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 Age (Australia)
There's a simple, powerful example Traci Fidler uses to show how her four-year-old son's social and learning problems have eased — Brodie gets more invitations to birthday parties. The occupational and speech therapy Brodie receives every week as well as working on his motor skills is helping him a lot.
The Washington Times (DC)
In the second part of their editorial, two Manhattan Institute fellows look at the benefits of special-ed vouchers, finding that the current special-education system is an arrangement that only lawyers could love. Adding vouchers to the mix changes the dynamics for the better by giving families an alternative mechanism for getting what they need.
North South Brunswick Sentinel (NJ)
Ryan Moore had trouble reading as a child. But now the sixth-grader is turning a potential disability — dyslexia — around and is helping other children the way he was helped: through the gift of reading. Ryan will hold a book fair at all local Barnes & Noble bookstores, collecting new books and books on CD for children at the Children's Specialized Hospital.
Hudson Star-Observer (WI)
On the eve of her retirement, the newspaper looks at the career of teacher Joan Thompson. Thompson said that she was uncomfortable seeing students with disabilities sitting on the sidelines because they could not participate in a traditional way in her physical education classes, so in 1993 she organized the first adapted athletic program in the state of Wisconsin.
Seven-year-old Kendra Fowler said she's feeling better about her abilities. "I'm this big now," she said. "I feel I'm getting bigger and bigger by the minute." Her transformation coincides with the time she spent at the Southern Idaho Learning Center, where about 500 youth between the ages of 7 and 21 attended one-hour classes, two times per week. The center has applied to become a charter school to serve 180 middle school children with learning disabilities for the whole school day.
Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)
At a recent Inclusive and Special Education conference held in Bahrain, the minister of social development announced that children with special needs will gradually be integrated into mainstream schools. Those with hearing impairment may attend mainstream schools as early as next year and children with other special needs will follow in coming years.
The Daily Iowan (Iowa City, Iowa)
The American Heart Association recently suggested children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder receive heart tests before they are given stimulant drugs. Between 1999 and 2004, the Food and Drug Administration received reports that 26 children on stimulant medications suffered strokes, cardiac arrests, or heart palpitations. The anecdotal evidence, while serious, does not imply that the medications caused complications, according University of Iowa Professor Dianne Atkins, a reviewer of the heart association's report.
The Standard Times (New Bedford, Massachusetts)
Dartmouth, Massachusetts parents criticized a plan to relocate two special-education classes from the DeMello School to the Quinn School at a public hearing on the Dartmouth School Department's proposed $33 million budget Monday night. The moving of the special-education students is part of an effort to reduce overcrowding by voluntarily transferring about 100 students from one elementary school to the other.
The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Melissa James was about 14 when she heard the results of a battery of medical tests: she had dyslexia, generalized anxiety disorder, and Asperger's syndrome, what some call high-functioning autism. "I told them I was broken and began to cry," James said. She learned she'd have to work harder at things that might be easy for other people. Along the way, she discovered an inner strength.
Deseret News (Salt Lake City)
Proud parents of 54 Utah County elementary students crowded the Provo City Library Ballroom to cheer them on at the 14th annual Great Kids Awards Wednesday evening. The one-hour event spotlighted two students from each elementary school in the Orem and Provo areas. Teachers and principals nominated the students for overcoming struggles and defeating challenges in their lives.
The Seattle Times
As a task force begins this spring to revamp Seattle Public Schools' approach to special education, it's likely many classrooms around the district will include more students in general-education classes and educate more special-education students at their neighborhood schools. The details haven't been worked out, but in general, the district will try to deliver services to the students instead of bringing the students to the services.
Times Union (NY)
Schonowe Preschool has been serving special-needs preschoolers for more than 20 years. Its special education program teaches toddlers and preschoolers through a variety of play and movement activities, based on a sensory integration dysfunction treatment model.
Cape Cod Times
In an assembly that blended a pep talk with an anti-bully discussion, a police officer, travel agent, stay-at-home mom and two students told second- and third-graders what it was like to live with a disability.
The Washington Times (DC)
In the first of a three-part series, the authors of a report from the Manhattan Institute, Marcus A. Winters and Jay P. Greene, explain the effects of Florida's McKay voucher/special education program, and why parents view vouchers and special education as a good match.
The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
As the Ohio state-mandated school testing season kicks into high gear, some testing coordinators and special-education teachers are scrambling because of a shortage of a an adapted test form required for special needs kids. A number of districts did not receive any or all of the booklets required for students who must have the Ohio Achievement Test read aloud to them by an aide or for those who listen to it on a CD, creating a chaotic situation for special education teachers as they prepare for testing.
The News-Times (Danbury, Connecticut)
A federal judge has dismissed the last of four claims in Connecticut's challenge to the federal No Child Left Behind law. In a ruling released Monday, Judge Mark Kravitz dismissed the state's claim that alleges the U.S. Department of Education unfairly denied Connecticut's proposed changes to testing rules for special education and limited English proficiency students (LEP).
Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, California)
The special-needs students in Lynda Zussman's California high school class naturally have more obstacles than most. They have mild learning disabilities and struggle sometimes to deal with their emotions. Zussman wanted to help her students in a way that offered practical life lessons, so when she came across Rainer Maria Rilke's eight principles, she saw an opportunity for a valuable learning experience.
Burlington County Times (Willingboro, New Jersey)
Burlington Township, New Jersey residents will gather Saturday for an event to promote acceptance and awareness of children with learning disabilities. The third annual Awareness Walk is sponsored by a group called Township Residents: A Unified and Supportive Team, or TRUST, which includes a number of parents and concerned citizens.
The Boston Globe
As former research director for the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Education, Connie Rizoli annually monitored nearly 450 education-related bills that came through the Legislature. Through that work, she found herself naturally advocating for children with special needs. Only later would she realize how much that work would benefit her own family.
Chillicothe Gazette (OH)
One of the primary focuses of area guidance counselors is working with students on their future. For example, at Huntington school counselors act as special education coordinators. They work with the school psychologist, administration, and teachers to perform multi-factor evaluations to determine if students need additional assistance and help to coordinate individual education plans.