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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WINK News (FL)
Armenta Stalworth, 12, struggled with the most basic math. She was frustrated and so were the adults around her. But then she changed schools and someone recognized that she had dyscalculia, a math learning disability. "If I say to you, 'one,' you immediately have the image of one thing. And for this child, one and seven may all be confused. They don't have that feeling of one piece or seven pieces," says Dr. Joan Teach, director of the Lullwater School.
When Trudie Styler the multi-talented actor, filmmaker, eco-activist, UNICEF ambassador, mother of four and Sting's partner for 29 years first started school in the English Midlands, she had trouble learning to read. School officials sent her to get her eyes tested. When it turned out that the problem wasn't with seeing the blackboard, the diagnosis was simple: She must be "backwards."
The parenting role of caring for special needs children never really ends. Even after a parent's life ends, special needs children will still need financial resources that will enable them to continue enjoying life. Facing the fact that their special needs child will someday be left alone is not easy, but parents who believe they've done all they can to assure the best future possible for their children have a good chance at relief. Special needs trusts can provide long-term financial security and a responsible disbursement of assets through the drafting of wills.
A review in the current Science magazine makes the case for psychologists, neuroscientists, roboticists and teachers combining to quietly create a new field that combines everything from how brains grow to how classrooms work into a new kind of learning research.
The Florida House passed a measure that will allow more students with learning disabilities to go to private schools on state funding.
Abilene Reporter-News (TX)
Kendrick Meek and Francesca Yabraian are two fighters in a vast army that has been waging war against a common foe, for what seems like forever. They don't know each other he is a Florida congressman now running for a Senate seat; she is a researcher and a computer expert. But they shared a common struggle to learn and accomplish, because they are among the millions of Americans who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disability in makes it difficult to process letters and words.
The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
In elementary school, Griffin Smith watched his classmates read while he struggled to sound out the words. Diagnosed with severe dyslexia, he was held back a grade and worked weekly with a reading specialist. "I shook off the worst of my dyslexia by the beginning of third grade and began reading with a passion," Smith said. To show his gratitude for overcoming his dyslexia, he approached the principal of Gold Camp Elementary when he was in ninth grade to ask if he could mentor kids struggling with reading and writing.
The Reading Center or Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota offers help to students who struggle with reading and trains teachers and parents in a method designed for such students. Unlike general tutoring centers, the Reading Center is geared toward helping students overcome reading and language difficulties.
Emmy nominated Howie Mandel, host of "Deal or No Deal," is raising awareness about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults through the national multimedia public service announcement campaign "Adult ADHD Is Real." This campaign and its Web site, AdultADHDIsReal.com, have been developed by a coalition of groups dedicated to ADHD education and awareness.
Fresno Bee (CA)
Two families in Clovis, CA have won legal victories in their fights with Clovis Unified School District to get more academic help for their special-needs children. In one case, a federal judge found that Clovis Unified failed to provide special-education services to a boy diagnosed with attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder. In the other case, an administrative law judge found that the district denied a "free and appropriate public education" to a boy with autism.
The Windsor Star (Canada)
Imagine the teacher ordering the myopic kid in class to take off his glasses to ensure "a level playing field" with all those other sighted students who don't have the advantage of visual aids. A ridiculous proposition. But that is how dyslexic University of Windsor student Holly Ferguson often felt in high school whenever she would ask for extra time and a quiet room, away from other distractions, to write her exams.
Tonawanda News (NY)
University of Buffalo researcher Gregory Fabiano's work centers largely on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. His innovative and promising research on ADHD landed him a prestigious award that included a trip to the White House and a photo-op with President Bush last month. He was one of 67 researchers from around the country to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
The Financial (Ukraine)
The United States Chamber of Commerce applauds President Bush for signing into law on September 25 the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 saying the law strikes the right balance between protecting individuals with disabilities and clarifying the obligations and requirements of employers.
By the time he was 17, Antonio Rocha had bounced among 11 New York City schools and was reading at a first-grade level. It wasn't until he told school officials "I want a lawyer!" that things began to change. "Compensatory education" complaints are increasingly being used by parents who say school districts have a legal responsibility to educate children in spite of disabilities.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forced an Oregon school district to reimburse parents of a special-needs student for private tuition opens doors for students in other states, education officials say. In Pennsylvania and across the nation the decision means districts need to be especially diligent about identifying who qualifies for special education, experts said.
The New York Times (NY)
The U.S. Education Department sent guidance to governors, state education commissioners and thousands of school superintendents encouraging them to "spend funds quickly to save and create jobs." The guidance admonished educators to spend the stimulus money, which is temporary, in ways that would minimize the dislocation that could follow when it ran out in two years.
A study that will cost $3.2 billion and last more than two decades to track the health of 100,000 U.S. children from before birth to age 21 will be launched in January, U.S. health officials said on Friday. The National Children's Study will examine factors behind autism, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, birth defects, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, obesity and other conditions, the U.S. government's National Institutes of Health said.
Iowa City Press-Citizen (IA)
A University of Iowa student has managed to overcome learning disabilities and ADHD on her march toward a master's degree. Kristi Starnes, 28, was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder two years ago and also has dealt with learning disabilities for reading, writing and mathematical reasoning since fifth grade.
Scientists have said their discovery of a gene could help explain dyslexia and speech disorders in children. The University of Edinburgh staff found the gene ROBO1 linked to the mechanism in the brain that helps infants develop speech.
The Guardian (UK)
Since winning the regional award for special needs teacher of the year in June, Elaine Loughran of County Antrim, Northern Ireland has put special needs back on the map. While Loughran applies every ounce of her imagination and energy to her teaching practice, it is the behind-the-scenes work for children who are genuinely struggling that is most commendable and has won her the UK award.