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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East Valley Tribune (AZ)
The first time I walked into a review of my son's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at his school, I was met by his teacher, the teacher for the next grade, the school psychologist and the school speech pathologist. My son was diagnosed early on with a language delay. He spent two years in our school district's preschool program. That year, he was making the jump to kindergarten. When a child with special needs qualifies for services from a school district in Arizona, an IEP is written to outline goals for the child, as well as information about what the school will provide (in our case, weekly speech therapy).
Shore News Today (NJ)
Once challenged by reading, Samantha Ravelli is now an honor student. Soon Samantha Ravelli will say goodbye to Ocean City Intermediate School and the teachers who, with the help of the revolutionary Wilson Program, helped her learn to read. Though the eighth-grade honor student will always have dyslexia, she won't allow the diagnosis to define her, or hold her back as she heads to Ocean City High School.
College acceptance letters have started to trickle in, but now how to finance university tuition? These scholarships, specifically awarded to ADD/ADHD and LD students, have approaching deadlines.
Response to intervention has exploded into one of the most popular school initiatives in the country, but experts caution that RTI's use is far outstripping its research base. While the heightened interest has spurred research advances in key aspects of RTI, such as universal screening tools and initial interventions, other areas have little or no research support. Moreover, experts worry the historically piecemeal approach to studying RTI can give educators a skewed view of how to employ it effectively, and for what purpose.
NewsChannel 9 WSYR (NY)
More children are being diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. The study found 4.1 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 were reported by their parents to be currently diagnosed with ADHD in 2007. That is equivalent to 9.5 percent of the children in the country and it's one million more than were diagnosed in 2003.
Wall Street Journal
Babies born with low scores on the Apgar test of newborn vitality are at higher risk to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than infants with near-perfect scores, according to a study in The Journal of Pediatrics.
Yale Daily News (CT)
A Yale School of Medicine student affected by dyslexia will receive special testing accommodations for the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination after he was denied them twice. Frederick Romberg MED '12 will receive double the standard testing time and a separate testing area to take the examination as a result of a settlement reached by the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Board of Medical Examiners Feb. 22. in accordance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A sleep deficit of less than one hour of nightly sleep, over the course of six days, can cause children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to be wary and less attentive. Researchers writing in the journal Sleep discovered even moderate reductions in sleep duration can affect an ADHD child's brain and their neurobehavioral functioning, which in turn appears to have a negative impact on their academic performance.
As response to intervention becomes more popular, education leaders find the framework's fluidity and broad application at times can be an awkward fit for some of the federal programs often used to pay for it.
Black students and high schoolers who aren't native English speakers are too often funneled into special education, while dyslexic students who need the extra help are left to flounder, according to a critical study of the Houston Independent School District's special education department.
Kansas legislators struggled Wednesday to resolve how to satisfy the federal government's demands that the state boost spending on special education programs in public schools without undercutting Gov. Sam Brownback's effort to trim the current state budget. State officials said the U.S. Department of Education has warned Kansas that federal law requires the state to increase its special education funding by more than $26 million. Otherwise, the state faces the loss of the same amount of federal funds every year going forward.
ADHD Parenting Blog, ADDitudemag.com
Has paying fees for lost and overdue books become your ADD/ADHD family's library tradition? Take comfort with this from a former library employee and mom to one forgetful, disorganized ADHD child.
Press of Atlantic City (NJ)
The best Valentine's Day gift Michael Maiuro, 9, of Northfield, gave his mother, Kim, was him reading her holiday card. "He is so severely dyslexic," Kim Maiuro said. "He couldn't read at all before." Michael was getting help in school, but his teacher recommended he apply for specialized one-on-one tutoring in what is called the Orton-Gillingham method, provided free twice a week through a program sponsored by the Scottish Right Northern Masons at the Northfield Community School.
New York Times
The coffee shop at Woodrow Wilson Middle School is serious about service with a smile. When Edward Lin, a seventh grader, stared silently at his feet the other day instead of greeting a customer, his teacher prodded him. Edward is in a special class for children with autism or multiple learning disabilities that is charged with running the coffee shop every Friday morning. Setting up in the home economics room, Edward and 11 classmates have rung up more than $1,000 in sales of coffee, tea, doughnuts, cookies and cupcakes to the school's staff since October.
Morristown Patch (NJ)
When does a child have a learning disability and when is he just being a rambunctious kid? That's the question posed by Lisa Loomer's "Distracted," which Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is staging at the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey in Madison, March 4 to 20. The play, which had a successful run off-Broadway starring Cynthia Nixon last year, looks into attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and how it affects a child and his parents.
Inside School Research Blog, Education Week
A pair of studies of the brain activity and hand movements of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may point to more accurate ways to measure the cause and severity of their problems.
South Coast Today (MA)
When we think about dyslexia, we typically think about a disability. We focus on difficulties in learning to read and write. But there's plenty of evidence that suggests we should think about a whole lot more than that and in fact change the way we think.
Consults Blog, New York Times
Millions of people suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, many of them teenagers who face problems in school. Here, Dr. Russell A. Barkley, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina and author of "Your Defiant Teen" and other books, responds to concerns from parents of teenagers with ADHD.
ADHD Expert Blog, ADDitude Mag
"I'm a 32-year-old teacher who still lives at home, and I have been diagnosed with ADHD and have other learning disabilities," one reader tells us. "Lately, I've been feeling like the family joke. Just yesterday, when I asked my mom if she could pay me back the money I lent her over Christmas I transposed numbers in my check register and was short of money she started laughing. Am I being oversensitive? Is there anything I can do to change these family dynamics?"
For the second year in a row, the federal government is bracing for more states to request a pass on requirements that they hold special education spending harmless as they struggle to balance their budgets, leaving school districts to find ways to meet all students' needs with less money.