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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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Signs of Dyslexia Start Before Reading, Study Finds

ABC News

Signs of dyslexia may begin even before a child tries to read, according to new research published in the journal Current Biology. Dyslexia, a developmental reading disorder that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols, cannot just be considered a language problem anymore, as it affects comprehension and visual understanding of symbols and patterns, said Andrea Facoetti, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Padova and co-author of the study. It has been widely "accepted that reading disorders arise from a spoken language problem, [but] results demonstrate the critical role played by visual attention in learning to read."

Six Ways to Get Your Child Back Into Learning

National Center for Learning Disabilities

For those with an LD—such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia—going back to school might be a return to the constant reminder that they are “different” from their peers. When school starts, not only must children with LD switch their brains from “relax mode” to “learn mode,” they must meet the challenge of gradually more complicated assignments, getting comfortable with new teachers and classroom environments, and they have to again work harder to complete tasks that their classmates appear to do with ease.

Sleep Issues and Sensory Processing Disorder

A Sensory Life!

Sleep affects the whole family...possibly the sibling who shares a room, or even in a separate room and of course at least one parent. We ALL need sleep, so when our little precious sensory kiddo isn't sleeping, it affects the whole family. And the biggest problem is the snowball effect. When any of us do not get enough sleep it impacts mood, behavior, and self-regulation overall. And then as always, the results are magnified for a sensory kiddo. And for the parent of the child, this state of dysregulation (irritability, mood swings, impatience, etc) from lack of sleep impacts that child's state of regulation as well. It's a double whammy.

Sleep Loss in Early Childhood May Contribute to the Development of ADHD Symptoms

Science Daily

Short sleep duration may contribute to the development or worsening of hyperactivity and inattention during early childhood, suggests a research abstract that will be presented on June 14, in Minneapolis, Minn., at Sleep 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).

Small Change In Reading To Preschoolers Can Help Disadvantaged Kids Catch Up

NPR Health blog

Learning to read is an incremental process; you become familiar with letters, then words; the practice of reading from left to right; and eventually you put all that together and begin to read. But if a child's attention isn't drawn to the printed word, then reading to a child won't necessarily make them more familiar with what it means to read. How could teachers change what children saw and thought about when a book was being read? And how much difference would that make?

Smarter Balanced Adopts Accessibility Rules for Common-Core Tests

Education Week

Students in grades 3 through 5 who take the Common Core-aligned assessments created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will not be allowed to have passages of text read to them as a valid accommodation on the English/language arts tests. The restriction is part of a usability, accessibility, and accommodations manual that the consortium's governing board voted to accept at a meeting in Los Angeles Tuesday. Twenty-five states are part of the Smarter Balanced group.

Smithsonian Spotlights Disability History

Disability Scoop

The exhibition from the National Museum of American History, which was unveiled this week, explores everything from stereotypes to laws, technology and issues in everyday home life for people with disabilities.

Social and Emotional Learning Fosters Academics


"With all of the high-stakes testing in our schools, and the resulting judgments and consequences for students and teachers, it is no wonder that schools are taking time away from activities like recess, breaks, art, music... to spend more time on academics. Yet I believe, based on what I have seen in schools, that we should move in the opposite direction, and take time out of academics in the early elementary years to focus on making students feel safe, secure, and confident in the classroom, in other words making them ripe for learning."

Solving the Dyslexia Puzzle

Belleville News Democrat (IL)

Matt Grohmann looks forward to after-school tutoring the way other kids look forward to Boy Scouts or baseball practice. His one-on-one sessions with a reading specialist give him a chance to be successful and make the rest of his life happier.

Some Advice for Students with Disabilities Heading to College

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

Last week, I wrote about the growing number of opportunities to attend college for students with intellectual disabilities. Although these programs provide a lot of independence, they also monitor students closely. For students with other types of disabilities, navigating traditional college programs doesn't often come with the same attention to detail. And sometimes, that turns out to be a big surprise for students used to the protection provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act from birth through the end of high school.

Some Area Schools Experienced Problems with Testing Forms

Mount Vernon News (OH)

Statewide testing mandates involve the printing and distribution of millions of test and answer forms for each subject area being assessed. Sometimes, glitches occur, as happened in some areas with the spring administration of Ohio Achievement Tests; not enough of certain test forms for students needing special accommodations were received by schools.

Some Factors Limit ADHD Medication

Kentucky Post

Jason Cunningham and his wife, Tracy initially resisted the thought of medicating Jason's two sons, Christopher and Patrick, for their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Once they tried it and saw the difference it made, they were sold. But occasionally, it was like the medication was taking a day off. Patrick had been sick with a cold, and to help relieve his symptoms he had been given a cold medication that contained pseudoephedrine. As it turns out, pseudoephedrine is a medication that cancels out the effects of the ADHD medication that Christopher and Patrick take.

Some Fake ADHD to Get Meds, Special Treatment


While attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a real and pervasive condition, new research suggests there is a cluster of kids and adults who successfully fake the condition either to get drugs or gain special privileges in school.

Some of California's Most Gifted Students Are Being Ignored, Advocates Say

Los Angeles Times

With schools under intense pressure from state and federal mandates such as No Child Left Behind to raise test scores of low-achieving pupils, the educational needs of gifted students — who usually perform well on standardized tests — too often are ignored, advocates say. Nationally, about 3 million kindergarten through 12th–grade students are identified as gifted, but 80% of them do not receive specialized instruction, experts say.

Some UA Students Learning Differently

The Daily Citizen (AR)

Strip the binder from an anthropology textbook, feed the 350 pages into a converter of sorts, and a day later, a computer will read the material to a student who learns a bit differently than most. And that's only one of the aids available to the hundreds of University of Arkansas students with a variety of learning disabilities.

Someone to Play With: Finding Friendship for My Child with ADHD

ADDitude Magazine

Parents are often the last to know when a child has attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). Not because they're unintelligent, but because their love blinds them to certain realities that others easily perceive. If you've been wondering whether your child has ADHD, it might help to ask yourself: "Does my child have friends? Does he get invited over to play with other children?"

Sometimes a Tutor is the Right Answer to a Student's Struggles at School

Courier & Press (IL)

If your child is struggling in school, you might be tempted to try to help your child figure things out. But the parent-child relationship is often too emotionally charged. Instead consider a tutor. Here's a few things parents should know when looking for a tutor.

Sophie Shows How to Cope With Dyslexia

Essex Echo (U.K.)

A pupil who is battling dyslexia has praised her teachers for their expert help in diagnosing and guiding her through her condition. Sophie Goddard, 13, was tested by teachers when she joined Belfairs High School in Leigh and was found to have the condition.

Soul Fan's Obsession Proves a Real Hit Mix

Hemel Gazette (U.K.)

Reg Stickings book about soul music in the North of England in the 60's sold out its first print run before publishers had even advertised it. The 54-year-old says he has always had trouble with literacy, but was determined to finish the book. "Apparently people who can't read and write well have really good memories to compensate, which I think is why I have been able to recall everything for the book. And because I had to dictate it, it's written how I speak."

Speaker Seeks Special Session on Vouchers

The Arizona Republic (AZ)

Arizona's state speaker of the House is asking that the governor call lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special session aimed at saving a pair of embattled private-school voucher programs for disabled and foster-care children.

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