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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.
Naples News (FL)
If you saw someone who looked a lot like "The Fonz" last weekend, you may have seen Henry Winkler in the flesh. He spoke at a community celebration held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort on the importance of persistence and education. He told how he struggled academically through grammar school and then high school before being passed over by universities.
Georgina Advocate (Canada)
Tom was trapped: stuck on a 13-hour road trip with his wife - and his marriage on the rocks. "Something's wrong," Liz started, and Tom's heart sunk. Just six months into their relationship, Liz had told him he was driving her nuts. "Do you think," she asked him, cautiously, "you could possibly have Attention Deficit Disorder?"
Tulsa World (OK)
Mahatma Gandhi's "We must become the change we want to see" was the theme for the fifth annual Power to Dream Achievers Award Banquet at the Marriott Southern Hills Hotel. The event is sponsored by the Dream Institute, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to enriching and increasing the success of students with learning and physical disabilities.
Ten-year-old Ida Cortez had trouble learning to read and spell. Her parents began to realize that something was off when she was in kindergarten. Diagnosed officially with dyslexia in the first grade, Ida tells her mom, Kim Wargo, at StoryCorps in San Francisco, "I wish people knew that it's not like an illness of the brain, it's a difference of the brain. Every brain is a little bit different, maybe ours is just a little bit more."
Fox7 TV (IN)
Clyde Dillard is an intelligent man. For 37 years, he worked highly skilled technical jobs, but only the kind offered with on-the-job training. That's because Clyde couldn't read a text book. He couldn't read at all. His story begins in the early 1960s, when Clyde was in elementary school. Teachers didn't yet understand Dyslexia - a difficulty with written language. So they moved him to Special Ed. And there, he stayed, believing for a long time that he was too slow to read.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY)
Effective special education services are among the most important work of any public school district. For too many years children with disabilities were pushed out of the classroom and away from any chance for a productive life in mainstream society. Now, the quality of the system must match the moral imperative that created it in the first place.
New York Times
Strict new safety rules for toys and other children's products take effect next week, a move that has been applauded by parents and consumer advocates but jeered by industry groups as overly broad and a jobs-killer. Beginning Tuesday, the law limits the amount of lead and phthalates -- chemicals used to make plastic softer -- allowed in toys and other products for children 12 and under. Lead poisoning can cause irreversible learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
Scranton Times-Tribune (PA)
The Scranton State School for the Deaf, the only state-owned school of its kind in Pennsylvania, may close at the end of this school year unless it finds a new source of money. Plans are in the works for the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit to partner with the nonprofit Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to provide services.
The Centennial School District in Portland, Oregon is one of the metro area's poorest. For years, the Centennial Education Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for schools, bought students new school clothes. But as the district's demographics became poorer, the foundation had to spend more money. Two years ago, after spending $16,000 buying clothes for students, the foundation decided to try something different. Teaming up with the Centennial Transition Center, a school for 18- to 21-year-old special education students, the foundation opened a clothes closet. The clothes all donated are collected into a store run by students in the transition center.
The Daily Orange (NY)
Caleb Sheldon's eyes darted around the room, until a phone call awoke him out of his train of thought. His mom was on the line. But he heard only half of what she was saying; the other half belonging to the bouncy ball that exploded with light as it hit the floor in front of him. Sheldon, a junior economics and math major, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and he's not alone. According to Syracuse University Health Services, 8 to 9 percent of SU students have it, too.
Arthur, of book and PBS fame, and creator Marc Brown have tackled blindness and dyslexia, head lice and peanut allergies among the gang in Elwood City, the small town where the man and the aardvark first settled together in 1976. Now they're teaming up to invite children to create a new Arthur character, but not just any friend. They're looking for one with a unique ability, character trait or disability that might make life different, but no less fun.
Smokers with ADHD may find it harder to quit smoking. Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York found in a study that people who have hyperactivity and impulsivity two of the traits associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were less likely to successfully quit smoking than those without these traits.