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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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.
The New York Times
For more than a decade, parents of children with developmental and psychiatric problems have pushed to gain more access to mainstream schools and classrooms for their sons and daughters. One unfortunate result, some experts say, is schools' increasing use of precisely the sort of practices families hoped to avoid by steering clear of institutionalized settings: takedowns, isolation rooms, restraining chairs with straps, and worse.
U.S. News and World Report
New evidence suggests that a cholesterol-lowering drug widely prescribed for adults may not help children with a fairly common genetic disorder. Zocor (simvastatin) did not improve cognitive function in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a disorder which can involve learning disabilities.
Springfield News-Sun (OH)
Parents of children with disabilities sometimes struggle with finding appropriate learning activities during the summer months, according to the Ohio Coalition for Education of Children with Disabilities. However, there are a variety of websites to help ensure that kids with disabilities don't experience loss over the summer months.
The Stamford Times (CT)
The Connecticut Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities (CACLD) has presented Stamford's Ferguson Library Special Needs Center with a donation of materials that will further the Center's mission of serving parents of children with disabilities. The donation includes books and DVDs on learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and related disorders, and materials that address lifespan issues ranging from early childhood to adulthood.
There are problems in life that Microsoft can't solve for us, and one is spelling out of context. Type "My aidl holiday wood bee in nue zeelend, were I can go hickin" into Word and the software will be completely befuddled. Ginger Software's unique algorithm would look not at each word but at the sentence as a whole and come up with: "My ideal holiday would be in New Zealand, where I can go hiking." The software can even identify correctly spelled words that are used in the wrong context. Ginger Software founder and chief executive, Yael Karov, has learned that many people with dyslexia have stopped using spell checkers altogether.
National Public Radio
This week in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists report that in two brothers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, a genetic change appears to make one of the brain's neurochemical pathways — the dopamine transporter — run in reverse. The result of that miswiring is that the brain acts as if amphetamines are always present, the researchers say.
The Eagle-Gazette (OH)
Special education will be the focus of a new master's degree program offered at the Ohio University Lancaster Campus. The Master's of Education program is aimed at increasing the pool of special education teachers, especially in the Lancaster region. Program director Robin Schaffer said the high demand for special education teachers is exacerbated by a high turnover rate among those who are qualified.
Hattiesburg American (MS)
Dynamic Dyslexia Design School in Petal, MS will receive a $156,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program. U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran announced the news Friday stating that funds would be used to help modify the building the school will be housed in and to help purchase furnishings, equipment, and educational supplies.