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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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FDA Holds Off On New Heart Warnings for ADHD Medicines

Shots Blog, National Public Radio

Steady as you go on ADHD medicines. The Food and Drug Administration has finally received data from a massive analysis of health records to tease out whether there is a link between normal use of ADHD medicines and potentially lethal heart problems. And, for now, the FDA says it's not recommending any changes in safety instruction or use of such popular meds as Vyvanse and Adderall.

Federal Government to Let Alabama Cut Spending For Special Education

Birmingham News (AL)

Alabama is one of a handful of states given permission to cut spending on special education this school year, a rare concession from Washington for states facing severe shortfalls in their state budgets.

What to Do If Your Student Has a Learning Disability and Is Headed To College

ABC2 News (MD)

Heading to college can be intimidating enough. Heading to college with a learning disability can cause a lot of anxiety. Fortunately most universities have programs available for students who are struggling with a learning disability. There are steps to take if you have a learning disability.

Making Peace with Adult ADD Diagnosis, Symptoms

ADHD CEO Blog, ADDitudeMag.com

If you've long dealt with frustrating symptoms, an adult ADD/ADHD diagnosis can be empowering. But when improvement seems impossible, inconsistent, or gradual, how do you stay motivated about treatment?

Does Special Education Review Process Work?

Auburn Citizen (NY)

Fewer special education referrals and an increase in the percentage of referred students approved for special education services could be attributed to a new approach to special education in public schools.

FDA Panel Says Food Dyes Don't Cause Hyperactivity

Shots Blog, National Public Radio

The age-old battle pitting a potential public health concern against what can be clearly proven by science played out in Silver Spring, Maryland this week, with science winning this round. As predicted, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel said today that the current scientific data is just not solid enough to show that artificial food dyes cause hyperactivity in most children. But they did call for more research, particularly on Blue #1.

Opinion: Coaching the LD Student

Inside Higher Ed

A growing number of professors understand that students with learning differences need accommodations in the classroom, but more athletic coaches need to recognize that similar support is in order on the playing field.

Special Education Challenges in DC, and Everywhere

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

This week, lawyers will argue that the District of Columbia school system didn't do enough to find and teach 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds with disabilities—in front of the same judge who has already ruled that the school district didn't do right by these kids in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

Hawley School Alumnus is behind New Dyslexia Movie

Newtown Patch (CT)

The problems for Harvey Hubbell V didn't start to emerge until after he enrolled at Hawley School where he immediately felt like a fish out of water and fell behind in his studies. "It's like if you ended up in French IV one day and you never even took French I, how would you feel?" asked Hubbell, now 52. "You knew right away that you are in the wrong place. They can't teach you. It's not that you can't be taught." It was only later that he learned he had dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.

Increasingly, Internet Activism Helps Shutter Abusive 'Troubled Teen' Boot Camps

Healthland, Time Magazine

For the last 40 years, teens with drug problems, learning disabilities and other behavioral issues have been sent to residential facilities to endure "tough love" techniques that are widely known to include methods of outright physical and psychological abuse. Whether labeled as boot camps, emotional-growth schools, behavior modification programs or wilderness programs, these organizations have operated without federal oversight, and state regulation of the schools ranges from lax to nonexistent. Now, however, individual critics of the programs are using the Internet to find each other and mobilize, and are bringing change.

FDA Probes Link Between Food Dyes, Kids' Behavior

National Public Radio

The Food and Drug Administration is meeting Wednesday and Thursday to examine whether artificial food dyes cause hyperactivity in children. Artificial food dyes are made from petroleum and approved for use by the FDA to enhance the color of processed foods. They've been around for decades and are found in everything from pudding to potato chips to soft drinks. But recent studies linking food coloring to hyperactivity in kids is causing some experts to call on the FDA to ban foods containing them — or at least require a warning label.

Dyslexic Governor Brings Learning Disability to Limelight


Doctors called him spastic. Teachers said he was mentally retarded. Some of his nastier classmates called him dummy. Today, Dannel P. Malloy is called something else: governor of Connecticut. Malloy, who still struggles with reading and calls writing "almost impossible," credits his lifelong struggle with dyslexia for developing listening skills and memory tricks he uses every day with constituents and legislators.

Data-Driven Student Intervention Program to Go Statewide in Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Teachers have always had ways of dealing with students who struggle with certain lessons. But improvements in technology and a growing awareness of how to use test data to improve teaching are inspiring schools to take a more clinical approach. Soon such methods could be all but mandatory for Wisconsin's public schools.

Illinois Threatens to Dissolve District Over Special Ed. Failures

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

In July 1994, East St. Louis School District 189 settled a class-action lawsuit in which it promised to educate students with behavior disorders—the district had been turning them away. The district promised that it would not permanently exclude children with disabilities from school, and it would provide a free, appropriate education to all students with disabilities. In other words, it would meet the basic premise of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Nearly 20 years later, the Legal Aid lawyer who brought that case says East St. Louis still doesn't know how to do right by its students with disabilities.

Survey: Teachers Concerned About Resources for Students with Diverse Learning Needs

Education Week

A large majority of U.S. teachers believe that schools are not doing enough to prepare students with diverse learning needs for success after high school, according to a nationwide survey released today.

Special Education Programs Brace for Loss of Federal Stimulus Money


The drop-off in stimulus spending by the federal government is likely to put a dent in special education programs at some New Orleans schools, with the Orleans Parish School Board planning deep cuts in its special-ed workforce ahead of the next school year.

ADHD Teens: Homeschool or High School?

ADHD Dad Blog, ADDitude Magazine

Under so much pressure to succeed socially and academically in a new school, can my ADHD teenage daughter survive her first semester of high school? Can I, her anxious, overwhelmed ADHD dad, help her?

Another State Requests Waiver to Cut Special Ed Spending

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

It's official: This month, Oregon asked the U.S. Department of Education to allow it to cut about $15.7 million from its special education budget and not lose the same amount of federal money for students with disabilities—a double hit.

Opinion: Relief Found in a Diagnosis

Braintree Patch (MA)

"Congratulations," a friend remarked to me recently, "You finally have a diagnosis." She was referring to the recent confirmation of my son's dyslexia. I had long suspected, since the time that he was two to be exact, that my son's aversion to Sesame Street was more innate than television snobbery.

Opinion: Drop the Rope

Huffington Post

For three years after my 9-year-old son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, I figured he was the problem. After all, I was getting constant calls from his teachers, complaining that he was misbehaving or hadn't done his homework, or had lost another field trip permission form. At home, he'd routinely melt down, taking out his frustrations by picking fights with his younger brother and me.

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