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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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Massachusetts Resident Publishes Guide on Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

Wicked Local Wayland (MA)

Michael Brian Murphy of Wayland, MA has published the second edition of his successful book, "NLD From the Inside Out: Talking to Parents, Teachers, and Teens about Growing Up with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities." Based on current neuroscientific findings and Murphy's latest research, the second edition provides more insight into NLD and successful coping strategies, as well as more stories of young adults with NLD.

When Reading Hurts

Santa Barbara Independent (CA)

For my son, reading has been a nightmare — with letters on a page assembled in apparently random patterns with no particular relationship to sound or meaning. I never appreciated the gift of easy reading — or the pain, humiliation, embarrassment, and damage to self-esteem associated with reading difficulties — until I woke up to the fact my smart little boy just wasn't catching on, no matter how hard he worked.

Surviving ADHD at Work and School

US News and World Report

School means seven classes with seven different teachers. Work means all day, five days a week, in a pressure-filled, deadline-oriented office. In either setting, there are assignments to juggle, time to manage, and priorities to organize. For someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, success in school or the workplace is a moving and elusive target.

Accommodate to Learn

Harvard Crimson

Knowledge does not come a priori. It must be consumed and built up—a book must be read, a lecture heard, or a topic debated. For some Harvard undergraduates that task comes with added obstacles, whether it's attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Asperger's syndrome, or dyslexia. A new student arrives at the FAS Accessible Education Office nearly every workday to report a disorder, according to Sheila B. Petruccelli, the office's interim director.

CO Mom Wins Grants to Train Teachers on Dyslexia

9News.com (CO)

Jennifer Blair-Cockrum wanted to make a difference at her school, Fairmount Elementary. After watching her own son struggle to read, she wanted to make sure teachers at all levels can detect signs of dyslexia. Knowing that the Jefferson County School District didn't have the money for extra training, Blair-Cockrum took it upon herself to find the money for her school. She applied and won grants totaling around $22,000 to bring in instructors from the Dyslexia Center for the sake of her son and others.

IL School Earns Top Award for Reading Program

Forest Park Review (IL)

Students at Garfield School learn rabbit words, bandit words and "gotta know" words. Though the monikers sound strange, this reading program works. In fact, in recognition of its reading strategies, Garfield was recently named the winner of the "It Takes a Village of Readers Award" by the Illinois Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. The award is handed out annually to only one school in the state that provides an "exemplary program for children struggling with learning to read."

Australia: Mum's Insight Key in Dyslexia Battle

The Age (Australia)

As a mother of three children with dyslexia, Liz Dunoon is used to dealing with the learning difficulty — but she remembers how her first encounter with it broke her heart. Despite his best efforts and hard work, her elder son, then aged 6, struggled with reading, writing and spelling when he started school in 2004.

Schools Test E-Reader Devices with Dyslexic Students

Education Week

Educators seeking new ways to personalize instruction for students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities are turning more and more to e-readers such as Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iPad, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and the Intel Reader. But the jury is still out on just how effective those digital tools are in helping struggling readers. And that's largely because educators only recently began testing the tools with students with reading disabilities.

Misconceptions Persist For Dyslexia

Arizona Republic

As a toddler, Shayan Afsharzanjani tackled Legos and puzzles with ease. He would memorize anything to do with fish, buildings or dinosaurs. But when it came to reading, he stumbled. The otherwise precocious child found it nearly impossible to make sense of words and letters.

Rick Riordan on Four Ways to Get ADHD Kids to Read

Wall Street Journal

My sixteen-year-old son Haley recently came into my office and announced that he'd finished a six-hundred-page manuscript. I suppose that would be unusual coming from any sixteen-year-old, but given my son's background, it's especially stunning. Haley is ADHD and dyslexic. My novels about Percy Jackson began as bedtime stories for him — a father's desperate attempt to keep his son interested in reading. That's also why I made Percy Jackson ADHD and dyslexic, and made those two conditions indicators of Olympian blood.

Never Giving Up On a Dream to Write

Petaluma Argus Courier (CA)

Children's book author Debra Cardone Warner was just 9 years old when she wrote her first poem. That's when she knew she wanted to become a writer. Warner took writing classes all through high school and college, even getting some of her work published during the '60s and '70s. Her talent and success came as a surprise to her because of a learning disability that made writing a challenge.

Difference, With Dignity: Two HBO Documentaries Explore Love and Learning

Denver Post

Moving documentaries about folks outside "the norm" turn up on HBO this month. Coming October 26, "I Can't Do This But I Can Do That" is about kids with learning difficulties, specifically turning the lens on Denver Academy. Endearing kids, teachers, and principals explain how, once different styles of learning and processing information are considered, kids can succeed.

Okla. Districts Balk at Special Education Vouchers

Education Week

Four Oklahoma school districts have voted not to comply with a new state law that would permit students with disabilities to use public money to go to private schools. School boards for the 4,400-student Bixby and 14,900-student Union school districts, both in the Tulsa, Okla., area, voted Oct. 11 not to provide scholarships to parents who apply for them under the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Act, which became effective in August.

'Paying Attention' With an ADHD Mother And Son

National Public Radio

Investigative reporter Katherine Ellison's son, Buzz, was charming and bright. But he was also driving her crazy. Both mother and son were constantly at odds, and Buzz was anxious, angry and lonely. When Buzz was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Ellison was already familiar with its symptoms — she soon learned that she had ADHD as well.

Reading Disability Risk in Girls with ADHD

On Special Education Blog, Education Week

John Wills Lloyd has written about an interesting study in the latest issue of Pediatrics on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and its correlation to reading disabilities. The study, which looked at more than 5,000 Minnesota youth, found that children with ADHD have dramatically higher rates of reading disabilities than youth without the disorder.

ADHD-RD Connection Confirmed and Refined

LDBlog

Writing in Pediatrics, Professor Kouichi Yoshimasu and colleagues reported that the chances of children and youths having reading disabilities is significantly higher among those who have ADHD than it is among the general population of children and youths.

Opinion: Family Learns Together About Dyslexia

North Jefferson News (AL)

I wanted readers to be more aware of a reading disorder problem that could be seen as a lazy, literacy or simply an LD "learning differently" problem. What would you think about a child in the middle of the third grade just learning all of their ABC's?

Poll: Learning Disabilities Are Often Misunderstood

Education Week

About 80 percent of Americans believe the statement "people with learning disabilities are just as smart as you and me" to be generally accurate. But a majority of the public also link learning disabilities with mental retardation and autism, and more than 50 percent agree that learning disabilities are "often caused by the home environment children are raised in." The poll was commissioned by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation of New Haven, Conn., which makes grants to support children with learning disabilities.

ADD, Autism Aren't Learning Disabilities, But Most Think They Are

USA Today

Despite an increased understanding that kids learn differently, a majority of Americans still do not completely understand what conditions are related to learning disabilities, a new poll says. The report by the Tremaine Foundation, which supports programs in arts, environment and disabilities, is based on a telephone poll of 1,000 adults.

Opinion: Knowing the Special-Ed Alphabet

Hingham Journal (MA)

Special education is all about ensuring that children with disabilities have the same access to schooling as their typical peers. Under the law, children are expected to make "effective progress" and are guaranteed a "free and appropriate public education" (FAPE) in the "least restrictive environment" (LRE). The terminology and concepts seem simple enough, but words and phrases such as effective, appropriate, and least restrictive are subjective and open to different interpretations.

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