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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A local high school senior, who struggles with learning disabilities, has spent his teen years developing a love for swimming. And for his senior project, he decided to turn that interest into a way to help other children get over their fears.
The North Bay Nugget (Canada)
A coalition of speech and audiology professionals are raising their voices in an effort to help dial down excessive background noise and improve poor acoustics in Canadian classrooms. "Children who primarily learn through listening need a learning environment in which they can fully hear and understand the teacher's instruction, particularly children with learning disabilities, hearing loss or those learning in a second language," said the president of the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
West Lothian Courier (U.K.)
Colin Williamson is a bright, funny and articulate man. Ask him to speak on a variety of subjects and he can wax lyrical. But challenge him to write down his thoughts and you might be handed a confusing document which you would struggle to make sense of.
The Daily Citizen (AR)
Strip the binder from an anthropology textbook, feed the 350 pages into a converter of sorts, and a day later, a computer will read the material to a student who learns a bit differently than most. And that's only one of the aids available to the hundreds of University of Arkansas students with a variety of learning disabilities.
Cherokee Sentinel (NC)
Learning disabilities are something for which parents, teachers, and students must develop strategies. With plans of action, learning disabled (LD) students can go on to engage in successful school careers — including college or other secondary educations. The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) offers these guidelines for working with LD students on homework.
The Press-Enterprise (CA)
The Inland Empire Branch of the International Dyslexia Association is looking for parents and educators who want to learn about removing literacy obstacles. "Anyone interested in learning about child and adult literacy issues is invited to attend," said Regina Richards, Inland Empire branch IDA president.
North South Brunswick Sentinel (NJ)
Ryan Moore, 12, received occupational therapy from the Children's Specialized Hospital for three years for dysgraphia and hypotonia, which affect motor skills and muscle tone. As thanks, he organized a book fair at Barnes & Noble in May, and recently gave the 801 books he collected to the hospital.
About.com Autism Blog
Curious about what the Obama administration has in mind for folks with autism or learning disabilities? WhiteHouse.gov published his agenda on disabilities, which includes a commitment to "funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, supporting early intervention for children with disabilities and universal screening, improving college opportunities for high school graduates with disabilities, and making college more affordable. Obama and Biden will also authorize a comprehensive study of students with disabilities and issues relating to transition to work and higher education."
Roz Rutten's invisible disability used to make her feel ashamed, but not anymore. The 31-year-old Regina woman's world started improving when she began a 24-week program offered by the Learning Disabilities Association. There, she was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Sudbury Northern Life (Canada)
Motivational speaker Todd Cunningham provides a personal life perspective on how technology can assist people with learning disabilities. Some of these technologies include text-to-speech, graphic organizers, word prediction, and voice recognition.
Darien News (CT)
This second article in a series on special education in Darien looks at the IDEA requirement for a "free and appropriate" public education. While "free and appropriate" sounds like a simple requirement, for educators and parents, it's the greatest bone of contention. The word "free" is defined easily enough, but the word "appropriate" has no spelled-out definition when it comes to special education, and leaves a lot of room for debate.
Flint Journal (MI)
The key for a teacher who wants to become an effective parent advocate lies in understanding special education laws, rules, and procedures. A good, informal training approach to learning special education laws and procedures is to attend workshops hosted by local school districts, advocacy organizations, and professional special education organizations.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to add two more education cases to its docket for this term — one involving special education. In this case, the justices will return to an issue they deadlocked over in their last term: whether parents in a special education dispute with a school district may be reimbursed for "unilaterally" placing their child in a private school when that child has never received special education services from the district.
The Tennessean (TN)
A new law effective this month aims to keep disabled children safe from unreasonable, unsafe or unwarranted discipline. Previously, Tennessee had no laws or rules governing the use of restraint or isolation of special education students.
Cape Coral Daily Breeze (FL)
The newly proposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would send $41 billion to public school systems by providing Title I grants for disadvantaged students, special education, infrastructure improvement, technology in the classroom, and teacher quality. The legislation is designed to spend $13 billion within the Individuals with Disabilities Act. An additional $79 billion is earmarked in the bill to local school districts to prevent programs from being cut.
The Reading Center or Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota offers help to students who struggle with reading and trains teachers and parents in a method designed for such students. Unlike general tutoring centers, the Reading Center is geared toward helping students overcome reading and language difficulties.
Birmingham Post (U.K.)
With one British Member of Parliament claiming that dyslexia does not exist, a reporter talks to an expert in the field to learn the definition of dyslexia in the U.K., and if a blanket prescription for "synthetic phonics" instruction will help every child or not.
The Georgetown Record (MA)
The Georgetown Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SPED PAC) is a state-mandated volunteer organization of parents who have children with a variety of learning differences. The PAC helps parents become an effective advocate for their child and is a support group as well.
The Christian Science Monitor
In the great scheme of things, I refuse to get upset over my son's lousy handwriting. Handwriting, like so many other things that were once deemed vital — such as ballroom dancing and learning Latin — doesn't seem all that important anymore.
WNYC 93.9 FM (NY)
For the first time in 25 years, New York State is considering a new type of diploma for special education students who aren't able to earn a regular one.