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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The Daily Free Press (MA)
School of Management sophomore Kara Fleishaker spends "four or five hours" laboring over what her peers read in one hour. She said this is just one of many challenges she faces with dyslexia. Through the Boston University Office of Disability Services, Fleishaker has access to special allowances to accommodate for her handicap.
The serious and the humorous were represented in the winning topics at the 15th annual eighth grade essay and speaking contest Tuesday. Tim Earley, 14, took first place overall after telling his story of struggling with dysgraphia, a deficiency in putting thoughts on paper.
Toronto Star (Canada)
Thousands of Ontario students with ADHD who are struggling in the classroom now have the right to receive help at school, according to a statement from the Ministry of Education. A memorandum to school boards quietly posted on the ministry's website last month says children with conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are entitled to special education supports and services if the condition interferes with their learning.
Students with disabilities or health problems are more likely to be the target of bullies than their classmates, according to a study published this month in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
When Dean College junior Peter Diabakerly began his school search a few years ago, he knew he had to be his own advocate. Though he has a learning disability, he wasn't going to let that stop him from finding success in college. Now, the business major is urging students who may be in a similar boat to become their own self-advocates to achieve success.
Charlotte Observer (NC)
The transition from high school to college is daunting for most students, but the anxiety is exaggerated for most students with learning disabilities. They wonder if they'll be able to keep up and fit in and not flunk out. Here are some tips to help identify the college that represents a good fit both academically and socially.
Republican Herald (PA)
Students with learning disabilities sometimes find it difficult to get through high school and rely on help from programs designed to meet their needs, officials say. On Tuesday, students with learning difficulties who are interested in attending college were invited to experience campus life and find out what help is available during College Day at Penn State Schuylkill.
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Arnold Stark reads aloud as his students follow in their biology textbooks. The subject matter is quite complex. The students in the front of the classroom are as young as 10 years old. They stop and make highlights as Stark advises. The ones in the back, mostly of high-school age, wait patiently while everyone catches up. All, including Stark, have attention-deficit disorder or learning disabilities. Most of the students at the Academic Achievement Center in Seffner, FL have both, but that doesn't stop them from tackling advanced subjects.
Abilene Reporter-News (TX)
Evette Orren heard the rumblings. As school started, she listened to other Abilene Independent School District special education teachers who were concerned about changes being made — including reductions in staffing — in AISD's program aimed at helping students with needs ranging from learning disabilities to mental retardation.
Morris Sun Tribune (MN)
It seems counter intuitive: In an effort to help energetic 3rd-graders and 6th-graders concentrate on their school work, let's give them a bunch of big, bouncy rubber balls. But that's what Morris Area Elementary School teachers Deb Felstul and Jane Lesmeister have done, and the results have been positive. The stability balls have proven effective for all students, but they are especially helpful for children with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Felstul said.
Evolving research on attention deficit disorders is going beyond the typical hyperactive, disruptive child to find ways to better identify the quietly drifting student, as new screening tools and cognitive therapies seek to help both types of students.
Inside School Research Blog, Education Week
A pair of studies of the brain activity and hand movements of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may point to more accurate ways to measure the cause and severity of their problems.
Medical News Today
A person playing a first-person shooter video game like Halo or Unreal Tournament must make decisions quickly. That fast-paced decision-making, it turns out, boosts the player's visual skills but comes at a cost, according to new research: reducing the person's ability to inhibit impulsive behavior. This reduction in what is called "proactive executive control" appears to be yet another way that violent video games can increase aggressive behavior.
Kids who get bullied and snubbed by peers may be more likely to have problems in other parts of their lives, past studies have shown. And now researchers have found at least three factors in a child's behavior that can lead to social rejection.
Emerging research on the "neurodevelopmental paradox" of twice-exceptional students highlights the need for educators to take an earlier, more holistic approach to evaluating and teaching students with disabilities. Often, when people think of a gifted student with disabilities, they picture an autistic savant, like Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie "Rain Man," but in reality, "there are a lot of kids who are really struggling, and we totally miss them," said M. Layne Kalbfleisch, the principal investigator of the Krasnow Investigations of Developmental Learning and Behavior, or KIDLAB, at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va.
The Wall Street Journal
A recent study of "atypical" antipsychotic drugs shows that the drugs pose a risk for cardiac failure. These drugs are approved for treating schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autism in children as young as 5. Researchers say they are widely prescribed for off-label treatment of dementia in nursing-home patients and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in children. An editorial accompanying the new study said the use of such drugs should be "reduced sharply" among children and elderly patients.
An alarming number of third-graders continue to read below their grade level despite Massachusetts leading the nation on standardized reading assessments, according to a new report.
Medication may be the most effective treatment for kids with ADHD but it's not a cure-all, a new Consumer Reports survey shows. Parents surveyed by the magazine reported using a variety of strategies to improve their kids' symptoms, such as hiring tutors, switching schools, modifying diets, and changing the way they spoke to their children. Consumer Reports interviewed 934 parents of children with ADHD, asking about a variety of topics, ranging from the impact of medications to the effect of complementary strategies, to which physicians provided the most help.
"A new University of Melbourne study suggests that up to 10 per cent of the population is affected by specific learning disabilities (SLDs). Disabilities include problems with math (dyscalculia), reading (dyslexia) and autism, translating to two or three pupils in every classroom."
Shots Blog, National Public Radio
Children taking stimulant drugs like Ritalin for ADHD aren't at greater risk of having a heart attack or other serious cardiovascular problems, according to new research published online Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. But critics of the widespread use of prescription amphetamines to treat the symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder 2.7 million children are taking the drugs say this latest study still doesn't give ADHD drugs a clean bill of health.