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 Fort Scott Tribune
A four-year, $236,500 federal grant to Fort Scott Community College will help students who face obstacles to attending college — including students with learning and other disabilities. The program provides tutors, counselors, advisors, and other support.
The Dallas Morning News (TX)
Center for BrainHealth at the University of Dallas tested a new way to teach complex reasoning and critical thinking skills with students with ADHD. They are ready to turn their SMART (Strategic Memory and Reasoning Training) findings into a web-based training program for all students. They are searching for $20 million in funding to do so.
The Progressive Magazine (WI)
While both sides say they care about children with disabilities, neither campaign is addressing the issues — from health care to education to employment to access to technology — that are of vital concern to people with disabilities, like myself.
An $800, 000 dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education, awarded to the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education will help offset tuition and prepare the next wave of special education teachers.
Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence says that up to 9 per cent of children and 2 per cent of adults fall within broad definitions of ADHD. One of the authors said, "The guidance makes it clear that medication is the right approach in some cases but that it should not be used for everyone and certainly not to tackle minor educational problems."
The New York Times (NY)
Securing a good spot in an oversubscribed New York City kindergarten, whether public or private, is difficult enough for most parents. But for the parents of children with special needs, it is especially challenging.
San Antonio Express-News (TX)
A $4 million study about to begin in San Antonio and two other cities will try to determine which of the two most commonly prescribed medicines — Depakote and Risperdal — works better at stemming severe aggression in children with ADHD, or if either works better than a sugar pill.
To finally put a tag on what I have lived with all my life — dyscalculia — I finally know that some part of my brain is different, I know why I always scored so low in IQ tests. There is no triumphant feeling that I made it despite my disability. There is no other feeling except the knowledge that I am not dumb and that this disability made me who I am.
A bill expanding the Americans with Disabilities Act that is headed to the White House could have implications for some students with disabilities.
Baltimore Sun (MD)
Students with learning disabilities are applying to college this fall at more than five times the rate of the 1980s — and facing a confusing thicket of special-needs jargon in the process. Only recently have colleges made much progress in leveling the playing field for qualified students with disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Battle Creek Enquirer (MI)
It's difficult to look at 12-year-old Jared Gilley — who last week was sitting down with a tutor from the Binda Dyslexia Center — without instantly contracting his wide, freckled grin. He is one of about 19 children in Battle Creek that the center has been helping cope with a misunderstood affliction.
The Flint Journal (MI)
An expert answers a parent who is frustrated and surprised by the school's actions to expel her son: According to state and federal rules and regulations, your son is entitled to a free and appropriate public school education. The district has the right to not allow him to return to the high school; however it is still obligated to implement the most current IEP.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterized by problems paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 4.4 million school children (4 to 17) have been diagnosed with ADHD. It's three times more common in boys than in girls.
Ottumwa Courier (IA)
No excuses — the Ottumwa school district failed to close the achievement gap and it knows what it must do to do just that. That was the word from Ottumwa Superintendent Jon Sheldahl after the announcement that Ottumwa was on a list of "districts in need of assistance."
Columbia Missourian (MO)
The Columbia Board of Education passes numerous documents at its monthly meetings, but there is some concern that these items are being rubber-stamped too quickly. One parent, who has a child with a learning disability, stood up for this reason when the Special Education Assurance Statement was brought up for approval at the Sept. 8 board meeting.
Groups that advocate on behalf of specific disabilities are proliferating, fueled by a medical establishment that can trace disorders down to their very genes and a communication system that can easily connect people around the globe. But some advocates worry that focusing too narrowly could distract from efforts to support common issues that affect many groups.
Early on, school counselors dismissed the idea that student Emily Algire needed special assistance. Emily needed to find a different way to cope with her ADD. Her family eventually got help from a group of psychologists who specialize in attention deficit coaching.
The New York Times (NY)
Jesse Federbush, age 6, is off to a good start this school year. His mother thinks that's partly due to the summer camp he attended at New York University’s Child Study Center. The 11-year-old camp for hyperactive children uses a strict, highly structured behavioral model that awards points for positive behavior and subtracts points for inappropriate behavior.
Los Angeles Times (CA)
As a high school special education teacher, I have a deep concern for my students who take the California high school exit examination. I am not sure that another government study or piece of legislation is needed to address this issue and open wider doors for our special-needs students to complete high school.
Clinical psychologist and author Kathleen G. Nadeau writes that the key to success is developing learning and organization strategies to cope with learning disabilities. Here are a few of Nadeau's tips for students with ADHD transitioning to college.