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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Salt Lake Tribune
Parents and advocates were expecting a revamp of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. But HB296, the product of two years of study, falls short of that. The legislation is more remarkable, advocates say, for what it doesn't do. It doesn't restrict enrollment to students who need it most, those with multiple and severe disabilities, as some have advocated.
Shenandoah Valley-Herald (VA)
On Thursday, Feb. 5, Dexter Manley shared a darker side to his life with students at Central High School one that remained a secret for most of his football career. Manley battled both drug addiction and a severe learning disability. He couldn’t read or write until he was 30 years old. In college and in the NFL locker rooms, Manley would often pretend to be reading the Wall Street Journal and other periodicals to keep his educational setback a secret.
Wichita Eagle (KS)
Lack of money could scuttle efforts by dyslexia advocates to require Kansas schools to test students for reading disorders and accommodate learning challenges. House Bill 2199 would require schools to provide literacy screening in kindergarten through second grade, offer appropriate interventions and include training for teachers about literacy programs.
Dallas Morning News
At the entrance of the Shelton School in Dallas hangs a bronze sculpture of long, skeletal fingers on a hand touching a half-opened book with its title, The Miracle Worker, etched backward on the cover. The 2003 piece, inspired by the story of Anne Sullivan, who taught Helen Keller to understand words, cuts close both for its artist, Eric McGehearty, and for the students at Shelton, where McGehearty once went to school. "It's up to you if the hand is going to grab the book," says McGehearty, who has grappled all his life with dyslexia, a processing problem that makes it difficult for him to read and write even now at age 30.
When her two sons were growing up, Sheila Gerbarg had endless practice reading aloud. Gerbarg, of Paradise Valley, does her reading aloud these days in a studio at Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic in Phoenix. Her years as a physician (she works now as a medical consultant) make her especially suited for reading scientific texts for people who can't.
People with a personal or family history of learning disabilities may be more at risk for a rare type of dementia that causes them to lose language abilities as they age, according to a new report.
San Francisco Chronicle
Would-be doctors with dyslexia or other disorders that impair their reading skills lost a California Supreme Court appeal Wednesday in their attempt to get extra time or other accommodations on the national medical school entrance exam.
The Review of Roxborough (PA)
This week, Academy in Manayunk in Philadelphia, PA expanded its campus. AIM opened its doors for the first time on Aug. 30, 2006. Since then, the Academy In Manayunk, in conjunction with the Lab School of Washington, has brought a new way of teaching to Philadelphia. Based on the successful Lab School of Washington and Baltimore Lab; the Academy is a research-to-practice school using an arts-based methodology that has been proven to aid learning disabled students to achieve higher education.
Advocates for students with disabilities have a full agenda for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, including rolling out long-awaited regulations for educating young children and cracking down on the use of restraints and seclusion as school disciplinary measures.
Tennessee education officials have created the first national blueprint for alternative education programs to help at-risk students succeed in school. The program sets quality standards for educating students who have been suspended, expelled or have dropped out. "We are talking about the most challenged of challenging youths," Tennessee Alternative Education Coordinator James Vince Witty said. "A lot of these students are underperforming academically, have learning disabilities and behavioral issues."
Greenwich Post (CT)
On April 24 and 25, Eagle Hill School in Greenwich will host its third educational symposium, "Best Practices and New Perspectives in the Field of Learning Disabilities." Eagle Hill has a national reputation for excellence in the field of education for children with language-based learning difficulties, and this symposium marks the final event of its kind for its founding headmaster, Dr. Mark Griffin, who will be retiring after 34 years in this position.
Most school districts in Pennsylvania are not spending enough to meet the basic needs of special education students, according to a new study. The study found that 391 of the state's 501 school districts are spending less than a basic-adequacy level on special education. Combined, that amounts to a shortfall of $380 million annually, or $1,947 per special education student.
If you're looking for a figure skating show at this week's Special Olympics World Winter Games, check out Canadian Marc Theriault Thursday morning at Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho. Theriault was the first Special Olympics athlete to land a double jump in international competition, he said. Theriault, who has epilepsy and a learning disability, began his sports career in "generic" programs. He learned to skate alongside those without disabilities.
The Examiner (DC)
Houston area writer Christie Craig is a true working-writer success story. Dyslexic from childhood, she has built an amazing career as a writer, speaker and teacher. Her stories are filled with romance of course, but also a generous helping of humor, action and suspense.
We all know friends, coworkers or family members who are disorganized, always late for appointments, and constantly starting tasks and not finishing them. You may even recognize these behaviors in yourself and may sometimes feel that people think you're lazy, unfocused, or irresponsible, when you know that's not the case. If this sounds familiar to you, you may have a real medical disorder called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Morris Sun Tribune (MN)
It seems counter intuitive: In an effort to help energetic 3rd-graders and 6th-graders concentrate on their school work, let's give them a bunch of big, bouncy rubber balls. But that's what Morris Area Elementary School teachers Deb Felstul and Jane Lesmeister have done, and the results have been positive. The stability balls have proven effective for all students, but they are especially helpful for children with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Felstul said.
Jan Warner and Jan Collins tackle a question from the father of a child with learning disabilities. Both parents are dissatisfied with the school's plan for their child. The father says, "It was our understanding that, if the school did not create an appropriate plan, we could place our daughter in a private school that better meets her needs, and get reimbursed by the school district. The school-district personnel say that they do not have the funds to reimburse us if we move our child. Is this correct?"
Chandler Schaak, 12, looked every bit the newsman at Monday's Youth Rally at Taco Bell Arena. Schaak is one of only 12 kids across the U.S. who won coveted reporting spots for Time for Kids, a weekly classroom publication from Time magazine. Some 500 students, including Schaak, wrote essays to get the job. He wrote his own about having dyslexia.
Danvers Herald (MA)
Michael Sandler is author of a book, holds a bachelor's degree and two masters' degrees and is the founder of the Creative Learning Institute where he coaches adults and students with Attention Deficit Disorder. Sandler, however, has come a long way from his Danvers childhood where he struggled with ADD.
Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN)
More than 5,000 students in Minnesota opted to "attend" all of their high school classes online in 2007-2008, instead of sitting in a traditional classroom with their peers. For some, like high school junior A.J. Worth, who has ADHD, the online classes are working.