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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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.
The Financial (Nation of Georgia)
In response to the rising trend of consumers seeking health information and everyday support online, McNeil Pediatrics, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, on July 9 announced the launch of the "ADHD Moms" online community housed on Facebook.
Perhaps no topic has as thoroughly vexed officials who oversee the nation's leading test of academic progress as the wide variation among states and cities in the proportion of students with disabilities and limited English proficiency whom they exclude from taking the exam or provide with special accommodations for it.
Whittier Daily News (CA)
It's been nine months since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have helped special education students get their diplomas without having to pass the California High School Exit Exam. Now, an exemption plan for the exit exam will come before him again this summer, only in a different form: SB 1446 by Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles.
Upstate Today (SC)
Last week at a meeting of South Carolina's Oconee Alliance, school psychologist Bridget Briley didn't just talk about Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — she let the audience experience the condition themselves. Attendees were asked to read a brief text, projected overhead, within a couple of minutes. The text, however, was interrupted every few seconds with flashing images. A soccer game. Windows. Bright white light. The effect made the assignment almost impossible. After time elapsed, the audience was asked to take a brief quiz. The result: failure.
San Francisco Chronicle
Most parents have never heard of him, but Joseph Biederman of Harvard may be the United States' most influential doctor when it comes to determining whether their children are normal or mentally ill. In 1996, for example, Biederman suggested that drugs like Ritalin might serve 10 percent of American kids for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. By 2004, one in nine 11-year-old boys was taking the drug That's why Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley's recent revelation that Biederman did not declare $1.6 million in drug company consulting fees is so important, scary, and tragic.
The Times of India
Aranya is eight and in her drawings, elephants can fly. She enjoys art and has a vivid imagination, but when it comes to her studies, she struggles with writing and concentration. Aranya is suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neuro-behavioural developmental disorder. Often children like Aranya are labeled 'lazy' or 'dumb' although they are neither. "My daughter is very creative. She loves painting animals and working with clay. All she needs is a little more time to grasp her lessons. It is unfortunate that in the pursuit of high scores the power of the imagination is under-estimated," says Aranya's mother.
Pioneer Press (MN)
A national conference started yesterday in Minneapolis to help adults cope with ADHD, short for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association expects more than 400 adults with ADHD to attend its 13th annual conference, which features sessions on everything from time management and spousal support to meditation.
Penn State Live (PA)
In Pennsylvania, more than 260,000 students with learning and other disabilities are in public schools, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). This presents challenges to the teachers responsible for their education, but who often lack adequate specialized preparation. In response to new teacher certification requirements, Penn State has created a teacher training program called Evidence-Based Practices for Inclusive Classrooms and Differentiating Instruction (EPIC) for current and future teachers.
The Dispatch (NC)
Triad Academy of Winston-Salem, North Carolina was created in the late '90s by a group of parents to address the unmet academic needs of students who learn differently after seeing them fail in the mainstream of a traditional school. The school that serves students with dyslexia or a specific learning disability is looking to expand its services by launching a capital fund campaign that could possibly help the school expand or even relocate to serve more children.
Bayshore Broadcasting (Canada)
A former local principal may have to close the book on her free reading program in the Owen Sound area if funding doesn't come through soon. Linda Soehner has about 40 students registered with Reading Rescue Ontario children and adults suffering from dyslexia who are learning to read.
The Washington Post
Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at a 50 percent higher risk for being overweight if they are not taking medication for the condition, a new study finds.
Enterprise Ledger (AL)
Attention Deficit Disorder, emotionally conflicted, developmentally disabled. Whatever the label, they are all James Warren's kids. For 34 summers, Warren has run a six-week day camp for special needs children in Enterprise, Alabama. Inspired by his daughter Aresha, Warren became interested in special education and worked as a behavior specialist at New Brockton High School.