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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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Study Finds Spatial Skill Is Early Sign of Creativity

The New York Times

A gift for spatial reasoning — the kind that may inspire an imaginative child to dismantle a clock or the family refrigerator — may be a greater predictor of future creativity or innovation than math or verbal skills, particularly in math, science and related fields, according to a study published Monday in the journal Psychological Science.

Study Finds Special Educators Get Less Mentoring

Education Week

While teacher mentoring has become nearly ubiquitous as an education reform, new research suggests state and district mentoring policies may leave gaps in support for special education teachers.

Study Links Anesthesia to Learning Disabilities

NPR

"The initial reaction of the pediatric anesthesia community was, 'This must be wrong, we've been giving anesthetics to kids for years and we don't see a big problem,'" says Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist Robert Wilder. He, too, was skeptical. But of the kids in Dr. Wilder's study who had had three or more operations with general anesthesia, 50 percent of them later developed a learning disability.

Study Links Writing Difficulties to ADHD

HealthDay

Children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a much higher risk of developing a written language disorder, a new study indicates. To ADHD experts, the current observation does not come as a particular surprise. It has long been known that children with ADHD stand a much higher chance of developing some form of learning disability — especially a reading disability, which accounts for about 80 percent of all learning disabilities affecting ADHD patients.

Study May Show Whether Neurofeedback Helps People with ADHD and Other Disorders

Washington Post

Proponents claim neurofeedback can help alleviate a broad range of problems, including not only ADHD but anxiety, depression, autism and brain injuries. Yet the costly, time-consuming therapy has long been dogged by skeptics who call it a placebo at best, a rip-off at worst. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is sponsoring the first government-funded, peer-reviewed study investigating whether the offbeat therapy makes sense for some of the millions of American children and adults coping with ADHD and similar disorders.

Study Sheds Light on Auditory Role in Dyslexia

The New York Times

"Many people consider dyslexia simply a reading problem in which children mix up letters and misconstrue written words. But increasingly scientists have come to believe that the reading difficulties of dyslexia are part of a larger puzzle: a problem with how the brain processes speech and puts together words from smaller units of sound."

Study Shows DHA Improves ADHD

Food Consumer

If your child acts like he or she has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may want to give them some fish oil supplement or DHA/EPA supplements. A new study in Nutrition suggests that high intake of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA helps improve the condition of ADHD.

Study Shows Dyslexia Brain Hears Sounds Fuzzy

Fox News

Dyslexia may be rooted in a problem the brain has in teasing out distinct sounds from the incoming garble, researchers say.

Study Shows Larger NYC High Schools Posting Declining Graduation Rates

New York Daily News

Students at new small high schools opened under Mayor Bloomberg have made real gains, but that progress has come at the expense of students in the large high schools, where the spillover has caused a drop in graduation rates for some of the city's neediest children, a new report shows. The damage to the remaining large schools was inflicted mostly because the new small schools set up to replace the large failing ones did not take as many students as the mammoth ones that closed, the report says. The small schools also weren't set up to serve special education students and English-language learners.

Study Shows Transcendental Meditation's Promise for Kids with ADHD

The Los Angeles Times (CA)

A closer look at a small new study that suggests that, for children diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, the twice-daily practice of transcendental meditation in school improves attention and reduces stress, anxiety and impulsive behavior.

Study Spots Early Signs of Math Disabilities in Kids

HealthDay

A number of factors associated with math disability in children have been identified by researchers. The study included 177 children in 12 public schools in Missouri who were tested one to three times a year from kindergarten through fifth grade. The results showed that those who had trouble understanding the fundamental concept of exact numerical quantities — for example, that the printed numeral 3 represents three dots on a page — when they started school were diagnosed with a math learning disability by fifth grade.

Study Suggests Meditation May Ease ADHD

WCVB TV/DT 5 (Boston)

Transcendental meditation may be an effective way to treat ADHD symptoms without using medication, according to a new study published in the journal Current Issues in Education. The pilot study followed a group of middle school students with ADHD who were meditating twice a day in school. After three months, researchers found over 50 percent reduction in stress and anxiety and improvements in ADHD symptoms.

Study Ties Impulsiveness to Brain Chemical

National Public Radio

The Vanderbilt researchers suspected that the dopamine thermostats of highly impulsive people are broken. To find out, they took 32 healthy volunteers with varying levels of impulsivity. They scanned their heads and found that on average, impulsive people had fewer thermostats. "I think that there is a circuitry of self-control that's fundamental to many, many aspects of living," says Edythe London, a psychiatrist at UCLA. London says that understanding the dopamine thermostat and others may eventually lead to treatments for addiction and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Study: Adult ADHD Often Precedes Certain Type of Dementia

U.S. News and World Report

Adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a more than threefold increased risk of developing a common form of degenerative dementia called dementia with lewy bodies (DLB), according to a new study published in the European Journal of Neurology.

Study: Anesthesia Before Age 3 Linked to Later Mental Problems

WebMD

A new study is raising fresh concerns about the use of general anesthesia in young children. Recent studies have suggested that anesthetic drugs may increase the risk for learning disabilities and behavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but only in kids who are exposed to the drugs several times.

Study: Attention Deficit Disorder Gene a Boon for Kenyan Nomads

AFP

U.S. researchers found that a gene associated with ADHD was linked to better health and body weight in a group of nomadic cattle herders, but could cause malnourishment in their cousins who have recently settled and begun to grow crops.  "Our findings suggest that some of the variety of personalities we see in people is evolutionarily helpful or detrimental, depending on the context," said lead author Dan Eisenberg, an anthropology graduate at Northwestern University.

Study: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The Miami Herald

Do stimulant medications, often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, cause potentially dangerous genetic changes in children who take them?

Study: Daily Report Cards Improve Behavior of Students With ADHD

Education Week, On Special Education blog

Getting report cards once every six, eight, or 10 weeks is probably too often for some students. How about every day? So-called "daily report cards" appear to improve the behavior of students with ADHD, a new What Works Clearinghouse review of a study concludes.

Study: How to Treat Childhood Anxiety

KTRK-TV (TX)

Childhood anxieties are incredibly prevalent, and at times far more severe than the monster under the bed. Overwhelming and debilitating anxieties affect an estimated 10 to 20 percent of children, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. A study unveiled today that will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine, aims answer the question of how to treat those children.

Study: Hyperactivity Helps ADHD Boys With Memorization

Ars Technica

There isn't a general agreement among psychologists regarding the role of hyperactivity. Some argue that it's merely an incidental byproduct of a lack of concentration, while other models of ADHD propose that it has a practical function. Psychology professor Mark Rapport and his fellow researchers report in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology that it may actually help children with ADHD concentrate on the task at hand.

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