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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Arizona Daily Star
Wings on Words is a preschool program that specializes in helping young children speech and language problems. Noted one parent, "A lot of people just wait until they're in the school system, and they get referred by their primary teachers, but getting help early just sets a totally different tone for the rest of their lives. It's just one less obstacle for them to overcome."
Detroit Free Press (MI)
Educator Leanna Landsman answers the following parent question: "We are a military family being transferred overseas. Our third-grader, Nathan, has a learning disability and an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) in a good public school in California. Can we transfer his IEP to his new school, which is run by the Department of Defense?"
WFMY News 2 (NC)
The Triad Academy is an independent school in Winston-Salem that enrolls children diagnosed with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Students work in small groups and use hands-on learning to increase their reading and math skills. "We learn the same stuff but just in a different way," said Megan Almond, a student at the school. "And it's fun."
The Arizona Republic (AZ)
A school cast from a different mold is scheduled to open in August in Scottsdale. Lexis Preparatory School is a new kindergarten through eighth-grade college-prep private school that aims to provide a customized, high-quality learning experience for children with ADHD, ADD, and other learning differences, said Dana Herzberg, head of the school.
The Arizona Republic
A school cast from a different mold is scheduled to open in August in Scottsdale, AZ. Lexis Preparatory School is a new kindergarten through eighth-grade college-prep private school serving students in Maricopa County. The school will provide a customized, high-quality learning experience for children with ADHD, ADD and other learning differences, said Dana Herzberg, head of the school.
Brooklyn Heights Montessori School announced Wednesday that it would continue to operate the Little Room, a well-regarded preschool for children with special needs, until August 2010 to allow all of the current students to finish the two-year program.
The Salt Lake City Tribune
Woodland Hills stood among the few Utah private schools for special-needs middle school students, and the only such private school for high school students. But its recent expansion and a new focus on athletics has angered some parents, who say mixing competitive athletics students with timid special education students hasn't worked.
The Arizona Republic (AZ)
after a lengthy and, at times, bitter debate that broke along partisan lines, Arizona lawmakers approved legislation that converts a voucher program that was declared unconstitutional into a tax-credit program that will redirect up to $5 million in tax dollars to private-school scholarships for disabled children and those in foster care.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)
IDEA specifies that students with disabilities should spend as much time as possible with their non-disabled peers. In 2004, the Pennsylvania Department of Education settled a class-action lawsuit over that requirement, and since then the state has held school districts more accountable. Four years later, many schools still are working to get it right. "Inclusion isn't an exact science," said Bernard Miller, director for exceptional programs at the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)
Most of the first-graders at Bon Air Elementary in Lower Burrell raised their hands, eager to sound out the words that teachers Courtney Barbiaux and Jennifer Hartung spelled with magnetic letters on the blackboard. Among the 19 children in the class are two with autism and one with a learning disability. Despite their special education status, they were fully a part of the class, working on the same lesson as everybody else.
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.