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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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(Opinion) Rifky Wants To Read!

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.

Waco, TX School Faces Impending Closure

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.

Mothers Support Parents of Special-Needs Children

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.

Australia: Why is ADHD so Under-Diagnosed and Treated?

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?

Dyslexia No Barrier to U-M Grad's 11 Degrees

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.

Founder of New School Knows What it Means to Have Learning Problems

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.

Scared of School?

Houston Chronicle

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.

Opinion: Higher Spending at School for At-Risk Students Saves South Carolina Money

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.

Head of Dyspraxia Group Says It Helps that Radcliffe has Spoken of Condition

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."

Parents Thrilled at School's Opening

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.

Supporters Vital Part in ADHD

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.

Profile: Speech Therapy Pioneer Jean Silbar

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.

How to Identify your Child's Learning Style

San Jose Mercury News (CA)

As a clinical psychologist, I prefer not to label learning challenges "a disability," but rather term it "a learning variance." Some parents attribute their child's variance to immaturity, minimize it, or hope that the child will outgrow it. It does, however, serve your child best, to have his/her learning style be identified early, so he/she could begin to receive help early enough to maximize benefits.

Voucher Program for Disabled Children Gets Funded

The Arizona Republic (AZ)

A $5 million voucher program for disabled and foster children that was cut from the state budget has been reinstated, tapping unused dollars in the state's public-education fund. It means that the estimated 400 children who benefited from the program last year will be able to continue in private schools, and ends ongoing dispute over the program.

(Opinion) The 'R-Word' is No Joke

Los Angeles Times (CA)

Maria Shriver writes: As a journalist, I respect the right to freedom of speech, and my kids will tell you I laugh the loudest when we see a comedy. But as the niece of someone who had a developmental disability, and as a member of the board of directors of Special Olympics International, I know how hurtful the "R-word" is to someone with a disability. I know why "Tropic Thunder's" opening was met by protests on behalf of the intellectually disabled.

Teaming Up to Fight Dyslexia: County Leaders Push for Reading Clinic

The Daily Times (NM)

A pair of retired Park Avenue Elementary School teachers are working with San Juan Masonic Lodge No. 25 and the Aztec Municipal School District to open a clinic for children with dyslexia and other reading disorders.

Special Ed Teacher Has Seen Changes

Times Leader (PA)

Florence Palermo's 36-year career in special education tightly traces the sweeping changes the field has undergone — and the adaptations teachers have needed to make. The trick, she believes, is to get solid training and to keep up-to-date with the law, then implement the training with patience and respect.

A Mother's Story of Dyslexia Awareness

The News Press (FL)

Karen Nathan of Fort Myers — wife of Lee Memorial President Jim Nathan and mother of a son with dyslexia — is writing a book about people like her son who are gifted but also have the reading disorder. Based on her research and own experiences, Nathan offers some suggestions for parents.

Isolation Room Deemed to Violate School, Fire Rules

The Providence Journal (RI)

A locked isolation room set up in the basement of the Block Island School for students who needed to "chill out" violated state education regulations and the state fire code, according to a report by independent consultants. The School Committee called for the review in June after the existence of the room — referred to by some students as the "freak-out room" — became public in the newspaper.

Study: Words Not Needed For Counting

NBC11 (CA)

Knowing the words for numbers is not necessary to be able to count, according to a new study of aboriginal children by University College London and the University of Melbourne. The study of the aboriginal children — from two communities which do not have words or gestures for numbers — found that they were able to copy and perform number-related tasks. The findings, published in the journal PNAS, suggest that humans possess an innate mechanism for counting, which may develop differently in children with dyscalculia.

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