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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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Anesthesia in Infancy Tied to Learning Problems

Reuters Health

Infants who are given general anesthesia more than once are twice as likely to have learning disabilities later on than children never exposed to the drugs, a new study suggests.

Learning Disabled University of Minnesota Graduate Wins Accommodations on LSAT

Pioneer Press (MN)

A 22-year-old Minnetonka man with a learning disability who asked for accommodations to take the Law School Admission Test and was twice denied has received the opportunity to take the exam as the result of a government settlement.

A Sea Change in City Schools' Special Education

Voice of San Diego

In the wake of a 2007 report that concluded the district was far too often segregating students with disabilities, San Diego Unified redoubled its efforts to transition almost all of its special needs students to general education classes for most, if not all, of their school day. That follows a national trend, driven by a philosophy called "inclusion," the concept that children with special needs should be included, whenever possible, in general education classrooms where they can learn, play and laugh with their nondisabled peers. Inclusion is great, when done right. But doing it right takes motivation, planning and money.

Coping with Adult ADHD: First You Need a Diagnosis

Globe and Mail (Canada)

The case against adult ADHD goes something like this: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a dubious condition promoted by Big Pharma to push stimulant drugs; the small number of children with true ADHD (rather than lax parenting) will outgrow it by their teens, so adults have no business using the diagnosis as an excuse for failing to meet their commitments as employees, spouses and parents. Judging by its public face, you'd think ADHD was a loser's gambit. But Sarah Blyth, a Vancouver parks board commissioner who was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, begs to differ.

Dyslexia Independent of IQ

MIT News

Brain-imaging study suggests that reading difficulties are the same regardless of overall intelligence — and that more children could benefit from support in school.

ADHD Rates Low Among Latinos

Boston Globe

Johanny Hernandez is alone among her Latino relatives and friends to have a child diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, the 30-year-old mother of four had never heard of this condition - until her son's kindergarten teacher suggested that he be evaluated. Many of her friends seemed skeptical about ADHD, insisting that her son was just very active, sometimes mischievous, but not "loco," the Spanish word for crazy. Still, her son's classroom behavior has improved since he started therapy and taking ADHD medication, and Hernandez tries to block out what she hears from others.

Shortage of Special Education Teachers Includes Their Teachers

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

School districts often find themselves short of special education teachers, even as they lay off other educators. The Special Education Faculty Needs Assessment project found that part of the shortage is because of an ongoing dearth of special education faculty that may grow worse in the near future.

Opinion: Help Deal with Learning Disabilities

The Courier-Journal (KY)

Understand that students with learning disabilities are bright. They possess average to above average intelligence. It is important that their teachers and parents honor them with high expectations for academic and personal success.

Family Works: Identifying a Learning Disability

Fox 25/MyFoxBoston.com

It's the beginning of a new school year and some parents may be noticing issues with their children for the first time. Perhaps they are struggling with homework or suddenly don't want to go to school. These and other warning signs could indicate a learning disability.

ESEA Proposals, NCLB Waivers Trouble Special Ed. Advocates

Education Week

On Special Education Blog: Proposed changes by some Republican senators to the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now called No Child Left Behind, could push more children with disabilities away from taking the same kinds of tests as their classmates. That could limit how many students with special needs are included when schools and districts are held accountable for their students' progress, the National Center on Learning Disabilities told several senators in a letter this week.

How ADHD Children Can Control Emotions

ADDitude

When children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) practice controlling their emotions and impulsive outbursts, they will be healthier and happier at school and home.

The Unappreciated Benefits of Dyslexia

Wired Science

Normally dyslexia is considered a handicap: a mental deficiency that makes reading, long-division and remembering whether letters and numbers face left or right difficult. Challenging this view, learning disabilities experts Brock and Fernette Eide argue that dyslexia is an alternative way brains can be wired — one with many advantages.

Playing in the Grass May Ease ADHD

My Health News Daily

Kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who regularly play outside in settings with lots of green, such as grassy open fields and parks, have milder ADHD symptoms than children who play indoors or at playgrounds, a new study shows. Researchers measured the effects of 49 common after-school and weekend activities the ADHD symptoms of more than 400 children, and found an association between playing in green outdoor settings daily or several times a week and milder ADHD symptoms.

Adapting to the iPad, Called Education's 'Equalizer'

USA Today

There are now about 40,000 educational applications for the iPad, Apple reports, and districts that launched pilot programs last school year now are stepping up their iPad use for special-needs students after seeing results. For example, in Zeeland, Mich., students are starting the school year with 3,100 new iPads, courtesy of a $5.3 million bond issue that will include $1.5million for the tablets, says superintendent David Barry. According to Barry, video can be used to practice social skills, speech recognition aids students who have writing difficulties, and the touch screen makes use easy for children who have dexterity problems.

The Side Effects of Parenting ADD/ADHD Children

ADDitude Magazine

In this blog for ADDitude magazine, mother Kay Marner writes, "Powerlessness. Lack of control. Those are exactly the enemies I fight against daily as I raise my daughter, Natalie, who has ADD/ADHD. I feel powerless over the messes she makes. I feel powerless over her moods and her reactions to stressors. I can't make her follow my directions the first time I give them. I can't make her challenges go away."

Henry Winkler Honored for Helping Dyslexic Children in UK

The Guardian (UK)

Happy Days star Henry Winkler has been named "Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire" by the Queen of England for his work on dyslexia in the U.K. The actor and director, who played the Fonz in the classic U.S. sitcom, said it was "humbling" to receive the honor, awarded at the British embassy in Washington DC. Having been diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult, Winkler has toured schools in the UK over the last two years to talk about the learning difficulty.

ADHD Doubles the Risk of Injury in Grade-School Kids

Consumer Reports

Injuries kill more 11-year-olds in the U.S. than any other cause, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) almost doubles the risk of serious injury in children that age, according to a study released yesterday in Academic Pediatrics. Researchers collected data on 4,754 fifth-graders in Birmingham, Ala., Houston, and Los Angeles. They found that the risk of serious injury-including broken bones, sprains, strains, and cuts and bruises-increased as the children's ADHD symptoms intensified.

Prize-Winning Poet: Discovering 'My Dyslexia' At 58

National Public Radio

As a child, Philip Schultz didn't understand why he couldn't learn. He was held back twice and both his classmates and teachers ignored him. When he revealed that he wanted to be a writer, he was ridiculed. Schultz went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. But it wasn't until his young son was diagnosed with dyslexia that Schultz, then 58, had a name for the disorder that had plagued him his entire life.

For Love of the Games: Examples of Why Sports Matters

Los Angeles Times

Julius English works as a behavior therapist for children with special needs and, over the years, has developed a magical touch. The 39-year-old has a learning disability, but basketball has helped him push his limits. That's one reason English uses the game in his work: He teaches basketball to his new students and spends his weekends playing with former ones as a way to reconnect. The game means a lot to English because his life hasn't always been this fulfilling.

Rules Finally Issued on Infants, Toddlers with Disabilities

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

Six years after the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was renewed, the U.S. Department of Education today finalized regulations that address how to work with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

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