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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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?"
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.
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.
News Chief (FL)
Cass Brown Capel stayed focused - eyes locked on her interviewer, the need to interject random thoughts stifled, 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.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Part educators, part cheerleaders, Kopp and her colleagues in Arrowhead's special education department work with students with disabilities to be sure they pass the state test. They cajole students to finish their math homework, help them learn new reading strategies and prepare them for the state's annual testing regimen. The tests are given late in the fall to sophomores, meaning there's tension in the first months of the school year. Much of the tension revolves around reading.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)
Most of the first-graders at Bon Air Elementary in Lower Burrell raised their hands, eager to sound out the words that teachers Courtney Barbiaux and Jennifer Hartung spelled with magnetic letters on the blackboard. Among the 19 children in the class are two with autism and one with a learning disability. Despite their special education status, they were fully a part of the class, working on the same lesson as everybody else.
Many Maryland high school seniors at risk of not graduating may be able to earn diplomas through a waiver of the state's new exit-exam requirements under a policy approved yesterday. State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick said the waiver was likely to affect "a small cohort" of students who have not completed courses or remedial work. Many of those affected would be students learning English as a second language or others in special education programs, she said.
Mathew Goldberg sees benevolence everywhere and wishes others took more notice of the good that people do. Mathew also recognizes the importance of serving his peers in school and that's why administrators, teachers and students at Allentown High School recognize him as a leader who goes above and beyond in both academic and extracurricular activities. Mathew was diagnosed with dyslexia and auditory processing disorder as a child, but vowed to not let that regulate how he would live his life.
Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Before Brandon Olin learned sign language, he was unable to ask for anything. The boy could make sounds, but a rare genetic defect stifled his ability to use and understand language. It also made his mouth and other body parts hard to move. Then at 22 months, Brandon started at QuestKids, a program that helps children who have language difficulties. It has received support from the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund Holiday Campaign.
Brooklyn Heights Montessori School announced Wednesday that it would continue to operate the Little Room, a well-regarded preschool for children with special needs, until August 2010 to allow all of the current students to finish the two-year program.
The Guardian (UK)
Peter Street has defied decades of hardship and disability to become a war poet and BBC writer-in-residence, with four volumes of verse to his name. At school, Street struggled to spell or do basic sums, and it was clear he had a learning difficulty (it was eventually diagnosed as dyscalculia only five years ago). While in this last job, in 1982, he fell off a wagon and sustained a spinal injury that disabled him for life, but ultimately led to his reinvention as a poet.
LA Daily News (CA)
Until a couple of years ago, Marshall White drove a school bus for the Los Angeles Unified School District, picking up special-education students at home and delivering them to school as if they were a cargo of precious gold. White also dressed up as Santa Claus for picture day with Santa at the Lull Special Education School in Encino. Realizing that he wanted to teach the children, White took qualification courses at night and now works at Lull School.
There are miracle workers among us. Perhaps it's a doctor or scientist that makes the great breakthrough. Or maybe this miracle worker is a little closer to home, a person who's calling who helps your child have that all important breakthrough at school that opens up the whole world. One such person is Teacher of the Month Shannon Sanders. Shannon Sanders is a reading and writing resource teacher at Fox Meadow Intermediate School. Her days are spent helping individual students to overcome reading problems.
The bullying came at school dances and in class, on Facebook and back at the dorm. According to the lawsuit, Tatum Bass was on the honor roll, played sports and was elected by her peers to a top position in student government before her trouble began. Then she was bullied and taunted that she was "retarded" because she has attention-deficit disorder.
University of Texas at Austin
A new partnership between the Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and the Exceptional Family Member Program in Fort Hood, Texas, has created the Fort Hood Family Support 360 Project to help military families caring for children with disabilities.