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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Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
Changes are making higher education possible for those who would have been shut out only a few years ago, writes Joanne Laucius. Every year, between 50 and 100 students arrive at Carleton University with suspected learning disabilities that have not yet been confirmed, said Dr. Nancy McIntyre, coordinator of the university's learning disabilities program.
Waukegan News Sun (IL)
One simple way to spend time with your children is to read together. "Thank You, Mr. Falker" written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco, is available at many public libraries. Based on Patricia Polacco's own childhood, this beautiful story shares the pain of having a learning disability and the joy of overcoming it.
Grand Haven Tribune (MI)
When folks ask Gareth Bergman what grade he's in, he says he's in the Snake Clan. "If I were in a grade, it would be third grade," the eight-year-old said. At Voyager School, where Bergman is enrolled, students are grouped in one of three multi-age "clans" based on skill level and emotional intelligence.
Mundelein Review (IL)
Sandra Serna of Grayslake remembers her husband, Carlos, as "quiet with a great sense of humor." Carlos was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor in July 2007 and passed away in spring 2008. To keep his memory alive, his family created the Carlos J. Serna Learning Resource Center. Carlos had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia, so starting a resource center to help children with learning disabilities is a wonderful way to honor him, Sandra said.
Just as traffic signals enable safe traversing of the roadways, so too does the brain's machinery for learning and memory rely on its own stop-and-go signals. An NIMH grantee has traced a human learning disability to an imbalance in signals that increase and decrease neural activity and demonstrated a way to correct it.
The Huntsville Times (AL)
When Rachel Colwell first got the results of her testing, she didn't want to accept she was dyslexic. She was worried about being labeled, she said. Then, she realized, "It's not a bad thing." She knows now that she isn't dumb. She just learns differently.
The Bradenton Herald (CA)
Shannon Campbell's son's ADHD made it hard for him to sit still for a formal photograph. That was the inspiration for starting her own photography company. Her Captured Images Photography specializes in photographing children with special needs. "I found it's much better to take candid shots and photograph the child where he's going to be comfortable wherever that may be," she said.
Garden City News (NJ)
At their November 12th work session, the Garden City Board of Education was updated on co-teaching, in which two teachers — one who concentrates on general education and one whose specialty is special education — share the responsibility for a single group of students. They teach the required curriculum and address Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals, with mutual ownership and joint responsibility.
Lake County News-Sun (IL)
Thanks to a generous endowment fund provided by the Serna family, students at Carmel Catholic High School with special learning needs will soon have new support through the Carlos J. Serna Learning Resource Center. "I guess what we really wanted was kind of a legacy for Carlos, and for the family as well. He struggled significantly with dyslexia and (attention deficit hyperactive disorder)," said Carlos' widow Sandra Serna.
MTSU Sidelines (TN)
The Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia is joining its efforts with Middle Tenn. State University graduate students to give them the opportunity of hands-on experience in dealing with people suffering with dyslexia.
Financial Post (Canada)
More avenues are opening up for people with disabilities to launch their own business. This is especially important as the term "disability" grows to include conditions that aren't physically obvious, ranging from environmental sensitivities to chronic pain to learning challenges.
The New York Times (NY)
The emergence of a major celebrity — Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps — with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has revealed a schism in the community of patients, parents, doctors, and educators who deal with the disorder. For years, these people have debated whether it means a lifetime of limitations or whether it can sometimes be a good thing.
The New York Times (NY)
Dr. Melvin D. Levine, the famed pediatrician who is facing five lawsuits accusing him of molesting young boys during physical examinations, has resigned from All Kinds of Minds, the North Carolina institute he founded in 1995 to train teachers to help children with learning disabilities.
The News & Messenger (VA)
Photographer Terra Dawn Chandler is trying to carve a niche in the fashion business in Manassas, Va., far outside the fashion hubs of New York, Paris, or Milan. She has dyscalculia, so, "I sometimes have challenges working with my camera settings, which have lots of numbers." Rather than trying to memorize the numerical settings, she arrives at a photo shoot early, so she can do several light and color tests, and she says she relies on the display of her trusty Canon Digital Rebel camera.
Burlington Free Press (VT)
Accommodations for students with disabilities aren't entirely new to higher education, but technological advances are making more learning aids possible, and not a moment too soon. Rather than retrofitting a course every time, professors might want to consider designing the course in advance for virtually everybody. The prevailing term for this in higher education is "universal design for learning," or UDL.
Eleven and a half years ago, Hollywood actor Richard Dreyfuss helped launch a new type of software, Dragon's Naturally Speaking, which allowed a person to talk to a computer and let it type. It was going to 'revolutionize business.' Local authorities like Newham have long used dictation software successfully for people with dyslexia, but it's not much used for other disabilities at present," says Richard Steel, President of Socitm, a body for public-sector IT chiefs.
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic's annual fundraising luncheon took on an air of celebration as more than 350 people turned out to honor as "champions" the many print-challenged students who use the nonprofit organization's audio textbook service to overcome their disabilities.
Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN)
School can be tough for kids with challenges ranging from emotional disorders to ADHD or dyslexia. For gifted students, too, it's not always a cakewalk, between boredom and the sense of isolation that can result from being a "brainiac." Then there are students such as Tyler and Simon, who fall into both categories.
Paul Stankard overcame a challenging learning disability and worked in the industrial glass-blowing industry for years before deciding to pursue his own artful glass creations and become a full-time glass artist.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (PA)
Ryan Maloney couldn't read when he was in the third grade. Now he is a freshman making A's and B's at Gannon University, where he is studying sports management.