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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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Senate Moves Forward on Education Package

Oregon Capitol News Blog

Two bills with potentially far-reaching consequences for Oregon's entire education system passed the Senate Monday. Senate Bill 250 passed 18-11 in the Senate after debate on the floor. The bill deals with Education Service Districts, or ESDs, which pool school districts' funds for special services.

Sleep Loss in Early Childhood May Contribute to the Development of ADHD Symptoms

Science Daily

Short sleep duration may contribute to the development or worsening of hyperactivity and inattention during early childhood, suggests a research abstract that will be presented on June 14, in Minneapolis, Minn., at Sleep 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).

Are L.A. Charter Schools Screening Out Special Ed. Students?

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

A new report from the Office of the Independent Monitor in the Los Angeles school district looks at whether charter schools ask parents up front—before they can enroll—if their children have disabilities. In traditional Los Angeles public schools, about 13 percent of students have a disability, while in the district's 183 charter schools, only about 8 percent of students have special needs.

Learning Disabilities Can Offer College Admission Edge

The College Solution Blog, US News and World Report

Can having a learning disability be an advantage when applying to college? This probably sounds like a strange question, since most families no doubt assume that a learning disability is a negative when it comes to getting into colleges. But that assumption is wrong, insists David Montesano, a college admission strategist at College Match Educational Consultants. The clientele at his college admission practice includes learning disabled students and he has seen how learning challenges can actually benefit students during the application process.

Math Learning Disability as Common as Dyslexia

Scientific American

The quadratic equation may have instilled horror in many of us. But for some 5 to 7 percent of the population even basic math—like the concept of the numbers 5 and 7—causes anxiety. You may never have heard of the disorder called dyscalculia, yet it's as common as dyslexia, according to research in the journal Science.

Complaint: Milwaukee Vouchers Segregate Students with Disabilities

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have filed a complaint that accuses the state of Wisconsin and some private schools that accept vouchers of creating a system of segregated public schools.

As Special Education Class Sizes Increase in NYC, Community Members and Advocates Grow Worried

Bed-Stuy Patch (NY)

The Panel on Education Policy recently agreed to a change in the Fair Student Funding formula that will increase New York City's special education class sizes at the start of the 2011 school year. This change will raise enrollment in elementary school inclusions classes from 10 to 12 students, and in high school self-contained classes from 12 to 15 students. The projected changes have left some parents, teachers and community advocates worried.

Local Minnesota Student Finds Success Despite Dyslexia

Winona Daily News (MN)

Morgen Laiacona, 18, explains what it is like reading with dyslexia. She was diagnosed with the learning disability after second grade, and while she has struggled at times, with strong support from teachers and family combined with internal drive, she graduated high school this spring and will attend college this fall.

Dyscalculia: A Condition that Doesn't Add Up

Medill Reports: Chicago

Dyscalculia, a widely underdiagnosed learning disability which makes it difficult for individuals to grasp math concepts, might affect as many people as dyslexia. And specialized teaching to help those with dyscalculia should be made widely available in mainstream education, according to a review of current research published Thursday in the journal Science.

ADHD in Women: Is There a Role for Meditation?

Huffington Post

In a recent Washington Post Magazine article called "Scattered," Brigid Shulte deals with an important topic: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among women. The subject is important for many reasons. The problem Schulte outlines in her article is all too familiar to me in my psychiatric practice in the D.C. metropolitan area. Often I end up treating the mothers of schoolchildren (mostly boys), who have been referred to me for all the expected difficulties that such young people have at school.

Childhood ADHD Linked to Later Risk of Drug Abuse

WebMD Health News

Childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of cigarette smoking and drug and alcohol abuse problems in early adulthood, a study shows. The study is published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Bills Would Add Dyslexia to Learning-Disabilities List

Columbus Dispatch (OH)

Dyslexia would be added to the Ohio's official definition of learning disabilities under a bill sponsored by two central Ohio lawmakers that passed the House last week.

Father and Son Project Culminates in Fantasy Novel, 'The Sword of Darrow'

Sun Herald (MS)

Hal Malchow and his son Alex started out telling stories together when Alex was 4 years old as a learning exercise for Alex, who had dyslexia. That was 12 years ago and since then, the exercise has culminated in a fantasy novel titled "The Sword of Darrow" and penned by the father and son, to be released June 7 by BenBella Books.

Report Probes the Future of Special Education

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

A new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute that looks at how special education students and the people who work with them have changed during the last decade concludes that the field needs to change dramatically.

CDC: Developmental Disabilities Affect 1 In 7 U.S. Kids

Shots Blog, National Public Radio

Fifteen percent of American children have a developmental disability, including autism and ADHD, according to a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's an increase of almost 2 percentage points from 1997 to 2008, or almost 2 million kids. But that number may be squishier than it sounds.

When Family Stress Sends My ADHD and Anxiety Symptoms into Overdrive

ADHD Dad Blog, ADDitude Magazine

On a recent visit to my parent's house, my father's alcoholism and other challenging family dynamics surface. Ten years sober, I put the lessons I've learned about overcoming substance-abuse problems and all of my ADHD and anxiety coping skills to the test.

Trudie Styler on Living with ADHD and Dyslexia: Don't Give Up, Do Reach Out

Huffington Post

When Trudie Styler — the multi-talented actor, filmmaker, eco-activist, UNICEF ambassador, mother of four and Sting's partner for 29 years — first started school in the English Midlands, she had trouble learning to read. School officials sent her to get her eyes tested. When it turned out that the problem wasn't with seeing the blackboard, the diagnosis was simple: She must be "backwards."

Scout the Lab Helps Children with Speech Difficulties, Special Needs

Missoulian (MT)

Something magical happens in the Jefferson School classroom on "Scouty day," because words suddenly come easier for autistic and special needs preschoolers and the air is filled with the joy of reunion. His thick tail slapping his own behind, Scout pranced into the room on Monday, handled by owner Nancy Jo Connell, a speech-language pathologist with the Missoula County Public Schools district. It's not show-and-tell that brings the 2-year-old English yellow Lab to this class or to the Head Start program once a week.

Studies Home in on 'Quieter' ADD Students

Education Week

Evolving research on attention deficit disorders is going beyond the typical hyperactive, disruptive child to find ways to better identify the quietly drifting student, as new screening tools and cognitive therapies seek to help both types of students.

Speed Bumps on the Way to an ADHD Diagnosis

New York Times

Undiagnosed, ADHD can wreak havoc on relationships, finances and one's self-esteem. Adults with the disorder are twice as likely as those without it to be divorced, for instance, and four times as likely to have car accidents. More than 5 percent of adults have ADHD, but just 10 percent of those adults have a formal diagnosis.

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