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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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Adult Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder Can Be a Challenge to Diagnose

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.

Special Education Teachers Refocus Strategies to Passing State Tests

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.

Schools Aim for Inclusion with Special-Needs Students

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.

Policy Approved To Waive Exams for Graduation

Washington Post

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.

Student Focused on Good in the World

Examiner (PA)

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.

QuestKids Helps Kids Learn the Gift of Language

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.

School Unit Gets Reprieve at Montessori in Brooklyn

NY Times

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.

Accidental Poet on the Right Track

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.

Santa Earned his Gift: a Teaching Job

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.

KAIT Teacher of the Month

KAIT8 (AR)

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.

Lawsuit Highlights Bullying At Exclusive School

USA Today

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.

Univ. of Texas at Austin to Help Military Families Who Have Children with Disabilities

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.

City Shortchanges One in Four Special-Ed Kids, but Some Gains Seen

NY Daily News

A huge chunk of the city's special education students are being shortchanged when it comes to the services they're supposed to get, the Daily News has learned. As of June, nearly a quarter of the special needs children officials say should receive occupational therapy aren't getting it, according to Department of Education data obtained by The News.

JetBlue's Founder Flies Again

CNNMoney.com

David Neeleman, the founder and former CEO of JetBlue, launched his fourth low-cost airline Monday. This one is in Brazil. Neeleman's attention deficit disorder, not diagnosed until he reached his 30s, helped him figure out that he's better at creating businesses than fitting into established ones.

Prospect of a Beloved Preschool's Demise Alarms Brooklyn Parents

NY Times

Behind a red door at the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, a half-dozen preschoolers who once struggled to talk merrily sang "Jingle Bells" the other morning. They are among 27 special needs children enrolled in the Little Room, which takes its name from the small room where it started in 1970 and has become a nationally recognized program for 3- and 4-year-olds with speech and language delays across Brooklyn and Manhattan. But the fate of the much-loved program is unclear, as the school that has long run it, Brooklyn Heights Montessori, has decided it can no longer keep it in its red-brick complex.

DI Good for Learning-Disabled Students

Pacific Daily News (Guam)

As principals of the Guam Public School System continue to struggle to decide whether to use Direct Instruction, Success for All, or the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning model as part of their reading curriculum for next school year, it is only fitting that they stop and consider the special needs of more than 2,000 students with learning disabilities who are attending the Guam's public schools.

Seizures Can Affect Child's Learning

The Desert Sun (CA)

Columnist Brent M. Cooper fields a question from a concerned parent about her 8-year-old son. Having been recently diagnosed with epilepsy, his grades have dropped. The parent asks "could this have something to do with his epilepsy?"

Workers, Employers Make Adjustments for ADHD

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY)

The general public, including employers, is recognizing that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder isn't limited to children wriggling in their seats. Estimates suggest between 30 percent and 70 percent of children show some symptoms into adulthood.

ADHD Study Puts Money Where the Brain Is

Sacramento Bee (CA)

You know the type. Heck, you may even be the type. You flit from task to uncompleted task, losing interest based on how hard and boring it becomes. You choose the task of least resistance and focus on immediate gains, not richer, more long-term rewards. For people with ADHD — attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — such distractedness is not mere procrastination.

Peter Nickles Picks the Wrong Fight over Special Ed

Washington City Paper (DC)

Last week, the District finally did something to unclog the special-education system. Attorney General Peter J. Nickles declared war on special-ed lawyers. The District filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against an attorney handling a special-ed case.

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