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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New York Post (NY)
Officials are planning an overhaul of the district that serves more than 20,000 of the city's most disabled students — a move that could put many more special ed kids in regular classrooms.
The Scotsman (U.K.)
Every child in Scotland should be tested for learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, and ADHD by the time they are eight, says a new petition launched on the Scottish Parliament's website. Teachers should be trained to identify and educate pupils with the difficulties, campaigners urge.
Southtown Star (IL)
Counselor Doreen Zaborac for the Southtown Star fields a question from a concerned 38-year-old woman. The woman says that she has "a habit of making quick decisions without thinking about the consequences." With all of the symptoms that the woman is experiencing, Zaborac thinks adult ADHD may be the root of the problem.
Wicked Local (MA)
Behind the classic hipster he played on "Happy Days", Henry Winkler was an insecure kid who suffered from dyslexia. Winkler's children's book series "Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever" is based on his real life struggle with learning disabilities. Winkler will appear at the Sandwich High School auditorium on Today, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. to promote the newest Zipzer book "The Life of Me (Enter at Your Own Risk)" and to talk about how he overcame dyslexia.
Dr. Mary Pickett from Harvard Medical School discusses her son Casey, whose burgeoning symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder turned out to be an iron deficiency.
The Journal News (NY)
While there are numerous programs to teach disabled children and adults how to ride horses, the one at the Ramapo Equestrian Center in Suffern, NY is unique because it is led by an instructor who is herself disabled. Alison Dolan, who two years ago became the first blind instructor to be certified by a national organization, in December started her own instructional program for others with disabilities.
The nation's largest pediatricians' group says most children getting attention-deficit drugs don't need heart screening with electrocardiogram tests, challenging advice from a leading heart doctors' association. The new policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics renews a debate over the safety of the powerful stimulants.
Daily Courier (AZ)
The roller coaster ride continues for parents working to get the best education available for their special needs children. The Arizona Legislature in 2006 approved a scholarship program for special needs students and foster children. The scholarship program, which the Arizona Department of Education manages, is under attack on two fronts, legally and financially.
A medical student with dyslexia claims multiple choice exams discriminate against people with the condition and is taking legal action to prevent their use. But why do people with dyslexia find multiple choice difficult?
It's difficult enough to navigate in a world where you can't see. Up until now, computers were able to fill some of the gap by reading what appeared on the screen. But few were portable enough, small enough or versatile enough to allow users to take it with them. Enter the cell phone and a company called Microcomputer Science Centre, Inc. The Mississauga firm specializes in creating and selling devices for those with learning disabilities, hearing problems or people who are visually impaired.
Times Union (NY)
Four Schenectady women plan to open a nonprofit reading center this fall to help students combat dyslexia. "It's always been a dream to start a free reading clinic because we feel that it's really a human rights issue," special education instructor Kathy Jensen said. "Every year, far too many children are not being taught properly, and for the majority of these kids, expensive private tutors are out of the question."
The Daily World (LA)
The St. Landry Parish School District held its first official training session Monday to address the over-representation of minorities for special education services. Approximately 60 teachers, instructional specialists and special education staff crowded into the district's pupil appraisal center to learn System to Enhance Educational Performance, or STEEP.
Rankin Ledger (MS)
Diana Robertson didn't want her son to fall behind. But a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder proved that Blake, her 12-year-old son and soon-to-be seventh-grader at Pearl Junior High, was going to need help to keep up with his classmates. Together, they found that help with tutors who have spent one-on-one time over the past year in a program individualized just for Blake.
The Washington Post (DC)
I can't tell left from right. In poking around through obscure psychology journals, university publications, and online chat rooms, here's what I've learned: the condition is real; there has been precious little definitive research on this topic; there's no reason to think left/right confusion is related to IQ; but it might be related to bad handwriting, difficulties with math, and dyslexia.
BBC News (U.K.)
A medical student with dyslexia will take legal action in a bid to prevent the use of multiple choice exams as part of doctors' training. Naomi Gadian, 21, claims the use of the tests discriminates against people with the condition and is challenging the General Medical Council to scrap them.
The New York Times
This article looks at the passionate debate about just what it means to read in the digital age. As teenagers' scores on standardized reading tests have declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the Internet are the enemy of reading. But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount. For example, some children with dyslexia or other learning difficulties have found it far more comfortable to search and read online.
WTSP Tampa Bay 10 (FL)
Students from across the state gathered in Tallahassee to focus on their "abilities" rather than their "disabilities" at the 9th Annual Able Trust Youth Leadership Forum. YLF is a place where students can park their disabilities and learn about opportunities.
The Tennessean (TN)
Only a fraction of Metro students eligible for free, private tutoring under the No Child Left Behind law are getting it. But for many families who sent their children to about 40 contracted providers in the state, the program was the only way past educational challenges. "If it wasn't for [tutoring], he would have never been able to show what he could do; he wouldn't have graduated with a regular diploma," Shirley Percle said of her son, Tommy, who has a learning disability and graduated in May from Maplewood High School.
The Chicago Tribune
Most schools won't allow you to choose your child's elementary teacher, but here are some tips to improve the chances for a good student-teacher fit.
Every child experiences anxiety, and usually a caring parent can help make it pass. But in 5 to 10 percent of cases, the problem goes deeper panic attacks, obsessive behavior, depression and the child can benefit from professional help.