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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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Their Visions Shine Through

Appeal-Democrat (CA)

Matt Givans, 27, says his dyslexia made him strive even harder in life and in his art. His artwork was recently featured in an exhibition entitled "Sharing Visions, Hopes and Dreams Through Art" which highlights work by people who have tackled disabilities.

Therapy at Home: Parents of Special Needs Children Have a Lot to Learn

Daily Camera (CO)

Figuring out what to do for a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is like a constant treasure hunt, said Sara Rockinger of Lafayette, CO. Her son, who is now 10, was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder in preschool, and several years later, he was diagnosed with ADHD, as well. Like many parents of children with ADHD, sensory integration disorder and autism spectrum disorders, Rockinger's family has tried a slew of treatments and therapies — from diet changes to occupational therapy to behavior intervention — and found that parents end up doing many therapies at home.

Therapy for Eyes: Could that Learning Disability be a Vision Problem?

The News-Press (FL)

For six years, Elke Podlasek of Sanibel Island, FL tried to find out why her daughter Amanda, now 13, had trouble reading. Doctors performed test after test, from IQ exams to screenings for dyslexia, but no one could find a problem. Then she met Dr. David Dalesio, an optometrist with Fort Myers Eye Associates. He discovered that when Amanda read a word, she saw 10 other words on the page before getting to the second word she was supposed to read. While her vision was fine, her eyes weren't tracking correctly.

There are Ways to Manage ADHD Symptoms on the Job

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.

There Is Help for Writing Problems

The Desert Sun (CA)

An educational psychologist answers a parent's question about assistive technology for a daughter just diagnosed with dysgraphia.

There's an App for That! But Is It Right for You?

NCLD

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...

They Are Not Clumsy, They Have Dyspraxia

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.

They Had a Ball, Learning to Lead

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.

Think Outside the Page

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.

Think Tank: We Must Spot Learning Problems Earlier

Guardian (U.K.)

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."

Third Furlough Lawsuit in HI Claims Rights Violation

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.

Third Grade Crucial for Literacy Skills

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.

Thousands of New York City Special Ed Students Not Receiving Needed Services, Says DiNapoli

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.

Three School Districts Sponsor College Program for Students with Disabilities

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.

Tim Tebow, Rex Ryan Have Shared Link of Overcoming Dyslexia

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.

Time Management Fundamentals

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.

Todd Rogers Champions Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic

Noozhawk, CA

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.

Together at Last: Special Ed and Student Information Systems

T.H.E. Journal

No one can say with real certainty why it happened, but when K–12 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.

Too Many Structured Activities have a Negative Impact on Children

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.

Too Much Screen Time?

The New York Times

Experts are probably right to sound the alarm on the amount of time that children spend with digital devices, but the good-humored Mr. Garner may safely take their warnings with a tiny grain of salt. In every generation there have been disquieting influences that agitate the prophets of doom. Things usually turn out O.K.

Click the link to read more.

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