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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 Spots Early Signs of Math Disabilities in Kids

HealthDay

A number of factors associated with math disability in children have been identified by researchers. The study included 177 children in 12 public schools in Missouri who were tested one to three times a year from kindergarten through fifth grade. The results showed that those who had trouble understanding the fundamental concept of exact numerical quantities — for example, that the printed numeral 3 represents three dots on a page — when they started school were diagnosed with a math learning disability by fifth grade.

ADHD in Women and Girls: The Importance of Early Diagnosis

ADDitudeMag.com

Women and girls with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) are not only less frequently diagnosed than their male counterparts. ADD/ADHD girls and women often require gender-specific treatments to help manage symptoms, succeed at school and work, and have successful relationships.

Dyslexia Not Related to Intelligence, Study Finds

Los Angeles Times

Booster Shots Blog: One's intelligence appears unrelated to the specific brain pattern that causes dyslexia, researchers reported Thursday. The findings are important because they suggest that IQ shouldn't be considered by education specialists when diagnosing dyslexia. In fact, doing say may bar some children from receiving special education services to improve reading comprehension.

Hard Decisions for Learning Disabled

New York Times

The admissions process can be stressful for even the most gifted, organized students. But to applicants with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or learning disabilities, the path to college can feel like a maze. The Choice addresses some of the issues such students face.

Digital Book-Sharing Unlocks Print for Students

Education Week

When 4th grade teacher Heather Whitby sat down for a book discussion last week with a group of students at her Bethesda, Md., elementary school, other students read on their own, including two who a year ago might not have been able to do so. Because of their disabilities, Kyle Nordheimer and Maurice Van Lowe struggle with traditional printed text. But, using Bookshare, a nonprofit that provides free electronic copies of books to students with certain disabilities, both boys watched computer screens scroll through the text of The Chocolate Touch, listening to it at the same time.

Study Finds Scant Evidence of Heart Risks From ADHD Drugs for Kids

Shots Blog, National Public Radio

Children taking stimulant drugs like Ritalin for ADHD aren't at greater risk of having a heart attack or other serious cardiovascular problems, according to new research published online Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. But critics of the widespread use of prescription amphetamines to treat the symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder — 2.7 million children are taking the drugs — say this latest study still doesn't give ADHD drugs a clean bill of health.

How Many Students With Disabilities Take the NAEP?

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

While many students with disabilities are included in state exams in reading, math, and other subjects, in 2005, a Government Accountability Office report found that they are more likely to be excluded from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation's Report Card.

Sweet 16 and ADHD

ADHD Dad Blog, ADDitudeMag.com

Just last week, Coco was a 6-year-old Brownie camping in our back yard. Now she's 16 and I feel overwhelmed that we haven't done enough to prepare her, to make her safe in the real world with her ADHD.

A Way into Books for Children with Dyslexia

The Telegraph (UK)

Dyslexia Awareness Week, an annual event celebrated around the world to raise public awareness about dyslexia, begins today and runs until Sunday 6th November. It's seems the perfect time to highlight some of the fantastic books from Barrington Stoke, an Edinburgh-based firm which is now 14 years old and the main British publishing house devoted to books for reluctant and struggling readers.

Atlanta High Schools Broke Rules to Meet Performance Standards

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A learning disability made school hard for Chantel Cox. But she always stayed on grade level and looked forward to earning a high school diploma. She actually was excited about taking the state graduation tests. But the morning of the high school writing test, in September 2009, school administrators pulled Chantel and several other Carver juniors aside. All stood a good chance of failing — and of lowering the school's odds of meeting its do-or-die performance targets. While the rest of the 11th grade took the test required for all juniors, Chantel and the others worked puzzles in a special-education classroom.

Parent-Teacher Peace: 6 Rules for Better Cooperation

ADDitudeMag.com

The hardest part of any teacher's job? The parents. Here's how teachers of ADHD students can encourage teamwork, unearth solutions, and make a difference in the life of an ADD child.

Were Special Education, Title I, Other Programs Cut by Mistake?

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

When Congress passed a short-term budget bill that expires Nov. 18, lawmakers may not have realized what some of the bill's potential long-term effects might be on education spending—although states and school districts noticed their action right away. Spending for four programs—special education, Title I, teacher quality, and career and technical education—for the current school year was cut, presumably well after most states and school districts had spending plans for the year in place.

Are Americans More Prone to ADHD?

New York Times

Whether you call it hypochondria or American exceptionalism, the numbers are plain: Americans lead the world in diagnoses of mental health problems. For some conditions, perhaps wealth explains the disparity: in developing nations, more people are focused on pressing needs like food and shelter, making depression a "luxury disorder" in wealthy nations like the United States. But are there other factors at play for conditions like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, that may be "culture-specific"? Maybe the condition is more common in the United States because the high-energy, risk-taking traits of ADHD are part of America's pioneer DNA.

Learning-Disabled Students get Firmer Grip on College

USA Today

A growing number of students with learning disabilities are enrolling in college, yet few are likely to get the level of support and encouragement available at Landmark College, one of a few small, private colleges that specialize in educating students who struggle with conditions such as dyslexia or attention-deficit disorder.

How to Diagnose a Toddler with ADHD

The Slate

The American Academy of Pediatrics on Sunday issued new guidelines that urge parents and doctors to be on the lookout for signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children as young as 4. Previous guidelines set the minimum age at six. Preschoolers aren't particularly focused in general — so how could you tell if one had ADHD?

Questions Raised About 'High-Flyers' Study

Education Week

On Special Education Blog: Are high-achieving and gifted students being hurt by all of the attention on the lowest-performing students? Pretty much, according to researchers at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in a report last month called "Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude". But at least two groups find fault with the analysis from Fordham, which hosted a discussion of its findings Monday.

Teen with Dyslexia Doesn't Let Disability Hold Her Back

Roseville Press Tribune (CA)

A few years ago, Jordan Heald marched into the office of A Touch of Understanding and said she wanted to be a speaker for the organization. The Granite Bay nonprofit's Executive Director Leslie DeDora asked what she would speak about. "I'll never forget what she said," DeDora said. "She said she has dyslexia and her younger sister does too, and she doesn't want her to be teased the way she was. Who can say no to that?" Jordan joined the group's Youth FORCE, which stands for Friends Offering Respect Creating Empowerment, and visits schools to spread awareness about disabilities.

Assistive Technology: Write Answers

Education Week

Assistive technology is designed to make hard or even seemingly impossible tasks doable—and for students with disabilities, writing can be one of the hardest school tasks of all. But since difficulties in writing are wide-ranging—and technology is rapidly evolving—finding the right AT device can be an ordeal.

DPS Special-Ed Program Gains

The Detroit News

It took two years of state pressure and the threat of losing millions in funding, but Detroit Public Schools has reformed its special education evaluation system to comply with state and federal laws.

Staggering New Statistics about ADHD

ADHD News Blog, ADDitude Magazine

The results of a new attention-deficit study conducted by the ADHD Awareness Coalition suggests that 60 percent of ADD adults have lost jobs because of the disorder, nearly half of ADD children experience social struggles, and 38 percent of ADHD kids also have a sleep disorder.

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