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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?"
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!
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.
Students with cognitive and learning disabilities that were taught the fundamentals of self-determination were more likely to access mainstream curricula and achieve their academic and other goals, according to new research by Karrie Shogren, a professor of special education in the College of Education.
Financial Post (Canada)
More avenues are opening up for people with disabilities to launch their own business. This is especially important as the term "disability" grows to include conditions that aren't physically obvious, ranging from environmental sensitivities to chronic pain to learning challenges.
Chillicothe Gazette (OH)
A nationally-known leading dyslexia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) expert will help local residents recognize dyslexia in loved ones and learn how to deal with it during a free local three-hour presentation Friday, March 6.
The Journal Times (WI)
A group of parents, educators, and disability advocates met Saturday with University of Wisconsin education professor Elise Frattura, clearing up the confusion of including special education students in regular education classrooms.
On Special Education, Education Week
A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday would put more federal money into literacy programs, including response to interventionthe early identification of students' learning problems and the use of focused lessons, or interventions, to address those problems before they become nearly impossible to reverse.
Oregon Capitol News Blog
Two bills with potentially far-reaching consequences for Oregon's entire education system passed the Senate Monday. Senate Bill 250 passed 18-11 in the Senate after debate on the floor. The bill deals with Education Service Districts, or ESDs, which pool school districts' funds for special services.
A local high school senior, who struggles with learning disabilities, has spent his teen years developing a love for swimming. And for his senior project, he decided to turn that interest into a way to help other children get over their fears.
Suchem Patch (NY)
Sky Burke is a 12-year-old author from Holbrook attending Sequoya Middle School who recently became the youngest member of the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce. Burke gave a presentation to the Chamber at a previous meeting about living with her disabilities of dyslexia and dysgraphia, and the organization has posted it to their Youtube channel.
Critics of charter schools often complain they get higher-than-average test scores because they don't take a fair share of special education students. More than 16 percent of New York City public school students receive special education services, compared to about 11 percent of those in charters. But one charter is going out of its way to prove it can educate the neediest pupils alongside their non-disabled peers.
Times Union (NY)
Schonowe Preschool has been serving special-needs preschoolers for more than 20 years. Its special education program teaches toddlers and preschoolers through a variety of play and movement activities, based on a sensory integration dysfunction treatment model.