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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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Therapy at Home: Parents of Special Needs Children Have a Lot to Learn

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.

Ready, Set, Read

Journal-Advocate (CO)

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.

Canada: Coping with 'Invisible 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.

Assistive Technology Helps Students with Disabilities Keep Up in School

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.

College Students Dealing with ADHD and ADD

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).

Canada: N.B. Teacher Decodes Mystery of Reading

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.

Government adds $12 Million to Large University Health Grant

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.

Trusts Important for Special Needs Kids

Southeast Missourian

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.

ADHD Meds Could Fight Drug Abuse

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.

No Catch-22 for Disabled

Houston Chronicle

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.

Special Education Numbers Declining in Chetek Schools

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.

Canada: Driving Risks for Teens Dealing with ADHD

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?"

For Students with Special Needs, a Vow of Assistance

Washington Post

District of Columbia officials, under mounting pressure from a federal judge to overhaul special education services in public schools, promised significant improvements over the next year, including the return of some children now in private schools because the city could not meet their needs.

Homework Anxiety a Part of Life for Children, but Sometimes it's More

Wisconsin State Journal

Each year, Dr. Marcia Slattery of the University of Wisconsin and her colleagues treat hundreds of children who are anxious about school-related issues, including homework. For some, the problem is limited to homework. For others, homework exacerbates an existing anxiety disorder or indicates other problems, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or an underlying learning problem.

Grant Will Help Make Education Accessible

Press-Citizen (IA)

The University of Iowa will use a recent grant to design technological adaptations so more students with disabilities readily can access Web sites, digital text and other tools in pursuit of a college education.

UK: Dyslexia Families Worry Over Cash

BBC News (UK)

Families who paid for a controversial treatment for dyslexia are waiting to see if they have lost their money after the company hit financial difficulties. The Dore program claimed exercises such as tying knots and balancing on "wobble boards" stimulated parts of the brain and improved reading and writing. Some 30,000 children and adults have participated in the program since 2000.

U.S. To Start $3.2 Billion Child Health Study in January

Reuters

A study that will cost $3.2 billion and last more than two decades to track the health of 100,000 U.S. children from before birth to age 21 will be launched in January, U.S. health officials said on Friday. The National Children's Study will examine factors behind autism, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, birth defects, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, obesity and other conditions, the U.S. government's National Institutes of Health said.

Mississppi School Thrills Parents, Kids

Hattiesburg American (MS)

Kelly Graves cried when her son, John David, came home from school and read her a short story. It wasn't, however, a public school education that provided him with the ability to comprehend the letters and words on the pages, but rather a new school designed especially for first through third grade students with dyslexia. Dynamic Dyslexia Design, or the 3-D School, moved into its permanent building this weekend and parents like Graves couldn't be more thrilled with the education their kids are receiving.

Nemours Aims to Give Dyslexic Preschoolers a Bright Start

Orlando Sentinel

Nemours Children's Clinic Orlando is unveiling a pilot program aimed at helping preschoolers in Orlando with dyslexia and other reading disabilities before they head to elementary school. Based on Nemours' 3-year-old BrightStart Dyslexia Initiative in Jacksonville, the pilot program will begin screening students today at Nap Ford Community School, a charter school in Orlando, Florida's Parramore neighborhood.

Largest Study of US Children to Begin in January

Associated Press

The largest study of U.S. children ever performed — aiming to track 100,000 from conception to age 21 — will recruit mothers-to-be in North Carolina and New York in January. The National Children's Study aims to learn how the environment and other factors affect youngsters' health, especially development of such conditions as autism, asthma, learning disabilities, diabetes and obesity.

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