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 Baltimore Sun
Distance runner Gabriel Lincoln-DeCusatis helped Maryland's Harford Tech H.S. outdoor track and field program grow rapidly in the past few seasons. But there's a lot more in the senior's life than track and field. He has a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society and the school's student government, a feat even more impressive considering Lincoln-DeCusatis has had to overcome learning disabilities in writing, reading, and mathematics. He says that overcoming his learning disabilities makes him "more determined to do things the right way."
The Boston Globe
Bringing assistive technology into the mainstream curriculum and classroom, a process known as universal design, makes education accessible for all children, allows children with special needs to feel included in a school's social life, provides for a more equitable education, and better prepares them for life outside school, supporters say.
The News Gazette (IL)|
Except for the 1 percent of a school's students with the most extreme disabilities, who take an alternate test, students classified as special needs take the same test as everyone else in their grade, whether they're ready or not. It's setting some of the children up for failure, says Susan Baker-Ory, the Urbana school district's director of special education, by giving them a test beyond their abilities. "Our teachers feel very passionately about the almost harm this does to the kids," she said.
The Journal Times (WI)
A group of parents, educators, and disability advocates met Saturday with University of Wisconsin education professor Elise Frattura, clearing up the confusion of including special education students in regular education classrooms.
Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Nicholas, age 6, became the first enrolled student at the Graham Academy when the school opened in February. Being in a setting with teachers and specialists was life-changing, said his mother, who has seen a dramatic improvement in her son's behavior.
Houston Community Newspapers – Pearland Journal (TX)
Concerned residents who spoke to the school board at their regular meeting April 8, lobbying for special education services they say are lacking in the district. "I'm hoping more people will join so the District will realize [special education] isn't as good as they think," said parent Amy Sabalesky.
The Brown and White — Lehigh University (PA)
Two Lehigh professors are working toward a way to analyze symptoms related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among young children by studying parents' behavior and techniques. Professor George DuPaul said, "There's definitely medication that helps [kids with ADHD], but what can we do beyond that?" His project concentrated on how parents could better use behavior management strategies to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD.
Newark Advocate (OH)
The Rick DeMuth Memorial Quiz Bowl, sponsored by the Educational Service Center, gives special-education students the chance to show off their knowledge. "(These kids) a lot of times don't get the same recognition as a star athlete," said Janet Watterman, director of special education at the ESC. Teams competed in one of two divisions: cognitive disability and specific learning disability.
Reading Eagle (PA)
Nelson Lauver, whose dyslexia wasn't discovered until he was an adult, has overcome rough times early in his life to become a motivational speaker and radio host.
Opelika-Auburn News (AL)
Children's author Michael Finklea told elementary students, "I experienced a lot of struggles in school and actually didn't like to write at one point." Finklea suffered with ADD (attention deficit disorder) growing up. "Now that I'm writing and have been published, I want these kids to remember that they shouldn't say they don't like something until they've actually tried it."
Exchange Morning Post (Canada)
Wilfrid Laurier University's Accessible Learning Centre works with students with disabilities ranging from the visible to invisible. "We're looking at building capacity ..." says ALC manager Gwen Page, "based on understanding a student's unique barriers to develop a plan that helps them to navigate and manage what's in front of them."
The Wall Street Journal
As a mother of two children with ADHD, The Wall Street Journal's Work and Family reporter Sue Shellenbarger wonders, "How can you tell whether all that splintered energy will help your own child succeed? And how can you help channel all that mental voltage productively?" She asked a few famous ADHD sufferers and their parents for answers, including the founder of JetBlue airlines, the founder of Kinko's, and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" host Ty Pennington. Ty's mother, Yvonne, says that while many viewers get emotional watching her son deliver remodeled homes to deserving families, she cries for different reasons. After being told years ago that her unruly son was the worst kid in his school, she says, "my tears come from the joy, at how far he has come."
The Vindicator (OH)
Kerra Loomis of Canfield spends two hours a week at the Masonic Temple with her tutor, Delta Stoner, learning how to read better. When Kerra was about 3 years old, her mother Kathy noticed she was struggling with her ABCs. For Kerra, reciting her ABCs from memory was not a problem, but looking at the letters on a flash card and saying them was. The problem was later diagnosed as dyslexia, a language-based disorder affecting approximately 10 percent of the population to varying degrees. The tutoring, though, has made a difference for Kerra. According to Kathy, her daughter went from being below her grade level in reading to being at grade level today. And Kerra? "I'm more confident in reading. It's helped me a lot," she says.
Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Learning-disabled students identified by the Ohio's juvenile prisons system make up nearly half of all juvenile-prison inmates. But a recently completed federal investigation found that screenings for disabilities are so shoddy that problems are routinely overlooked and many inmates don't get the education they should.