daily Times (MD)

Barbara Esham has an IQ of 130, but often gets lost while driving. She mastered high-level math with ease, but has trouble remembering basic spelling rules. Esham created a series of children's books called "The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses," stories designed to show kids that "smart" comes in many different forms.

Salt Lake City Student Uses Music to Cope with Dyslexia

SLCC Global Link (UT)

Talent is echoing through the halls on campus. Former Salt Lake Community College student Terrell Williams, a pop/rock singer and songwriter is one main reason. His talent is waiting to be heard by many. Although he seems well on his way, his path has been all but easy. While taking piano lessons for two years as a child he noticed reading the music seemed extra difficult. Doctors found out that Williams suffers with dyslexia, a disorder that jumbles words and symbols around, making it nearly impossible to read sheet music.

Sanborn Officials OK Enhancement Program based on RTI for Elementary Schools

Rockingham News (NH)

Principals at two elementary schools asked the school board for permission to "tweak" their Response to Intervention (RTI) model, which has proven effectiveness, particularly for students with learning disabilities. The schools wish to provide all students with Tier II instruction, often in small groups, but always dependent upon each student's individual needs.

Sanctuary for Challenged Children, Parents

The Baptist Standard (TX)

A look at how evangelical churches can minister to families with children who have ADHD and other learning disabilities.

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