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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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Study: Anesthesia Before Age 3 Linked to Later Mental Problems


A new study is raising fresh concerns about the use of general anesthesia in young children. Recent studies have suggested that anesthetic drugs may increase the risk for learning disabilities and behavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but only in kids who are exposed to the drugs several times.

Feds Invest $10 Million Into Research for Severe Learning Disabilities

Education Week

Developing strategies to help elementary students with the most severe learning disabilities is the focus of a new research project to be based at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. The National Center for Special Education Research awarded a 5-year, $10 million grant to the university to create an "Accelerated Academic Achievement Research Center." Between 2,000 and 3,000 students in Nashville schools will participate in the research.

The Secret Social Setback Of Learning Disabilities

The Jewish Press (NY)

There are many remediation techniques to help children with dyslexia learn to read. However, research shows that children like Dena are more likely to suffer from low self esteem than their peers. This is a problem that parents and educators often overlook. In order to integrate these children into the classroom, we cannot simply focus on helping them cope academically. We need to help build their self-esteem through social interventions as well. The Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities has compiled a list of ways that parents can help children with LD gain self-esteem.

Column: For Some, Starting School Can Be Difficult -- Here's Help

Duluth News Tribune (MN)

We parents are hopeful after this first week of school. We imagine our children excited about classes or academic projects. None of us visualize a child saying, "I wish I could do my English homework, but I just can't read it," or "Every time the teacher gives me a direction I can't remember what to do after the first thing."

Supporting Students with Dyslexia: Tips, Tricks and Tech for Teachers

The Guardian (UK)

1.2 million children in the UK have dyslexia, a print disability where students have difficulty reading and interpreting meaning. For them, though words are visible, they may swim or dance on the page and this can seriously affect their studies and performance. But with the right support from their teachers and the use of technology, simple changes can make a big difference. Technology is an important tool that can be used to support students with dyslexia with reading and writing. Here are some resources and ideas that teachers can employ, however, you should note that dyslexia manifests itself differently amongst children so it's important to try a combination of methods to find out what works best for them.

New Typeface 'Dyslexie' Helps Dyslexics Overcome Reading Difficulties

Medical Daily

A new typeface may change the way dyslexics with online and computer-based media. Dyslexie uses scientific data to facilitate the reading experience for individuals struggling with word and letter recognition. Developed by Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer, the new typeface forgoes aesthetic qualities for heightened legibility and perception.

Navigating College with LD

US News

New college students with learning disabilities will face transitions while also grappling with a few more hurdles. Laws such as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act that require teachers and other adults to identify children with learning disabilities and make sure they get additional academic help no longer apply to college students, says Sheldon Horowitz, director of LD resources at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Children’s Attitudes about Disabilities Improve with Exposure

Disability Scoop

Children who are exposed to people with disabilities — either directly or indirectly — have more positive attitudes about those with special needs, researchers say. In a survey of 1,520 kids ages 7 to 16, researchers found that increased familiarity with those who have disabilities led to less anxiety and better attitudes.

The Dyscalculic CEO


You don’t need to look far to find a wildly successful person with Dyslexia; Tom Cruise, Robin Williams, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg — take your pick. If you are a young dyslexic person today there’s a broad spectrum of role models to choose from, from actors to inventors, entrepreneurs to sports stars. Each provide a shining example of how you can overcome adversity, use your failings to your advantage and follow a pathway to success. Nothing is ever easy, but it helps when someone has trodden the path before you. Now name a few famous faces with dyscalculia?

New Federal Rule Aims to Boost Disability Employment

Disability Scoop

The Obama administration is pressing forward with a plan to urge companies doing business with the federal government to dramatically increase the number of employees with disabilities in their ranks. Under a final rule announced Tuesday, most federal contractors will be expected to ensure that people with disabilities account for at least 7 percent of workers within each job group at their companies. If businesses meet that threshold, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that it could mean as many as 585,000 jobs for people with disabilities within the first year.

Chicago Opens New High School for Students with LD

The Chicago Tribune

Wolcott School will officially open its doors this Wednesday, welcoming an inaugural class of 35 freshmen and sophomores, the first college-prep high school in Chicago exclusively for students with learning disabilities. In a school that caters exclusively to this population, the stigma is removed and instantly replaced by an inclusiveness that levels the playing field, experts say.

MIT Unleashes New Online Game for Math and Science


As the buzz around games and learning continues to grow, one particular subset — Massive Open Online (MMO) games — is catching the attention of educators as a particularly interesting way to encourage students to collaborate, problem solve, create and think for themselves within a game.

False Claims Mislead About Dyslexia Treatment

The International Dyslexia Association

In recent months, articles have surfaced claiming that ChromaGen colored lenses have been FDA approved for the treatment of Dyslexia. While the lenses have been approved to aid in the treatment of visual problems, they have not been approved to treat Dyslexia. There is a great deal of research and information available regarding vision and dyslexia and we urge you to review the following to stay abreast of the facts (read more).

Too Much Screen Time?

The New York Times

Experts are probably right to sound the alarm on the amount of time that children spend with digital devices, but the good-humored Mr. Garner may safely take their warnings with a tiny grain of salt. In every generation there have been disquieting influences that agitate the prophets of doom. Things usually turn out O.K.

Click the link to read more.

Get the Jump on Back-to-School Reading

The International Dyslexia Association

The back-to-school season can be chaotic for any family. Between buying new books, clothes and school supplies, there is a lot to get ready. For families of children with dyslexia, extra preparation is needed to deal with increased amounts of reading, new teachers, or even an entire new school as a child rises in grade level. To help you get a head start so your child can begin the year strong, here is a list of top tips for parents preparing for back-to-school.

Making Friends with Failure


There is a major disconnect between schools and the real world on the notion of failure. School teaches us there is only one answer for every problem. And if we don't get it, we are a failure. This dissuades students from trying -- they fear failure. We need to teach students how to make friends with failure.

Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading

The International Dyslexia Assocation

The International Dyslexia Association created the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading in 2010. This document serves as a guide in recognizing programs that prepare teachers of reading and/or programs that specialize in preparing teachers to work with students who have reading difficulties and disabilities. Click the link for more information on the standards.

New Jersey Governor Signs Laws Recognizing Dyslexia, Requiring Teacher Training

International Dyslexia Association

Earlier this month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law two bills designed to identify children with dyslexia and improve teacher training. International Dyslexia Association Past-President and current board member, Gordon F. Sherman, Ph.D., was a key member of the Governor’s Reading Disabilities Task Force charged with studying and evaluating practices for diagnosing, treating, and educating children with reading disabilities and examining how current statutes and regulations affect these students in order to develop recommendations to present to the Governor and Legislature.

Group Alleges Discrimination in Alternative-School Placements

Education Week

The Pennsylvania-based Education Law Center filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice today, saying that young people with disabilities and black students are being placed in alternative schools far out of proportion to their represenation in the school population.

Diplomas Elusive for Many Students With Learning Disabilities

Education Week

A state-by-state analysis of the most recent data on graduation rates for students with learning disabilities shows that while more of those students have been leaving high school with a standard diploma, many states are struggling to reach the national graduation rate average of 68 percent for students in that disability category.

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