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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Grand Haven Tribune (MI)
When folks ask Gareth Bergman what grade he's in, he says he's in the Snake Clan. "If I were in a grade, it would be third grade," the eight-year-old said. At Voyager School, where Bergman is enrolled, students are grouped in one of three multi-age "clans" based on skill level and emotional intelligence.
Christian Science Monitor
The award-winning documentary "Bully" will open in theaters Friday as "unrated." The movie, which tells the stories of five children and their families, had been given an "R" rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The rating was publicly challenged by Katy Butler, a bullied high school student from Michigan, who launched an online petition at Change.org that garnered the signatures of 500,000 people. But the MPAA refused to change the rating, unless several bursts of crude language were removed. Katy argued that such a rating was likely to prevent viewing by the very people she says need to see it most.
Waseca County News (MN)
When David Wilkowske delivered newspapers for the Waseca Journal as a kid, he had no way of knowing it would be one of 66 jobs he would hold before he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at age 46. He now believes his purpose is to help others with ADHD, whether or not it has been diagnosed, and the first step in that mission is the book he has written about his experiences, The Chronic Job Hopper, My Ongoing Battle with Attention Deficit Disorder 1969-2005.
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
"On both HBCU and White campuses, many Black and Latino students with learning disabilities never get any help," says Thomas Mays, manager of disability services for Prince George's Community College in Maryland. "Many are never diagnosed, and many of those who were identified as having LDs in grammar or high school had such a terrible time in special education that they never want to be identified in college even though they could really benefit from our services."
Pensacola News Journal (FL)
The traveling exhibit "Destination Anywhere" opens at Pensacola Junior College. The exhibit, presented by VSA arts and Volkswagen of America Inc., showcases the works of 15 artists with disabilities, ages 16 to 25, living in the United States.
Distracted is the story of a couple managing their son's Attention Deficit Disorder diagnosis. They struggle with his behavior, bad grades, and the idea that he should be medicated. This Talk of the Nation segment offers clips of the show and an interview with stars Cynthia Nixon and Josh Stamberg.
Sheboygan Press (WI)
Lakeland College Theatre will tell the story a group of college students who fight to overcome their learning disabilities when it stages "ENglish Is A FoReign LangUage," a powerful and touching play by Peter Dee, Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 30-31, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m., in the college's Bradley Theatre in Sheboygan, WI. Dee's work conveys what it must be like to cope with ADHD and dyslexia, and paints a vivid picture of how real people handle the debilitating low self-esteem that comes with them.
Providence Journal (RI)
Learning to read and write, as some teachers say, is rocket science. For deaf children, acquiring language skills is exponentially harder. Many students arrive at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf without a solid language base or the advantages of hearing children, who pick up incidental language skills through television, music and radio. Many of the children at school also have significant learning, behavioral or physical disabilities that must be addressed. The school is confronting the challenges shared by schools struggling to successfully educate all students regardless of learning disabilities at the same time the state is raising its academic standards, says David V. Abbott, deputy education commissioner of Rhode Island’s public schools.
Darien News (CT)
This second article in a series on special education in Darien looks at the IDEA requirement for a "free and appropriate" public education. While "free and appropriate" sounds like a simple requirement, for educators and parents, it's the greatest bone of contention. The word "free" is defined easily enough, but the word "appropriate" has no spelled-out definition when it comes to special education, and leaves a lot of room for debate.
Daily Local News (PA)
Teenagers diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a neurobehavioral disorder, can find support in groups such as "Get Off My Back." A clinical psychologist facilitates the meetings once a month for a group of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 as part of programs offered by the local chapter of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
New York Daily News (NY)
The actor, 19, has revealed he has dyspraxia, a condition that can cause problems with coordination. Radcliffe also said that he decided to become an actor partly because he had trouble in school due to dyspraxia.
The Daily Post (N.Z.)
Not all disabilities are visible, as Richard Gahan knows only too well. A learning disability hindered his ability to complete the paperwork required in this automotive industry apprenticeship program. The NZ Motor Industry Training Organisation recognized the problem, and worked with a nonprofit organization to assign a reader/writer to help with the written side of Gahan's apprenticeship commitments.
Arizona Daily Star
One student's perspective about social promotion. Academics and educators agree the transition points in education, especially from eighth grade to high school, are periods marked by higher rates of failure and thus necessary points for stronger intervention and student support. Richard Llamas has attention-deficit disorder and says he can't keep pace with his classmates. The lack of support for her son infuriates Llamas' mother.
The Shelbyville News (IN)
This summer, children with mental impairments and physical disabilities should have a new playground area at Kennedy Park where they can safely play with children of all abilities.
Calgary Herald (Canada)
Registered psychologist Deb Skaret has researched learning disabilities in children for 25 years, and says nothing in life is more demanding on our brains than our time spent in school. Skaret, who creatively refers to herself as a "learning detective" says she'd like every student to have the opportunity to be tested so that teachers can examine their unique learning profile.
Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL)
After grabbing the hearts of television fans, Patrick Dempsey, aka Dr. Derek Shepherd, the actor who plays McDreamy on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" hopes to earn a place in the hearts of racing fans. Mc Dreamy says he was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 12. "It was always something I had to make the most of and come to terms with. It affects your whole being."
National Public Radio
Investigative reporter Katherine Ellison's son, Buzz, was charming and bright. But he was also driving her crazy. Both mother and son were constantly at odds, and Buzz was anxious, angry and lonely. When Buzz was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Ellison was already familiar with its symptoms she soon learned that she had ADHD as well.
Ealing Gazette (U.K.)
Rosemary Palmer, 83, was nominated for this award for her work as a long-serving member of the Ealing Dyslexia Association. Palmer, whose son suffered from dyslexia, was a teacher in West London schools until she retired and decided to help people with the condition.
Educators gathered in Washington, D.C. last week to discuss a recent federal 'practice guide' on response to intervention for students struggling in mathematics agreed that applying the RTI approach to that subject is challenging. But they also suggested that doing so was worth the effort.
Despite a promotional push by the federal government and adoption by school districts around the country, "response to intervention" remains a little-known educational framework to many. Supporters say the teaching method, which requires teachers to initiate scientifically based, intensive instruction when students show signs of academic struggle, could mean better classroom results for all students.