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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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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SchoolBook Blog, New York Times
I've spent more than 20 consecutive Augusts doing the same thing: getting ready to go back to school. I've always felt a mixture of apprehension and excitement, for many years as a student, and now for my fifth year as a teacher.
Houma Today (LA)
Local educator Michelle Potter said it was her concerns as a parent that prompted her to open a Dyslexia Institutes of America site in her Gibson, Louisiana home. "Having a child who is severely dyslexic bothered me," Potter said. "Being an educator for 15 years you want to know how to help him, but it's hard to because someone with dyslexia has a brain that works in a different way than others."
School districts that want to reduce special education spending from one year to the next without restoring what was cut now have the blessing of the U.S. Department of Education.
More than two decades of failed oversight have allowed the state's special education collaboratives to misspend millions of taxpayer dollars, according to the Massachusetts auditor's office, which has found a pattern of excessive salaries, conflicts of interest, and possible pension law violations at six of the 30 publicly funded agencies.
ADHD Parenting Blog, ADDitudeMag.com
During a respite weekend when my ADD/ADHD daughter, Natalie, was away, I focused on cleaning and organizing the room of my son Aaron, who does not have ADD/ADHD. Not for the first time, I wondered how other parents who have children with and without special needs manage.
Whatever the diagnosis, Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without Hyperactivity), an auditory processing disorder, Dyslexia, Aspergers, etc., our kids do better in school when we parents do our share. As stressful as it can be to reinforce learning at home, as difficult as it is to add regular contact with the school to our schedules, as much as we'd like to just let the teachers take on the challenges of our kids for some part of the day, our children are more likely to get more out of the school year if we're enthusiastically involved. Here are some helpful reminders from the "pros" parents of children with learning disabilities whose kids are generally doing well in school.
My mother would disagree. She still agonizes over how I went through living hell in school as a result of being dyslexic and undiagnosed. It pains her to think that there was something my father and she could have done to spare me the grief, humiliation and shame of not functioning, and therefore performing, in line with the rest of my peers. She blames herself regardless of how many times I try to tell her that it all went exactly the way it was supposed to go, that is, if you use my life as it exists today as the means to measure. I'm healthy and happy and highly engaged in my life, all things I consider more valuable than regrets over what had been.
Children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a much higher risk of developing a written language disorder, a new study indicates. To ADHD experts, the current observation does not come as a particular surprise. It has long been known that children with ADHD stand a much higher chance of developing some form of learning disability especially a reading disability, which accounts for about 80 percent of all learning disabilities affecting ADHD patients.
The Chart Blog, CNN
In the Human Factor, CNN profiles survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle injury, illness or other hardship they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week Ben Foss shares how his own disability led him to invent a device that helps others who share his condition.
ADHD & LD Education Blog, ADDitudeMag.com
As parents and teachers, we want our students ADD/ADHD to succeed. So much so, that we often intervene (doing their homework, finishing their chores, and more) before letting them learn the following valuable lessons that failure can teach.
La Crosse Tribune (WI)
Schools are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified teachers to help the more than 32,000 Wisconsin children who have a primary speech-language disability. About 1,900 speech-language pathologists are working in Wisconsin schools, about one for every 16 children with a speech disability.
On Special Education Blog, Education Week
Another bill that would task the federal government with spending more on special education is in the works. Congressman Jared Polis, D-Colo., said Tuesday he will soon introduce a bill that would eventually require the federal government to pay for 40 percent of the cost of educating students with disabilities. The money would come from cuts to defense spending.