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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.
The West Milford Messenger (N.J.)
More than 100 parents packed the Westbrook school library for an open meeting on special education. For parents, it was a golden opportunity to be heard.
The Wall Street Journal
A recent study of "atypical" antipsychotic drugs shows that the drugs pose a risk for cardiac failure. These drugs are approved for treating schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autism in children as young as 5. Researchers say they are widely prescribed for off-label treatment of dementia in nursing-home patients and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in children. An editorial accompanying the new study said the use of such drugs should be "reduced sharply" among children and elderly patients.
U.S. News and World Report
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be a distressing diagnosis, but families have more treatment options than they might realize. Behavioral therapy for ADHD — and parent retraining, too — can be good alternatives to medication.
NY1 News (NY)
Dozens of Staten Island parents of special needs students packed a meeting Tuesday to talk about how the Department of Education can better serve their kids, who suffer from learning disabilities like dyslexia or developmental disorders.
Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children's Defense Fund, remembers Sally Smith, pioneering founder and director of the Lab School of Washington, D.C., and nationally renowned champion of arts education for learning disabled children.
Novato Advance (CA)
Novato-based comedian and magician Jay Alexander will present two special shows where all proceeds for his appearance will be donated to the Hamilton PTA. "I have dyslexia and the only way I got through school was because of the arts," said Alexander. "The arts teach creative, collaborative, and critical thinking skills that are useful in all aspects of one's life."
BBC News (U.K.)
After a British MP this week claimed dyslexia is a myth, thereby igniting fierce criticism, BBC News website readers have been reacting to the story and describing their experiences.
Connecticut Post (CT)
Three Wilton, Conn., women urged President-elect Barack Obama and Congress to enact legislation to protect disabled children from abusive seclusion and restraint practices in public schools. Connecticut approved such protections in 2007, but a report released Tuesday by the National Disability Rights Network shows that about 40 percent of the states in the nation have no laws, policies, or guidelines concerning restraint or seclusion use in schools.
The New York Times (NY)
The New York City Department of Education, long criticized for a haphazard approach to special education, has signed a $55 million contract with a Virginia company to overhaul the way it tracks information about 190,000 students with disabilities.
The Daily Advertiser (LA)
Mary Alciatore overcame dyslexia in college, and her struggle with the learning disability inspired her to help others with similar problems. Alciatore's work with special needs students at Comeaux High School — her alma mater — has made her a 2009 "inspirational" finalist for the Lafayette Education Foundation Teacher Awards.
The Guardian (U.K.)
A Labour MP who claimed dyslexia was "cruel fiction" to cover up bad teaching of reading and writing was fiercely criticized today by charities for the condition. Dyslexia advocate Kate Griggs, said: "His position is just so wrong from all the scientific evidence, and it's just terribly unhelpful for parents who often struggle to get their children support."
With 6.3 percent of children ages five to 15 diagnosed with a disability, companies are realizing that it's in their best interest to keep employees focused on work rather than their children's needs. So some employers are providing education and resources to help families with disabled members.