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 News-Press (FL)
A growing body of research shows the brains of dyslexics don't work the same way typical readers' do — parts of the left temporal lobe aren't functioning as they should. Perhaps even more importantly, evidence is mounting that scientifically based remedial programs actually activate those regions of the brain that control reading — erasing biological differences between those who have the disorder and those who don't.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a mental disorder usually associated with children, but it also affects millions of adults and can take a toll on daily activities such as work.
The Georgetown Record (MA)
The Alternative Program at Georgetown Middle High School was revamped this summer and now allows the district to service kids in the program better and may allow some special education students who want to come back into the district to be able to — as long as it's in compliance with their individual education plans (IEP).
Burlington Post (Canada)
Tailored education can spell success. Located in a wing of Wellington Square Church, the not-for-profit school is designed for children who might have learning, emotional or behavioral problems, and are taught a customized educational program following the Ontario school curriculum. Touted as the only school of its kind in Halton, the school is unique with its teacher to student ratio never exceeding 6:1, but it does come with a price. The program fees are $1,100 per month.
The Berkshire Eagle (MA)
Teens in the five-week "Summer Program Oh Eight!" keep active while school is out of session. The participating youths are referred to the program through their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). "These are the students who would substantially regress if they did not have summer programming," said one of the program coordinators.
The Tennessean (TN)
Nashville's special education students belong in regular classrooms, served by teachers trained to meet their needs, a task force composed of parents, researchers and advocates said Wednesday. The Mayor's Advisory Council on Special Education released a six-month study of special education services. Reform could take up to five years to roll out, but Mayor Karl Dean said it's one of his top priorities.
Detroit Free Press (MI)
A state legislative committee gave its OK Wednesday to proposed changes to rules governing special education programs, allowing the changes — some of them controversial — to become official.
Daily Comet (LA)
The foundation that supports a new charter school in Thibodaux recently received a state-level award for its quest to provide quality education for students with learning disabilities. "It’s certainly a great honor," said Dianne Savoie, coordinator of the Giardina Family Foundation. "We’ve worked since 1997 to improve the education for students with dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder or similar learning differences."
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
A parent offers an uplifting story about how, after years of difficulty at school, she and her son, who has Asberger's syndrome, found hope at a new charter school. She says these amazing schools offer hope to parents who think there is none.
The Telegraph (NH)
A host of changes were made to the state's special education regulations this summer, and for parents, it may be a daunting task to try to understand what they all mean. The Parent Information Center will be hosting a workshop next week for anyone interested to learn more about what the changes are and how they impact the delivery of special education services.
Wayland Town Crier (MA)
In the midst of the uncertainty that surrounds the condition, Murphy's just-published book, "NLD From the Inside Out: Talking to Parents, Teachers, and Teens About Growing Up with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities," will likely bring considerable relief to those affected — victims, families, and friends alike.
The Capital Times (WI)
For young adults with physical or learning disabilities, making the step from high school to college can be a difficult experience. To make the transition as easy as possible, Madison Area Technical College holds an annual summer orientation program for first-year students with disabilities. Last week, the seven-hour program titled "It's a Whole New Ball Game," focused on self-advocacy skills, test-taking and note-taking tips and how to access disability-related services.
WJTX News4Jax (FL)
It's estimated up to 12 percent of children in the United States have some form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But after a small study linked the stimulants to an increase risk of heart attack or stroke, some parents are worried about side-effects. Figuring out the right treatment is a delicate debate.
Calgary Herald (Canada)
Registered psychologist Deb Skaret has researched learning disabilities in children for 25 years, and says nothing in life is more demanding on our brains than our time spent in school. Skaret, who creatively refers to herself as a "learning detective" says she'd like every student to have the opportunity to be tested so that teachers can examine their unique learning profile.
Los Angeles Times (CA)
Parents may legally home-school their children in California even if they lack a teaching credential, a state appellate court ruled Friday. The decision is a reversal of the court's earlier position in February, which effectively prohibited most home schooling and sparked fear throughout the state's estimated 166,000 home-schoolers.
KLAS TV8 (NV)
Clark County School District needs 220 special education teachers. That's more than four times the need for any other type of teacher. "I think people just don't understand what goes on in a special education classroom. They get influenced by what you call wives' tales — 'Oh it's so hard, oh there's so much paperwork' -- and that's just not the case," said teacher Lisa Guidry.
Sacramento Bee (CA)
When students fall behind in school, especially in math and language arts, they often get placed in extra support classes designed to raise their achievement. Often it helps. But it comes with a price: Drudgery, fewer fun electives and sinking attitudes for kids. To remedy this, Mills Middle School in Rancho Cordova will assign every student — not just those with low skills — to double periods of math and language arts. And, in a notable change, every boy and girl is now enrolled in art, choir, computers or another elective.
The Northern Virginia Daily
Parker Heishman was falling behind in school, and his teacher thought he might have dyslexia. But an optometrist diagnosed a vision problem that results in difficulty with eye teaming and tracking. Dyslexia, while different than Parker's visual problems, shares some similar symptoms, says Dr. Cantwell. When Parker's eyes have to refocus while reading, he will lose his place on the page, sometimes jumping several lines down the page, sometimes scanning back over the same word.
The Boston Globe (MA)
The chief of pediatrics of the Mass. General West Medical Group says drugs are lifesaving, pain-saving tools, but sometimes they're not necessary, and where we draw the line is critical. Given the ever-changing science of medicine, it is prudent to adopt new medications for children carefully, especially when they are to be given for a long period of time.
The Age (Australia)
In the "raging debate" about how our education system compares to the best in the world, it's important to look at special schools that serve students with moderate to severe disabilities. I'd like to highlight two practices: personalizing learning and a focus on the arts.