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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Brown Alumni Magazine (RI)
Jonathan Mooney, author of "The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal," visited his alma mater Brown University to lecture about learning disabilities. Diagnosed with dyslexia and attention problems, Mooney didn't read until he was twelve. Eventually, after much hard work, he transferred to Brown ("somebody took a risk on me," he says), concentrated in English, and graduated with a 4.0 grade average.
BBC News (U.K.)
Thirteen UK centres offering controversial treatment for people with dyslexia have been shut down due to financial difficulties. The Dore programme claimed exercises such as tying knots and balancing on "wobble boards" stimulated parts of the brain and improved reading and writing.
Daily Press (VA)
The speakers changed every three minutes, but with few exceptions their message Wednesday night was the same: The proposed changes to the state special education regulations are flawed and harmful. Virginia Department of Education staff and Board of Education Vice President Ella Ward listened as more than 60 people offered comments during the department's public hearing at Norfolk's Norview High School.
Alvin "Corky" Schroeder uses his Merced, California shop classes to inspire children who would otherwise have problems learning, slipping in information in bits and pieces. Lessons on welding disguise instruction in geometry and mathematics. Lessons about engines slip in physics. Talk about car design? Lessons on art. Schroeder says his dedication stems from empathy with these special-education students. As a child, he battled dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.
Cleveland Daily Banner (TN)
Bachman Academy held its seventh annual commencement exercises on May 17 at First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, Tennessee. The first graduating class of 2001 boasted a single student. However, at twelve students, 2008 holds the second largest graduating class since the Academy changed its focus in 1999 to educating children with learning disabilities.
Western Mail (UK)
The phonetic simplicity of the Welsh language may still be masking dyslexic children in primary classrooms, an official said yesterday at the Urdd Eisteddfod. While English dyslexics are quickly defeated by the language's inconsistent spellings, children learning to read in Welsh have an easier start because the written words follow consistent pronunciation rules.
Daily Press (VA)
One of the changes to Virginia's Special Education law that has caused the greatest uproar among parents and advocates is eliminating the parental consent requirement when a district wants to stop providing special education services for a child. In the regulations under consideration, the school must notify a parent, but not seek permission. The changes also propose eliminating parental consent when determining services for transfer students.
After tangling in litigation for close to a decade, the District of Columbia school system agreed in 2006 to work quickly to pare down a backlog of cases related to special education services it had failed to provide to students with disabilities.
Tucson Citizen (AZ)
Across the nation, thousands if not millions of students have been set up to fail. These students have endured countless frustrations and setbacks simply to make it through high school, yet they now face the prospect of having the tools they need taken from them. They need those tools to pass the test that may determine whether they can graduate. The reason they face this calamity? They happen to have disabilities. And under No Child Left Behind, they are therefore at the mercy of a federal bureaucracy that determines whether they can use the accommodations that need to succeed.
Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder do 22 fewer days of work per year than people who do not have the condition, a study says. The research, which looked at 7,000 workers in 10 countries, found an average of 3.5% had ADHD. Writing in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Dutch team said workplace screening should be used to pick up people with the problem. A UK expert backed the idea, but warned they should not be stigmatized.
The New York Times
The challenges faced by those with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder — weighing the decision to take stimulant medication, facing those who doubt your disorder, and adapting to your symptoms — are daunting and deeply personal. Here, in their own words, are the stories of adults and children coping with ADHD.
The Bright Minds Institute diagnostic and treatment center uses brain imaging to diagnose and treat kids' cognitive disorders. While some patients say it has helped, some leading doctors say it's too soon to use sophisticated tests like these clinically, and that people might be wasting their money on them. Dr. Bradley Peterson, director of the Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Research program at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, said the technology is not there yet. "No test can tell you that this child has ADHD and that one doesn't," Peterson said. "At least at present day. Hopefully, in the next year or coming years, we might have that, but we don't yet."
KMPH Fox 26 (CA)
Twins Alyssa and Amanda Reta have developmental disabilities, but they chose to work towards receiving a regular high school diploma — a harder path for them. They were on their way toward getting their caps and gowns when both failed to pass the math portion of the California High School Exit Exam. This is the first year that the requirement to pass a cumulative exam applied to special education students.
ICT Results (Belgium)
This story looks at the European Union's EUAIN project and its successors which connect the publishing industry in Europe with accessibility organizations. The dream is to make all new publications simultaneously available in formats such as Braille, large print and audio. This will mean the blind, the partially sighted and people with reading disabilities such as dyslexia have the same access rights to information as the rest of society.
Malibu Times (CA)
Ending a year of controversy, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education voted last Thursday to drop confidentiality clauses in agreements with parents of special education students.
Nashoba Publishing (MA)
As part of the process of hiring a new special education director for Harvard, Massachusetts Public Schools, the top four candidates participated in a public forum. Candidate Michael Meyer remarked that identifying a child with special needs in middle and high schools can be a bit more difficult because the teachers don't have "ownership" of the students like they do in the elementary level.
Tulsa World (OK)
Oklahoma State education officials conducted an impromptu inspection Thursday of special education student records at the troubled Tulsa Academic Center. A compliance audit of the Center was triggered by a combination of student, parent and school employee complaints to the state and by media reports.
Ave Maria Preparatory School of Sarasota, Florida will graduate 8 high school seniors today. Founded in 2004 by Sister Gilchrist Cottrill, the school serves students with a wide range of special learning needs: LD, ADD, ADHD, autism, Asperger's syndrome, delayed development, sensory disorders and auditory processing deficits.
A University of Maryland coach and the private remedial Highlands School, which works exclusively with students with learning disabilities like dyslexia, ADHD and hearing issues, will create a new new community outreach center for parents who have many questions and little help.
Nashoba Publishing (MA)
As part of the process of hiring a new special education director for Harvard Public Schools, the top four candidates participated in a public forum. As the parent of a former special education student, candidate John Mara knows well that there needs to be a partnership with administration and parents, he said.