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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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$8.5 Million NIH Grant May Help Decipher Dyslexia


If you can read this sentence with ease, consider yourself fortunate: Millions of Americans with dyslexia cannot. In the hope of improving the lives of those struggling readers, a team of experts at Florida State University is working to better understand and diagnose dyslexia and other learning disabilities with a new, $8.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Obama's Budget Leaves Funding Unclear for Disabled College Students

U.S. News & World Report

President Obama's budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 may signal a murky future for a fledgling program that helps students with intellectual disabilities go to college and succeed while enrolled.

When IEP Is a Four-Letter Word


A new study reveals a troubling fact: Parents aren't involved as they should be in planning classroom accommodations. Do schools do enough to loop families in when it's time for special-ed services?

Kalamazoo Author Overcomes Dyslexia to Release Third Book

Kalamazoo Gazette (MI)

In the small upper-floor room of Kalamazoo author Alice Beard's Northside neighborhood house, copies of her poems, manuscript drafts and other creative works sit stacked on shelves. Beard, who goes by the pen name Alice Renee, has been collecting these works for decades, but despite appearances, the writing didn't come easily to her at first. While growing up, Beard struggled with her schoolwork because of a learning disability and dyslexia, she said.

Braille Under Siege As Blind Turn To Smartphones

National Public Radio

Like a lot of smartphone users, Rolando Terrazas, 19, uses his iPhone for email, text messages and finding a decent coffee shop. But Terrazas' phone also sometimes serves as his eyes: When he waves a bill under its camera, for instance, the phone tells him how much it's worth. Terrazas is blind, and having an app to tell bills apart can be a big help. Terrazas' daily life is full of useful technology like this, but it also has a downside: The more he uses technology, the less he uses Braille, the alphabet of raised dots that the blind read with their fingers.

The Dyslexic Brain


For kids with dyslexia, learning to read can be tough going. The disorder afflicts an estimated 15% of Americans. Dyslexics typically have trouble associating letters with sounds and words. Many learn to work around the challenge, but there's an intriguing new twist: some who work with dyslexics believe that the disability may also confer certain advantages. Specifically, anecdotal evidence suggests that dyslexics have sharper peripheral and three dimensional vision. Join the Diane Rehm show for a talk about the special challenges and possible advantages for people with dyslexia.

Special Education Gets Fresh Look in Minnesota Schools

Pioneer Press (MN)

Nancy Cooley has spent 20 years helping struggling young readers build a foundation for academic success. Each day, Cooley works individually with students like Gavin Bass, a Rosemount first-grader, who need extra help mastering specific literacy skills using a program called "Reading Recovery." Interventions like these can help get a student back on course, possibly avoiding a learning-disability classification. Such one-on-one interventions are time-consuming and can be costly, but a growing number of school leaders across the Twin Cities are betting they will pay off academically and financially.

Sticker Shock: When Behavior Therapy Falls Apart

The Distracted Princess Blog, ADDitudeMag.com

My daughter's sticker chart was designed to motivate and reward good behavior throughout the school day. Instead, it's become a complicated, inconsistent lesson for teachers and parents alike.

Opinion: The Upside of Dyslexia

New York Times

The word "dyslexia" evokes painful struggles with reading, and indeed this learning disability causes much difficulty for the estimated 15 percent of Americans affected by it. In recent years, dyslexia research has taken a surprising turn: identifying the ways in which people with dyslexia have skills that are superior to those of typical readers. The latest findings on dyslexia are leading to a new way of looking at the condition: not just as an impediment, but as an advantage, especially in certain artistic and scientific fields.

Student with Learning Disability Finds Her Niche

Chicago Tribune

Most days, from the wee hours of the morning until late into the evening, you can find Lynika Strozier in a molecular genetics and cell biology lab at the University of Chicago, poring over a microscope, conducting experiments with cells. To look at Strozier now, you'd never know what she's been through. She will tell you that although the trial-and-error process is the cornerstone of science, it has also been the story of her life.

Can Brain Scans of Young Children Predict Reading Problems?

Voice of America

Brain scientists are studying whether they can predict which young children may struggle with reading, in order to provide early help. John Gabrieli at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is leading a study of five-year-olds in about twenty schools in the Boston area.

Schools Must Do More to Involve Parents, Students in IEP Process

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

Parents and students with disabilities aren't as involved in the process of mapping out their goals with schools as much as they should be, although federal law intends for parents and school staff to work together on these plans, a new study finds.

Help Your ADHD Child Click with Cliques


Help your ADHD child connect with peers and develop a strong social circle with these four strategies for building lasting friendships.

Workshops Help Prepare Students with Learning Disabilities for College

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Something changes when students with disabilities make the transition from high school to college. The burden of education shifts from school to student. That point was made clear for about 500 college-bound seniors with learning disabilities, as the Clark County School District's Student Support Services Division hosted three days of workshops at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for students from every high school.

Brain Scans Spot Early Signs of Dyslexia


Instead of waiting for a child to experience reading delays, scientists now say they can identify the reading problem even before children start school, long before they become labeled as poor students and begin to lose confidence in themselves.

Special Educators Borrow from Brain Studies

Education Week

While some educators remain skeptical, brain research is slowly migrating from the lab into the classroom, both in predicting which students may have learning difficulties and intervening to help students diagnosed with disabilities.

Apps for Children with Dyslexia

Motherlode Blog, New York Times

The parent of a second grader newly diagnosed with dyslexia wrote me asking if I knew of any apps that might help her son with reading and math. She'd searched and come up with nothing — and so did I, with the same result. I asked Warren Buckleitner, who reviews children's technology for The Times's Gadgetwise blog, what he'd recommend.

Piece of My Heart: Letting My ADHD Son Make His Own Mistakes

ADHD Dad Blog, ADDitudeMag.com

"What's wrong with you?!" I yell at my 23-year-old ADHD son after a thoughtless incident with a tattoo gun. Then I remember myself at that age... and hope I can survive growing up all over again.

NIH Announces Funding For New Learning Disabilities Research Centers

NIH News

Funding for four centers to conduct research on the causes and treatment of learning disabilities in children and adolescents has been provided by the National Institutes of Health.

ADHD and Food: The Connection Is Tenuous

TIME Ideas Blog

"The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder," the much-cited study released by the journal Pediatrics this week, did not make much of a case for using dietary change to treat Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But it did make an interesting case for using food control to treat parents' angst about their kids' ADHD.

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