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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East Valley Tribune (AZ)
Two schools for kids with learning disabilities are coming to the Scottsdale area, starting to fill what officials say is a need for an underserved group. Leaders from both schools say they're designed to find the best learning methods for kids who "learn differently." The key, they say, is for instructors to find a learning method that works for each child instead of expecting every student to conform to one method.
The Telegram (MA)
A higher percentage of Putnam, MA students are identified as special education students than in comparable districts and in the state as a whole, according to a consultant. George Dowaliby of the Capitol Region Education Council also said he found significant shortcomings as well as several areas of recent improvement in the district’s handling of special education.
Daily Press (VA)
Caps and gowns hang in closets. End-of-course exams are history. Graduation is Saturday. But after the ceremony and the you-finally-made-it celebrations, what's next? That's a question many high school seniors face, but Woodside High School special-education students believe they have a handle on it. Since they entered the school four years ago, they have been working on their post-graduation plans with a team of teachers, counselors and their parents. High schools push students to work on post-graduation goals, but special-education students must do so. It's part of a federal law.
On Special Education Blog, Education Week
Parents and students with disabilities aren't as involved in the process of mapping out their goals with schools as much as they should be, although federal law intends for parents and school staff to work together on these plans, a new study finds.
Southeast Missourian (MO)
Michael Phelps might be a gold-medalist Olympian, but one out of every 30 children in a U.S. classroom has something in common with him: They have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. In order to keep students with ADHD focused and in the classroom, teachers at Cape Girardeau public schools can use techniques that focus on reminding the student of what is expected of them to succeed.
The Kindle could be promising for the visually impaired because of its read-aloud feature, which utters text in a robotic-sounding voice. For blind students in particular, the Kindle could be an improvement over existing studying techniques. But activating the Kindle's audio feature probably requires a sighted helper because of the steps involved.
Educators seeking new ways to personalize instruction for students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities are turning more and more to e-readers such as Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iPad, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and the Intel Reader. But the jury is still out on just how effective those digital tools are in helping struggling readers. And that's largely because educators only recently began testing the tools with students with reading disabilities.
The Daily Press (VA)
Every school in Hampton, VA will open with a full-time nurse but may lose them through attrition. Losing full-time nurses will move the 22,500-student school system at least a decade back in progress, said Linda Lawrence, the district's health services coordinator. The responsibility for health care will fall to teachers and secretaries if a nurse isn't available, Wayman said, and staff will have to dial 911 if they can't handle a situation.
The Los Angeles Times (CA)
Understanding our ability to perceive time — and to use time to make sense of our world — is one of the newest and most sweeping frontiers of neuroscience. It may shed light on conditions that associated with poor timing such as schizophrenia, autism, and attention deficit disorder.
Los Angeles Times
Attention deficit-hyperactive disorder includes difficulty with mental focus. People describe it as daydreaming or mind-wandering instead of concentrating on the task at hand. Now researchers think they have identified a gene that is responsible for this specific characteristic of the disorder.
Wall Street Journal
A brain area that helps orchestrate mental activity works overtime in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reflecting the internal struggle to hold more than one thing in mind at a time, neuroscientists reported Sunday.
Problems in how people with dyslexia process the sounds they hear may be at the heart of this learning disorder, new research suggests. The study findings, published in the Dec. 22 issue of the journal Neuron, may one day lead to better therapies for children and adults who are diagnosed with this common yet still ultimately mysterious condition.
Medical News Today
A recent study explores the neurological mechanisms underlying the process of reading in Chinese and potential treatments for difficulties experienced by those with dyslexia. Qing-Lin Wu and team from Taiwan Normal University divided 72 high-frequency Chinese characters into four categories: hand-action verbs with and without hand-radicals, and verbs not related to hand actions, with and without hand-radicals. Twenty-eight healthy participants, aged 21-30 years, underwent functional MRI scans while reading the characters.
Each student deemed eligible for special education has a right to has his or her own individualized education plan known as the IEP. But things can get sticky when parents and school staff sit down at so-called IEP meetings to decide what’s needed to educate a student. Here, special education attorney Marcy Tiffany answers questions about what rights students with disabilities have under the law.
Education attorney Marcy Tiffany answers parents' questions about Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) — from requesting remediation and reevaluations to transition and placement.
Rapid City Journal (SD)
It was a good week in special education departments statewide as they received a pat on the back from the South Dakota Department of Education for hitting federal and state targets for services for students with special needs. "We're very pleased with all of our districts," Ann Larsen, South Dakota Special Education Director, said during a phone interview.
The Herald (UK)
In a wide-ranging review, HM Inspectorate of Education of Scotland found dyslexia is now widely recognized and there are many examples of excellent practice in schools, from effective early intervention and use of technology, to high-quality support and teacher training. Despite this, the report confirms what parents have long argued - that there is a "mixed picture" of support across Scotland, with teachers having varying levels of skills.
Wales Online (U.K.)
A video interview with Welsh rugby player and coach Scott Quinnell. He suffered with severe dyslexia his whole life — indeed he found writing so tough he could barely sign autographs and reading was a nightmare. When Quinnell noticed his children showed symptoms of the learning difficulties he realized he needed to do something.
Northwest Austin Community Impact Newspaper (TX)
Dyslexia is a language-based disorder that causes difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling, and the staff at Scottish Rite Learning Center is dedicated to raising awareness of the disorder to help children and their families cope with it.
Something magical happens in the Jefferson School classroom on "Scouty day," because words suddenly come easier for autistic and special needs preschoolers and the air is filled with the joy of reunion. His thick tail slapping his own behind, Scout pranced into the room on Monday, handled by owner Nancy Jo Connell, a speech-language pathologist with the Missoula County Public Schools district. It's not show-and-tell that brings the 2-year-old English yellow Lab to this class or to the Head Start program once a week.