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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Ross-shire Journal (Scotland)
An inspirational Ross-shire children's author, who has battled dyslexia all her life, is urging local youngsters to get their creative juices flowing. Sixty-year-old Jackie Wood's Scatwell Rabbits series of illustrated books have sold more than 1,000 copies. She urged youngsters, "If you have a problem reading you should let people know as there are many things that can be done to help you."
Childhood anxieties are incredibly prevalent, and at times far more severe than the monster under the bed. Overwhelming and debilitating anxieties affect an estimated 10 to 20 percent of children, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. A study unveiled today that will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine, aims answer the question of how to treat those children.
School districts are allowed to refer to a student's disability or special education status on report cards, but they should generally refrain from such notations on student transcripts, according to new guidance released by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Herald (UK)
In a wide-ranging review, HM Inspectorate of Education of Scotland found dyslexia is now widely recognized and there are many examples of excellent practice in schools, from effective early intervention and use of technology, to high-quality support and teacher training. Despite this, the report confirms what parents have long argued - that there is a "mixed picture" of support across Scotland, with teachers having varying levels of skills.
WINK News (FL)
Armenta Stalworth, 12, struggled with the most basic math. She was frustrated and so were the adults around her. But then she changed schools and someone recognized that she had dyscalculia, a math learning disability. "If I say to you, 'one,' you immediately have the image of one thing. And for this child, one and seven may all be confused. They don't have that feeling of one piece or seven pieces," says Dr. Joan Teach, director of the Lullwater School.
Educators fear that a large number of English-language learners, as well as a large population of special- education students in Maryland, might be denied a diploma in June because they cannot pass the High School Assessments. This week, the Maryland State Board of Education took a final vote to continue the requirement, which will take effect for the first time for this year's senior class.
News Tribune (WA)
In teacher Lisa Hough's classroom, pictures of letters loaded in a choo-choo train chug across the wall, and the clatter of rambunctious preschoolers livens the morning lessons. As Hough goes over the day’s activities with her pint-sized students, she asks, "Did we do coloring today?" while fluttering her fingers against her chin. That's the sign for coloring. One by one, the youngsters respond, "Yes, we did coloring" out loud and in American Sign Language. This is a typical day in a new preschool for deaf and hard-of-hearing children at Carter Lake Elementary School on McChord Air Force Base.
Daily Advertiser (LA)
Hundreds of people with disabilities got a sense of the opportunities available to them at the fifth annual Job Fair for People with Disabilities on Tuesday in Lafayette, LA. More than 40 employers handed out information and met with potential hires at the fair. That provided plenty of options for Jason Weill of Abbeville, who has attention deficit disorder. "It helps me get my name out there for my line of work," Weill said. Weill graduated from UL last year, but has had a hard time finding a job, primarily because of test-taking difficulties.
A study is under way at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, seeking to understand the neurological differences among students who are skilled readers, those who have difficulties and those with diagnosed learning disabilities. If neuroscientists can pinpoint which parts of the brain are activated when a reader puzzles over an unknown word, they may eventually help teachers tailor reading instruction for individuals.
Beauford Gazette (SC)
The volunteer taped a worksheet under the students' chairs, placed a mirror on the ground and asked them to complete the worksheet using only the reflection from the mirror. In other words, they'd have to think backward like students with a learning disability, such as dyslexia, have to do. Dozens of Beaufort County volunteers from various organizations visited Coosa Elementary of Beauford, SC on Friday for a program called "Awareness: The Key to Friendships," which aims to help children understand what it would be like to live with a disability.
Lansing State Journal (MI)
One in five Americans has a disability, according to the United States Census Bureau. Whether it's conscious or unconscious, many of us avoid or ignore people with disabilities, not because of malice but because we're so worried about saying something offensive or hurtful. This consequence is precisely why October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Julian Owens had a lacrosse stick in his hands every day at after-school day care. His mother didn't know what it was used for, and she was worried about her boy, who failed second grade with a learning disability and was growing up without a father since he was eight months old. The second-grader who tried to play big against fourth- and fifth-graders is now a sneaky 6-foot-1, 175-pound attackman. Julian, now a junior at Palm Beach Central (Fla.) High School, keeps his grades at a B average.
Montrose Daily Press (CO)
Technology is being used in the classroom for more than PowerPoint slides and accessing the Internet. The Montrose Re-1J State Wide Assistive, Alternative, Augmentative Communication Team (SWAAC) works with Montrose, CO students who have disabilities by using different equipment to aid them in the classroom.
Franklin Academy pairs college students with children that have learning disorders. This week the students from FAMU came to lend a helping hand. "It's waking up early on a Saturday. But it's a good feeling to come out and show you can make a difference in the community by helping one these children learn something they didn't know," says Nathaniel Holston a FAMU student. Working with the college students gives the kids at Franklin Academy the confidence they need to chase their dreams.
Jackson Citizen-Patriot (MI)
There are times when it is advantageous to have a physical disability. When you are a person using a mobility device such as a wheelchair or crutches, people generally do not question that a disability exists. Do you know anyone with heart disease, diabetes, a learning disability, cancer, chronic back pain, low vision, hearing impairments or a psychiatric disorder, just to name a few? We all know people with hidden disabilities. In fact, the most common types of disability in the U.S. fall into "hidden" categories.
The Scotsman (UK)
Dyslexic children in Scotland are being let down because of a patchwork-quilt of specialist provision, according to a new report. A shortage of specialist teachers for children with dyslexia was highlighted by HM Inspectorate of Education, which said pupils benefited most when teachers had received training in dealing with the condition. Inspectors were also critical of the variety of definitions of dyslexia used by different local authorities.
The New York Times
In her first policy speech of the presidential campaign, Gov. Sarah Palin vowed Friday that a McCain administration would allow all special-needs students the choice of attending private schools at public expense, a controversial and potentially costly proposal likely to be welcomed by many parents and bitterly opposed by many school districts.
With 40 million Americans with disabilities eligible to vote, many are looking at the candidates' positions on disability issues.
After a decade of worrying about her son's attention-deficit disorder, meeting with teachers, calling around to get lost homework assignments and getting advice on SAT test accommodations, Lori Spinelli-Samara is facing this simple truth: Next year, in college, Nick is on his own.
Times Online (UK)
In the past, poor spelling was attributed to all manner of things, from bad schooling to a lack of moral fiber. But science is offering a new explanation. A difficulty with spelling could be rooted in your genes and in the way that your brain is wired. These findings stem from research into the language disorder dyslexia, but they are proving important for the wider population.