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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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Winners Make an Impression

Downey Patriot (CA)

West Middle School and its library have not been the same since identical twins Brittany and Brianna Winner, 13, held an assembly on Nov. 6 called, "If You Can Dream It, You Can Write It." The creators of "The Strand Prophecy" are the youngest award winning authors in the United States — and they are dyslexic.

With New Version Looming, States Rethink GED

Education Week

As implementation of the redesigned GED approaches, test-takers are rushing to complete the old GED test before Jan. 1, when the new version makes its debut. The 2014 version of the test will have more rigorous questions to align itself with the Common Core standards. It will also combine what were previously the writing and literature sections, bringing the number of test sections down from five to four. It will also now be completely computerized and test-takers will be required to use computer calculators.

With Son Behind Bars, Mother Wages Battles for His Education

Los Angeles Times

She took on successive bureaucracies, demanding a proper education for Michael while he sat in juvenile hall and then county jail, his learning stagnating as he awaited trial. Now that he's in state prison, another fight may be on the horizon.

With The Right Help, Life's More Of A Party

The Age (Australia)

There's a simple, powerful example Traci Fidler uses to show how her four-year-old son's social and learning problems have eased — Brodie gets more invitations to birthday parties. The occupational and speech therapy Brodie receives every week as well as working on his motor skills is helping him a lot.

Without Funds, Colorado's Special-Ed Often Can Fall Short

Denver Post

For tens of thousands of children, special education offers an opportunity for lives of contribution and achievement. But for others, especially those with profound disabilities, that promise has been marred by a public education system that is inconsistent, stretched to the limit and challenged by children with a confounding array of complex disabilities. It is so flawed that some Colorado parents of disabled children have given up on the inclusive education they, and their predecessors, fought to get.

Woman Free from Chains of Illiteracy at Age 48

Arizona Daily Star

In the fifth grade, her school placed Linda Payne in a special-education class. Clearly she had a learning disability but no one bothered to find out exactly what. She entered adulthood lost, believing it was her fault she could not read. A turning point for Payne came 12 years ago. She was diagnosed as dyslexic and a new world began to spell out to her.

Words Working Backwards

The Berkshire Eagle (MA)

Learning disorders can be complex in origin and definition. But at Tuesday's Hillcrest Educational Centers conference on the topic in Pittsfield, MA, they were summed up on the side of a candy bar. Each of the 135 participants yesterday were given a familiar-looking chocolate bar in dark mocha-colored wrapper. But instead of the bold-faced silver lettering reading "Hershey's," for example, the bar was labeled "Dyslexia."

Work, School, Life Combine to Challenge Teens

Times Picayune (LA)

Floyd Allen's story speaks to the entangling forces that can keep scores of New Orleans students, often left to fend for themselves through turbulent lives, from graduating on time — or at all. Diagnosed with a learning disability in middle school, Allen did not always receive the extra attention he needed.

Workers, Employers Make Adjustments for ADHD

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY)

The general public, including employers, is recognizing that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder isn't limited to children wriggling in their seats. Estimates suggest between 30 percent and 70 percent of children show some symptoms into adulthood.

Working Memory Fluctuates in Kids with ADHD

HealthDay News

Compared with other children, those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have more inconsistent responses when doing short-term memory tasks, a new study finds.

Workplace Disability Discrimination Claims Hit Record High

Disability Scoop

More complaints of disability-related job discrimination were filed last year than ever before. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 26,379 claims of job bias citing disability issues in the 2012 fiscal year.

Workshop Offers Special Education Facts

The Leaf Chronicle (TN)

If you have a child with a disability or a special need, you have an advocate in STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents) says Trudy Sanders. Sanders is a state certified child advocate who has been instrumental is scheduling a Nov. 18 workshop called "First Step: Basic Rights: A Parent's Introduction to Special Education" sponsored by Progressive Directions, Inc.

Workshops Help Prepare Students with Learning Disabilities for College

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Something changes when students with disabilities make the transition from high school to college. The burden of education shifts from school to student. That point was made clear for about 500 college-bound seniors with learning disabilities, as the Clark County School District's Student Support Services Division hosted three days of workshops at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for students from every high school.

Worried about the effect of video games and technology on ADHD?

Learning Works for Kids

Learn how to make sure your child gets the most out of assistive digital technology and games — without overdoing screen time.

Writing Disabilities Common, Especially in Boys

Reuters

Learning disorders related to writing are just as common as reading disabilities, and are especially likely to affect boys, a new study suggests. Written-language disorder, also known as dysgraphia, includes problems with handwriting, spelling and organizing thoughts on paper; it is diagnosed when a child's writing skills fall "substantially below" the norm for his or her age and IQ.

WV Author Shares Struggle with Learning Disability

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Bethany, WV resident David George has struggled with a learning disability most of his life, and was only recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. For most of his childhood, 39-year-old David George couldn't understand why he struggled with schoolwork and staying focused. George has now written a book on his struggles and educational experiences called "Be Unique Be You and LIVE!"

Yale Med Student Wins Disability Lawsuit

Yale Daily News (CT)

A Yale School of Medicine student affected by dyslexia will receive special testing accommodations for the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination after he was denied them twice. Frederick Romberg MED '12 will receive double the standard testing time and a separate testing area to take the examination as a result of a settlement reached by the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Board of Medical Examiners Feb. 22. in accordance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Yale Researchers Unravel Genetics of Dyslexia and Language Impairment

YaleNews

A new study of the genetic origins of dyslexia and other learning disabilities could allow for earlier diagnoses and more successful interventions, according to researchers at Yale School of Medicine. Many students now are not diagnosed until high school, at which point treatments are less effective.

You Don't 'Outgrow' ADHD

EastBayRI.com (RI)

Roberta Schneider wanted to learn more about her son's hyperactivity, which makes it impossible for him to read "more than a chapter of a book at a time." So about five years ago she started attending a support group run by Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD) of R.I. at Bradley Hospital in East Providence. Little did Ms. Schneider know, however, that she'd end up learning as much about herself as her son.

You'll Want To Pay Attention to 'Distracted'

Morristown Patch (NJ)

When does a child have a learning disability and when is he just being a rambunctious kid? That's the question posed by Lisa Loomer's "Distracted," which Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is staging at the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey in Madison, March 4 to 20. The play, which had a successful run off-Broadway starring Cynthia Nixon last year, looks into attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and how it affects a child and his parents.

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