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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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UK: Why Can't People with dyslexia do multiple choice?

BBC News

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?

Cell Phone Device Allows the Blind to 'Read'

CityNews (Canada)

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.

Center to Help Students with Reading

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."

STEEP Training in Progress

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.

When Kids Need Help, Find Them a Tutor

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.

(Opinion) Which Is Right?

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.

Dyslexic Student's Exams Battle

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.

Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?

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.

Learning 'A'bilities

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.

Few in Metro Use Free Tutoring

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.

Finding the Right Classroom Fit

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.

Child Anxiety That Goes Beyond the Norm

NY Times

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.

Inking Innovation in Detention

Tri-Valley Herald (CA)

Almost every time Colin Roche goes to the airport, he gets stopped and quizzed or searched. What raised security officers' eyebrows were Roche's rocket-shaped metal pens called PenAgains that he invented and sells through his company, Pacific Writing Instruments. For students with fine motor skills problems and attention deficit disorder or older adults with diseases such as arthritis or Parkinson's, his pens and pencils often make writing much easier, according to Roche.

School Blow for Parents

NY Post

An essential resource for parents struggling to navigate New York City's school system is on the chopping block, The Post has learned. Education officials have proposed cutting more than one-third of the system's 64 district family advocates — many who were hired less than a year ago. The advocates deal with problems that parents often are not able to solve in talks with teachers and principals — such as transfers, summer-school enrollment and placement in special classes.

Retiring Schwab Battled Dyslexia, Built Brokerage

Reuters

Charles Schwab is stepping down as chief executive of the discount brokerage he launched in the early 1970s in defiance of the then conventional wisdom and practice on Wall Street. A dyslexic, the California native struggled through English classes as an undergraduate at Stanford University, but excelled in economics, according to an article in Stanford Magazine. "To sit down with a blank piece of paper and write was the most traumatic thing that had ever faced me in life," he said in the 1999 interview.

ADHD Increasingly Common in Older Children, CDC Says

Education Week

More older children are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, while the rate is holding steady for children under 12, according to a government report released Wednesday. Some experts called the finding surprising, noting that most childhood diagnoses traditionally occur by age 11.

Economy Takes Toll on Education Funding

National Public Radio

Education budgets are getting hit by higher costs for fuel and food, and by lower tax revenues due to the real estate downturn. School budgets often take a slap when the economy sputters, as it's doing now. But some states are trying to protect schools from lousy economic conditions.

Michael Phelps Struggled With ADHD as a Child

WZJ-TV (MD)

Next month, swimming superstar Michael Phelps goes for the gold again in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Before heading off to Beijing to cheer on her swimming sensation son, Debbie Phelps talked about Michael's diagnosis of ADHD and how she and Michael overcame it. As a child, Michael was an outgoing, athletic kid whose energy never seemed to run out. But as Phelps would later find out, there was a more accurate explanation for her son's lack of focus and fidgety behavior. At age 9, his doctor diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Health Screenings Required for Newly Enrolled Students

The Des Moines Register (IA)

Kids enrolling in Iowa schools this year must receive two new health screenings. State law requires that newly enrolled children have received a blood lead test and screening for dental disease, but no child will be prevented from attending school without proof of a lead test or dental screening. The effects of lead on young children and links to learning disabilities are a particular concern to state public health officials.

Disney Buys Distribution Rights to Indian Film About Dyslexia

NewsLine 365 (India)

Walt Disney Company has acquired the overseas home video rights of Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par from UTV Motion Pictures. This is the first time an international studio has bought the video rights of an Indian film. Taare Zameen Par, which deals with the life of a dyslexic child and how a teacher tries to help the child overcome his learning disability, was a critical and commercial success in India as well as the global market.

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