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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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.
ADHD & LD Education Blog, ADDitudeMag.com
Do you or does your child's teacher suspect your son or daughter has ADHD? If so, what's holding you back from getting an evaluation? Securing a proper ADHD diagnosis could do your child a world of good.
Staten Island Advance (NY)
By the time her son, Luis, was 2 years old, Wendy Ramos realized he wasn't hitting important speech milestones and enrolled him in speech therapy. "Luis wasn't talking, but he understood what I was saying and he was great at art and puzzles," the Great Kills mom explained. "As he got older, he wasn't recognizing letters or rhymes or nursery songs. He was frustrated, because he wasn't progressing."
Students with disabilities or health problems are more likely to be the target of bullies than their classmates, according to a study published this month in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Kansas City Star
At 95, after a lifetime of work including almost two decades as a teacher — Collin Corkum deserves a break. Rest, however, is not on his agenda. That's because for years Collin, of Tustin, Calif., has quietly harbored the desire to find a way to deliver a message to children and adults with dyslexia: "You can."
So is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) a real thing, or is it just a byproduct of the times we live in? Not exactly. While over-scheduling ourselves and constantly looking at our Blackberrys and iPhones can cause us to be distracted and inattentive, it doesn't really qualify as ADD/ADHD. Being overextended can mimic ADD/ADHD symptoms, but there is a big difference between having some symptoms and qualifying for a diagnosis.
More than 30 years after passage of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, schools are still working on including students with disabilities in all facets of public school. And in many places, they remain segregated for at least part of the day, says Wayne Sailor. For many years now, Mr. Sailor has been working with public schools around the country on changing the fundamental culture of how students with disabilities — and all students — are taught.
The Boston Globe
Most people think of dyslexia as a reading problem, a learning disability that causes letters to get jumbled up. But research by MIT scientists suggests that an even more basic cognitive difference sets apart people with dyslexia: They have difficulty recognizing voices speaking their own language.
Imagine being almost 30 and not able to read or write. That's what happened to Nelson Lauver, author of the memoir Most Unlikely to Succeed: The Trials, Travels and Ultimate Triumphs of a 'Throwaway' Kid. Today, as a radio broadcaster, speaker, humorist, and author, he is on a mission to remove the stigma associated with reading disabilities.