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 Telegraph (NH)
A host of changes were made to the state's special education regulations this summer, and for parents, it may be a daunting task to try to understand what they all mean. The Parent Information Center will be hosting a workshop next week for anyone interested to learn more about what the changes are and how they impact the delivery of special education services.
Wayland Town Crier (MA)
In the midst of the uncertainty that surrounds the condition, Murphy's just-published book, "NLD From the Inside Out: Talking to Parents, Teachers, and Teens About Growing Up with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities," will likely bring considerable relief to those affected — victims, families, and friends alike.
The Capital Times (WI)
For young adults with physical or learning disabilities, making the step from high school to college can be a difficult experience. To make the transition as easy as possible, Madison Area Technical College holds an annual summer orientation program for first-year students with disabilities. Last week, the seven-hour program titled "It's a Whole New Ball Game," focused on self-advocacy skills, test-taking and note-taking tips and how to access disability-related services.
WJTX News4Jax (FL)
It's estimated up to 12 percent of children in the United States have some form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But after a small study linked the stimulants to an increase risk of heart attack or stroke, some parents are worried about side-effects. Figuring out the right treatment is a delicate debate.
Calgary Herald (Canada)
Registered psychologist Deb Skaret has researched learning disabilities in children for 25 years, and says nothing in life is more demanding on our brains than our time spent in school. Skaret, who creatively refers to herself as a "learning detective" says she'd like every student to have the opportunity to be tested so that teachers can examine their unique learning profile.
Los Angeles Times (CA)
Parents may legally home-school their children in California even if they lack a teaching credential, a state appellate court ruled Friday. The decision is a reversal of the court's earlier position in February, which effectively prohibited most home schooling and sparked fear throughout the state's estimated 166,000 home-schoolers.
KLAS TV8 (NV)
Clark County School District needs 220 special education teachers. That's more than four times the need for any other type of teacher. "I think people just don't understand what goes on in a special education classroom. They get influenced by what you call wives' tales — 'Oh it's so hard, oh there's so much paperwork' -- and that's just not the case," said teacher Lisa Guidry.
Sacramento Bee (CA)
When students fall behind in school, especially in math and language arts, they often get placed in extra support classes designed to raise their achievement. Often it helps. But it comes with a price: Drudgery, fewer fun electives and sinking attitudes for kids. To remedy this, Mills Middle School in Rancho Cordova will assign every student — not just those with low skills — to double periods of math and language arts. And, in a notable change, every boy and girl is now enrolled in art, choir, computers or another elective.
The Northern Virginia Daily
Parker Heishman was falling behind in school, and his teacher thought he might have dyslexia. But an optometrist diagnosed a vision problem that results in difficulty with eye teaming and tracking. Dyslexia, while different than Parker's visual problems, shares some similar symptoms, says Dr. Cantwell. When Parker's eyes have to refocus while reading, he will lose his place on the page, sometimes jumping several lines down the page, sometimes scanning back over the same word.
The Boston Globe (MA)
The chief of pediatrics of the Mass. General West Medical Group says drugs are lifesaving, pain-saving tools, but sometimes they're not necessary, and where we draw the line is critical. Given the ever-changing science of medicine, it is prudent to adopt new medications for children carefully, especially when they are to be given for a long period of time.
The Age (Australia)
In the "raging debate" about how our education system compares to the best in the world, it's important to look at special schools that serve students with moderate to severe disabilities. I'd like to highlight two practices: personalizing learning and a focus on the arts.
The Daily News (MA)
The number of people getting a GED certificate is on the rise. Jennifer Drew, homeschooled since fifth grade by her mother after having problems keeping up in school due to her dyslexia, found GED preparation classes perfect. "The classes are small, so it is more attention," she said. "It's up to you to get your work done, so I felt like I saw an adult world, especially as there were people in their 30s and 40s in class with us."
Times Picayune (LA)
Floyd Allen's story speaks to the entangling forces that can keep scores of New Orleans students, often left to fend for themselves through turbulent lives, from graduating on time — or at all. Diagnosed with a learning disability in middle school, Allen did not always receive the extra attention he needed.
Ada Evening News (OK)
Dr. Charlie Jones, professor of business administration at East Central University, has been honored for his contributions to the achievements of post-secondary students with disabilities.
BBC News (U.K.)
A book featuring a new Harry Potter tale by J.K. Rowling has become the fastest-selling collection of short stories of all time in England. More than 10,000 copies were bought on its first day of release. All profits will go to two reading organizations: English Pen and Dyslexia Action.
The New York Times
Many of America's juvenile jails would be empty if the public schools obeyed federal law and provided disabled children with the special instruction that they need. Texas has both a moral and legal obligation to remake a system that is crippling, then writing off, the state's most vulnerable children.
WISH TV 8 (IN)
For students who struggle academically, the return to the classroom can be tough. One program aims to change that. The Dyslexia Institute of Indiana has paired with Indiana Public Schools to help students improve their reading skills.
WHOI ABC 19 (IL)
Some families are concerned that their children with dyslexia aren't getting the special accommodations they require. Coping with dyslexia has been challenging, but Miriam Meyer says surprisingly, the hardest part is getting her daughter's school district to accept it.
Saying that many special-education students are being shortchanged academically, the state is considering changing the "IEP" diplomas awarded annually to thousands with severe disabilities. Controversial options include a change in the name from "diploma" to "completion credential" or "certificate." But some Long Island parents say a name change would unnecessarily embarrass teens with disabilities.
The Dunnville Chronicle (Canada)
"All my friends had disabilities," said Crystal at a round-table discussion on bullying held at a recent Self-Advocates meeting in Cayuga. "When one of us was bullied, we would try to stand up for each other. But that didn't always happen. Sometimes we'd be too scared." She and other folks at Community Living have created an entertaining puppet play called "Same Difference," which is all about getting to know people even if they do things a bit differently.