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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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Learning About Learning

Washington Post

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.

Elementary Schoolchildren Learn Being Disabled Isn't So Easy

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.

People with Disabilities Often Left Out

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.

Aiming High

Lacrosse Magazine

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.

Technically Speaking: A Look at How Technology Aids Students in the Classroom

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.

Children with Learning Disabilities Get Some Extra Help from FAMU Students


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.

Opinion: Disabilities Can Be Hidden

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.

UK: Pupils with Dyslexia Should Get Better Deal, Say School Inspectors

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.

Palin Promises Choice for Disabled Students

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.

Candidates' Positions on Disability Issues

ABC7 Chicago

With 40 million Americans with disabilities eligible to vote, many are looking at the candidates' positions on disability issues.

Bumps Abound When Students Become Their Own Advocates

Washington Post

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.

Spelling Bee: Bad at Spelling? Could be Your Genes

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.

St. Greg's Launches Rockets and Students' Futures

Chicago Journal

Physics teacher Roy McClean has set up a bench in the parking lot of St. Gregory High School, which is also the only Archdiocese high school that provides for students with learning disabilities or other issues that impede learning. He is starting a lesson in "projectile motion." In other words, students will be launching rockets and hopefully not breaking the windows of any cars.

Opinion: Students with Learning Disabilities Succeed in Regular Classroom

Las Vegas Sun

As a special educator, I am working in classrooms where students with learning disabilities are mainstreamed into the regular education environment. There are different findings depending upon which research is read, but the fact that many students with disabilities learn from the behaviors of their peers is something most in education agree upon.

Staff No-Shows Decried as Rhee Aide Testifies

Washington Post

The District of Columbia's top special education official testified in federal court Monday that some school personnel ignore scheduled meetings with parents, contributing to the city's failure to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities or behavioral challenges.

ARCH Teacher among Finalists for State Award

Greenwich Time (CT)

After six years teaching at ARCH School, Anthony Mullen, 48, is now being recognized as one of four finalists in the state's 2009 Teacher of the Year Contest, an annual competition that recognizes Connecticut's top educators for their efforts in and out of the classroom. Superintendent of Schools Betty Sternberg chose Mullen to represent Greenwich in the state's contest last spring, after observing him in the classroom and talking to him about local and statewide issues in special education.

ADHD Doesn't Stop at 18

Norwich Bulletin (CT)

One of the myths about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is children outgrow it. Instead, what health care professionals have discovered is the neurobiological disorder follows one into adulthood, creating serious implications, such as job and relationship loss. "What tends to happen, children grow up and the hyperactivity tends to diminish. However, the inattention doesn’t go away," said Alnoor Ramji, a psychiatrist with Select Behavioral Health in Norwich, CT.

'ENglish' Spoken Here

Sheboygan Press (WI)

Lakeland College Theatre will tell the story a group of college students who fight to overcome their learning disabilities when it stages "ENglish Is A FoReign LangUage," a powerful and touching play by Peter Dee, Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 30-31, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m., in the college's Bradley Theatre in Sheboygan, WI. Dee's work conveys what it must be like to cope with ADHD and dyslexia, and paints a vivid picture of how real people handle the debilitating low self-esteem that comes with them.

Virginia Teacher Relates to Students

The Virginian-Pilot (VA)

Seth Porter bursts with questions and answers. But at his old school, his raised hand often was ignored. It's different in Jared Setnar's history class at Chesapeake Bay Academy. At this private school on Baker Road, most students have struggled or failed in other settings. They have learning disabilities that can make school frustrating for them despite natural intelligence. Setnar, 29, understands. "I'm learning disabled, too," he said.

Think Tank: We Must Spot Learning Problems Earlier

Guardian (U.K.)

The English government think tank on the future said too often learning difficulties, "remain unidentified, or are treated only when advanced. The result can be under-achievement in school and disengagement by the child.... Improvements in early detection combined with focused interventions could prevent problems developing and create broad and lasting benefits for the child and society."

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