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 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.
The Fort Collins Coloradoan (CO)
Research shows that unscripted imaginative play — and the self-talk that goes along with it — helps children develop executive function: to be creative, control their emotions, resist sudden impulses and maintain mental focus.
The Press of Atlantic City (NJ)
College enrollment of students with disabilities has increased 86 percent since 1994. Advocates applaud the efforts of these students. But counselors also worry that the societal emphasis on attending college has pushed some disabled students into a stressful environment for which they are not adequately suited or prepared. Some worry that the very efforts that helped students get through high school have been almost too successful, lulling them into a false sense of just how accommodating real life will be.
The News Tribune (WA)
In Saturday's NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Red Bryant, a 318-pound defensive tackle from Texas A&M. Although diagnosed with dyslexia, Bryant earned his degree in agricultural leadership and communications. He was so skillful at communicating, in fact, that teammates voted him a captain of the Aggies all four seasons.
The Peterboro Examiner (Canada)
Getting the right school resources for children with special needs is a lonely business for parents says an advocate for special needs. Dr. Norm Forman, a psychologist and founder of Parents Advocacy in the School says some of the parents' frustrations stem from not getting the right assessments for their children, school boards and teachers not being forthcoming with resources, or teachers that don't have the right skills.
The Tennessean (TN)
In the third grade, Melissa Brock checked out Helen Keller's biography from the library eight times, each time becoming more fascinated with how Annie Sullivan helped Keller, who could not see or hear, learn to communicate. She knew then that she wanted to be a teacher, working with kids with disabilities. She's been named Metro Nashville Public Schools' elementary Teacher of the Year.
Santa Monica Mirror
After an audit faulted Santa Monica schools for its special education practices, Superintendent Dianne Talarico stressed that the district should only use settlement agreements "as a last resort when an impasse has been reached in resolving disagreements at the IEP [Individual Education Plan] level and that such an agreement will require approval at the superintendent level."
The Eureka Reporter (CA)
Mikey is a special needs child, part of a growing population in Humboldt County. This article looks at what the National Institute of Mental Health has to say about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), how California is addressing the problem, and how it impacts local educators and families like Mikey's.
The push to ensure that all students, not just the academically gifted, take introductory algebra and do so earlier has gained widespread acceptance in U.S. schools over the quarter-century since A Nation at Risk advocated strengthening graduation requirements in math. Last year, for the first time, California state officials approved an entire set of math programs devoted specifically to "algebra readiness," or raising the skills of students likely to struggle in that subject.