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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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Phil Lewis: Winkler's Persistence Earns an 'Aaaay'

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.

Finding Focus in the Adult World

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?"

Gala Lauds Those Who Dare To Dream

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.

A Daughter's Struggle with Learning to Read


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."

Life Without Words - Clyde Dillard's Story

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.

Opinion: Rochester Special Education Needs Repair

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.

Confusion Over Anti-Lead Law; CPSC Chief Blamed

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 State School for the Deaf in Jeopardy

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.

Centennial's Closet to Closet Seems Just Right

The Oregonian

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.

Staying on Track

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.

Kids Can Help Arthur the Aardvark Find a New Friend

Seattle Times

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.

Hyperactivity Hinders Quitting

Metro Canada

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.

Adults Look for Ways to Handle Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

Sacramento Bee (CA)

Lunch rush was over, but distractions remained numerous inside the cafe just off a highway in Auburn, Calif. Through it all, Cass Brown Capel stayed focused - eyes locked on her interviewer, attention not straying to her daughter, Ariana, who was sitting placidly next to her. You would have no inkling that Capel, a 54-year-old psychologist from Auburn, has been diagnosed with the adult version of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder since 1991.

Teachers, Parents Gain Tools to Help Kids with Dyslexia

The Daily Comet (LA)

More than 200 people from throughout Louisiana filled the halls of Nicholls State University Saturday to improve their understanding of dyslexia and its effect on human's intellectual development. Called "Unmasking Their Potential," many who attended said they welcomed the chance to learn of the learning disability without traveling far.

Meet with Team to Ensure Son's Therapy Isn't 'Cookie Cutter'

The Flint Journal (MI)

Journal columnist Kori Dean handles a question from a concerned parent on occupational therapy for her multiply impaired child. According to the mother, "The occupational therapist said a doctor can't specify how much time she should work with a student, and she is trying to fight me on this one, but the physical therapist OK'd the once-a-week session. Doesn't the parent have the right to ask for more occupational therapy?"

Educating Kinetic Children

Connecticut Post (CT)

The staff of the Connecticut Post handles the following query from a reader: "My son is 8 and has trouble concentrating in school, but he does not have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. He does have to touch something constantly to focus, though. It's a cycle that's difficult to figure out."

Teen Graduates from San Diego State

North County Times (CA)

An Eagle Scout at 14. A top-ranking Sea Cadet at 16. And now a college graduate at 19 headed into a doctoral program in England. Yet in the third grade, O'Callaghan was diagnosed with auditory process disorder, a learning disability.

Artist Kay Cochran Is Showing Her Work in Eagle, CO

Vail Daily News (CO)

Trekkies will appreciate one of Eagle resident Kay Cochran’s resume entries. The 41-year-old sculpted some of the dummy Borg drones for various Star Trek films. Cochran says she has dyslexia and that art represents effective communication for her since written communication can be very awkward.

Reading Marathon to Benefit Students with Impaired Vision, Dyslexia

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (FL)

This weekend, professionals from across South Florida participated in a reading marathon to help blind students or those with dyslexia, a disability that alters the way the brain processes written materials.

Reading Instructor Is Broward's Teacher of the Year

The Miami Herald (FL)

Reading teacher Tony Dutra, who uses technology to engage his students, has been named a Florida teacher of the year. He remembers how it feels to be the kid with a label. Growing up with a speech and language impairment, he struggled to learn. In his classroom, Dutra said, everyone is treated the same.

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