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A bill proposed in Congress would allow tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities much like those already in existence for those saving for college. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2009 would allow trusts to be created to pay for disability-related expenses such as education, housing, health care, and personal support services.
The Pioneer Log (OR)
The Student Support Services at Lewis and Clark College held an "Is It Fair?" workshop to shed light on accommodations for students with disabilities. Director Dale Holloway addressed grievances raised by students without disabilities: "The problem here is that these are all 'invisible' disabilities, which is why they cause skepticism." But this skepticism, when put to words, has been known to offend and hurt students who have these disabilities, according to staff at SSS.
Hattiesburg American (MS)
A high school senior recommends her favorite children's books, beginning with those of author Dav Pilkey. Young Dav was diagnosed at a young age with ADHD and dyslexia and made the most of his frequent time in the hall by making up stories. His first book won a national award while he was still in high school, and he followed up this initial success with books, including Dogzilla and the irrepressible Captain Underpants.
The New York Times (NY)
In Lisa Loomer's new play Distracted, Cynthia Nixon portrays the mother of a child who may or may not have attention deficit disorder. Ms. Loomer sat down before a preview of Distractedto talk about bringing the world of ADD to the stage.
Arkon Beacon Journal (OH)
Summit Academy Management operates 27 charter schools in Ohio that specialize in children with disabilities. The CEO and founder, Peter DiMezza, is on a leave of absence while the organization undergoes a "broad-based review" of its operations. DiMezza, who as an adult was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, told the Beacon Journal in a previous interview that he made it his mission to help children like himself.
U.S. News and World Report
Kindergarteners who are impulsive and inattentive — although not meeting the diagnostic criteria for ADHD — could be susceptible to gambling by the time they reach sixth grade, a Canadian study suggests. Lead researcher Dr. Linda S. Pagani, said, "Often children don't meet the criteria for ADHD, it doesn't mean we should just overlook it," she said. "It means we need to spend more time to teach them how to stop, look, and listen."
Education expert Yvonne Fournier answers a parents' question about the appropriateness of a school recommending ADHD medication: While 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. No pill can teach a child the difference in reading a textbook for content and reading a novel for a book report or help a child discover his or her working capacity, which leads to personal time-management techniques.
The federal Institute of Education Sciences has released a practice guide on reading instruction and "response to intervention," lending its stamp of approval to a process that has already been widely adopted by schools and districts.
Canastota Bee-Journal (NY)
IDEA, IEP, 504 Plans; it's a wonder parents, staff, or the board of education can make heads or tails of the jargon. It appeared convoluted, but Nicole Moss, the director of special programs at Canastota, went over the Special Education Review in a presentation before the board of education.
Far fewer kids have high lead levels than 20 years ago, new government research reports. Federal researchers found that just 1.4 percent of young children had elevated lead levels in their blood in 2004, the latest data available. That compares with almost 9 percent in 1988. Lead can interfere with the developing nervous system and cause permanent problems with learning, memory, and behavior.
An Emory University psychiatrist answers a reader's question about adult attention deficit disorder: An Emory University psychiatrist answers a reader's question about adult attention deficit disorder, "As we currently conceive of ADD or ADHD, one must have had symptoms as a child to merit the diagnosis as an adult. Said another way, you can't develop ADD as an adult. This has important treatment ramifications, because many adults who complain of attentional problems and think they have ADD may in fact be depressed."
Globe and Mail (Canada)
Reports last week of a Toronto research team connecting a single protein with the brain's power to learn also opened the door to the possibility that learning disabilities could one day be treated using a drug. As that drug moves slowly from theory to reality, it may have massive societal implications. But it's also unleashing a host of ethical challenges, including safety issues related to testing drugs on children.
The Washington Post (DC)
Couples who have a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are nearly twice as likely to divorce or separate as couples who do not have children with the psychiatric disorder, according to a definitive new study that is the first to explicitly explore the question. The reason appears simple: Having a child who is inattentive or hyperactive can be extremely stressful for caregivers and can exacerbate conflicts, tensions and arguments between parents.
Bellville News-Democrat (IL)
Winfield Matsler wants to patent something every year until he dies. The 51-year-old Belleville inventor already is associated with seven patents. He credits the dyslexia for his ability to think creatively, "it made me see things that possibly others didn't see, like a problem and a different approach to solving the problem."
Chillicothe Gazette (OH)
A nationally-known leading dyslexia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) expert will help local residents recognize dyslexia in loved ones and learn how to deal with it during a free local three-hour presentation Friday, March 6.
Amazon announced late Friday that the company is modifying systems to allow authors and publishers to decide whether to enable Kindle's text-to-speech function on a per-title basis. For Kindle owners interested in the text-to-speech feature — such as those with dyslexia or visual impairments — the device just lost value.
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (MS)
The superintendent of the Tupelo Public Schools explains the value of a newly hired expert in dyslexia: "Unlike many school districts across our state and nation, the Tupelo Public School District now has the capacity and expertise to: 'identify, diagnose, prescribe, and offer intervention(s)' for dyslexic students in need of additional assistance, and this is a very special educational service."
Nisqually Valley News (WA)
Diane Frank's goal 11 years ago was to write a phonetic dictionary for her dyslexic daughter. Gabby's Wordspeller and Phonetic Dictionary not only includes several entries by phonetic spelling, it also includes all suffixes and prefixes used in English and cross references for words that sound similar. For example, Frank explains when to use petal, pedal, or peddle.
Broomfield Enterprise (CO)
Parents so often watch for signs of autism or learning disabilities, but are rarely as vigilant in observing a child's strengths. By doing so, not only can we parent better, but we can also give our children a wonderful gift — lifelong observations that can give them insight into their personalities and gifts they themselves might not be able to see. Here are a few ideas for finding your child's strengths.
The Examiner (DC)
In the Montgomery County schools, phasing out of segregated classrooms for students with significant learning disabilities has been met with a district-wide report raising serious questions about its success. The report showed that 100 percent of the students in transition out of the segregated classrooms scored at the lowest level on the Maryland state math exam, and 81 percent of them fared equally poorly on the reading portion.