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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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.
5 Towns Jewish Times (NY)
An expert in the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching of written language looks at how reading problems affected seven-year-old Rifky. The author also explains what dyslexia is, and what parents should do if they suspect their child has dyslexia.
News 8 Austin (TX)
Seventh grader Perry McGill and his mom want Wiley Middle School in Waco, TX to stay open. "In this school, mama, you can do a lot more things," he said. Among the many things Perry is referring to is getting the special instruction he needs as he has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, (ADHD). "My son has been through so much. He's been all over. They have sent him from place to place," McGill said. Principal Kermit Ward said Perry is part of the 25 percent of students at Wiley Middle School with unique needs.
St. Petersburg Times (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. She researched federal and Florida laws pertaining to special-needs students so she could learn what her child's rights were and how to ask for them. Pierce said it wasn't until she educated herself to learn how to ask that her daughter was able to get what she needed.
ABC News (Australia)
The child and adolescent component of the 2000 National Mental Health Survey reported a rate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) of about 6 per cent, essentially identical to a recent analysis of data from throughout the world. Yet the highest rates of medication for ADHD in Australia are no more than about 1.5 per cent. What is happening to the other 75 per cent of young people whose lives and those of their families are impaired by ADHD? Are they even being identified, far less receiving behavioral or other intervention?
Ann Arbor News (MI)
Benjamin Bolger might very well be the most academically accomplished elementary-school dropout in recent history. Bolger, 32, who holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, recently made national headlines when he received his 11th advanced degree, even though he's never received a high school diploma. Such achievements could be considered incredible for any scholar, but Bolger's story has an additional twist: He struggles with dyslexia and reads at a fifth-grade level.
Daily Herald (IL)
When Eric Cooper entered the sixth grade, he was unable to read. After a great deal of testing, tutors and frustration, his parents discovered he suffered with dyslexia. Cooper believes all children who struggle with learning disabilities like he did should be given the opportunity to learn without having to leave home. In an effort to accomplish this goal, late last year he launched LearningAbled, an educational service company designed for families, teachers or educators struggling with reading-based learning disabilities.
Much more than normal first-day jitters, roughly 5 percent of youngsters experience social phobia at some point in their academic careers, struggling for at least two weeks to attend or remain at school. Also called "school refusal" or "school avoidance," most cases surface at the start of the school year this week for most Houston children.
The Post and Courier (SC)
Kevin D. McClelland, director of the Septima Clark Academy in Charleston, SC, writes in this letter to the Post and Courier about the per student expenditures at his school. Noting that at Clark Academy costs are "unquestionably higher than some schools with larger student populations," McClelland says that the larger amount of money spent is warranted for the at-risk populations served.
The Canadian Press (Canada)
Warren Fried, executive director of Dyspraxia USA, is grateful that Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has talked openly about his dyspraxia. It wasn't until Fried himself moved to England at age 18 that he was diagnosed with dyspraxia and found out there were support groups. "And then my whole world opened up."
Hattiesburg American (MS)
Tears often accompany the start of a new school year, but for the Dynamic Dyslexia Design school in Petal, parents shed tears of joy Monday for a new start for their children. One family moved from Lucedale to Petal just to attend the school that helps children with dyslexia learn how to be successful in reading and writing among the usual subjects.
The London Free Press (Canada)
While many teachers think about ADHD in the classroom, a local psychologist is asking coaches to be aware of signs of the disorder as well. Athletes can also learn how to turn ADHD into a positive by focusing their energy. Deborah Phelps has said she had a task list she went over with her son, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.
The Grand Rapids Press (MI)
Jean Silbar, 57, has been a speech pathologist for three decades. She is the founder and executive director of the Comprehensive Therapy Center, a Grand Rapids nonprofit that helps kids and adults with physical, speech and occupational therapy.