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 Florida kindergarten teacher who had students vote last week whether a 5-year-old (who has since been diagnosed with an autism-spectrum disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder) should be allowed to stay in class told police she wanted him to hear how his behavior was affecting his classmates.
CJAD NewsTalk Radio (Canada)
Researchers say children who show signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are regularly misdiagnosed in every province — with the exception of Quebec. That's because Quebec has guidelines for ADHD diagnosis, which means children are likely to receive the same assessment, regardless of which doctor they see.
The Montreal Gazette (Canada)
Like his creator — author and actor Henry Winkler — the hero of the best-selling "Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever" series isn't so hot with words or numbers. Also like Winkler, Hank is a popular class clown whose adventures, and misadventures, revolve around the fifth-grader trying to compensate for his learning disabilities.
Flint Journal (MI)
Guest columnist Andrew Schwab encourages parents of children struggling academically to ask the school for accommodations. Persistently asking questions such as "what is the school's plan?" or "how will the school adapt to this child's needs?" does not allow schools to escape a solution by blaming other professionals or departments.
The Oregonian (OR)
Oregon's proposed high school exit exam would unfairly deny diplomas to good students who struggle with a single academic weakness, warned people testifying at a state hearing on the test Wednesday.
Daily Herald (IL)
School board member James Hussey will ask the board to pursue a lawsuit against the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) to stop the agency from borrowing $26.5 million to renovate and construct new facilities. He feels SEDOL member districts need more time to discuss the plan. He said he also favors District 95 quitting SEDOL because it "circumvented the normal democratic process."
The Baltimore Sun (MD)
The Baltimore school system is contracting with an outside company, Pennsylvania-based Specialized Education Services Inc., to run a school for special-education students, a move that will combine two special-education schools currently operating alongside each other in the same building.
Brown Alumni Magazine (RI)
Jonathan Mooney, author of "The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal," visited his alma mater Brown University to lecture about learning disabilities. Diagnosed with dyslexia and attention problems, Mooney didn't read until he was twelve. Eventually, after much hard work, he transferred to Brown ("somebody took a risk on me," he says), concentrated in English, and graduated with a 4.0 grade average.
BBC News (U.K.)
Thirteen UK centres offering controversial treatment for people with dyslexia have been shut down due to financial difficulties. The Dore programme claimed exercises such as tying knots and balancing on "wobble boards" stimulated parts of the brain and improved reading and writing.
Daily Press (VA)
The speakers changed every three minutes, but with few exceptions their message Wednesday night was the same: The proposed changes to the state special education regulations are flawed and harmful. Virginia Department of Education staff and Board of Education Vice President Ella Ward listened as more than 60 people offered comments during the department's public hearing at Norfolk's Norview High School.
Alvin "Corky" Schroeder uses his Merced, California shop classes to inspire children who would otherwise have problems learning, slipping in information in bits and pieces. Lessons on welding disguise instruction in geometry and mathematics. Lessons about engines slip in physics. Talk about car design? Lessons on art. Schroeder says his dedication stems from empathy with these special-education students. As a child, he battled dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.
Cleveland Daily Banner (TN)
Bachman Academy held its seventh annual commencement exercises on May 17 at First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, Tennessee. The first graduating class of 2001 boasted a single student. However, at twelve students, 2008 holds the second largest graduating class since the Academy changed its focus in 1999 to educating children with learning disabilities.
Western Mail (UK)
The phonetic simplicity of the Welsh language may still be masking dyslexic children in primary classrooms, an official said yesterday at the Urdd Eisteddfod. While English dyslexics are quickly defeated by the language's inconsistent spellings, children learning to read in Welsh have an easier start because the written words follow consistent pronunciation rules.
Daily Press (VA)
One of the changes to Virginia's Special Education law that has caused the greatest uproar among parents and advocates is eliminating the parental consent requirement when a district wants to stop providing special education services for a child. In the regulations under consideration, the school must notify a parent, but not seek permission. The changes also propose eliminating parental consent when determining services for transfer students.
After tangling in litigation for close to a decade, the District of Columbia school system agreed in 2006 to work quickly to pare down a backlog of cases related to special education services it had failed to provide to students with disabilities.
Tucson Citizen (AZ)
Across the nation, thousands if not millions of students have been set up to fail. These students have endured countless frustrations and setbacks simply to make it through high school, yet they now face the prospect of having the tools they need taken from them. They need those tools to pass the test that may determine whether they can graduate. The reason they face this calamity? They happen to have disabilities. And under No Child Left Behind, they are therefore at the mercy of a federal bureaucracy that determines whether they can use the accommodations that need to succeed.
Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder do 22 fewer days of work per year than people who do not have the condition, a study says. The research, which looked at 7,000 workers in 10 countries, found an average of 3.5% had ADHD. Writing in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Dutch team said workplace screening should be used to pick up people with the problem. A UK expert backed the idea, but warned they should not be stigmatized.
The New York Times
The challenges faced by those with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder — weighing the decision to take stimulant medication, facing those who doubt your disorder, and adapting to your symptoms — are daunting and deeply personal. Here, in their own words, are the stories of adults and children coping with ADHD.
The Bright Minds Institute diagnostic and treatment center uses brain imaging to diagnose and treat kids' cognitive disorders. While some patients say it has helped, some leading doctors say it's too soon to use sophisticated tests like these clinically, and that people might be wasting their money on them. Dr. Bradley Peterson, director of the Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Research program at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, said the technology is not there yet. "No test can tell you that this child has ADHD and that one doesn't," Peterson said. "At least at present day. Hopefully, in the next year or coming years, we might have that, but we don't yet."
KMPH Fox 26 (CA)
Twins Alyssa and Amanda Reta have developmental disabilities, but they chose to work towards receiving a regular high school diploma — a harder path for them. They were on their way toward getting their caps and gowns when both failed to pass the math portion of the California High School Exit Exam. This is the first year that the requirement to pass a cumulative exam applied to special education students.