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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pekin Daily Times (IL)
Illinois has new flexibility in holding schools accountable for not reaching adequate yearly progress under NCLB. How will it work? Schools like Pekin Community High School PCHS, where all students meet standards but certain subgroups do not — namely students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP's) who repeatedly fall short — would be labeled "focused." Schools at which all students are performing below standards would be labeled "comprehensive."
The Department of Literacy Education at Plattsburgh State operates a center in which children receive individual tutors — undergraduate and graduate students — who implement a plan for improving the child's strengths and correcting identified areas of weakness. Children also receive ongoing evaluation of progress and a final report that contains recommendations for continued study.
The Press-Enterprise (CA)
Britney Nolley, who has dyslexia, resolved to stick it out and get her high school diploma by enrolling in a make-up math class at Moreno Valley High's summer school. "I couldn't let that little hill prevent me from pursuing my goals," said Nolley, who graduates this week.
The Charleston Gazette (WV)
Luke Stump, 7, begged his parents to let him stay home from school. His self-esteem dwindled when he couldn't keep up with his classmates. Then his parents started to read about dyslexia, and Crystal Stump thought, "Oh my gosh, this is Luke." Luke is now getting the support he needed at the reading center in South Charleston.
The Houston Chronicle (TX)
School is a good place to gain insight into your child's behavior, but it is not the place for a diagnosis. At some point, plenty of parents will wonder, does my child have ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? Experts advise to first get a doctor's diagnosis.
The Times (NJ)
As a teenager at Franklin High School, Frances Deavereaux became close with a teacher who recognized her learning disability. But with the teacher's sudden death, Deavereaux gave up on literacy. Until recently, that is. She's now working with Literacy Volunteers of America, and making strides in her reading.
The Daily Post (N.Z.)
Not all disabilities are visible, as Richard Gahan knows only too well. A learning disability hindered his ability to complete the paperwork required in this automotive industry apprenticeship program. The NZ Motor Industry Training Organisation recognized the problem, and worked with a nonprofit organization to assign a reader/writer to help with the written side of Gahan's apprenticeship commitments.
Pediatricians have long said children younger than 2 shouldn't watch any television. But in new findings from a small-scale study, researchers say that even having a TV on in the background could be "an environmental hazard" for children.
The News-Press (FL)
Dr. Andrew Oakes-Lottridge for Southwest Florida's News-Press fields a question from the mother of a child beginning ADHD medicine concerning the need for an Electrocardiogram (ECG).
Almost 40 years ago, artificial food dyes had their moment in the sun. Now, synthetic dyes are getting a second run. New research indicates the chemicals can disrupt some children's behavior, and activists and consumer groups are asking for bans or limits on the dyes. A prestigious British medical journal recommended that doctors use dye-free diets as a first-line treatment for some behavior disorders; British regulators are pressuring companies to stop using the dyes and some are complying.
Each year in the United States, an increasing number of children and teens are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and each year the percentage of children and teens that are overweight increases. Could there be a link between the two? According to a study published in the July issue of Pediatrics, the answer is YES.
The National Assembly for Wales Enterprise and Learning Committee yesterday launched a report containing far-reaching recommendations on how best to provide support for people with dyslexia in Wales.