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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New York Times
Undiagnosed, ADHD can wreak havoc on relationships, finances and one's self-esteem. Adults with the disorder are twice as likely as those without it to be divorced, for instance, and four times as likely to have car accidents. More than 5 percent of adults have ADHD, but just 10 percent of those adults have a formal diagnosis.
Lights dimmed, a hush fell over the hallway as Nicole Porter, cradling Ava in her arms, walked gingerly toward the powerful imaging equipment that would allow researchers to peer into her baby's developing brain. Nothing was wrong with Ava; the 11-month-old from Boston was part of a study that uses brain imaging to see if early hallmarks of dyslexia can be seen years before children have trouble reading. Scientists believe that if they can identify nascent disorders such as dyslexia or autism earlier, and get a jump on therapy, they might eventually be able to prevent children from developing problems later.
Los Angeles Times
Fifteen years ago, Dr. Lawrence H. Diller, a pediatrician from Walnut Creek, ignited a national debate over the steep rise in children being diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and treated with stimulant medication. Diller's 1996 book, "Running on Ritalin," suggested that ADHD was being over-diagnosed, and that Ritalin, and the many formulations of amphetamine-like drugs that would follow, was being prescribed in many cases to children who would respond well to family therapy and tailored programs and routines at home and at school. Diller has released a new book on the progress of some of his patients over the years.
ADHD & LD Education Blog, ADDitude Magazine
In a world where ADD/ADHD kids are often criticized, parents of children with attention deficit and learning disabilities must remember that positive reinforcement and praise are often the things ADDers crave most.
Daily Republic (SD)
Alaina Bertsch would probably classify herself as a "glass is half-full" kind of person. Recently named Miss Teen South Dakota, the high school sophomore is headed to Chicago this July, where she will compete as South Dakota's representative in the Miss Teen International pageant. The pageant also gives her a broader platform as a spokeswoman for those who struggle with dyslexia, a learning disability she overcomes on a daily basis.
National Public Radio
As more children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, parents are discovering they have it too. In the U.S., women have become the fastest growing group to be prescribed ADHD medication. In this week's parenting segment, host Michel Martin speaks with Jennifer Brown and Michelle Suppers moms with ADHD and journalist Brigid Schulte, who recently covered the issue for The Washington Post Magazine.
On Special Education, Education Week
A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday would put more federal money into literacy programs, including response to interventionthe early identification of students' learning problems and the use of focused lessons, or interventions, to address those problems before they become nearly impossible to reverse.
New York Times
The mother had brought in a note from her son's elementary school teacher: Dear doctor, I think this child needs to be tested for attention deficit disorder. "She's worried about how he can't sit still in school and do his work," the mother said. "He's always getting into trouble." But then she brightened. "But he can't have attention deficit, I know that." Why? Her son could sit for hours concentrating on video games, it turned out, so she was certain there was nothing wrong with his attention span.
Daily Mail (UK)
Few could have been more nervous than Kate Middleton on the day of the Royal Wedding but she wasn't the only member of her family who was kept awake the night before worrying about their words in Westminster Abbey. It has emerged that James Middleton, Kate's younger brother, had to learn the reading he delivered in the church off by heart in an effort to overcome his dyslexia.
In a sun-drenched Rose Garden ceremony this morning, President Barack Obama presented Michelle Shearer, a chemistry teacher at Urbana High School in Ijamsville, Md., with the 2011 National Teacher of the Year award. The State Teachers of the Year, the pool from which Shearer was chosen, stood behind the president, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Shearer herself for the brief ceremony.
At a few minutes shy of 3 p.m., Michelle Suppers pulls her blue minivan into the parking lot at a Catholic school in Northern Virginia, where her son, Anthony, attends first grade. For most of the mothers already queued up in the pickup line, this is probably not a big deal. But for Suppers, who for as long as she can remember has always been late to just about everything, whose friends tell her to arrive at least a half-hour before the appointed meeting time, the effort required to plan her day, watch the clock and make it to the school on time is nothing short of Herculean.
How does the brain learn? Why do some children find learning so challenging? What can educators do to help those children? These are questions that neuroscientists have been grappling with over the past 10 years. By and large, they are beginning to find answers.
Courier Times (PA)
They're sometimes labeled as being lazy, klutzy or airheads. In reality, girls with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are as smart, creative and hard-working as other girls. They can grow up to be or do anything they wish, but their diagnosis can lead to feelings of isolation and low self-esteem, as it did for the 7-year-old daughter of Natalie Knochenhauer several years ago. She was worried that she was the only girl out there with ADHD.
On Special Education Blog, Education Week
Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently answered some tough questions from special education teachers all over the country who wanted to know about performance pay, funding, and testing. The questions were collected by the Council for Exceptional Children in Arlington, Va., which is gearing up for its annual convention.
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are up to three times more likely than other kids to use, abuse or become dependent on substances such as nicotine, cocaine and marijuana in adolescence and as young adults, new research suggests.
Massillon Independent (OH)
Nick Bentley's world is constantly spinning. It's alive, buzzing, fluttering, vibrating, moving and spinning every second of the day. His thoughts rush through his mind like a river rolling downhill, sweeping over stones, constantly moving from one bend to the next and never, ever stopping for a rest. But something amazing happens when he sits down in front of a piano and puts his fingertips to the ivory keys. Everything stops.
Guelph Mercury (Canada)
Nathan Patrick can play a guitar like ringing a bell, but when it comes to reading and writing, he has struggled. After a stint at the renowned, all-boys The Gow School in New York state, the 17-year-old has gained admission to the University of Guelph's School of Engineering a major accomplishment for a young man with dyslexia.
The U.S. Department of Education has denied Oregon's request to reduce special education funding in light of budget cuts and will cut more than $15 million federal funding to schools if the state doesn't reverse course. States lose federal special education money if they lower their contribution to those programs without a waiver. Oregon Department of Education officials sought the federal waiver, saying the state faced declining revenue projections throughout the summer, forcing the department to reduce the amount of money supporting special education programs.
The Ledger (FL)
Megan Diffey is a member of the multitasking generation. Her fellow teens think nothing of doing homework while listening to music on their iPods and texting on their cell phones. For Diffey, a senior at George Jenkins High School, single-tasking is challenge enough. Diffey, 17, was diagnosed in third grade with dyslexia, a disorder that hinders her brain's ability to process words and numbers. After early struggles in school, Diffey has transformed herself into a straight-A student headed to a university honors program. She will receive a national award this month from the Council for Exceptional Children in recognition of her academic success.
ADHD Dad Blog, ADDitudeMag.com
During my ADD/ADHD daughter's first year in mainstream high school after years in special ed, my non-ADHD wife and I found several ways to offer homework help and emotional support.