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The Guardian (UK)
Parents of children with special educational needs feel let down and unsupported in the English education system, a review will say today. Government, local authorities and schools must do more to help children who have specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia and autism, according to Brian Lamb, who has been conducting an inquiry into special educational needs (SEN) services for the schools secretary, Ed Balls.
The Scotsman (UK)
Dyslexic children in Scotland are being let down because of a patchwork-quilt of specialist provision, according to a new report. A shortage of specialist teachers for children with dyslexia was highlighted by HM Inspectorate of Education, which said pupils benefited most when teachers had received training in dealing with the condition. Inspectors were also critical of the variety of definitions of dyslexia used by different local authorities.
The Guardian (UK)
Almost 18% of pupils in English schools have special educational needs, government figures released today show. The proportion has steadily grown over the last four years, from 14.9% in 2005 to 17.8% in 2009, according to statistics from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
BBC News (UK)
More teachers will be trained to identify and support children in England with dyslexia, as a report says greater expertise is needed in schools. Government adviser Sir Jim Rose, who recently reviewed the English primary school curriculum, said parents also needed guidance on the help available.
Daily Mail (UK)
Schools should stop labeling children 'dyslexic' because the condition cannot be distinguished from other reading difficulties, an all-party group of MPs will declare today. The Government's definition of dyslexia is too broad to be meaningful, according to the Commons Science and Technology Committee.
Professor Joe Elliott, from Durham University, believes many parents with children who have difficulty in literacy lessons push for them to be diagnosed with dyslexia so they can get the extra support they need. The academic, a director of research at the university's School of Education, said: "Many of the messages that I have received from parents have pointed out that the system has forced them to use the dyslexic label in order to access additional resources."
A Welsh dyslexia charity is calling for action to support learners with the condition in Wales. Michael Davies, chief executive of the Welsh Dyslexia Project, believes not enough funding has been allocated to Welsh language helplines and specialist computer software for students. The Welsh Assembly Government has invested £118,000 on a literature review of dyslexia before deciding how to target funding to address the problem in Wales.
The National Assembly for Wales Enterprise and Learning Committee yesterday launched a report containing far-reaching recommendations on how best to provide support for people with dyslexia in Wales.
A medical student with dyslexia claims multiple choice exams discriminate against people with the condition and is taking legal action to prevent their use. But why do people with dyslexia find multiple choice difficult?
Birmingham Post (U.K.)
With one British Member of Parliament claiming that dyslexia does not exist, a reporter talks to an expert in the field to learn the definition of dyslexia in the U.K., and if a blanket prescription for "synthetic phonics" instruction will help every child or not.
The Observer (FL)
An Observer reporter shares her experience navigating special education for her daughter: I have had three IEP meetings thus far, and find that preparation is key. My best advice for any parent who goes through the IEP process is to become well-informed about the rights of your child.
ADHD & Addiction Blog, ADDitudeMag.com
I was nine months into sobriety and learning how to handle life without alcohol when my addiction-specialist counselor suggested that my disorganization, procrastination, lack of impulse control may stem from ADHD. He was right.
Portsmouth Herald (NH)
For most teenagers, it's easy to focus on activities they like video games, sports or watching television. But why do they lose that focus for more important things, like homework? Through a two-year, $399,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, University of New Hampshire Professor Jill McGaughy will look closely at why this occurs, diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and how its treatments affect normal adolescent brains.
University of Texas at Austin
A new partnership between the Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and the Exceptional Family Member Program in Fort Hood, Texas, has created the Fort Hood Family Support 360 Project to help military families caring for children with disabilities.
Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
Changes are making higher education possible for those who would have been shut out only a few years ago, writes Joanne Laucius. Every year, between 50 and 100 students arrive at Carleton University with suspected learning disabilities that have not yet been confirmed, said Dr. Nancy McIntyre, coordinator of the university's learning disabilities program.
The Daily Iowan (Iowa City, Iowa)
The American Heart Association recently suggested children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder receive heart tests before they are given stimulant drugs. Between 1999 and 2004, the Food and Drug Administration received reports that 26 children on stimulant medications suffered strokes, cardiac arrests, or heart palpitations. The anecdotal evidence, while serious, does not imply that the medications caused complications, according University of Iowa Professor Dianne Atkins, a reviewer of the heart association's report.
Wisconsin State Journal
This year, UW-Whitewater moved to strengthen its claim as a draw for students with disabilities, a varied population that includes not only students who have physical disorders, but those who have autism and attention deficit disorder, among other disabilities.
The Eagle-Gazette (OH)
Special education will be the focus of a new master's degree program offered at the Ohio University Lancaster Campus. The Master's of Education program is aimed at increasing the pool of special education teachers, especially in the Lancaster region. Program director Robin Schaffer said the high demand for special education teachers is exacerbated by a high turnover rate among those who are qualified.
The Wall Street Journal
After her 12-year-old son spent two years at a specialized school for children with learning disabilities, Lisa Lunday decided he was ready for a more challenging, mainstream environment. The school she chose, however, required all students to study Japanese as part of its academically rigorous curriculum. Ms. Lunday was unsure how her son, who is dyslexic, would cope. The result surprised her. The boy, now 13, excelled in his Japanese studies.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Chester Community Charter School, Pennsylvania's largest charter, would be among the biggest losers if an administration proposal from the governor to change special-education funding for charter and cyber charter schools becomes law. The 2,150-student Delaware County charter school received $21,840 last school year for each special-education student from its home district, Chester Upland, but state calculations show that the charter spent less than a third of the $9.4 million it received for special-education students on special education.