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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Baltimore Sun (MD)
Students with learning disabilities are applying to college this fall at more than five times the rate of the 1980s — and facing a confusing thicket of special-needs jargon in the process. Only recently have colleges made much progress in leveling the playing field for qualified students with disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Battle Creek Enquirer (MI)
It's difficult to look at 12-year-old Jared Gilley — who last week was sitting down with a tutor from the Binda Dyslexia Center — without instantly contracting his wide, freckled grin. He is one of about 19 children in Battle Creek that the center has been helping cope with a misunderstood affliction.
The Flint Journal (MI)
An expert answers a parent who is frustrated and surprised by the school's actions to expel her son: According to state and federal rules and regulations, your son is entitled to a free and appropriate public school education. The district has the right to not allow him to return to the high school; however it is still obligated to implement the most current IEP.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterized by problems paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 4.4 million school children (4 to 17) have been diagnosed with ADHD. It's three times more common in boys than in girls.
Ottumwa Courier (IA)
No excuses — the Ottumwa school district failed to close the achievement gap and it knows what it must do to do just that. That was the word from Ottumwa Superintendent Jon Sheldahl after the announcement that Ottumwa was on a list of "districts in need of assistance."
Columbia Missourian (MO)
The Columbia Board of Education passes numerous documents at its monthly meetings, but there is some concern that these items are being rubber-stamped too quickly. One parent, who has a child with a learning disability, stood up for this reason when the Special Education Assurance Statement was brought up for approval at the Sept. 8 board meeting.
Groups that advocate on behalf of specific disabilities are proliferating, fueled by a medical establishment that can trace disorders down to their very genes and a communication system that can easily connect people around the globe. But some advocates worry that focusing too narrowly could distract from efforts to support common issues that affect many groups.
Early on, school counselors dismissed the idea that student Emily Algire needed special assistance. Emily needed to find a different way to cope with her ADD. Her family eventually got help from a group of psychologists who specialize in attention deficit coaching.
The New York Times (NY)
Jesse Federbush, age 6, is off to a good start this school year. His mother thinks that's partly due to the summer camp he attended at New York University’s Child Study Center. The 11-year-old camp for hyperactive children uses a strict, highly structured behavioral model that awards points for positive behavior and subtracts points for inappropriate behavior.
Los Angeles Times (CA)
As a high school special education teacher, I have a deep concern for my students who take the California high school exit examination. I am not sure that another government study or piece of legislation is needed to address this issue and open wider doors for our special-needs students to complete high school.
Clinical psychologist and author Kathleen G. Nadeau writes that the key to success is developing learning and organization strategies to cope with learning disabilities. Here are a few of Nadeau's tips for students with ADHD transitioning to college.
About 4 percent of the U.S. population — about 8 million of us — have Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. You've probably heard of kids having it. But a new study, conducted by Prairie View in Newton, is finding it's something you never outgrow.
Beth Mineo has been appointed the new director of University of Delaware's Center for Disabilities Studies. "We are working with the Delaware Department of Education and the Division of Visually Impaired to meet the needs of persons with print disabilities. These may be people with cognitive or visual disabilities, and we plan to build up an infrastructure statewide to assist them," Mineo said.
Toronto Community News (Canada)
Hearing that your child has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a life-altering moment in any parent's life. For Toronto mom Leslie Carter, that news came five years ago when her daughter Caitlin was six years old in the Grade 1 French immersion program.
The school district in San Francisco is taking a proactive approach when it comes to special education. The district is now urging parents to be on the lookout for potential learning disabilities and to request testing, but some parents are concerned.
Daily Press (VA)
Virginia Tech's Stephan Virgil overcomes a learning disability and excels as a starting cornerback. Virgil skipped much of spring practice, using the extra time to meet with tutors and get additional academic help. His spring-practice absence makes his rise from backup to starter even more amazing.
Springfield Connection (VA)
Kathy Lascala, 52, has a rare passion for educating difficult children that public schools have discarded. She works with The Children's Guild, a group of private schools in Maryland, helps these children — who have a range from emotional to behavioral disabilities including ADD (Attention Deficit Disorders)— develop the skills they need to manage their behavior and improve their achievement so they can return to the public schools.
Washington Post (DC)
The D.C. school system's deputy chancellor for special education, Phyllis Harris, has taken a leave of absence for unspecified reasons. Her leave comes less than two weeks after a federal judge admonished the District for its lack of progress in serving children with learning disabilities and physical or behavioral challenges.
This essay was written by college freshman William Wissemann for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's "This I Believe" radio series: I carry a Rubik’s Cube in my backpack. Solving it quickly is a terrific conversation starter … I usually ask people to try it first. They turn the cube over in their hands, half-heartedly they make a few moves and then sheepishly hand it back. They don’t even know where to begin. That’s exactly what it was like for me to learn how to read. Letters and words were scrambled and out of sequence. Nothing made sense because I’m dyslexic.
Getting a driver's license is a rite of passage for many teenagers, but the process was a bit more challenging for 19-year-old Mulligan of Acworth, Georgia. She has attention deficit disorder. Experts recommended that teenagers with ADD or ADHD stay in a learner's permit program longer, at least a year, and put off getting their license until they have more experience behind the wheel.