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 Boston Globe
Armed with an improved sense of how attention works, scientists have begun researching whether attention can be trained. And their findings have been intriguing. Building upon this new understanding, researchers are discovering that skills of focus can be bolstered with practice in both children and adults, including those with attention-deficit disorders.
Telegraph Herald (IA)
Ramps and accessibility aids can be found all across Dubuque, making movement easier for physically disabled people. But the story told by the woman we'll call "Judy" shows that changing attitudes about disabilities, especially those that are unseen, is not as simple as installing a curb cut.
The Tampa Tribune (FL)
How can you tell the difference between hyperactivity and ADHD? Is your 8-year-old son showing signs of ADHD, or is he just a rambunctious boy with lots of energy? A psychologist looks at three important components (aside from the specific diagnostic criteria) that can help differentiate the two.
The Keller Citizen (TX)
About 30 students attended the three-week Kids Using Technology to Enhance Literacy (KUTTEL) program, held three mornings a week. Children used an Internet-based supplemental reading program that assesses and targets individual student weaknesses. "We call it surgical strike teaching," said Cathy Youngblood, Parkview's intervention specialist and the coordinator for the camp. "It's getting more to what the child needs and not wasting time on skills they already know."
Rockingham News (NH)
Principals at two elementary schools asked the school board for permission to "tweak" their Response to Intervention (RTI) model, which has proven effectiveness, particularly for students with learning disabilities. The schools wish to provide all students with Tier II instruction, often in small groups, but always dependent upon each student's individual needs.
East Brunswick Sentinel (NJ)
The Monroe School Board is considering expanding the hours of the extended school year (ESY) program for special needs students. But logistics, including the existing union contract and lack of funding complicate school board decision. If the program is not up and running this summer, the board assures parents it will be in place by next year.
Atlantic Herald (NJ)
When Debbie Macomber began first grade in 1952, her teachers didn't have a word for dyslexia. "They just told my mom I had word blindness," said 59-year-old Macomber, an author whose books have sold more than 100 million copies, in a telephone interview. "My third grade teacher said I was a nice girl, but I wasn't going to do well in school." Eventually, in fifth grade, Macomber learned to read. Years later, after two of her children were diagnosed, she realized she had dyslexia.
You have probably said or heard the phrase "My eyes are playing tricks on me." Local doctors say that if your child is underperforming in the classroom or on the playing field, he or she may be suffering from a problem that literally plays visual tricks on eyes. You've likely heard of dyslexia, but that's not the only vision issue your child may face. The issue begins with two seemingly interchangeable words: vision and sight.
The Sun News (SC)
Parents of special-needs children in North Carolina have called on lawmakers to approve an annual tax credit of up to $6,000, saying that would let their children attend private schools when public schools fail to address their needs. But the proposal before a legislative education panel faces opposition that could stall the plan.
A new grant has been awarded to the University of Pittsburgh and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC to conduct a national study of the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children with autism spectrum disorders.
Arizona Daily Star
Nathan Iskandar had oral and motor delays as an infant, so his parents weren't surprised when the toddler started showing speech delays. Fortunately, his family found Wings on Words, a preschool program that specializes in speech and language problems and has operated in Tucson, Arizona for 10 years. With the help of the program, Nathan's speech has flourished.
The Clairon-Ledger (MS)
Cena Holifield wants to reach out to dyslexic kids in the Hattiesburg, Mississippi area and is working with the city of Petal to make it happen. Holifield is the director of a new school set to open in Petal in August. The school will be called Dynamic Dyslexia Design: The 3-D School.
Canadian researchers report that their discovery of a gene variant that seems to affect the severity of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder did not help them predict which patients are likely to respond to a class of drugs widely used to treat the disorder.
This entry in the Times-Piscayune's Nola Blog describes the situation faced by Shawn Datchuk, the only special education teacher in a New Orleans charter school. What do you do and who do you help with the time and resources you have?
The Times-Union (FL)
Nemours Children's Clinic is hitting the road with its BrightStart! Dyslexia Initiative. A 40-foot truck with two mobile classrooms, and two 22-foot vans with one each, will travel to schools to help screen pre-kindergarten children in Duval County for dyslexia and reading difficulties.
La Voz (CA)
Blake Taylor is one of the youngest authors to have written a book about living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. His book "ADHD and Me: What I Learned from Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table" is a day-to-day account of what it is like to live with the ADHD. "I think the thing about ADHD is that it is a secret weapon," Taylor said. "It is a gift that you need to work on."
Dallas Morning News (TX)
A Dallas man's vision promises fresh start for children — and a vacant building. He's renovating an old grocery store to open Focus charter school. For children with dyslexia, ADHD or other impediments to traditional learning, Focus will create personalized evaluations and learning paths designed to reach the potential of otherwise bright kids.
Arizona Daily Star
In the fifth grade, her school placed Linda Payne in a special-education class. Clearly she had a learning disability but no one bothered to find out exactly what. She entered adulthood lost, believing it was her fault she could not read. A turning point for Payne came 12 years ago. She was diagnosed as dyslexic and a new world began to spell out to her.
Actor Ian Ziering says, "my career actually started in the second grade as class clown … I was always making people laugh, and it was really to mask a learning disability." He was diagnosed with dyslexia, and for four years he worked to learn to read.
Government Technology Magazine
A Seattle-based library that offers services to thousands of blind and visually impaired individuals is joining state government as a division of the Secretary of State.