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 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.
News 8 Austin (TX)
ADHD is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children or adults to control their behavior. It affects about 4-12 percent of school-age children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. ADHD includes three groups of symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
The Gazette (Canada)
Groups that work with ADHD youngsters and their families hope that the example of Michael Phelps — triumphing over the disorder to achieve success on the world stage — will remove some of the stigma attached to the condition. If so, it will be an achievement almost on a scale with his Olympic medals.
St. Petersburg Time (FL)
When Kaitlyn Pierce was 8 years old, she was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia. Her mother, Nikki Pierce, didn't know what to do. Pierce said it wasn't until she educated herself that her daughter was able to get what she needed. Now she helps coordinate the Special Students of Hernando Support Group, which works with the school board as a community partner with the exceptional student education department.
Washington Post (DC)
D.C. public schools continue to fall woefully short in meeting the needs of students with learning disabilities and physical or behavioral challenges, according to the report of a federal court monitor.
The Beacon News (IL)
The director of community relations for the West Aurora School District says if you ask several people to define "dyslexia," it's likely you'll get different — and misguided — answers. There are myths associated with the learning disability, and two West Aurora School District employees have led efforts in the district and beyond to dispel the misconceptions.
East Valley Tribune (AZ)
Two schools for kids with learning disabilities are coming to the Scottsdale area, starting to fill what officials say is a need for an underserved group. Leaders from both schools say they're designed to find the best learning methods for kids who "learn differently." The key, they say, is for instructors to find a learning method that works for each child instead of expecting every student to conform to one method.
The Times-Picayune (LA)
In preparation for Gustav, New Orleans' Recovery School District employees shut down servers and secured student records. After hurricane Katrina, destroyed records posed challenges particularly for special-needs students when schools didn't have copies of their "individual education plan," or IEP, a required learning program. A number of students had a more difficult time getting services. This time, Recovery School District Superintendent Paul Vallas said the district sent students home with a copy of their records.
North Shore Magazine (IL)
While diagnosing emotional and behavioral disorders helps many children get the extra support they need to succeed in school, some North Shore parents wonder if diagnostic labeling has gone too far. When should we just let kids be kids, and when should we seek expert intervention to remedy those things that make them "different"? The answer isn't always easy.