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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Salt Lake Tribune
Mental-health professionals estimate that 9 million adults in the United States have ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD and attention deficit disorder, also known as inattentive ADHD, include difficulty paying attention, easy distraction, trouble finishing paperwork, fidgeting, talking too much and procrastination. All these issues can cause workers with the disorder a lot of problems at work, and possibly even get them fired.
The Desert Sun (CA)
An educational psychologist answers a parent's question about assistive technology for a daughter just diagnosed with dysgraphia.
I can't recount the number of apps we initially downloaded with great anticipation, only to realize that we would probably never use them again. We learned that an estimated 26% of all downloaded apps are only used once. In the end, we came up with the following strategies for evaluating an app before deciding to buy it...
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner (U.K.)
"Why can't she be more careful? He's so clumsy " Admit it, you've said it about your children. But what if it's not their fault? They may, in fact, be suffering from a medical disorder called dyspraxia. It's sometimes unkindly referred to as 'clumsy child' syndrome; the condition is an impairment of the organization of movement, which can lead to problems with co-ordination and coping with simple tasks many of us take for granted.
The Lake Wales News (FL)
Communication, cooperation, trust, and fun are the keys to leadership. Teacher Jock Willers uses a ball as a metaphor to help children practice these skills. He recently used his techniques — a combination of Exceptional Student Education and gifted education teaching strategies — at Vanguard School, which specializes in teaching students who learn differently.
New Times (CA)
National nonprofit Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic aims to get textbooks, schoolbooks, and, yes, even fiction like Harry Potter into the hands of students with visual impairments or learning disabilities. For $35 a year, plus a $65 initial registration fee, individuals can tap into that collection of almost 47,000 digitally recorded books, which, for copyright reasons, essentially acts as a national lending library. Schools can participate at an entry level for $350 a year.
The English government think tank on the future said too often learning difficulties, "remain unidentified, or are treated only when advanced. The result can be under-achievement in school and disengagement by the child.... Improvements in early detection combined with focused interventions could prevent problems developing and create broad and lasting benefits for the child and society."
Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
A third federal lawsuit has been filed to block Furlough Fridays, this one claiming that the decision to shut public schools for 17 days violates students' rights to due process under the U.S. Constitution. The suit was filed on behalf of eight disabled students, but the arguments would apply to any student. The case, naming Gov. Linda Lingle and Schools Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto as defendants, will be heard Monday in U.S. District Court before Judge Wallace Tashima, along with the other two lawsuits already filed over the furloughs.
The International Dyslexia Association
What is the single most important year of an individual’s academic career? The answer is not junior year of high school, or senior year of college. It is third grade. What makes success in third grade so pivotal? It is the year that students move from learning to read—decoding words using their knowledge of the alphabet—to reading to learn. The books children are expected to master no longer are simple primers, but fact-filled informational texts.
Empire State News.net (NY)
The New York City Department of Education must improve the timeliness of its evaluations and placements of special education student applicants, according to a report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (PA)
Ryan Maloney couldn't read when he was in the third grade. Now he is a freshman making A's and B's at Gannon University, where he is studying sports management.
The Star Ledger (NJ)
They have written about it in their books, and share a quiet pride in perhaps being an example to others, but never realized the common link between them. Tim Tebow and Rex Ryan, perhaps the Jets' best-known personalities, have both overcome dyslexia, the learning disability that affects a person's ability to read and process information.
Learning Works for Kids
Time Management is the thinking skill that helps children to prioritize tasks and complete duties in a timely fashion. It involves accurately judging the amount of time it will take to complete a task and knowing how to stick to a schedule. An example of good Time Management skills would be when a child decides to finish their homework and chores immediately after school so they have time to watch TV later in the evening.
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic's annual fundraising luncheon took on an air of celebration as more than 350 people turned out to honor as "champions" the many print-challenged students who use the nonprofit organization's audio textbook service to overcome their disabilities.
No one can say with real certainty why it happened, but when K12 school districts began implementing the first student information systems during the 1990s, special education was largely left out of the process. The two systems evolved as separate entities, technologically speaking, and in the handling of individualized education programs, paper remained the dominant storage medium long after other student records had made the digital transition. School districts now need to integrate their general education and special education systems, because, among other reasons, they're both part of a larger process.
The Fort Collins Coloradoan (CO)
Research shows that unscripted imaginative play — and the self-talk that goes along with it — helps children develop executive function: to be creative, control their emotions, resist sudden impulses and maintain mental focus.
The Learning Disabilities Association Toronto District is looking for book and video donations after dozens of supplies have gone missing. Christina Ferri, resource facilitator for the association, said she noticed the lack of materials while reorganizing the library in June.
National Public Radio
In recent years, more people have been trying an alternative approach to ADHD called neurofeedback, a type of therapy intended to teach the brain to stay calm and focused. Neurofeedback is expensive, time consuming and still scientifically unproved. But, there's growing evidence that it can help.
Learning Works for Kids
Get informed! Read up on working memory research and training techniques.
If you find yourself forgetting why you are standing in front of the refrigerator, or where you left your cell phone when you came home from work, we’ve got good news! If your daughter can’t seem to remember simple directions such as to brush her teeth (even though you’ve told her a thousand times), or your son regularly forgets that baseball requires a glove and a hat, we’ve got good news! Neuroscientists have demonstrated that intensive training can significantly improve working Memory, the skill you need for all of the aforementioned activities.
Tree Fu Tom online has been designed to encourage children of all abilities to develop the skills that are essential for classroom learning. The games include three different levels of difficulty so that all young children can play and challenge themselves.