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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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Depression Alters Young Brains

The New York Times

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have found brain changes in preschool-age children with depression that are not apparent in their nondepressed peers. The children underwent M.R.I. brain scans while viewing pictures of happy, sad, fearful or neutral faces. The researchers found that right amygdala and right thalamus activity was significantly greater in the depressed children than in the others, a finding that has also been observed in depressed adolescents and adults.

Minority Children Less Likely To Be Diagnosed with ADHD

CNN Health

Minority children are far less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study in this week's journal Pediatrics. In fact, authors found that African-American children were 69% less likely to be diagnosed, while Hispanic children were 45% less likely to have an ADHD diagnosis.

Doctors Study Brains of Premature Babies for ADHD Link

ABC-7 News

In the first study of its kind, scientists have pinpointed differences in the developing brain that may increase the risk of cognitive disabilities, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Doctors believe being able to intervene this early may help kids avoid the consequences of ADHD. At Children's Hospital Los Angeles, researchers looked deep into the brains of premature babies to find out what differences can be seen at birth.

First Linux Dyslexia Software Released by Ghotit

Virtual Strategy Magazine

Ghotit released its long awaited Real Writer & Reader for Linux. Ghotit Real Writer & Reader uses advanced writing and reading assistant technologies tailor-made for people with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other learning disabilities. Dr. Robert Iakobashvili, Ghotit CTO and one of Ghotit founders, said, "Internet forums reflect many attempts to use on Linux Windows dyslexia assistive software over the Wine emulator. Due to the nature of the assistive software rich by hooks and text-to-speech technologies, the attempts were rarely successful.

Child with LD to Get Classroom Support after Two-Year Battle

Liverpool Echo

The parents of a 10-year-old boy withdrawn from school in Wirral after threatening to harm himself have won a two-year battle for classroom support. Sue and Steve Peacock were unable to get son Mathew adequate help despite experts diagnosing him with emotional and learning difficulties. The couple finally had their calls for support vindicated after a judge ruled Mathew needed help – rejecting protests from the council that refused him specialist support.

Teaming Up to Help People with LD

Scotsman.com

The social care landscape in Scotland is currently undergoing huge and transformational change with the introduction of self-directed support (SDS), which gives people greater choice and control over their support, along with the opportunity to control their own support budget.

Community Garden Program for Adults with Learning Disabilities

CambsTimes

Greenvale (UK) is helping Fenland Area Community Enterprise Trust, FACET, through a community garden scheme. FACET, in March provides skills training for work and independent living for adults with learning and other disabilities including physical or sensory impairment, mental health problems or who are head injury victims.

Man with Learning Disabilities Faces Being Evicted From Rural Home

This is Cornwall

A FATHER with learning disabilities faces the threat of eviction from his home near St Stephen because of planning policy red tape. Locals have rallied behind Craig Martinhull, who lives in a caravan on the land at Brannel Mill, Coombe, following a proposal by Cornwall Council to turn him off the land.

Challenge of Identifying Learning Disabilities

Deccan Herald

The most common challenge for parents and teachers is to recognise the ‘symptoms’ of Learning Disabilities (LD). One can identify a child with LD through the various discrepancies in the child’s activities / performance. Following are some common signals which can be observed in school going children (you may find the problems in varying degrees and not all signs may be present in the same child.

Review of New Zealand Funds for People with LD

Manawatu Standard

Learning disability support groups say a review of the system determining which children get special help to sit exams needs to level the playing field by removing the cost to parents. New Zealand ministry special education group manager Brian Coffey said a review was under way and is due to be completed towards the end of August. It is currently mandatory for students applying for extra help during exams to have a report from an educational psychologist diagnosing a specific learning disability.

Housing Options for People with Learning Disabilities

The Guardian

The Cameron Trust, Housing & Support Alliance and the Centre for Welfare Reform have launched the Investing in Ordinary Lives initiative to explore how private finance could be used to develop ethical housing options for people with learning disabilities in Britain. People with learning disabilities struggle more than most to get decent housing. Although most people want a home of their own in their own communities, they are often forced to accept places in residential services where they cannot choose their flatmates or how they get support. A bad situation has been made even worse by housing shortages, reduced benefit entitlements and significant cuts in social care.

Close Personal Relationships Could Aid Teens with Learning Disabilities

Science Daily

In addition to struggling in school, many children with learning disabilities are known to face social and emotional challenges including depression, anxiety, and isolation. Often beginning early in childhood, they become more pronounced during adolescence, an emotionally turbulent time. For these youngsters, more positive relationships with the significant adults in their lives -- including parents and teachers -- can improve learning and "socioemotional" experiences, says Dr. Michal Al-Yagon of Tel Aviv University's Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education.

Brain Activity in Sleep May Impact Emotional Disturbances in Children With ADHD

Science Daily

Sleep consolidates emotional memories in healthy children but not in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to research published May 29 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Alexander Prehn-Kristensen and colleagues from University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein. The study suggests these deficits in sleep-related emotional processing may exacerbate emotional problems experienced in the daytime by children with ADHD.

Decreased Funding for Grad Students with Disabilities

Times Higher Education

Postgraduates are most likely to be affected by a shortfall in funding. According to a report, 56.2 per cent of postgraduates with disabilities said they had experienced financial difficulties at university compared with 29.2 per cent of undergraduates. Since 2008, five times as many postgraduates have applied for additional grants from the Trust.

Apple Highlights Disability Offerings in App Store

Disability Scoop

Apple is highlighting a growing number of apps catering to individuals with special needs with a featured special education section in its App Store. The section titled “Special Education” launched late last week and includes 72 applications for the iPhone and 13 applications for the iPad in 10 categories ranging from communication to emotional development and life skills, according to Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman.

Children With ADHD More Likely to Be Moderately Disabled After TBI

Science Daily

Researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Chicago have found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to demonstrate a moderate disability after sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury than children without ADHD.

Revised Psychiatric Disorders 'Bible' Changes Disability Definitions

Education Week

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was last published in 1994 and updated in 2000. Many of these changes reflected in the DSM-5 have been the subject of widespread debate for several months. The diagnostic criteria also have potential to affect schools, though the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has its own definitions of disabilities covered under special education law.

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.

NJ State Senate Passes Bills Aimed at Students with Dyslexia

Press of Atlantic City

The New Jersey bills, which passed the Assembly in April, are based on the recommendations of the task force. The most crucial requires the state Board of Education to incorporate the International Dyslexia Association’s definition of dyslexia into state special education regulations. Students have typically been instead diagnosed with a specific learning disability, which advocates said did not mandate the specific remedial programs students with dyslexia need.

PARCC Adopts Special Education Testing Policy For Common Core

Education Week

Students with disabilities will be able to use read-aloud accommodations on the English/language arts portion of the common core tests, with no requirement that they be virtually unable to read printed text or be at the beginning stages of learning to decode, according an accommodations manual approved today by the governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers.

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