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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This action summary of the paper “Don’t Dys Our Kids: Dyslexia and the Quest for Grade-Level Reading Proficiency” packs 70 pages of information into a digestible 4 page briefing.
Succinct, powerful, and promising.
Charlotte Observer (NC)
When you add learning disabilities (LD) to the mix during the college admissions process, the search can go from plain confusing to utterly bewildering. Parents of students with learning disabilities must do more homework. Their questions encompass the traditional parental concerns of security, drinking on campus and dining options but additionally, they need to understand each college's academic environment.
The Calgary Herald (Canada)
Any parent of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder will welcome the creation of "Eager Eddie, the World's Most Active Dude." The easy-to-read picture book is part of a new series called 'We are Powerful,' which tackles several common neurological disorders (also released: "Daydreaming Dakota, The World's Greatest Daydreamer," on the subject of attention deficit disorder.)
WINK News (FL)
Two-thirds of all learning disability diagnoses are for boys. But why is there such a discrepancy? Some experts say schools aren't sensitive enough to boys and their learning problems.
ADHD Dad Blog, ADDitude Magazine
On a recent visit to my parent's house, my father's alcoholism and other challenging family dynamics surface. Ten years sober, I put the lessons I've learned about overcoming substance-abuse problems and all of my ADHD and anxiety coping skills to the test.
Marin Independent Journal (CA)
When Joan Ryan of Ross, CA started to write her new book, "The Water Giver," she thought it would be about her son and his near-fatal skateboarding accident. It turned out to be more about her. Her son Ryan's accident helped her stop fretting over his lifelong learning deficits, where her goal was to "fix him, fix him, fix him," and to celebrate instead his gifts as a person - "his courage, his persistence, his sunny nature."
A new study reveals a troubling fact: Parents aren't involved as they should be in planning classroom accommodations. Do schools do enough to loop families in when it's time for special-ed services?
Rankin Ledger (MS)
Diana Robertson didn't want her son to fall behind. But a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder proved that Blake, her 12-year-old son and soon-to-be seventh-grader at Pearl Junior High, was going to need help to keep up with his classmates. Together, they found that help with tutors who have spent one-on-one time over the past year in a program individualized just for Blake.
The Day (CT)
It is hard to believe that the school year is winding down. It seems like we were just dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Irene and the delay of the start of the school. But hence, spring is upon us and for schools that means a lot of things, including PPT season. Planning and Placement Team meetings occur near the end of the school year to review the child's progress and plan for the coming year. It is when parents get to hear about the growth their child made that year and what the school will plan to do next year to ensure growth continues.
Santa Barbara Independent (CA)
For my son, reading has been a nightmare with letters on a page assembled in apparently random patterns with no particular relationship to sound or meaning. I never appreciated the gift of easy reading or the pain, humiliation, embarrassment, and damage to self-esteem associated with reading difficulties until I woke up to the fact my smart little boy just wasn't catching on, no matter how hard he worked.
New York Times
There is nothing simple about speech, and there is nothing simple about speech delay starting with the challenge of diagnosing it. Every pediatrician knows the frustration of trying to quantify the speech and language skills of a screaming toddler. But assessment is crucial: the earlier it is made, the earlier the speech-delayed child can get some help, and the earlier the help, the better the prospects.
As the nation marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the White House is honoring eight “next generation leaders” in the disability community. During a ceremony Thursday to commemorate the twenty-third anniversary of the ADA, Obama administration officials lauded the young leaders — some of whom are still college students — as “Champions of Change.”
New York Times Magazine
Never before has the pressure to perform on high-stakes tests been so intense or meant so much for a child’s academic future. As more school districts strive for accountability, standardized tests have proliferated. The pressure to do well on achievement tests for college is filtering its way down to lower grades, so that even third graders feel as if they are on trial.
The New York Times (NY)
In a follow-up to his May 5 story, John Tierney fields queries from readers about the science of paying attention. Robert Desimone, the director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at M.I.T., and Winifred Gallagher, the author of Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life answer questions about how the brain pays attention.
People who have it sometimes like to call it their superpower, but in reality, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a learning disability. Still, it's surprisingly common among high-achieving business founders, and entrepreneurs afflicted with it are in good company, with Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea and JetBlue founder David Neeleman among the many who talk openly about their having attention-deficit issues. It stands to reason that ADHD would thrive among those calling the shots. While they are often labeled as misfits inside big organizations, their restless creativity dovetails with the high-drama problem-solving associated with running a start-up.
After a week of unabashed hysteria about Scottish chanteuse Susan Boyle, it's time to pause and ask: What's that all about? A psychological boost for a world battered by economic calamity? Or maybe it's just a new reminder of an old truism: You can't judge a book by its cover. Last week, she was on TV from early morning to late night, telling her Cinderella back story (learning-disabled and bullied as a child, singer in the choir, possessor of big dreams) to all who trekked in person or by satellite to her Scottish village outside Edinburgh.
KQED: Mind Shift
Can enhancing spatial thinking improve outcomes in STEM? A new study by David Uttal, David Miller, and Nora Newcombe published in Current Directions in Psychological Science notes that “a recent quantitative synthesis of 206 spatial training studies found an average training improvement of 0.47 standard deviations.” The authors suggest that including spatial thinking in STEM curricula would “enhance the number of Americans with the requisite cognitive skills to enter STEM careers.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Next year Wisconsin students with disabilities could attend a public school outside their home district or a private school with a taxpayer subsidy, under a bill coming before the state Assembly on Tuesday. The proposal is just one of a series of education bills on a daunting legislative calendar as the Legislature wraps up its session this week.
Increasing the spacing between characters and words in a text improves the speed and quality of dyslexic children's reading, without prior training. They read 20% faster on average and make half as many errors. This is the conclusion reached by a French-Italian research team, jointly headed by Johannes Ziegler of the Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université).
The Montreal Gazette (Canada)
Like his creator — author and actor Henry Winkler — the hero of the best-selling "Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever" series isn't so hot with words or numbers. Also like Winkler, Hank is a popular class clown whose adventures, and misadventures, revolve around the fifth-grader trying to compensate for his learning disabilities.