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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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Rethinking Dyslexia

The Washington Post

A new film makes the case that dyslexia may cause difficulties in reading, but it doesn’t cause difficulties in broader learning. In some cases, it goes so far as to suggest, the condition may even be a blessing in a very good, childhood-long disguise.

Richard Branson and the Dyslexia Advantage

The Washington Post

At 16, Richard Branson embarked on his first business venture in publishing. Your typical entrepreneur? Hardly. His secret to success? Dyslexia. What many would consider a weakness, Branson has branded his "greatest strength."

Exercise May Help Kids with ADHD Focus

Fox News

Twenty minutes of exercise may help kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) settle in to read or solve a math problem, new research suggests. The small study, of 40 eight- to 10-year-olds, looked only at the short-term effects of a single bout of exercise. And researchers caution that they are not saying exercise is the answer to ADHD.

ADHD Drugs Don't Raise Risk of Heart Conditions, Study Shows


Children taking central nervous system stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin do not face an increased risk of serious heart conditions during treatment, according to a new University of Florida study that confirms findings reported in 2011. Published in the British Medical Journal in August, the study contributes to a decade-long clinical and policy debate of treatment risks for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

Is Childhood ADHD A Gateway To Smoking In Adulthood?


A group of Canadian researchers lead by Dr. Ridha Joober of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal looked at genetic markers among children with ADHD and found a variant previously implicated in increasing the risk for smoking behavior may also increase the risk for ADHD. According to the study, published on line in Archives of Disease in Childhood, this may explain why people who suffer from ADHD are also much more prone to become addicted to cigarettes.

New Recommendations for Evaluating Special Education Teachers

Education Week, On Special Education

With school reform efforts combining with federal incentives to encourage more districts and states to change how they evaluate teachers, the Council for Exceptional Children shared new recommendations and views for how to evaluate special education teachers.

Clarifying an ADHD Diagnosis


A recent article in the New York Times highlighted and brought to the forefront America's obsession with a quick fix using overmedication in an irresponsible fashion.

The article does an adequate job pointing out the obvious and inherent flaws with this type of practice as well as the doctor rationale for such medical treatment approaches. However, what the article does not discuss is a counterpoint for the doctor's arguments that ADHD has "completely subjective" diagnostic criteria and that ADHD "isn't binary — you have it or you don't."

Opinion: Sometimes ADHD Is Real

Huffington Post

A lot of people seem to have the idea that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is something less than a real condition. The problem is that many of these folk theories about the reality, causes and proper treatment of ADHD are mostly, in my opinion, nonsense, perpetuated by people who think they've uncovered some grand conspiracy but have very little understanding of what they're talking about.

Jobs of Thousands of Special Education Teachers At Risk

Education Week, On Special Education

A new report from Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee says that those looming automatic cuts to federal spending will take an especially big bite out of special education. The report issued last week says 12,000 special education teachers and aides could lose their jobs if automatic cuts in federal special education grants to states go through.

Dyslexia Awareness Month: Knowing the Signs


The sooner you discover your child has a problem with reading, the better. The earlier you start employing tools for dealing with dyslexia, the better chance your child has with handling the disorder and being successful. Read and share some of the warning signs.

Discontinued Treatment of ADHD Could Impact Emotional, Social Well-Being, Study Finds

ABC News

Young boys who discontinue treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are featured in a new study that many experts say highlights the importance of proper and continued treatment.

The Other Achievement Gap: Children with Learning Disabilities

Education Week, On Special Education

Just in time for Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, a new report is out that discusses how to help more children with dyslexia become proficient readers. The report, commissioned by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, offers a number of recommendations for policymakers and educators.

Mercury Exposure in Womb Linked to ADHD Symptoms

CNN Health

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to be on the rise in the United States, and in the search for explanations researchers have begun to scrutinize fetal exposure to a wide range of toxins, including lead, tobacco, pesticides, and chemicals such as PCBs.

Study Shows DHA Improves ADHD

Food Consumer

If your child acts like he or she has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may want to give them some fish oil supplement or DHA/EPA supplements. A new study in Nutrition suggests that high intake of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA helps improve the condition of ADHD.

Eye Movements Can Help Diagnose ADHD, Parkinson's


Studying how people move their eyes while watching television could help identify those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and Parkinson's disease, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Southern California suggest that each of those conditions involve "ocular control and attention dysfunctions." Such dysfunctions can be easily — and cheaply — identified through an evaluation of how patients move their eyes while they watch television.

Federal Court Says Out-of-State Move Doesn't Absolve District of Spec. Ed. Obligations

Education Week, On Special Education

A federal court of appeals has ruled that when a student with disabilities moves out of state, that doesn't absolve a school district from providing compensatory education services. In a ruling this month in D.F. vs. Collingswood Borough Board of Education, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a previous ruling that excused the New Jersey school district from making up for special education services a student missed when enrolled in that district.

FDA OKs Extended Release Liquid ADHD Medication, Quillivant


The Food and Drug Administration has now approved Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride), the first once-daily, extended-release liquid methylphenidate available for patients with ADHD.

How Schools (Even Great Ones) Fail Kids with ADHD

The Washington Post

A powerful post by David Bernstein, a nonprofit executive who lives in Gaithersburg, Md., writing about the difficulties that his two sons, ages 7 and 15, have confronted in school as a result of ADHD.

Steven Spielberg on Unlocking the 'Tremendous Mystery' of His Dyslexia

Los Angeles Times

Movies helped Steven Spielberg cope with his dyslexia, the director of "Jaws" and "Schindler's List" said in a rare interview about being diagnosed with the learning disability five years ago. "It was like the last puzzle part in a tremendous mystery that I've kept to myself all these years," Spielberg, 65, told the website "Friends of Quinn."

Decades-Old Suit Over Special Education Services in Baltimore Comes to a Close

Education Week, On Special Education

A nearly 30-year-old lawsuit over special education services in Baltimore has finally been settled. Vaughn G., et al., v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, was filed by the Maryland Disability Law Center as a way to address delayed evaluations for students with disabilities, a violation of the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

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