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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Visual mathematics is an online tool that clearly illustrates high school-level math concepts. Math homework frustration could soon be a thing of the past...
The New York Times
Take a look at the Learning Network's (NYT) weekly feature done in collaboration with Visual Thinking Strategies. They publish a NYT image without a caption or any other clues about its origins, then invite students to write in to discuss what they see in it. Full information about the image is posted 24 hours later.
Sioux City Journal (IA)
Randy Geyerman claims the Sioux City Journal was to blame for his volunteering with Western Iowa Tech Community College's Adult Literacy program. Following the publicity in the newspaper about four years ago, Geyerman contacted WIT to offer his services. WIT provides training and materials and strategies for working in a one-on-one situation with adult learners, said Derek Albert, WIT adult literacy coordinator. The program needs between 10 to 15 volunteers each year.
The Arizona Republic (AZ)
A $5 million voucher program for disabled and foster children that was cut from the state budget has been reinstated, tapping unused dollars in the state's public-education fund. It means that the estimated 400 children who benefited from the program last year will be able to continue in private schools, and ends ongoing dispute over the program.
Arizona Daily Star
Devon Dobbins was diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder in elementary school. When her family learned the state was offering scholarships to special-needs students to go to the school of their choice, including private schools, they jumped at the chance to send her. Devon is among 225 students statewide with special needs whose scholastic fates will be determined by the Arizona Supreme Court, which will hear arguments Tuesday about whether it's legal to send state dollars to private schools to educate special-needs and displaced foster children.
The Washington Times (DC)
In the second part of their editorial, two Manhattan Institute fellows look at the benefits of special-ed vouchers, finding that the current special-education system is an arrangement that only lawyers could love. Adding vouchers to the mix changes the dynamics for the better by giving families an alternative mechanism for getting what they need.
News 8 Austin (TX)
Seventh grader Perry McGill and his mom want Wiley Middle School in Waco, TX to stay open. "In this school, mama, you can do a lot more things," he said. Among the many things Perry is referring to is getting the special instruction he needs as he has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, (ADHD). "My son has been through so much. He's been all over. They have sent him from place to place," McGill said. Principal Kermit Ward said Perry is part of the 25 percent of students at Wiley Middle School with unique needs.
Bellingham Herald (WA)
Marlene Easley uses the three-dimensional nature of clay to help break through the barriers to learning that are created by dyslexia. The 58-year-old Bellingham, WA teacher can list hundreds of students, age 6 to 62, whom she has helped overcome both reading and math dyslexia during intense one-week programs through her business, Dyslexia Unlearned.
Government Technology Magazine
A Seattle-based library that offers services to thousands of blind and visually impaired individuals is joining state government as a division of the Secretary of State.
The Examiner (DC)
The story of Jarron Draper is, unfortunately, is all the all too typical fate of the majority of learning disabled students here in San Francisco and all across the country. The exceptional part of Jarron's story is that he got legal help and his family fought back. Most families don't fight back. They hand over blind faith to the school staff and are led down the path of low expectations.
Wall Street Journal
Families in the most affluent New York City school districts, including the Upper East and Upper West sides, file more claims than other parts of the city seeking reimbursement of their children's private-school tuition, according to Department of Education data.
New York Times
About 2.5 million children in the United States take stimulant drugs for attention and hyperactivity problems. But concerns about side effects have prompted many parents to look elsewhere: as many as two-thirds of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D., have used some form of alternative treatment.
"Patrick Dufault remembers many people telling him he would never be able to become a welder because of his learning disability. Dufault has primary dyslexia, which causes him to struggle with reading, spelling and writing. But Dufault’s path to the trades came with challenges. He quit school in Grade 10 because he was in a special class but didn’t feel he was learning as much as he should be."
On Special Education Blog, Education Week
When Congress passed a short-term budget bill that expires Nov. 18, lawmakers may not have realized what some of the bill's potential long-term effects might be on education spendingalthough states and school districts noticed their action right away. Spending for four programsspecial education, Title I, teacher quality, and career and technical educationfor the current school year was cut, presumably well after most states and school districts had spending plans for the year in place.
KCBD TV (TX)
Sunday afternoon at the Lubbock's Scottish Rite Learning Center 109 students across West Texas graduated from dyslexia programs and another 14 teachers graduated to be dyslexic therapists to help students overcome the learning disability.
There are more than 700 students at York University who have some kind of learning disability (LD). Marc Wilchesky, executive director of York's Counselling and Disability Services, talks about how the program got started and how it aids LD students.
ADHD Experts Blog, ADDitudeMag.org
Two months ago, the sky was falling in for parents of children with attention deficit disorder. ADHD medication shortages Ritalin and its generic equivalents, as well as the amphetamine Adderall and its generic forms popped up in several states. This forced parents to speed-dial doctors and dozens of pharmacies to find the medication their child depends on to manage symptoms.
What do you think of when you hear the word dyslexic? All too often the reflex reaction is a stream of negative associations -- "slow reader," "under performance," "extra time on exams," "difficulty spelling." While it is true that these are common symptoms in students with dyslexia, they are surmountable problems. For any educator, the key to unleashing academic success in dyslexic students lies in understanding how their brains work.
Click the link to learn the four things ALL educators should know about the dyslexic brain!
ADHD & LD Education Blog, ADDitudeMag.com
As parents and teachers, we want our students ADD/ADHD to succeed. So much so, that we often intervene (doing their homework, finishing their chores, and more) before letting them learn the following valuable lessons that failure can teach.
Dr. Fournier answers a question from a parent who received advice from a teacher that her daughter has ADHD and to seek medication. He notes that the diagnosis should come from a developmental pediatrician. And yes, true ADD/ADHD behavior is usually treated with medication. It is more important, however, to diagnose and treat your child's underlying learning problem, not its behavioral manifestations.