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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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“Basketball” Jones Delivers Motivational Message

Press Publications (MN)

The Northwood resident, a native of Melrose Park, IL, juggles basketballs for a living. But that's not the entire story. During his performances, Jones delivers motivational messages to his audience about learning to deal with and overcome learning disabilities. Jones, 43, was diagnosed with dyslexia near the end of his first grade year.

How Becoming the Greatest Ever Olympian Changed my Life

The Guardian (UK)

In these first extracts from Michael Phelps' new autobiography, he reveals how he won eight gold medals in Beijing and what that meant to him. According to Phelps, who was diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as a child, he never wanted to be the second Mark Spitz: "I only wanted to be the first Michael Phelps."

Hopelink's Literacy Council Opens Doors

Seattle Times

Cecil Wells Jr. had accomplished many things in life, but he was unable to really read. Wells said he was one of those kids who slipped through the cracks. Back then, dyslexia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (with which Wells has been diagnosed) weren't readily recognized by teachers. There were no special-education classes for those needing extra help. When he was in his early 40s, Wells made a call to the Eastside Literacy Council, which is now part of Hopelink, one of 13 agencies supported by The Seattle Times' annual Fund for the Needy drive.

A Voice for Special-Ed Parents

Merrick Herald (NY)

"Close your eyes and imagine your best friend from fourth grade." This was an exercise that author and special educator Rick Lavoie practiced with a group of parents, educators, administrators and various school faculty who sat in the Calhoun High School auditorium in Merrick, NY to hear him speak on Dec. 2. Lavoie was brought to the district by the North Merrick Special Education PTA and the Teacher's Center in honor of Special Education Week.

A Model of Inclusion?

Lake Oswego Review (OR)

More children receiving special services in the Lake Oswego School District of Lake Oswego, Oregon are now eligible for placement in special education classrooms, according to a document the school board reviewed on Nov. 3 — a fact that the district sees as flexibility, and dissatisfied parent/attorney Cynthia Mohiuddin sees as the district setting itself up for violations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

More Than 10% of Kids Use Alternative Treatments

USA Today

A surprisingly large number of children — nearly 12% — are using herbal supplements and other complementary and alternative therapies, according to the first national study on the subject, released Wednesday. Children used these therapies most often for back or neck pain, colds, anxiety or stress, other muscle and skeletal problems and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, the study shows.

Students Celebrate Love of Reading

Times & Transcript (Canada)

Erik Bruens always hated reading. The 15-year-old Moncton High School student has dyslexia, and until recently, he wasn't sure he'd ever be able to read. That was until Erik joined the Wilson Reading Centre, run by Priscilla Wilson. The Moncton-based private tutor program gave Erik the tools to break down words and sound them out. Erik was one of a few dozen students of various ages who were celebrating success with the program last night at the centre.

Ask for Behavior Plan at School for Child with ADHD

The Flint Journal (MI)

Columnist Kori Carson Dean fields a question from a concerned mother regarding her 10-year-old son, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. His teacher constantly sends him to the office for behavioral problems, and then the principal suspends him from school. Dean advises the mother on the next steps she should take toward keeping him in school and getting the services he needs to succeed.

'Response to Intervention' on NEA's Agenda

Education Week

Despite a promotional push by the federal government and adoption by school districts around the country, "response to intervention" remains a little-known educational framework to many. Supporters say the teaching method, which requires teachers to initiate scientifically based, intensive instruction when students show signs of academic struggle, could mean better classroom results for all students.

Study: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The Miami Herald

Do stimulant medications, often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, cause potentially dangerous genetic changes in children who take them?

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Takes Disabilities in Stride

Wisconsin State Journal

This year, UW-Whitewater moved to strengthen its claim as a draw for students with disabilities, a varied population that includes not only students who have physical disorders, but those who have autism and attention deficit disorder, among other disabilities.

Canada: Ill-prepared to Help LD Students

The Vancouver Sun (Canada)

Teachers and psychologists have little information about learning disabilities when they enter their professions and have no guidelines to help them in their work with LD students. That's the conclusion of a study released today by the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, which found that no province or territory requires teachers or psychologists working with children to take even a single course on learning disabilities.

'The Gift of Adult ADD' by Lara Honos-Webb

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX)

Lara Honos-Webb, author of The Gift of Adult, challenges those with attention-deficit disorder (ADD) to cast off the stigma of the disability and harness the strengths of the affliction. Those with ADD are ideally suited for specific roles, she contends, and each of the affliction's drawbacks is really an advantage that needs to be reframed.

Swimming has Helped D'Andrea's Confidence

Bucks County Courier-Times (PA)

High school swimming has been so much more than an activity for Maria D'Andrea. It's changed her life. The senior at Bensalem has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and stutters. But that did not stop her from trying out for the swim team.

New Research on Pharmacologic Therapy in ADHD

Medscape Medical News (NY)

Pharmacologic research presented in posters at the 2008 US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress reflected an increasingly sophisticated understanding of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the ways in which patients respond to treatment.

Henry Winkler's Happy Days as the Fonz Blighted by Condition Undiagnosed for 35 years

Daily Mail (UK)

With his slicked-back hair, blue jeans and leather jacket, actor Henry Winkler turned the character of Arthur 'The Fonz' Fonzarelli into a Seventies icon as he sat astride his gleaming Harley-Davidson. The star couldn't actually ride the bike because his co-ordination was so poor — one symptom of dyslexia, a condition that had crippled him since childhood yet remained undiagnosed until he was 35.

Making a Difference: Northborough Fourth-Graders Get a Lesson in Learning Disabilities

MetroWest Daily News (MA)

Fourth-graders had to concentrate hard simply to write their names yesterday afternoon at Marguerite E. Peaslee School. The activity was one of a handful aimed at teaching students about learning disabilities and sensitivity toward those who learn differently.

Misdiagnosing Misbehavior: Unusual Disorder Can Be Mistaken As ADHD

Little About (India)

The symptoms that differentiate it from attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) are subtle, it's rarely seen, and many doctors may not know much about it or be looking for it at all. It's not surprising that some general practitioners, pediatricians, and school health officials can easily misdiagnose central auditory processing disorder, or CAPD.

Norwalk's Special-Ed Program under Scrutiny

Norwalk Citizen (CT)

A report on Norwalk's special education program released Nov. 26 was reviewed Tuesday evening at a Board of Education meeting at City Hall. The report provides recommendations to help the Board of Education develop and implement a plan for addressing the needs of some 1,000 special needs children in the district.

Many Children Lack Stability Long After Storm

New York Times

After more than three years of nomadic uncertainty, many of the children of Hurricane Katrina are behind in school, acting out and suffering from extraordinarily high rates of illness and mental health problems. When the Children's Health Fund, whose mobile health clinics have provided the only doctors and psychologists available to many of the families in the evacuee trailer park Renaissance Village, reviewed the charts of children seen this year, researchers found that 41 percent under age 4 had iron-deficiency anemia. More than half of those ages 6 to 11 had a behavior or learning problem, yet in the East Baton Rouge School District children can wait for as long as two years to be tested for learning disabilities.

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