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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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NYC Special Education Students Wait and Wonder about Middle Schools

New York Daily News

City special education fifth-graders are still waiting to find out where they're going to middle school next fall. It's been particularly troublesome for students in inclusion classes, where general- and special-education students attend class together, educators said. Middle school parents have charged it took months to learn where their children would be attending school next year - and some haven't yet heard where.

No Child Left Behind is Catch-22 for California School District

Easy Reader (CA)

The conflicting demands of federal and state law have presented the Manhattan Beach Unified School District with a predicament: The district has been unable to meet the testing standards of the No Child Left Behind Act for the third straight year, despite the fact that its test scores rank among the top five school districts in the state. The catch-22 binding the districts' schools is that students with disabilities who are on state-mandated Independent Education Plans (IEPs) are legally allowed to have accommodations while taking standardized tests. The federal government, however, negates such students' tests and counts them as though the student failed to show.

Shire Issues Voluntary Recall for ADHD Skin Patch

Boston Globe

Shire Ltd. said Monday it is voluntarily recalling some of its Daytrana attention deficit hyperactivity disorder skin patches because some people could have difficulty removing the release liner, or backing material, of the patch before applying it to the skin.

'Creating an Atmosphere Of Acceptance'

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

"On both HBCU and White campuses, many Black and Latino students with learning disabilities never get any help," says Thomas Mays, manager of disability services for Prince George's Community College in Maryland. "Many are never diagnosed, and many of those who were identified as having LDs in grammar or high school had such a terrible time in special education that they never want to be identified in college even though they could really benefit from our services."

School Districts Struggle with Special Education Costs

The Post-Star (IA)

Each year, school officials create a budget, hoping the money is enough to run a school district. Certain expenses, such as oil, can be difficult to plan for, because of the volatility of weather and price. But no single expense is as problematic for a school district as special education.

St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD

Washington Post (DC)

Published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study compared St. John's wort to a placebo in children aged 6 to 17 and found the herb wasn't any more effective than the placebo at treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

'Rewired' Brains Help Children Read Better

Pittsburgh Union Tribune (PA)

Carnegie Mellon University researchers said Wednesday that brain scans of 25 fifth-graders who participated in the reading program managed by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit improved to near-normal activity in brain areas responsible for reading.

(Opinion) Including Special-Needs Children in Class: Is it Worth it?

Christian Science Monitor

Some parents are asking themselves an uncomfortable yet critical question: Does the practice of inclusion detract from my child's education? Is it really worth it?  It all depends on your point of view. The author's has changed in the past 30 years, after seeing some unexpected benefits from having her son, who has Down syndrome, enrolled in regular school.

Supporting Children with Learning Disabilities

Savannah Morning News (GA)

This parenting column discusses ways to support your child, including understanding their disability, finding their strengths, and identifying ways to work with the disability. 

Study: Attention Deficit Disorder Gene a Boon for Kenyan Nomads

AFP

U.S. researchers found that a gene associated with ADHD was linked to better health and body weight in a group of nomadic cattle herders, but could cause malnourishment in their cousins who have recently settled and begun to grow crops.  "Our findings suggest that some of the variety of personalities we see in people is evolutionarily helpful or detrimental, depending on the context," said lead author Dan Eisenberg, an anthropology graduate at Northwestern University.

(Opinion) Work for Adequate School Plan for Child with Disabilities

Southtown Star (IL)

Columnist Paige Fumo Fox reflects on her recent meeting with school staff about her son's individualized education plan, and encourages any parent about to enter the IEP process to be optimistic, but prepared.

Are Food Dyes Fueling Kids' Hyperactivity?

ABC News

The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently called on the Food and Drug Administration to ban artificial coloring in all U.S. foods based on a controversial claim that artificial coloring is behind the rise in kids' behavioral problems, like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. To others, however, that connection is far less clear.

The Pain of Dyslexia, As Told by Bollywood

The Washington Post

A recent Bollywood movie about a dreamy 8-year-old boy had all the ingredients of an Indian blockbuster — six songs, tearful ups and downs, and a happy ending. But the film has also planted the seeds of a movement to raise public awareness about dyslexia in India.

Graduate with Dyslexia to Get PhD After 10 Degrees

Detroit Free Press

Benjamin Bolger admittedly can't read well, but the 32-year-old Michigan native today is expected to walk across the stage at Harvard University to receive a doctoral degree in design — his 11th advanced degree. "I can read at about a fifth-grade level … I can sound out just about any word now, but it just takes some time," he said.

Harry Potter Prequel for Dyslexia Charity

Charities Aid Foundation News

A UK charity auction is to be held to sell an 800-word "prequel" to the Harry Potter series. JK Rowling has penned the work for Waterstone's What's Your Story? Auction, the profits of which will go to charities Dyslexia Action and English PEN. Other authors who are selling similar works at the event include Sebastian Faulks, Irvine Welsh, Lauren Child, and Margaret Atwood.

Special-Needs School: Learning Lessons of Life

The Salt Lake Tribune (UT)

More than half of Utah's special-education students have learning disabilities, said Jennie Gibson, associate director of the Utah Parents Center in Salt Lake City, which helps parents navigate the educational system for their children with special needs. The vast majority of special-education students graduate high school, but those with significant problems in need of transition skills can extend their education up to the age of 22.

Survey: Assistive Aids and Devices For Adults 2006

Exchange Morning Post (Canada)

Canada has undertaken a Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) to collect information on adults and children with disabilities. Here it looks at specialized equipment, the use and requirements of such aids and equipment, funding sources, and related obstacles. One finding: individuals with a learning limitation such as dyslexia had more unmet needs for assistive devices than individuals with any other disability.

(Opinion) Innovative Approach Helps Close Reading Gap

Sioux City Journal (IA)

The president of Iowa's Learning Disabilities Association praises a new component to the kindergarten registration process. All parents who attend are able to screen, or are assisted in screening, their own children for determination of the child's level of development on pre-literacy skills. It is a win-win situation for both the families and the schools.

Psychologist to Speak on Helping Kids with Learning Disabilities

The Marlborough Express (N.Z.)

The "gift of dyslexia" is dismissed by psychologist Laughton King whose own battle with the disorder has involved "really, really hard work." Travelling around the country with artist-wife Natalie Tate, Mr. King will be in Blenheim tomorrow to speak about "Strategies to help children with learning difficulties (including dyslexia)."

Proctor High School Fights to Keep Special Needs Students on Track

Utica Observer-Dispatch (NY)

Proctor High gets assistance in helping students with disabilities transition to life after high school from Resource Center for Independent Living representatives such as Mike Zane. He visits special education classes about once a week to help teach students skills they need for a successful life after high school.

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