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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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Scientists Probe Role of Brain in ADHD Cases

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.

Scientists Probe the Origins of Dyslexia


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.

Scientists Study Brain Activation When Processing Chinese Characters

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.

Scoop Essentials: IEP Boot Camp

Disability Scoop

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.

Scoop Essentials: Your IEP Questions Answered

Disability Scoop

Education attorney Marcy Tiffany answers parents' questions about Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) — from requesting remediation and reevaluations to transition and placement.

Scores Show SD Excels in Special Education

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.

Scotland: Are Our Schools Failing Dyslexics?

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.

Scott Quinnell Opens Up on Learning Disabilities

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.

Scottish Rite Learning Center

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.

Scout the Lab Helps Children with Speech Difficulties, Special Needs

Missoulian (MT)

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.

Scranton State School for the Deaf in Jeopardy

Scranton Times-Tribune (PA)

The Scranton State School for the Deaf, the only state-owned school of its kind in Pennsylvania, may close at the end of this school year unless it finds a new source of money. Plans are in the works for the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit to partner with the nonprofit Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to provide services.

Sculptor Finds His Art Helped Him Come to Grips with Dyslexia

Dallas Morning News

At the entrance of the Shelton School in Dallas hangs a bronze sculpture of long, skeletal fingers on a hand touching a half-opened book with its title, The Miracle Worker, etched backward on the cover. The 2003 piece, inspired by the story of Anne Sullivan, who taught Helen Keller to understand words, cuts close both for its artist, Eric McGehearty, and for the students at Shelton, where McGehearty once went to school. "It's up to you if the hand is going to grab the book," says McGehearty, who has grappled all his life with dyslexia, a processing problem that makes it difficult for him to read and write even now at age 30.

Sea of Strengths to Help Kids with Learning Disabilities

Lakewood Ranch Herald (FL)

Owners of The Reading Station, which opened in 2006, announced plans to open The Sea of Strengths Academy this fall at Lakewood Ranch for students with learning disabilities. The Sea of Strengths, which takes its name from a concept by Dr. Sally Shaywitz of the Yale Center for Attention and Learning, will be a private school.

Seahawks' Choice Of Red Bryant A Good Draft For Sports Columnists

The News Tribune (WA)

In Saturday's NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Red Bryant, a 318-pound defensive tackle from Texas A&M. Although diagnosed with dyslexia, Bryant earned his degree in agricultural leadership and communications. He was so skillful at communicating, in fact, that teammates voted him a captain of the Aggies all four seasons.

Seclusion, Restraints Could Be Out, Severely Limited In Schools

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia public schools could soon be barred from putting students in so-called "seclusion rooms," like the one where a 13-year-old Hall County student hanged himself in 2004. Such rooms would no longer be allowed in a Georgia public school under proposed rules being considered Thursday by the state Board of Education. The use of physical restraint of students also would be reserved for only extreme cases.

Secondhand Smoke Linked to Learning Disabilities, ADHD in Kids


Kids who grow up among smokers are more likely than kids in smoke-free homes to suffer from a number of neurobehavioral disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and conduct disorders.

Seeing Learning Disabilities Through Film

Daily Iowan

For Sarah Entine, text was inadequate. The Grinnell College alumna chose to tell the story of how learning disabilities affected her family through a camera lens. "I wanted to do a film on the topic because a film would be more accessible than something that was written," she said. "[It's] for people who have a hard time reading or focusing on reading anything."

Seizures Can Affect Child's Learning

The Desert Sun (CA)

Columnist Brent M. Cooper fields a question from a concerned parent about her 8-year-old son. Having been recently diagnosed with epilepsy, his grades have dropped. The parent asks "could this have something to do with his epilepsy?"

Self-Advocacy & Mentors Crucial for College Students with Disabilities

Disability Scoop

College remains a hurdle for many with disabilities. Now a new study offers insight on what separates individuals with special needs who are ultimately successful in higher education from those who are not. In interviews with recent graduates with disabilities, researchers found that students who earned degrees shared the ability to self-advocate and persevere. They also had good insight into their abilities and limitations and often cited a strong relationship with at least one faculty or staff member on campus.

Find out more about the study in the full article!

Self-Advocacy for College Students with LD

LD OnLine

The need for self-advocacy skills in a post-secondary setting is essential. Students who have relied on the support of their parents and others now must be able to help themselves. This vital "rite of passage" enables the learning disabled individual to prepare for independence and success in the adult world. Self-advocacy for college students with learning disabilities can be defined as the ability to recognize and meet the needs specific to one's learning disability without compromising the dignity of oneself or others. Most parents and professionals involved with preparing students with learning disabilities for college would agree that independent decision-making and the ability to express one's needs are two critical elements of self-advocacy.

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