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 Guardian (UK)
Peter Street has defied decades of hardship and disability to become a war poet and BBC writer-in-residence, with four volumes of verse to his name. At school, Street struggled to spell or do basic sums, and it was clear he had a learning difficulty (it was eventually diagnosed as dyscalculia only five years ago). While in this last job, in 1982, he fell off a wagon and sustained a spinal injury that disabled him for life, but ultimately led to his reinvention as a poet.
Deseret News (UT)
If you're the parent of a young Samoan boy with a reading disability, it may be difficult to find an acclaimed children's book with characters he can relate to. A new BYU study found that Newbery Award and Honor books from 1975 to 2009 feature a disproportionately smaller percentage of children with disabilities and ethic diversity than actual classroom numbers.
Knowledge does not come a priori. It must be consumed and built upa book must be read, a lecture heard, or a topic debated. For some Harvard undergraduates that task comes with added obstacles, whether it's attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Asperger's syndrome, or dyslexia. A new student arrives at the FAS Accessible Education Office nearly every workday to report a disorder, according to Sheila B. Petruccelli, the office's interim director.
This essay was written by college freshman William Wissemann for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's "This I Believe" radio series: I carry a Rubik’s Cube in my backpack. Solving it quickly is a terrific conversation starter … I usually ask people to try it first. They turn the cube over in their hands, half-heartedly they make a few moves and then sheepishly hand it back. They don’t even know where to begin. That’s exactly what it was like for me to learn how to read. Letters and words were scrambled and out of sequence. Nothing made sense because I’m dyslexic.
The New York Times (NY)
Dr. Melvin D. Levine, the famed pediatrician who is facing five lawsuits accusing him of molesting young boys during physical examinations, has resigned from All Kinds of Minds, the North Carolina institute he founded in 1995 to train teachers to help children with learning disabilities.
The Times (NJ)
As a teenager at Franklin High School, Frances Deavereaux became close with a teacher who recognized her learning disability. But with the teacher's sudden death, Deavereaux gave up on literacy. Until recently, that is. She's now working with Literacy Volunteers of America, and making strides in her reading.
Know a college-bound high school student with LD? Here's what you need to know about testing.
ACT is committed to serving students with disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations appropriate to the student's diagnosis. ACT has established policies regarding documentation of an applicant's disability and the process for requesting accommodations. For details, see ACT Policy for Documentation to Support Requests for Test Accommodations on the ACT.
Guelph Mercury (Canada)
Leonie Matfin left school at 14 without having attained more than the most basic reading skills. In 2003, at age 61, she approached Action Read Community Literacy Centre determined to overcome her dyslexia and her past. With the unflagging support of her tutor, Sharon Nancekivell, she has since completed the first of two volumes of her memoirs.
Ty Pennington, host of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, was apparently a challenging child to raise due to his AD/HD behaviors. His psychologist mother, Dr. Yvonne Pennington, will share her mothering experiences with parents, teachers and mental health professionals who attend the Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) conference on May 9, 2009, at the Baltimore Hilton.
There are now about 40,000 educational applications for the iPad, Apple reports, and districts that launched pilot programs last school year now are stepping up their iPad use for special-needs students after seeing results. For example, in Zeeland, Mich., students are starting the school year with 3,100 new iPads, courtesy of a $5.3 million bond issue that will include $1.5million for the tablets, says superintendent David Barry. According to Barry, video can be used to practice social skills, speech recognition aids students who have writing difficulties, and the touch screen makes use easy for children who have dexterity problems.
Despite an increased understanding that kids learn differently, a majority of Americans still do not completely understand what conditions are related to learning disabilities, a new poll says. The report by the Tremaine Foundation, which supports programs in arts, environment and disabilities, is based on a telephone poll of 1,000 adults.
In a recent study, researchers surveyed the parents of 141 boys between the ages of 8 and 18 years old. Of those, 56 had an autism spectrum disorder, 44 had ADHD and 41 were developing normally. They found that kids with an autism spectrum disorder played - on average - 2.1 hours of video games per day. Children with ADHD spent about 1.7 hours per day playing video games and normally developing kids played about 1.2 hours per day.
Students with emotional or learning disabilities are entitled to an education. But in Chicago, they often miss weeks of school, more than other children. Advocates for the disabled say many children with learning and emotional disabilities go undiagnosed for too long and are then given inadequate assistance. Alienated from classrooms they find humiliating and unrewarding, youth tend to tune out or lash out, leading to suspensions and other missed days.
ADHD Experts Blog, ADDitudemag.com
"My son was diagnosed with ADHD, but the IEP team ruled that he qualifies only for language impairment help. I recently had him evaluated, and he was diagnosed with dyslexia. How can I make sure he gets the help he needs?"
TIME Ideas Blog
"The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder," the much-cited study released by the journal Pediatrics this week, did not make much of a case for using dietary change to treat Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But it did make an interesting case for using food control to treat parents' angst about their kids' ADHD.
The Gazette (IA)
September is National ADHD Awareness Month and brain training expert Courtney Axline of Cedar Rapids is sharing information on the high cost of not treating ADHD.
Cognitive and behavioral therapies that help young people reduce impulsivity and cultivate good study habits are costlier and take longer to administer, but may be more efficacious over time according to new findings.
ADHD teens and adults are more likely than others to be careless drivers, experts believe. In fact, studies have found that teens and adults with attention deficit disorder are nearly twice as likely as the general population to have had their licenses suspended. "The problem is that the skills affected by ADHD are the ones you most need for driving," says psychologist Nadine Lambert, Ph.D. of the University of California at Berkeley.
A link appears to exist between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anomalies in the brain's reward system, a new study suggests.
La Voz (CA)
Blake Taylor is one of the youngest authors to have written a book about living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. His book "ADHD and Me: What I Learned from Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table" is a day-to-day account of what it is like to live with the ADHD. "I think the thing about ADHD is that it is a secret weapon," Taylor said. "It is a gift that you need to work on."