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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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State Weighs Limits on School 'Timeouts,' Restraints

Des Moines Register (IA)

Iowa has joined a nationwide push to curb the use of physical force and "timeout" rooms in schools to discipline the most unruly students. "I don't believe that teachers or building administrators set out to be unkind or cruel or harmful to children. In the rare occasion that that happens, it happens really because of ignorance as to what to do. This should help alleviate any instance of that." said Susan Myers, a mother who heads the Access for Special Kids Family Resource Center, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Let Special Needs Students Transfer if Needed, Group Says

The Tribune (CA)

A Southern California advocacy group has filed a complaint with the state on behalf of local special-needs students, alleging that families are not easily able to transfer their children into districts where needed services are available.

(Opinion) Help My Kid: Audiobooks Fine 'Reading' Tools

The Desert Sun (CA)

In this advice column, a psychologist explains that although audiobooks can never take the place of reading aloud, they can help eliminate the frustration struggling readers experience with decoding.

House Votes to Expand Civil Rights for Disabled

New York Times

The House passed a major civil rights bill last Wednesday that would expand protections for people with disabilities and overturn several Supreme Court decisions issued in the last decade. The bill, approved 402 to 17, would make it easier for workers to prove discrimination. It would explicitly relax some stringent standards set by the court and says that disability is to be "construed broadly," to cover more physical and mental impairments.

ADHD: St. John's Wort May Not Affect Symptoms

Washington Post

Parents of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder sometimes seek alternative treatments if medication doesn't adequately relieve symptoms or causes unwanted side effects. Might one common choice, St. John's Wort, provide relief?

NY State Shifting More Special Education Costs to Counties

Daily Gazette (NY)

Schenectady and other counties across New York will now be responsible for paying 100 percent of the administrative costs of pre-kindergarten special education services in the latest shift of state and federal fees to local municipalities.

Toronto LD Association Looking for Materials for Library

InsideToronto (Canada)

The Learning Disabilities Association Toronto District is looking for book and video donations after dozens of supplies have gone missing. Christina Ferri, resource facilitator for the association, said she noticed the lack of materials while reorganizing the library in June.

MPS Lags in Special Ed Funds

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)

Even though the state has increased support for schools struggling with the costs of high-need special education students, the amount collected by Milwaukee Public Schools has barely budged. "The question is less why does MPS get so little as why does Milwaukee not claim more," said the state special education director.

Parents Call for Closer Special-Education Monitoring

Evanston Review (IL)

A new coalition of special education parents urged the District 65 School Board Monday to closely monitor whether the district delivers the services promised in the child's individual plan.

A Humble Honoree

Daily News-Record (VA)

When Pat Harmon was a little girl, she had a lot of trouble learning to read. Now, as she teaches students to read, Harmon said she has a gift for connecting with them in a way that not only helps them achieve but also gets them excited about their ability to read. Harmon was recognized earlier this month as Educator of the Year for Harrisonburg, Va.

Thousands of New York City Special Ed Students Not Receiving Needed Services, Says DiNapoli

Empire State News.net (NY)

The New York City Department of Education must improve the timeliness of its evaluations and placements of special education student applicants, according to a report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

(Opinion) Vouchers Benefit Families, Not Schools

East Valley Tribune (AZ)

A recent Arizona appellate court decision scrapping a school-voucher program for disabled and foster children robs a small number of disabled students (117 were enrolled this year) and foster children (140 students) and their parents of their civil rights in order to make a political point, and push a false interpretation of the state's constitution.

Attention Class

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.

Disabled and Driven

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.

Is It ADHD, Or Is My Child Just A Bundle Of Energy?

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.

Summer of 'Surgical Strike Teaching' at Parkview ES

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."

Sanborn Officials OK Enhancement Program based on RTI for Elementary Schools

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.

Parents Press for Longer Special-Needs Program

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.

Debbie Macomber's Disability Didn't Have a Name

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.

Vision Dysfunction Not Always Diagnosed In Children


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.

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