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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New Times (CA)
National nonprofit Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic aims to get textbooks, schoolbooks, and, yes, even fiction like Harry Potter into the hands of students with visual impairments or learning disabilities. For $35 a year, plus a $65 initial registration fee, individuals can tap into that collection of almost 47,000 digitally recorded books, which, for copyright reasons, essentially acts as a national lending library. Schools can participate at an entry level for $350 a year.
The Daily Item (MA)
The Lynn, Mass., Public Schools Special Education Department faced criticism in a recent district review conducted by the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, primarily for placing special needs students in small, secluded classrooms.
The Los Angeles Times (CA)
A closer look at a small new study that suggests that, for children diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, the twice-daily practice of transcendental meditation in school improves attention and reduces stress, anxiety and impulsive behavior.
My Central Jersey (N.J.)
School officials want the public's input on its special-education services as part of a state-mandated self-assessment of those offerings. The district will assess itself on a number of different federally dictated areas, including: placing special-education students in the least restrictive environment; parental involvement in the special-education process; and performance on state assessments for students with disabilities.
Non-publicly funded schools have financial limits that sometimes force them to turn away disabled students. The heartbreak of such a decision led one family to start a new group called Exceptional Catholic Minnesota. Exceptional Catholic is in the early stages of trying to build a parent network. "First and foremost, we have to increase awareness that inclusive Catholic education for children with disabilities is a possibility," said founder Monica Duffy.
The Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Hope for learning disabled children lives in a rather ordinary-looking classroom at Nootka elementary school in Vancouver. That's where teacher Tyson Schoeber delivers a program called THRIVE, believed to be unique in British Columbia public schools because of its emphasis on individualized learning, technology, and Orton-Gillingham reading instruction, which has proven effective for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
Manawatu Standard (N.Z.)
Both Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill have been labeled dyslexic. If one uses the scientific view that dyslexia is a persistent literary learning difficulty, both would not be considered dyslexic. But, people who believe dyslexia is a spectrum disorder would probably consider the two luminaries to be dyslexic. The range of definitions will be discussed at this year's dyslexia conference next week in Wellington, N.Z.
Miami Herald (FL)
There is job growth in teaching special-education students, and the rewards can be plentiful, professionals said.
The Austin American-Statesman (TX)
The Scottish Rite Learning Center of Austin raises self-esteem by catching kids up on their reading and writing skills. For almost 20 years, the nonprofit center has been helping kids with dyslexia. It provides free academic language therapy for second- through sixth-graders, as well as dyslexia evaluations, summer programs, and training for teachers.
Lake Oswego Review (OR)
More children receiving special services in the Lake Oswego School District are now eligible for placement in special education classrooms. The district touts the change as increased flexibility, and some parents agree. Other parents, however, feel the change sets the stage for violations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
WFPL News (KY)
Congress has amended the Americans with Disabilities Act to clarify — and significantly broaden — the definition of disability. Previously, the law simply stated that someone was disabled if an impairment affected so-called "major life activities." But those activities have only now been spelled out and include learning and concentrating.
The Press-Enterprise (CA)
Eric Atkinson says he has struggled with dyslexia throughout his education, but after being diagnosed while attending community college, has found ways to work around it. In fact, he has earned three postsecondary degrees, is working on a fourth, and won first prize in the prestigious Randolph Edmonds Young Scholar program at the annual Black Theatre Network conference. His award-winning paper compares the origins of hip-hop with the development of bebop jazz 60 years ago.
The News-Herald (NC)
Parents hear a lot about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but it can be difficult to know when a child's behavior crosses the line between age-appropriate acting out and something more serious. At around age 4 or 5, symptoms of ADHD can begin appearing, said Julie Schopps, a pediatrician with Piedmont Healthcare Pediatrics. Schopps said ADHD is a combination of personality traits that revolve around hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)
IDEA specifies that students with disabilities should spend as much time as possible with their non-disabled peers. In 2004, the Pennsylvania Department of Education settled a class-action lawsuit over that requirement, and since then the state has held school districts more accountable. Four years later, many schools still are working to get it right. "Inclusion isn't an exact science," said Bernard Miller, director for exceptional programs at the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
Tonawanda News (NY)
University of Buffalo researcher Gregory Fabiano's work centers largely on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. His innovative and promising research on ADHD landed him a prestigious award that included a trip to the White House and a photo-op with President Bush last month. He was one of 67 researchers from around the country to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Nearly everyone has trouble with procrastination at some point. But for many kids, and adults, it's a chronic problem. Work continuously piles up, deadlines are barely met (or not at all), work often has to be redone over and over, and life is filled with unnecessary stress, tears and tumult. Here are some helpful tips, created from academic coaching recommendations as well as traditional behavioral therapy literature.
Each student deemed eligible for special education has a right to has his or her own individualized education plan known as the IEP. But things can get sticky when parents and school staff sit down at so-called IEP meetings to decide what’s needed to educate a student. Here, special education attorney Marcy Tiffany answers questions about what rights students with disabilities have under the law.
Lake County News-Chronicle (MN)
There was a time when Paul Zoch couldn't read. Now, he's writing children's books, in the hope of passing along a love of the written word that he was late to develop.
U.S. News and World Report
Senior writer Nancy Shute interviews Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist with ADHD himself and author of the book Superparenting for ADD. Hallowell's book is aimed at convincing parents, teachers, and kids that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (or attention deficit disorder) is a trait, not a disability.
WCVB TV/DT 5 (Boston)
Transcendental meditation may be an effective way to treat ADHD symptoms without using medication, according to a new study published in the journal Current Issues in Education. The pilot study followed a group of middle school students with ADHD who were meditating twice a day in school. After three months, researchers found over 50 percent reduction in stress and anxiety and improvements in ADHD symptoms.