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 Press Association (U.K.)
A National Literacy Trust report looking at the effects of literacy on England's happiness found stark differences between those with good literacy skills and those without. The report, which looked in particular at men's happiness, found that only half of men with poor reading skills were satisfied with their life so far, compared with more than three-quarters of men with good reading levels.
The Times of Trenton (NJ)
Any effective intervention plan for ADHD should involve a comprehensive approach — possibly including an ADHD coach. Jane Milrod works as an ADHD coach with middle school and high school students, helping them understand what their priorities are, organize materials for school, and develop study plans to prepare for tests.
WHOI 19 (IL)
"He would come home and say 'you don't understand me, you don't understand me,'" said Judy Joosten, Jacob's mom. "Well, we didn't understand him, we didn't know how he spelled, couldn't figure out why he couldn't spell." It wasn't until last year when Jacob, who has dyslexia, came to the Masonic Learning Center for Children that things started to make more sense.
The Mercury News (CA)
About 9 in 10 students from the Class of 2008 have passed the California High School Exit Exam, according to data released by the state this morning. But thousands more are still struggling to master the test and earn their high school diploma. This year marks the first time that special education students are required to take and pass the exit exam.
National Review Online
Sarah Palin says, if elected, she would be "a friend and advocate in the White House" to children with special needs. It would be great to have an advocate for special-needs kids in the White House. It would be even better if that advocate endorsed the most promising reform for improving special education — vouchers for disabled students.
Star Tribune (MN)
More state schools are adopting a method called Response to Intervention (RTI) that quantifies progress and can quickly identify kids who need help most. Nearly 40 schools and districts are receiving coaching this year with help of a three-year federal grant, and an additional $1 million from the state Legislature for a two-year effort.
Courier & Press (IL)
If your child is struggling in school, you might be tempted to try to help your child figure things out. But the parent-child relationship is often too emotionally charged. Instead consider a tutor. Here's a few things parents should know when looking for a tutor.
Wausau Daily Herald (WI)
Percy Jackson, the young hero of "The Lightning Thief" is far from perfect; he has ADD and dyslexia and has been kicked out of more schools than he can count. He soon learns, however, that he is in fact a demi-god — half god, half human. Ultimately, it is a story about finding your gifts, even if you think you don't have any, and using them in the best way possible.
The Daily News Transcript (MA)
Q: My child was diagnosed with ADHD over the summer. How can I help him succeed in school this year? A: To better support and advocate for their children, parents should understand the nature of ADHD, its potential effects, and recommendations for effective treatment.
Bit by bit, the U.S. Department of Education is trying to pull down the walls that have traditionally separated general and special education. One facet of the plan is the department's support of "response to intervention," or RTI, an educational technique that bolsters the skills of academically struggling students before they fall so far behind that they need special education services.
Some students with special needs won't have one-to-one aides until the attorney general paints a clearer picture of who has authority over Guam's schools. The U.S. Department of Education is withholding $40 million until it's clarified who governs the school system. Most federally funded programs have enough funding to persevere until the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. Special Education doesn't.
The Calgary Herald (Canada)
Any parent of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder will welcome the creation of "Eager Eddie, the World's Most Active Dude." The easy-to-read picture book is part of a new series called 'We are Powerful,' which tackles several common neurological disorders (also released: "Daydreaming Dakota, The World's Greatest Daydreamer," on the subject of attention deficit disorder.)
Kalamazoo Gazette's Family Talk Magazine (MI)
A speech-language pathologist explains that 'working memory' refers to the ability of the brain to hold and manipulate verbal and visual information for brief periods of time. It works like a notepad to help store important information to carry out tasks. Working memory plays a key role in attention deficit disorders.
Billy and Lourdes Jones of California say health care is the most important issue for their family. How would the McCain camp help the Joneses get health care? Ever since their daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the couple has struggled to pay for their family's health care needs.
Houston Chronicle (TX)
Jack Gantos' writing career got off to a stumbling start — in the first grade he was consigned to the "Bluebirds," which he later learned was the slow-reading group. Today, as readers of children's and young-adult books know, Gantos is a beloved figure, best-known for his serio-comic young-adult novels featuring Joey Pigza, a good-hearted kid whose attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is constantly getting him into trouble.
Burlington Post (Canada)
When Talis Shawley used to jot down a note for his family they thought it was a puzzle. The spelling was off, the grammar disjointed, and his intended message lost. That was until he started taking classes at The Literacy Council of Burlington. The Oakville resident was diagnosed in Grade 5 with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and a learning disability with words.
Connecticut Post (CT)
Question: "My grandson's physical therapist says some of his difficulties may be because of extreme sensitivity on the soles of his feet. He is 10 and has Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder." Answer: "This boy may have tactile defensiveness," says Michelle Yoder.
Abilene Reporter-News (TX)
Evette Orren heard the rumblings. As school started, she listened to other Abilene Independent School District special education teachers who were concerned about changes being made — including reductions in staffing — in AISD's program aimed at helping students with needs ranging from learning disabilities to mental retardation.
Kalamazoo Gazette's Family Talk Magazine (MI)
Parents may wonder when to ask teachers whether their children qualify for special education services. Experts say the sooner the better. When the school follows through with an assessment, several different processes begin.
The San Fernando Valley Sun (CA)
If you have a child with special needs, it's recommended that you view your role as your child's strongest advocate. Here are 10 tips for a successful school year for parents with children with special needs.