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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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New Law Will Aid Kids with Dyslexia

The Leader (Australia)

Experts, politicians, and parents hope a new law will help those with reading difficulties and take away the stigma of the word "disability" from those with the reading difficulty of dyslexia. They hope this opens the way for such children to benefit from the $9 million being spent to train 80 new special education teachers to start work at 265 New South Wales schools in 2009.

A Parental Juggling Job

Boston Globe

Largely hidden from view in workplaces across America are millions of parents struggling with a herculean work-life challenge: caring for a special needs child. Because they often suffer discrimination or have to cut back on work, these families are more likely to be poorer than those raising children without disabilities. Alongside all the intangible rewards and the bountiful love in these families, there is hardship: careers are cut short, finances are put in disarray, life is chaotic. This article is the first in a two-part series on caring for children with disabilities.

California Scholar Brings Order to Dyslexia

Press-Enterprise (CA)

When Eric Atkinson was growing up in Victorville, CA some of his teachers told him he was stupid. He is not stupid. Far from it. But he is dyslexic, living with an impairment in his brain's system of translating information that can strike people of any intelligence. He not only overcame his disability and collected three degrees — and is working on a fourth — but a paper he wrote comparing the origins of hip-hop with the development of bebop jazz 60 years ago captured first place last summer in a national competition.

Opinion: Offer Vouchers for Special Education

New York Daily News

About 13% of public school students in New York State are enrolled in special education. Educating each of them costs taxpayers many thousands of dollars more than it does to educate a regular student. With the financial crisis compelling Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and other officials around the state to make cuts that have the least impact on services to which we have become accustomed, now is the time for them to give a special-education voucher program a second look. Aside from offering better educational outcomes, such a program would significantly reduce expenditures.

Special-Needs Students Still Few at New Orleans Charters

Times-Picayune (LA)

New Orleans public schools had mixed results in bolstering services for the thousands of children with special needs in the city during the past year, according to educators and recent numbers released by the state. Several public schools affiliated with the state-run Recovery School District — charter and non-charters alike — made gains in identifying students with disabilities in a timely fashion, allowing them to focus less on paperwork and more on serving children.

Helping Students with Dyslexia, One Word at a Time

Austin American-Statesman (TX)

For almost 20 years, the Scottish Rite Learning Center of Austin, TX has been helping kids with dyslexia, a complex language problem that affects reading and writing. The nonprofit provides free academic language therapy for second- through sixth -graders five days a week for about two years. It offers dyslexia evaluations and summer programs, plus training for teachers.

Don't Call it ADHD

The Arizona Daily Sun

Adoptive parents of fetal alcohol children want a more comprehensive approach to a condition often misdiagnosed as simple attention deficit. Children diagnosed with FASD require patient and special attention; their misbehavior in class and in social settings is often seen as an attention deficit or inappropriate social interaction. This is but one obstacle the FASD Awareness Group of Northern Arizona hopes to overcome.

Effect of Parental Education on Heritability of Children's Reading Disability

ScienceDaily (MD)

Parental education is a strong predictor of socioeconomic status and children's educational environment. Nevertheless, some children continue to experience reading failure in spite of high parental education and support for learning to read.

Capture Your Child's Journey

Norwalk Citizen (CT)

Norwalk resident Jennifer Covello not only published a baby journal, but created a gift that keeps on giving. That's because the baby book, "My Life a Chronicle of the Journey," inspired by her children Christopher, 11, and Kaitlyn, 7, will also help children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) and their parents.

Elohim Center Teaches 'Family-Style'

South Carolina Now (SC)

If you've ever passed by Elohim Outreach Center in Hartsville, SC, you may have seen children playing hopscotch on the sidewalk. They weren't just having fun; they were learning. The center offers tutoring, counseling, summer camp, job training, computer training and SAT/ACT preparation to students who are assessed by the school system as having behavioral problems or learning disabilities.

Support Group Plans Drive to Raise ADHD Awareness

Arab News, Saudi Arabia

The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Support Group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is planning to educate government departments, hospitals and members of the public about the need to provide help to children who suffer from the condition.

Northern Blend: Karate Instructor Battles New Opponent

Greeley Tribune (CO)

Thor Nelson stands tall at the front of the gym. Karate students of all sizes, ages and belt colors mimic his moves. Midway between Nelson's black belt and his shoulder is a catheter port sticking out of his arm.

MO Bill Would Let LD Students Go to Graduation

Southeast Missourian

Tracy Ritter loves what the Jackson School District does for her learning-disabled daughter. But she has one issue with the district's policies — her daughter Kaitlyn won't have enough credits to walk through graduation with the class of 2010. Ritter has also asked state Rep. Scott Lipke, R-Jackson, to file a measure directing districts across the state to make room for disabled students in the graduation ceremonies of the class they entered school with.

Getting Schooled by Lil' Lumpy

Star Tribune (MN)

Fairways and greens changed golf pro Tim Herron's life, but not nearly as much as the teachers who helped him get through his days as a dyslexic and chubby kid. In seventh grade, Herron was diagnosed with dyslexia. He credits his special education teachers and Wayzata schools with helping him through some real-life challenges while growing up.

Diploma Concerns a Bit Troubling for Some Special Education Parents

The City Paper (TN)

Nashville-area advocates say high school graduation with a diploma is a significant issue Tennessee-wide for many families of children with disabilities, particularly in cases of kids whose special needs should not be severe enough to prevent them from pursuing careers and post-high school degrees. For "low-functioning" children with disabilities the situation is less complex, as the focus for educators and families can remain focused on life skills and vocational training. But most children have less obvious special needs and these can be easy for schools to miss or ignore.

Math-Challenged? Try Translating Numerals, Formulate into English

The Flint Journal (MI)

A college student writes in to columnist Kori Dean about potentially having an undiagnosed learning disability. The college junior has problems with math and math related courses. Dean advises her on how to proceed.

Texas Youth Spreading Holiday Cheer to Nation's VA Hospitals through Christmas Cards

Waco Herald-Tribune (TX)

Lindsay Gray, 8, is mailing 170 Christmas cards to veterans and service members to send them a bit of holiday cheer. She's sending one card to each of the 168 veterans' hospitals across the country, as well as to the military hospitals at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss. "She has dyslexia, so this has helped with her concentration more," said Lindsay's mother, Kara Lowe. "Even though she memorized what she wrote in the cards, she's still writing and not getting her letters mixed up."

Teaching Literacy: a Matter of Finding Right Tool

The Greenville News (SC)

What does having a learning disability (dyslexia) mean for a child? It means the way I learn is different than others. When I was growing up, adults often told me "Just look at the letters and see how they are different. Focus! Look again, you will see the difference." "What are these adults talking about? What is different about each letter?" "Why should I try?"

Schools Have Above-Average Tendency to Label Students 'Special'

The Telegram (MA)

A higher percentage of Putnam, MA students are identified as special education students than in comparable districts and in the state as a whole, according to a consultant. George Dowaliby of the Capitol Region Education Council also said he found significant shortcomings as well as several areas of recent improvement in the district’s handling of special education.

Mother Fought To Rewrite Her Family's Educational History for Her Struggling Son

The Times-Picayune (LA)

Karran Harper Royal's fears began at kindergarten circle time. Her son Khris refused to sit still. Couldn't follow directions. Always got in trouble. Royal's efforts to help Khris would consume her life over the next several years, as she became one of the city's best-known advocates for children with special needs.

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