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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The Virginian-Pilot (VA)
At a 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. He grew up ashamed of his dyslexia, though he embraces it now.
Guelph Mercury (Canada)
Leonie Matfin left school at 14 without having attained more than the most basic reading skills. In 2003, at age 61, she approached Action Read Community Literacy Centre determined to overcome her dyslexia and her past. With the unflagging support of her tutor, Sharon Nancekivell, she has since completed the first of two volumes of her memoirs.
Charlotte Observer (NC)
The Environmental Protection Agency tightened the regulatory limit on airborne lead for the first time in 30 years Thursday, lowering the legal maximum to a tenth of what it was on the grounds that it poses a more serious threat to children than officials had realized. The new rule came in response to more than 6,000 studies since 1990 studies that have linked low levels of lead to damage to children's nervous systems that can lead to IQ loss and permanent learning disabilities.
The Times (IN)
Ben Glenn grabbed his chalk and started creating a colorful centerpiece on a black bed sheet. The "Chalk Guy" entertained the large crowd during the ninth annual Boys & Girls Club's Steak and Burger dinner at the Porter County Expo Center in Washington Township, Indiana. Glenn, who suffers from ADHD and dyslexia, told the audience how he was labeled "special" as a child and in middle school was called "stupid." "I'm 35 years old now, but I still remember one of my teachers telling me to try, and she saw the potential in me," Glenn said. "You have to see challenges as an opportunity."
After failing to finish a reading assignment, 8-year-old Isabel Loeffler was sent to the school's time-out room a converted storage area under a staircase where she was left alone for three hours. Appalled, her parents removed her from the school district and filed a lawsuit. Some educators say time-out rooms are being used with increased frequency to discipline children with behavioral disorders. And the time outs are probably doing more harm than good, they add.
Instead of attending Dr. Phillips High School on Wednesday as usual, Chris Casseus spent the day at the Animal Medical Clinic in Orlando, Florida, learning how to care for animals. The hands-on learning was part of Disability Mentoring Day, a nationwide event that pairs students and job seekers who have disabilities with professionals to learn about careers. More than 1,300 students and mentors are participating statewide; nationally, more than 17,000 students and job seekers participate.
Danielle Fisher, a petite, 21-year-old college student from Bow, Washington, made headlines last year when she became the youngest person to conquer "The Seven Summits" - the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. While her drive and passion helped her become one of the best alpine climbers in her age group, Danielle also trounces tradition in another way. Danielle, along with millions of adults in the United States, struggles daily with the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
News8 Austin (TX)
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and experts are taking the opportunity to show new and improved ways to help overcome the learning disability. Rawson-Saunders School is the only full curriculum school for elementary and middle school students with dyslexia in the greater Austin, TX area. The school uses research-based methods to meet the educational needs of each child in a supportive environment.
Daily Camera (CO)
Figuring out what to do for a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is like a constant treasure hunt, said Sara Rockinger of Lafayette, CO. Her son, who is now 10, was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder in preschool, and several years later, he was diagnosed with ADHD, as well. Like many parents of children with ADHD, sensory integration disorder and autism spectrum disorders, Rockinger's family has tried a slew of treatments and therapies from diet changes to occupational therapy to behavior intervention and found that parents end up doing many therapies at home.
As students develop their reading skills, it's important to see if they are making growth with their reading skills and one way to do that is by doing running records. Teachers at Campbell Elementary School of Sterling, CO participated in a running records training on Monday, led by Margaret Clark, reading recovery teacher trainer for RE-1 Valley School District. Running records are one of the things the teachers will use with the Response to Intervention (RTI) plan they've developed to help identify students who might have learning disabilities.
BC Local News (Canada)
Cathy Pearson (not her real name) was on a ski trip with her grandson, Brett, and her husband when Brett went missing. Brett showed up at their ski lodge four hours later, after an extensive search by ski patrol and his grandparents had failed to locate him. This kind of impulsive behavior is typical for Brett, 13, who was diagnosed with static encephalopathy, a form of brain damage most often caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Brett and his grandparents who are raising him receive support for his challenges through the provincially funded Key Worker Program at Fraser Valley Child Development Centre. The program has, for the last two years, been assisting families and caregivers with children who have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and other complex developmental behavioral conditions.
Steamboat Pilot & Today (CO)
A child with limited sight would have been excluded from many learning activities just 15 years ago. Relegated to large-print books and unable to read classroom handouts, unless specially printed, children with low vision often were left in the dark. But for students today technology now exists and is present in the Steamboat Springs School District of Steamboat Springs, CO to help children with disabilities read and write every line of their curriculum.
Northern Star (IL)
Sophomore undecided major Sasha Genereau is among the students faced with a hidden obstacle in the classroom. Genereau had a hard time focusing throughout middle school and high school, but was able to work through it. After a year of college, her inability to focus became a big enough issue that she went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Times and Transcript (Canada)
Greg Drewett was told his dyslexia was so severe nothing could be done to help him and that he would never be able to read beyond a Grade 1 level. The pronouncement cost him his job as an apprentice plumber because he could not read well enough to get his certification. But then Drewett found Zooberts!, a learn-to-read program created by Priscilla Wilson of Hopewell Cape. Wilson, a retired District 2 resource teacher, developed the program after years spent working with children with learning disabilities.
Brown Daily Herald (RI)
Brown University has been selected from a pool of applicants to receive a five-year, $12 million grant that will nearly double its research contribution to the National Children's Study, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development announced last week. The National Children's Study is a countrywide examination of childhood health aimed at the prevention of several key health concerns, including diabetes, obesity, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, birth defects and injuries.
The parenting role of caring for special needs children never really ends. Even after a parent's life ends, special needs children will still need financial resources that will enable them to continue enjoying life. Facing the fact that their special needs child will someday be left alone is not easy, but parents who believe they've done all they can to assure the best future possible for their children have a good chance at relief. Special needs trusts can provide long-term financial security and a responsible disbursement of assets through the drafting of wills.
Daily Press (VA)
Studies have long shown that children with ADHD are more likely than those without attention problems to experiment with drugs. So, is it the exposure to stimulant medication or is it ADHD a disorder frequently accompanied by problems of impulse-control that makes a kid more likely to abuse drugs? As the first generation of youngsters to be diagnosed and medicated in large numbers grows into adulthood, answers are becoming clearer.
When former President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law in 1990, the disability-rights community was jubilant, at least for a while. Then in 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that workers with monocular vision, high blood pressure and contact lenses were not disabled because they were able to control their ailments through devices, drugs or other measures. Last month, President Bush signed into law a bill that will no longer judge people on how well they overcome their disabilities, but rather the underlying seriousness of their medical problems.
The Chetek Alert (WI)
From 1996 to 2006, special education prevalence rates in the Chetek School District of Barron County, Wisconsin have steadily increased. In 1996, 6.2 percent of the students in the district received special education services and by 2006, the number was up to 17.6 percent. It was during that year that the school district implemented a response-to-instruction program. The program delivers high-quality, intensely monitored instruction to students struggling in a particular subject area (usually reading), but who often do not qualify for special education services. Since initiating the program, the district's special education prevalence rate has decreased from 17.6 percent to 14.4 percent.
Calgary Herald (Canada)
A reader writes to expert Dr. Peter Nieman, asking about the risks her son faces when he starts driving, as he has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She asks "My teenage son who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will be driving our car very soon. I have read that teenagers with this diagnosis are at risk of car accidents. Is that true? How concerned should I be?"