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 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.
Contra Costa Times (CA)
While any child can have bouts of hyperactivity, an ADHD child's level dramatically exceeds the levels for his age. Pediatricians offer a good starting point for diagnosing ADHD. They can assess the youngster or they can refer parents to appropriate specialists such as child psychiatrists or psychologists, behavioral neurologists, or developmental/behavioral pediatricians, if needed.
The Times (IL)
This articles looks at the routes local school administrators can take to help students who are lagging behind their peers, including: retention; special education and diagnosing learning disabilities; credit recovery programs; and summer school.
Without hesitation, veteran special education teacher Diane Binmore says: "This has been the most satisfying year of my career." With the help of assistive technology, ten learning disabled grade 5 pupils at Pleasant Corners Public School were able to begin reading at their grade level. "You should have seen the effect this had on them," Binmore says, thrilled.
Press of Atlantic City (NJ)
Samantha Ravelli loves to read the Cheetah Girls books, and her mother, Beth, is more than happy to buy them for her. The books represent not just a pre-teen trend, but a major learning accomplishment. Three years ago Samantha, dyslexic and in third grade, could not read. Help for her came in the form of the specialized Wilson reading system.
Free Lance-Star (MD)
Starting this fall, Spotsylvania County schools will no longer classify students aged 5 to 8 as developmentally delayed. Those students will be placed in another special education category or mainstreamed into standard classrooms.
Gothic Artist and Writer Glenn James was diagnosed as Dyslexic in 2002, after a lifetime of wielding a pen, the artist explores his feelings and experiences about the condition, in the hope that it will help anyone else who is wrestling with it.
New York Times
About 2.5 million children in the United States take stimulant drugs for attention and hyperactivity problems. But concerns about side effects have prompted many parents to look elsewhere: as many as two-thirds of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D., have used some form of alternative treatment.
Tulsa World (OK)
Some of the most scathing and legally damning findings in an investigative report released this week about the Tulsa Academic Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma involve the treatment of special education students. A summary of an investigative report prepared for the Tulsa school board details repeated violations of federal and state laws, as well as Tulsa Public Schools' own policies and procedures for safeguarding the rights of students with disabilities.